After roughly a decade composed of A) digging through the ditches, B) burning through the witches, and C) slamming in the back of his Dragula, heavy metal madman Rob Zombie made his feature directing debut in 2003 with House of 1000 Corpses. The gory, grindhouse-inspired horror flick didn’t exactly have a field day with critics, but it was a not-insignificant money-earner built in a lab to gain a cult following, and it eventually spawned two sequels, The Devil’s Rejects (2005) and 3 From Hell (2019). To officially kick off Spooky Season, Lionsgate is releasing a SteelBook collection of all three films, and we got our hands on a copy to let you know if ya’ need to clear any more room on the Blu-ray shelf for old Captain Spaulding.
But first, the details: All three films in the trilogy follow the homicidal Firefly Family, a crew of backwoods serial killers who are like if the cannibal clan from Texas Chainsaw Massacre got super into, well, the music of Rob Zombie. Chief among the Fireflies are the Hollywood starlet-obsessed Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), aggressively-bearded psycho Otis (Bill Moseley), and clown-faced fried chicken salesman Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig). There’s a massive jump in quality and technical prowess between House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Where Corpses is a scattered debut that feels more like a haunted house experience stretched thin, Rejects takes things on a brutal road trip and turns the Fireflies into something very close to modern horror icons. (Plus, the soundtrack is killer.) 3 From Hell is a slight step down, but it’s also more time with the characters in that same vein.
The thing about the new Steelbook, though, is that I can’t really recommend it for anyone who isn’t already a massive fan of the films or Zombie in general. It’ll look fantastic in a collection, thanks to some genuinely eye-popping artwork courtesy of Vance Kelly. But there aren’t any special features here that haven’t been included in past releases. It’s all great stuff—including three great sets of commentaries from Zombie, the four-part making-of documentary behind the scenes of 3 From Hell, and a side-scrolling House of 1000 Corpses game that I admit to spending way too much time on—but if you own these movies on Blu-ray, you already have these features.
Which actually makes the Steelbook a worthwhile purchase for anyone who hasn’t seen these movies, but is interested. They’re certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but I have a soft spot for all three, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who’s interested in exploitation flicks in the Russ Meyer style, low-budget horror of the 1970s, late-night anthologies like Quinn Martin’s Tales of the Unexpected, or a gruesome mixture of all of the above. For the Steelbook’s price-point, you’re paying about $11 a Blu-ray and getting a heap of (new to you!) features to boot. Plus, unsurprisingly, they all look fantastic in 1080p; my dude Rob Zombie doesn’t always have a firm grasp on storytelling, but he makes those colors pop.
The Rob Zombie Trilogy will be available exclusively at Target starting September 8th with an SRP of $34.99.