It is the year October 30th, 1977 and four teenage kids are trying to write a book on offbeat roadside attractions.
They meet up at a stationary hosted run by a weird clown named Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) as he has a ride there of a museum about the legend of Dr. Satan.
They try to look for this legend afterwards and pick up a female hitchiker named Baby Firefly (Sherri Moon) whom is heading home and says that the legend where Dr. Satan was hung from a tree is by her house.
Someone shoots the tire of the car but Baby says that her brother is a tow truck driver so they all stay at Baby's home while they wait for their car to get fixed.
They encounter her bizarre family whom tries to entertain them hosted by Mother Firefly (Karen Black) while Sherri and her brother Otis (Bill Moseley) have kidnapped 5 cheerleaders as they slowly kill them by raping and torturing them in another room. They are announced on the news as missing people.
Then suddenly, the kids are trapped there while the Firefly family tortures them and slowly kills them each at a time by playing their sick little games with them like they did with the cheerleaders and hundreds of other people they kept dead in their house.
We have a campy moment with two people trying to hold up a Captain Spaulding's store as this was not meant to be taken seriously in which you could tell especially with one of the people working there mocking the other and this person falling for it all as this blends some lame goofballish comedy.
Some interesting moments with a bunch of kids driving and then going to Spaulding's store along with Bill Hudly talking to him on a situation and Spaulding alomnst seeming angry which looked intimidating and supenseful as well as making you wonder or not the terror will strike against him before he knows it. It looked good and strong.
Also a nice moment with them discovering the funhouse and spotting the historical moments on serial killers as well as spotting old fashioned looking flashbacks on these maniacs in which all of this was effective as well as nice colourful settings on the settings that we spot here. It looked all convincing as if you were in the picture too.
Nice settings in a town with kids trick or treating as well as one of the kids calling their father to let him know where they are as this looked well done and explaining early trick or treating due to a school night.
Nicely written in moment when they drive away and spot Baby Firefly hitchhiking and they pick her up as well as her strange attitude as this draws your attention greatly along with a nice dark shot on R.J. Firefly Jr. firing his rifle at the tire of the car in which is a nice drawing moment that the terrors are soon about to unravel.
Nice freaky moments when the kids enter the home and are creepily greeted by Mother Firefly as well as what goes on at the dinner table and meeting other strange relatives in which all of this looked well done. Plus we have a moment in between when Otis Driftwall is speaking aggressively towards some kidnapped cheerleaders tied and gagged adding some interesting timing but yet doesn't look intense like it was supposed to have been due to the campiness involving all of this.
Also there's another scene in between in another spot when Baby is being forceful towards another kidnapped cheerleader and demanding the hell out of her which looked psycholigical as well as a good camera shot showing a dead cheerleader tied on the other side of this kidnapped one as this doesn't look pretty to see and a nice touch to the horror story that we spot in which this was definetely Zombie's style.
Plus some neat entertaining moments when Baby does a show as well as Mother Firefly and her getting a little sleazy towards one of the guys and one of their girlfriends gets violent within this which leaves an impression that this isn't a good idea at all.
Perfect dark moment on the kids speeding away which makes you think that there'll be a catch to prevent them from getting away when one of them is about to open a gate as well as what we may think is scarecrows in the area too only to find out it's one of the residents at that creepy house ganging up on all of them as this looked cleverly done as well.
Perfect moment with Mother Firefly talking to Denise Wills about one of her friends as to how he was a help and then a flashback sequence on some nasty scene of this guy being tortured to death which doesn't look pretty to watch and can please fans of horror violence too as well as her showing Denise the results of her friend which also looked genuinely twisted to watch.
Things start to slope while we hope for more fun when we spot two dimwitted sheriff's as well as Denise's father trying to find out the missing cases on those kids as all of this looked way too corny especially when one of them enters the home and the other finding some corpses as well as Denise tied up in a shack with their luck ruinning out which is hard to be taken seriously by how this was all done and didn't fit into the story just too right. Plus we have Otis pointing a gun at a dipstick deputy with him kneeling down which leaves an impression that he's a wimpy lawman as well as the camera breezing away and it makes you cringe as to whether or not Otis will finally pull the trigger but it takes forever so you finally say to yourself "Get on with it!!!"
Yet things seem to get exciting when we spot Otic coming down dressed in a corpses skin towards Denise which looked perfectly sick as this seemed to pay a tribute to Texas Chainsaw Massacre yet the face of the corpse looked too much like a mask.
Perfect moments when the last surviving victims are tied up dressed in rabbit suits and are forced to go into a coffin that's being dragged down underground as well as one of them trying to run away along with a set on a graveyard full of crucifixes as this looked creepy to watch along with a nice shot looking up on Baby killing this victim as this looked good and dark to watch as well as perfectly effective on what this maniac is saying too.
Perfect shots on some ghoulish looking people underneath some water attacking most of the victims in the coffin as this psychs you out by wondering as to who these people are and how they got there. Almost looked zombie like too.
Plus some perfect twisted moments like Denise going underground and spotting different rooms as to what is happening and meeting Dr. Satan and his tirturing device on on e of her other surviving friends which is another pleaser for fans who enjoy horror violence as well as
her being chassed in the paths. All of this looked like what you'd experience in a funhouse but how it was shot, done and lit up too. It can be fun to watch if you're in the mood for it.
Bottom line was that I was itching for this film to be released when I found out that it was made by shock rocker Rob Zombie and was upset that Universal dropped it as when I saw a theatrical trailer for it. The film looked like that it was going to be an awesome ride. Then Lions Gate Films picked it up. However, a couple people warned me that it wasn't as good as it might have seemed. I still went to the theatre's to watch it and boy were they right. At first the film looked a little exciting when the teens were driving on a stormy night before Halloween when they were on their way to a terrifying realistic nightmare but it drops dead after that as there's nothing new afterwards. Of course, Zombie was trying to make his version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre but it just flopped like a pancake. To some people this was considered a cult classic but to many other it was classic trash and I'm one of them who agrees to that.
The acting is very well done by these actors surprisingly. Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding) really stands out with his dynamic performance as an evil clown as he brings humor and terror to the set both making it very realistic like. Does a great job acting intimidating with his obnoxious and sarcastic attide plus knew on how to be arrogant and forceful too. He for sure showed off a great nasty streak into his part. Plus shows a nice versatality near the end of his performance making out that he's trying to help someone after being tortured while driving in his car. He was a true character actor and probably the best in the cast.
We also have horror icon Bill Moseley (Otis Driftwood) whom we all remember as Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and his role in this film his character in this one is very similar to that character but his role is alot darker than goofy like and very nasty too. He for sure knew on how to get into your face and come across as freaky with his loud voice and acting really menacing. Certainly does well as someone that you don't care to mess with.
Sherri Moon Zombie (Baby Firefly ) is another one who steals the film with her outrageous performance as the nutty one. Comes across as creepily charming when getting a ride while hitchikking and strutting her stuff getting into grooves of stuff or swaggering while she's walking which was well done. Plus does a good job acting stuck up in certain scene's. Was perfect acting like a punk when she threatens to stab someone after being attacked just letting it out which was memorable to anyone who saw this. You just want to kill her she is so bratty, slutty and evil. She does well with her demanding aggressions by getting into someone's face while torturing them. Plus was powerful when she does a killing scene going full speed along with a perfect cackly laughter which was memorable in her performance. This was a promising stepping stone to her acting career apart from being one of her husband's performers onstage or appearing on his album covers.
It was also nice to see the late Karen Black (Mother Firefly) back in a mainstream film again as her role is so goofy but still well performed as I always found her fairly talented lady. She does a nice job acting creepy and too friendly. Plus does a nice job with her sleazy type of attitude as well as believeable with her wicked actions and speaking too. Had the right looks for all of this to top it all off along with showing a perfect evil smile along talking to her onscreen family which shines off well.
Erin Daniels (Denise Willis) seemed fairly passable as a somewhat surviving victim of the teenage crowd who was travelling in which she does well with her sobbing and scared emotions. Plus does well reacting to being fearfully upset when tied up or being tortured. Shows some decent adrenaline when trying to get away from the underground world scene as well as acting perfectly out of it near the end of her performance.
Rainn Wilson (Bill Hudley) seemed to be well remembered as someone whom is a fan of horror and having a geeky look to being into all of this stuff. Shows off nice energy while getting into a conversation in which he focused on this nicely. Plus does well reacting to stuff and being unsure of things. He added some great spunk into his role and deserves a god pat on the back.
Dennis Fimple (Grandpa Hugo Firefly) drew in greatly as someone as grouchy as well as speaking his mind. Plus shows off a great arrogant behavior and was terrific by speaking loudly towards others. Had every great motive to everything that he did here. Was a ball of energy like the rest of the cast mentioned.
After a long absense we have a special appearance in the beginning of the film with Bonnie & Clyde supporting superstar actor Michael J. Pollard (Stucky) as I always wondered whatever happened to him. My guess is that he retired from acting and does it now and then whenever he's in the mood for it. Seemed to still have the knack in his cameo here as he does well taunting one of the onscreen thieves just not taking anything seriously.
There's a porn magazine with a model exposing her breasts.
There is a bit of nudity with a female dancer in the opening.
There's a brief breast shot by Sherri Moon during a flashback sequence.
There are some clips of other nude dancers too.
I cannot see why Universal was so upset for releasing this film due to the gore and dropped it as its no different than most of those gory films out today.
I mean George A Romero has more gore in his zombie flicks.
A robber is shot in the head.
There's a gruesome opening.
Scenes of cannibalism during a Dr. Satan ride.
A man is burned during a flashback sequence.
A dweeby looking teenage kid is slaughtered and turned into a display.
Theres a dead naked corpse in the back trunk of a car.
A face is torn off a corpse and then is worn.
A girl in a rabbit suit is bloodily stabbed.
Someone is bloodily tortured to death with operating machines.
Rob Zombie is terrific with his composing and its none of that typical classical music. He has guitar playing, heavy bass riffs, heavy organ playing and thumping sounds too. Plus great suspenseful drumbeats for alot of the chasing scenes as well as low and deep gloomy synthesizer music as this works in marvellously. There's moaning sounds too for when someone is trapped underground with creepy locals living there making it sound like going into a funhouse sounding perfectly strong too. Hail Zombie!
Of course we get a bitchin soundtrack by Rob Zombie for the opening credits of the title song which is dark and creepy with the hissing vocalising as well as the southern echoey guitar playing plus the creepy piano playing too. This all gives it a good vibe to the flick.
Another catchy song in the film is by the Ramones with their track "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" when the character Baby taunts one of the cheerleaders she has tied up and gagged as well as spotting a dead one there too as this gives it a 70's creepy look to it.
A nice closing credits by the disco group Commodores with "Brick House" but at the same time the song sounds a little too uplifitng for a horror flick. At the same time gives it a 70's type of feel like everything else.
Stucky: [shows a topless autographed photo of June Wilkinson] Shit, I can't do nothing with this now. I can't get rid of this. It ain't worth nothing. My name's all over it. I was gonna fix it to trade it with Jackie Cobb.
Captain Spaulding: That retard who hangs out at Molly's fruit stand? For the lot of me, I do not understand why you hang out with that asshole.
Stucky: He's one horney retard.
Captain Spaulding: Well hell, arn't they all? All they want to do is eat and fuck.
Stucky: Well, if you knew him better you might understand his urges.
Captain Spaulding: Worse than a rabid-ass baboon.
Stucky: You know what his favorite thing is next to whacking his weasel? He takes a sharpened pencil, sticks it in his eyeball and twists it.
Captain Spaulding: What?
Stucky: He doesn't hurt himself. He kind of twists it next to his eyeball.
Captain Spaulding: Oh, he's been putting that pencil someplace other than his eyeball.
Stucky: Oh no, he don't do anything like that. Although one time, he got caught with a Planet of the Apes doll stuck up his asshole.
Captain Spaulding: [laughing] God damn!
Stucky: They had to take him to the hospital. The kid had Dr. Zaius stuck halfway up his butt and they couldn't get it out!
[two masked holdup men break into Captain Spaudling's place to rob it]
Captain Spaulding: Mary fuckin' Moses! Ya' all get the fuck outa here!
Killer Karl: Hands up! Keep your paws where I can see 'em.
Richard Wick: Yeah, d-don't move or I'll b-blast a hole the size of a k-Kansas City watermelon through your ugly-ass b-bozo face.
Captain Spaulding: What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Captain Spaulding: You miserable motherfucker, I ought to leap over this counter and bash your fuckin' balls in.
Killer Karl: All right, Tippy, hand over the cash box and I might leave your brains inside your skull.
Captain Spaulding: Well, I'll tell you what, Ski King, why don't you just take your Mama home some chicken and then I won't have to stuff my boot all up in ya ass.
Killer Karl: I don't like chicken. And, I hate clowns.
Killer Karl: That is it! I'm gonna count to ten and you're gonna hand over all the cash, or I'm gonna splatter your grease paint mug across the state line! One...
Captain Spaulding: Fuck yo mama!
Killer Karl: Two...
Captain Spaulding: Fuck yo sister!
Killer Karl: Three...
Captain Spaulding: Fuck yo grandma!
Stucky: Hey, I know you. You work down at the hardware store. Richard Wick right? All the guys make fun out of you. They call you 'Little Dick Wick.' They even sing a song about you.
Richard Wick: Shut your trap.
Stucky: [sing-song] 'Little Dick Wick, played with his prick, don't his smell just make you sick?'
Captain Spaulding: But MOST of all... fuck YOU!
Captain Spaulding: [after shooting Killer Karl] Goddamn, motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit.
Jerry Goldsmith: Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!
Captain Spaulding: Howdy Folks! You like blood? Violence? Freaks of nature? Well then, come on down to Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Mad-Men. See the Alligator Boy, ride my famous Murder Ride. Most of all, don't forget to take home some of my tasty fried chicken! Ha ha! It just tastes so damn good!
Dr. Wolfenstein: AHHAHHA! The doctor is in! Its your ghost host, with the most! It's Dr. Wolfenstein!
Captain Spaulding: Buddy, look around. Would I be surprised?
Grandpa Hugo: What are you, Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter for the Daily Asshole?
Captain Spaulding: I know what your problem is.
Bill Hudley: What's that?
Captain Spaulding: Ya'll think us folk from the country's real funny-like, dontcha?
Bill Hudley: Jerry...
Captain Spaulding: Yeah, well saddle up the mule, ma. Slide me some grits, I's got to get me some edu-cation, uh hu hu hu.
Bill Hudley: Jerry...
Captain Spaulding: You asshole!
Jerry Goldsmith: That was so badass! Dr. Satan! Ahhh! Dr. Satan!
Otis: [ranting to tied up cheerleaders] "Why", you ask? "Why" is not the question. How? Now, that is a question worth examining. How could I, being born of such, uh... conventional stock, arrive a leader of the rebellion? An escapist from a conformist world, destined to find happiness only in that which cannot be explained? I brought you here for a reason, but unfortunately you and your sentimental minds are doing me no good! My brain is frozen. Locked! I have to break free from this culture of mechanical reproductions and the thick encrustations dying on the surface!
[sees the girls aren't understanding]
Otis: Oh, Christ. Fuck it!
Otis: Boy, I bet you'd stick your head in fire if I told ya you could see Hell. Meanwhile, you're too stupid to realize you got a demon stickin' out your ass singing, "Holy Miss Moley,
[Whole family joins in]
Otis: Got me a live one."
Grandpa Hugo: I hate fucked up families.
Baby: Give me a "B", give me an "A", give me a "B" give me a "Y", What's that spell? What's that spell? WHAT'S THAT SPELL?
Mother: My baby boy gets shy around new people, but he'll warm up to you, especially the girls!
Mother: He's a real lady KILLER!
Baby: I'll fucking cut your tits off and shove 'em down your throat!
Otis: Better you leave here with your head still full of kitty cats and puppy dogs.
Otis: Shut your mouth!
Otis: I said, shut your fucking mouth!
Otis: Listen, you Malibu middle class Barbie piece of shit, I'm tryin' to work here. Work? You ever work? Yeah, I'll bet you have. Scoopin' ice cream to your shit-heel friends on summer break. Well I ain't talkin' about no goddamn white socks with Mickey Mouse on one side and Donald Duck on the other. I ain't readin' no funny books, mama. Our bodies come and go but this blood... is forever.
Mary Knowles: Fuck you, you fucking freak.
Otis: I'm the one who brings the Christmas candy. Now tell me, who's your daddy? I'm the one who brings the devil's brandy.
Mother: Who's your daddy?
Otis: I'm the one who beats you when you're bad.
Baby: Who's your daddy?
Mother: Who's your daddy?
Otis: Come on, sweetie, give the old man some sugar.
Denise Willis: Daddy, Daddy.
Otis: And I'm the one who loves ya when you're fucking dead.
Otis: It's all true. The bogeyman is real and you found him.
Lt. George Wydell: [holds a photo of Denise] Have you seen this girl in the past 24 hours?
Captain Spaulding: Yeah, cute kid. Ain't my type though. You know, I like 'em with a little more meat on 'em. Ha ha. The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin'.
Deputy Steve Naish: Come on clownie, just answer the damn questions. We ain't interested in your love life.
Captain Spaulding: Cut the crap Spaulding and get with the facts.
Deputy Steve Naish: What else happended?
Captain Spaulding: [getting angry and impatient] Nothin'. You ask me, those stupid kids probably got turned around ass backwards and got themselves lost.
Lt. George Wydell: Is that all? Now, I want you to think really hard.
[Spaulding scratches his head with his forefinger, mocking "thinking hard"]
Captain Spaulding: Well, I don't really know. You see, they wasn't in here long enough for me to get up close and personal with them like I do most of the other assholes that come wondering in here!
Deputy Steve Naish: You can shit ten bricks for all I care.
Baby: Hey, Poopy-pants. What's new?
Baby: We like to get fucked up, and do fucked up shit.
Baby: You know we like to get fucked up?
Gerry Ober: Yeah, I like to get fucked up too!
Baby: Yeah, I'll bet you do.
Baby: So, how much we owe you, Goober?
Gerry Ober: oh, that's supposed to be G. Ober, for Gerry Ober, but Karl went and put an extra "o" made it Goober. Fuckin' asshole
Baby: Great story, Goober, how much we owe you?
Gerry Ober: well, the damage is pretty severe. $185 dollars
Baby: That ain't gonna break my bank, hon. Here, keep the change. Go buy yourself a new name... Goober!
Otis: Oh, it's real all right. As real as I want it to be, Mama.
Mother: Otis! There's cops outside!
Grandpa Hugo: What? How many?
Otis: Oh, don't worry about it! How many were there?
Mother: I only saw one.
Otis: Fucking pigs always come in packs. Here take this go down stairs and play nice, I'll go around back and take control like I always fuckin' do!
[Grandpa Hugo flips Otis off]
Otis: Huntin' humans ain't nothin' but nothin'. They all run like scared little rabbits. Run, rabbit, run. Run, rabbit. Run, rabbit. Run rabbit. Run, rabbit, run! RUN, RABBIT, RUN!
Baby: There once was a woman who lived with her daughter in a cabbage garden; along came a rabbit and ate up all the cabbages; the woman said, "Go into the garden and drive out the rabbit."
[after stabbing a victim to death]
Baby: 'Shoo, shoo,' said the maiden.
Baby: 'Come, maiden,' said the rabbit, 'sit on my tail and go with me to my rabbit hutch.'
Skunk Ape Husband: I don't know where that Skunk Ape sleeps, but I do know that he had impure relations with my wife.
Skunk Ape Wife: That is true, he committed lewd acts upon me and my person.
Skunk Ape Husband: When I find him, I'm gonna kill that Skunk Ape!
Rufus 'R.J.' Firefly Jr.: [chanting with family] Otis! Otis! Otis!