Before We Saw the Trailer, We Thought: Rob Zombie impressed many (ourselves included) with his grisly and demented sophomore effort “The Devil’s Rejects,” only to betray many admirers of that film with his tepid stab at the “Halloween” franchise. After helming the 2009 sequel to that reboot, his new film “The Lords of Salem” (which world premiered in Toronto last year in the Midnight Madness section) finds Zombie back in non-remake mode with a gonzo tale that by all accounts looks to prove the musician turned filmmaker has lost none of his mojo. The wacky premise coupled with the mostly positive buzz following its Toronto bow indicate that that’s the case.
And Now? Opening to a goat’s sinister-looking eyes basked in fire glow and the chanting of some heinous looking old witches, the trailer hints at an old school troubling experience sure to rattle your nerves like Zombie’s first two films, “House of 1000 Corpses” and the aforementioned “Devil’s Rejects.”
A melding of Zombie’s heavy metal background and horror sensibilities, “Lords” centers on a radio station DJ (Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie) tormented by nightmares and hallucinations involving a coven of Salem witches (and one sadistic-looking baby), after listening to a sinister sounding vinyl record sent to her office.
You wouldn’t know any of that from watching the trailer, which relies solely on atmosphere conjured up via creepy imagery and lines like “the devil’s child is inheriting the earth” and “there is a war raging in heaven,” to sell you on Zombie’s film. If doom and gloom is what you’re seeking, then “Lords of Salem” looks to be the ticket. Anchor Bay opens the film April 26.