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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Review: “The Devil’s Rejects”

    By Kyle | April 9, 2007


    Kyle Smith review of “The Devil’s Rejects”


    101 minutes/Rated R (extreme violence, strong sexual content, nudity, profanity and drug use)

    Visceral, vicious and mangy, “The Devil’s Rejects” is a yellow dog of a movie that delights in offending the offendable. It’s also a whitesploitation classic, from its menacing sideburns to its demented laughter.

    Three backroads demons devote themselves to slaughtering everything in their path. No explanation is sought or given, because we’re here for killin’, and lots of it.

    Elmore Leonard’s pulp credo — skip the boring parts — is enforced by writer-director Rob Zombie, who works with a palette of screaming half- or all-nekkid chicks, homicidal maniacs and deranged cops. Plus he treats us to virtually all of “Freebird.”

    To get more white-trash than this movie, you’d have to fix yourself a Fluffernutter and wash it down with Southern Comfort while sitting in the Dodge Charger that’s been your lawn ornament for 20 years.

    Zombie, of the metal band White Zombie, uses some of the same characters from his uneven previous film, “House of 10,000 Corpses,” but this time the dirt is much purer. Quentin Tarantino will wish he had made this one; “Jackie Brown” and “Kill Bill” are flawed A-movies. This is a perfect B-movie, full of wicked dread. It’s far scarier than “Friday the 13th” and not far short of the industry standard, the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

    The actors — Sid Haig as an evil clown; Bill Moseley as a chatty nut who looks like the lost Allman Brother; Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, as their blond wench, Baby; and William Forsythe as the sadistic cop chasing them — expertly convey the cackling, freeze-frame-loving soul of the ’70s midnight movie.

    The wit Zombie brings to this horror show — watch for the clown’s loony exchange with a roadside chicken merchant — is all the funnier when it bounces off the fourth wall.

    The sheriff, told that the killers have named themselves after Marx Brothers characters, seeks further clues by growling, “Get that movie critic over here.”

    The trembling hack reports for duty in a turtleneck, a cheap sportcoat and unfortunate facial hair; in other words, exactly my look as I write these words.

    Topics: Movies | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Review: “The Devil’s Rejects””

    1. Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”: Already Dead? | Says:
      August 9th, 2007 at 11:21 am

      […] for critics. Because I loved Zombie’s chilling “The Devil’s Rejects” (read my rave review here), I had big hopes for the movie, which comes out on the witching day of Aug. 31. This, along with […]

    2. Review: Rob Zombie Remake of “Halloween” (2007) | Says:
      September 12th, 2007 at 11:05 pm

      […] also: my review of Rob Zombie’s ”The Devil’s […]