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'Rejects' slaughters good taste

| Friday, July 22, 2005

It's nice to get the least pleasant tasks out of the way early in the week and early in the year. That would have relegated the experience of watching "The Devil's Rejects" to maybe Jan. 2 instead of mid-July.

The aggressively deplorable picture plays like a test case for freedom of expression.

We used to talk about "social redeeming value." Now we push the limits of sadism and other perversity and call it a thrill ride.

"The Devil's Rejects" is a sequel to "House of 1,000 Corpses," the 2000 movie released in 2003 and the only other film written and directed by 39-year-old songwriter Rob Zombie (real name: Robert Cummings).

The subhuman clown-faced Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) have two adult offspring, Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob's wife).

The four, along with the even more deranged third sibling Tiny (Matthew McGrory), have tortured, murdered and dismembered more that 75 people whose bodies are stashed under and around their farmhouse.

In 1978, several Alabama policemen close in three of them, capturing only Mother in the botched raid and shootout. Otis and Baby hook up with their daddy and go on the lam, tormenting and butchering new victims throughout.

"The Devil's Rejects" isn't about law or logic. It's about the dehumanization of filmmaking, with atrocious acting and worse writing.

It raises an unintended question: Has a filmmaker no responsibility beyond the titillation of the audience that would choose this over every other picture available• Additional Information:

'The Devil's Rejects'

Critic's rating: One star

Director: Rob Zombie

Stars: Sid Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley

MPAA rating: R for sadistic violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use

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