House of 1000 Corpses [2003]

It's sick! It's twisted! It's House of 1,000 Corpses, and it's more fun than a wholesome bowl of "Agatha Crispies"! Dropped by two studios (Universal and MGM) and doomed to obscurity until Lions Gate Films gave it a limited theatrical release, Rob Zombie's gonzo horror flick is a blood-spattered throwback to the gore-fests of the '70s, lending new meaning to the term "box-office gross." Most critics misunderstood this unbridled exercise in graphic style and violence, but for devoted horror buffs it's a refreshing rebuttal to the comparatively "polite" frights of the post-Scream era. While paying homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left, Motel Hell, and other gory classics, Zombie's ramshackle plot (two young couples are terrorized by an inbred family of homicidal maniacs) lacks a crucial sense of dread, but his pastiche of vivid colors, grainy fetish-films, and photo-negative imagery is guaranteed to hold your attention. A bona-fide cult item, this House is definitely worth a visit... if you dare. --Jeff Shannon

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