It is a name that more and more is starting to create a division among horror fans. Some people have really liked his work, others have thought he's a bad film maker who should go back to making music.
I'm really on the fence. When I first saw House of 1000 Corpses, honestly, thought it was better when it was called Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Very derivative film.
But it held potential.
While the plot and story was pretty much a rip off from a film Rob had obviously liked very much, there was something about his visual style that said "Wait till you see the next one."
And I did. It was called The Devil's Rejects and quiet frankly, it was awesome.
Well awesome if you like brutal grindhouse revenge flicks.
Everything that showed Rob could be a good a film maker in Corpses just blew off the screen in Rejects and to be honest, it was probably one of my favorite genre flicks that came out that year.
And then we got Halloween.
Man what a let down. It was never a movie that should have be remade in the first place but if anyone was going to do it justice, it was Rob.
And he failed. Miserably.
Or at least in my opinion. Enough people liked it to go see it a lot and buy it on dvd which meant we were getting a sequel (which in all fairness, I have not seen but have been told is terrible).
We also got a glimmer of hope when Zombie directed a fake trailer for Grindhouse called Werewolf Women of the SS which was just awesome on so many levels.
In the meantime around Rejects and just before Halloween, Zombie started talking about a weird animated movie he wanted to do. Three years alter The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was unleashed to a resounding......
Don't get me wrong. There are some good points and there is a lot of potential in a sequel but on a whole...well...
The movie introduces us to Monsterland. Think if Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob lived in the bad neighborhood of Cool World. We meet El Superbeasto, a Mexican wrestler/superhero/egotistical jerk. He has an sister named Suzi-X (voiced by Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) who is like James Bond without the sophistication and with bigger breasts. She has a robot sidekick named Murray (voiced by a favorite of mine Brian Posehn) who is in love with Sheri.
El Superbeasto falls for the ass of a stripper (Rosario Dawson with a mouth on her like five sailors) who is kidnapped by a intelligent ape for the evil Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti). El Superbeasto enlists the help of Suzi-X to get her back and save the world from Dr. Satan all while Suzi is trying to defeat evil zombie Nazis because she stole Hitler's undead head in a jar.
The idea had sold me because I'm 1) A big fan of animation 2) Still have hope for Rob Zombie as a film maker 3) The actors involved in the VO and 4) It sounds really awesomely retarded.
And in the end, as I said, meh.
The animation is great. Zombie once described the film as "...if Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo were filthy" and that's probably the best way to describe it. It is very cartoony but really well done and executed.
The voice over work is also really strong particularly Paul Giamatti that you can hear him just relishing the part of this bad guy. I also found that I really like Rosario Dawson's voice over as well.
The music/sound is pretty decent as well, especially some of the theme songs. Surprisingly, none came from Rob Zombie.
The writing is sub-par compared to the animation. The jokes are pretty one note. It's like watching a Ren and Stimpy cartoon but without the cleverness to get around the censors. Instead of a witty joke for instance, we get a list of various names for a woman's baby making parts. While the list itself was a little creative, the joke wasn't.
I think the major part of how this movie fails is it focus's on the least interesting character. Anytime Suzi-X was fighting undead Nazi's, I really enjoyed the movie...but then it cuts to this rather dull unlikeable luchador...which is saying something because luchadors are just pretty damn cool to begin with.
Tom Papa. The voice of El Superbeasto. To be honest, I am still unsure of how to completely explain it and it may not be Papa's fault at all but the choice of voice for Superbeasto just doesn't seem to work. Midway through we meet a bunch of Superbeasto's Mexican buddies (who all happen to be luchadors) and one of which is voiced by Danny Trejo. And every time afterwards Trejo pops up I kept wishing that he was doing the voice of Superbeasto. Danny seems to be able to do cartoony really well and would have been a perfect fit because he can also bring it down really well. I guess what it comes down to is Trejo can act, Papa (at least in this voice) didn't seem to cut it.
Overall, meh but it does give me a little hope. If I saw a sequel come out, I might give it a shot. Especially if they did one focused on Suzi-X and Murray.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is now availble on dvd.