Rob Zombie - “31”
Reviewed at Fathom Events Advanced Screening
Rob Zombie has undoubtedly made his name in the horror movie scene over the past decade and change, in both good and bad ways. 31 is a film that went through substantial cuts thanks to the MPAA, being rejected for an “R” rating three to four times, and sadly, it’s extremely noticeable. Zombie is known for his hillbilly horror flicks and a sadistic amount of gore and violence, and 31 sticks to that formula, bringing back familiar faces such as Malcolm Mcdowell and Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon along with Richard Brake (from the Halloween 2 remake) and Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem).
31 has a very straightforward survival horror plot with weird shades of The Purge or even The Hunger Games mixed in: five carnival workers get kidnapped close to Halloween by a group of rich people and brought to an (insanely large) compound to play a sick game of 31 over the course of a twelve-hour night. They are given basic weapons to defend themselves from waves of killers whose names all bizarrely end in “head.” Sick Head, a Latin-speaking Nazi midget with a love for torture (this is definitely a Rob Zombie movie) is the first they take on, but he’s not even remotely scary. Who can take that description seriously?
Nevertheless, he manages to kill one of the five workers in a cheesy, unnecessary scene. The gang of four are treated to a string of nasty mind games after that for the rest of the movie, including a meal that turns into a game of Russian roulette when they’re told that one of the plates is laced with cyanide. Venus, one of the carnival workers, doesn’t buy that information and continues chowing down until she discovers that what they’re eating is actually the dead carcass of their friend. Yum.
Because of his hassle with the MPAA, the major kill scenes in the theatrical release of 31 feel a bit weak. Cameras pan out before the weapons connect, which gets annoying. The last killer, Doom Head, gets an unneeded backstory, but there are mild amounts of dark humor to balance these kinds of moments out. There’s also enough gore to make anyone with a light stomach spit their popcorn back out. 31 holds up for just under an hour and thirty minutes, which makes me wonder how long the unrated version set to hit blu-ray will end up. I’d recommend skipping the theater and watching it when it makes it to stores for you to bring home. If you are okay with a cut-up version of Rob Zombie’s new movie and are antsy to see it, go check it out in theaters. Otherwise, wait to pick up a physical copy.
31 releases worldwide on September 16th.
- Dakota G.
"Curtains" is where you can catch movie reviews by the Metal Lifestyle staff.