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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Ludicrous, bad actors equates bad overall

Heidi (Sherri Moon Zombie), a radio DJ, leaves her sanity behind without much of a fight in The Lords of Salem. Photo courtesy Alliance Films
Heidi (Sherri Moon Zombie), a radio DJ, leaves her sanity behind without much of a fight in The Lords of Salem. Photo courtesy Alliance Films

By Rhiannon Saegert/nw news editor

The Lords of Salem is ludicrously bad. It is actually ludicrous to think that this movie, with all of its perfect failings, was even made. May this film be forgotten and seen by no one.

Sherri Moon Zombie plays Heidi, a DJ living in Salem, Mass. She has a butt, by the way. This movie really wants you to know that.

When she receives a mysterious record in the mail and decides to play it on her radio show, it sets off a strange series of events, many of which were lifted directly from better films. As the days go by in a manner identical to The Ring, Heidi can’t tell if she’s losing her mind or actually being targeted by supernatural forces.

Is Heidi truly insane? Will she escape her fate? Will any of her three-for-the-price-of-one male protectors rescue her? Oh come on, everyone knows the answer.

The name Rob Zombie comes with certain expectations. His films are bloody, sick, violent, sexual, exploitative, but all in the name of fun. All the no-holds-barred insanity and over-the-top gore aren’t meant to be analyzed. They’re meant to be enjoyed by people with a taste for that kind of thing.

This movie spends most of its time on the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to be serious and failing miserably. Who was this made for?

The first half is reminiscent of a Chiller TV original movie with its fair-to-poor acting, predictable plot and weak jump scares that rely entirely on loud noises.

At the halfway point, it shifts gears and tries to shock its audience with grotesque, demonic imagery. Some of it might have been effective if it hadn’t all been executed in the dumbest manner possible. For instance, there’s a faceless, humanoid monster that appears several times and actually manages to be creepy until he shows up in a nun costume for no reason. What was intended to be the scariest part of the film had the audience laughing uncontrollably.

Actually, none of the above is actually important because the finale of the film is the sole reason for its existence.

The last 20 minutes is an acid trip of a sequence. Without giving away too much, it involves gore, sexual imagery and melting faces among other things. The ending is one big ploy to earn this movie The Audition-esque infamy. It was designed to get people telling their friends about that oh-so-crazy ending that must be seen to be believed.

Nowadays, the ending sequence is about as shocking as a seventh grader wearing eyeliner purchased from Hot Topic. This is especially pathetic because, like a seventh grader, this film is trying way too hard to provoke a reaction and just comes off as ridiculous. It is sick, it is unrelenting, it is hard to watch, but it isn’t anything new.

Congratulations movie, you’re so edgy! You’ve potentially shocked and offended the same crowd that took issue with ParaNorman. Drop references all you want, but you’re nothing compared to Cronenberg, Miike, Nakata or Polanski.

Final take: This movie will remind you of all the better horror movies you could be re-watching.

Those who would enjoy it: Maybe die-hard Zombie fans, and that’s a big maybe.

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