A Rob Zombie movie is either something to be loved or hated, the man who screwed with our minds with House Of 1000 Corpses, and bastardised the Halloween franchise. Zombie is consistent in one area, he loves to haunt us with his depiction of horror.
The Lords Of Salem is yet another audience divider, it's cutting edge look, dated styling, and haunting visuals make his most recent movie something very different. This is an incredibly beautiful movie, a movie that proves that the power of a director comes from remaining independent. As you watch Lords Of Salem you cannot help but think of John Carpenter's Halloween, and The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane, before the horror comes the beauty, Rob Zombie wants to sell Salem to you, he really wants you to go there.
The movie has an incredibly strong start, a former drug addict late night DJ called Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie) comes into possession of a record, the 36 second disc is a simple but haunting track. Immediately Heidi becomes bothered by the track, and each time she hears it she becomes more and more disturbed by it, she is not alone however several of Salem's female inhabitants also hear something hidden in the music.
Some years earlier a coven of witches were burned on the stake, their leader Margaret Morgan (Meg Foster) placing a curse upon those that killed them, and a specie threat for one in particular.
Back to the present and only one man understands quite what is going on, Francis (Bruce Davison) is a custodian and the local wax works, and immediately spots a similarity to the track, and the musical notes placed in a legendary Salem diary.
As Heidi looses further grip on the present and reality a group of three women come to her aid, but are their intentions honourable?
The first thing anyone who has a love of horror will notice is the standard of performers in the movie, each new character is like a who's who's guide to horror actors. Many of the cast have been missing from the screen for a long time, some always present but having been given a chilling makeover. The almost unrecognisable Meg Foster who's eyes were her trademark is simply horrific. British sensation of the 70's Judy Geeson stars as leader of a small coven that also includes E.T.'s Dee Wallace, and Rocky Horror actress Patricia Quinn. Dawn Of The Dead star Ken Foree plays a South Park Chef style character, while other blasts from the past include Maria Conchita Alonso, Udo Keir, Michael Berryman, Andrew Prine, Sid Haig, Clint Howard, Camille Keaton and Richard Lynch.
Somewhere along the journey, The Lords Of Salem does lose it's way a touch, in the latter moments reality completely slides away as the visual assault of horror goes full force.
But it's the build up, that seventies look that really is the movies strength, random animals, creepy characters with burnt out faces, creatures just casually placed on the edge of the screen, fantastic backdrops, breathtaking scenery, and a musical score that will guarantee to give the creeps to even horror fans with the strongest stomach.
A review simply cannot do this movie justice, it's certainly not for everyone but it is absolutely stunning on a lot of levels. This is a movie that really does deserve your attention, don't go on the words of others, make your own decisions, whatever the case don't let this piece of horror pass you by.
You can purchase The Lords Of Salem, and it's soundtrack by clicking on the links to Amazon below.