Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans forms part of the “Big H Radio Team.” A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting. The original Lords of Salem are returning and they’re out for blood.
Genre : Horror
Sheri Moon Zombie : Heidi Hawthorne
Bruce Davison : Francis Matthias
Jeff Daniel Phillips : Herman ‘Whitey’ Salvador
Bleed us a king!
I must admit that I’ve actually never heard of Rob Zombie. Not as a musician and certainly not as a film producer. To my surprise, he has an impressive list of things he achieved musically for movies and in directing movies. Even “Haloween” and “Haloween II” were on that list. The list of musical contributions is even more impressive. But remembering names was never my strong point. But “The Lords of Salem” is not exactly a good reference for our dear friend Rob.
However I think this movie had all the right ingredients to become a great movie. Especially the first hour is really enjoyable with the gloomy and sometimes creepy atmosphere. The intro was a little bit of a disappointment, with the old witches dancing naked around a fire and chanting spellbinding lyrics. They really looked terrible. They looked a lot like paper pulp made hand puppets. But what can you expect when you read the following in the trivia on IMDb: “There are no digital effects in the film“. Yes that was obvious. Regardless of this small detail, this introduction gave me a feeling of high expectation and I was hoping that this was the start of a creepy satanic movie with a pack of witches in the lead.
The next image is the tasteful butt of Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife and in terms of female nudity worth while to look at, who plays a local DJ called Heidi, who recently kicked her drugs habit. At a sudden moment she receives an anonymous delivery of a vinyl record from the band “The Lords” and plays it at home. And then hell breaks loose. The next half hour I could only look in an approving way. The atmosphere was dark, menacing and subtly portrayed. The corridor with the ominous looking door at the end. The lamps that hung symmetrically in a row. The sudden appearances of naked wrinkled witches in the bathroom and the kitchen. All this resulted in a magnificent creepy feeling that could lead to a seemingly terrible end.
In the end it was just a variation on the theme of “Rosemary’s Baby” but terribly elaborated. The end was in a sort of theater where a select audience could watch the final scene (probably people evoked by the music). The three modern witches who had settled in the house where Heidi lived, to make sure that the ancient ritual wasn’t interrupted by some stranger, performed in such a way that many abstract and modern theater companies would be jealous.
For me it wasn’t such a great horror movie (if we can call it that way). It had a promising start and finished in a really crazy way. I’m pretty sure this last part was created under the influence of some kind of chemical substance. I’m not going to avoid other movies from Rob Zombie, because even though this was a freaky experience, I am pretty sure that this man is capable to produce an outstanding and obscure horror movie.
Good review! There are no digital effects in the film? Well that's alright by me, matey. They sometimes take away from the story. Let the real devout people be offended? They're not going to admit to watching this movie. I don't meddle in their belief system, however much I disagree and am offended by them. So when it is offered on satellite or can find it, and I'm in the mood for an off-beat movie experience, I'll give this a shot.