Lords of Salem(2012)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]
Rob Zombie has a reputation in cinema. He’s weird and unpredictable, and delivers great combinations of psychedelic hillbilly brutality. Most of the time, people are not too kind towards his films, and with some entries such as the Halloween Remake Franchise and 3 From Hell, it’s arguably justified.
So let me tell you about his witchcraft film The Lords of Salem.
Lords is a hugely underrated experience. Most people just see Rob Zombie’s name in the title, and his wife Sherri Moon Zombie on the cover, and that’s all they need to form an opinion. Which is exactly why I’m here to tell you to stop your judgment and save it for after you try it.
Sherri plays Heidi who is a radio DJ for a rock station in Salem, Mass. One night the station receives a package addressed for her from a local group called “The Lords of Salem”. She brings it home and listens to the vinyl with her friend and co-host Whitey (Jeff Daniel Phillips). The music that emits from this vinyl is honestly disturbing. It has noises you cannot recognize combined with some deep bass and plucking strings to make a song that eats at your subconscious. And in Heidi’s case that’s literal. Once she hears it she gets migraines and is haunted by vicious nightmares. These nightmares range from visions of people standing in the shadows of her apartment, to being seduced by the Devil himself.
But the male co-hosts (which also includes Ken Foree as Herman) just think its strange music. They are oblivious to the psychological damage that Heidi is suffering from it; and since Heidi is also a recovered heroin addict, they just think that she’s using again when she begins to suffer from the music’s influence. They also decide to play the record over the air, in which we see as all of the women who hear it pause from whatever they’re doing, wherever they are, and enter a trance. And the story continues from there…
This movie is fucking scary. Compared to the depravity of House of 1000 Corpses or 31 this one is more grounded and realistic. The situation is believable and not over the top with its hillbilly aesthetics, making it a bit more universal. The music is seriously creepy and the images that we see throughout the film are really disturbing. On repeat viewings I still find myself creeped out by particular events. It’s a tale of a woman who is losing all control of her own life who has friends who love her but don’t understand what needs to be done to help her.
And the truth be told… the very 1st time I saw this film, I immediately shut it off when it was over, went to bed, and had vicious nightmares for the next few days.
Rob Zombie has a pretty bad reputation, and I can’t really defend his other films (besides Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses – which I personally love) but this one movie deserves a chance. You can skip ‘31’ and ‘3 From Hell’ and that’s totally cool. But when you find yourself wanting to watch something, consider this one at least once. In my opinion, and as far as witchcraft movies are concerned, this is one of the best.
4.5/5 – Fight me
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra