The Devil’s Rejects is Rob Zombie’s sorta-sequel to House of 1000 Corpses. Its concept is genius: take the psychotic, white trash murder-family from the first film and send them out on the road, pursued by police.
Sadly, the execution leaves much to be desired. Zombie abandons the attention-deficit style of 1000 Corpses for a more “classical” approach; lots of desaturated desert and handheld shots. But his indulgence remains, not suiting this style (best demonstrated by an unnecessary dream sequence early on).
The narrative isn’t great, either. I felt like there was a missed opportunity to feature a large number of vignettes, the outlaws encountering (and probably murdering) a range of characters in their journey. Instead the action is largely confined to three locations, and the road movie premise isn’t really exploited.
The movie also seems to expect you to root for Baby, Otis and Spaulding. I don’t mind horror films featuring unsympathetic protagonists, and I’ve cheered on Jason Voorhees once or twice, but the film’s desperate efforts to get me to care about the murderers felt …off to me. It didn’t help that the charisma that Sheri Moon and especially Bill Moseley oozed in the first film just wasn’t there.