Review of 3 From Hell
By: Moviegoer Grim

Hey, Boys and girls! Welcome to this month's movie reviews. Much like last time, I could not find anything worth dropping twenty bucks on to watch it once, so I dipped into my massive movie collection and stumbled across a flick that I hadn't even opened!

So this time around, we are going to review a movie, one obtainable on Blu-Ray. It starts with the time I looked for something worthy of paying an outrageous price to watch for over two hours. I found myself alone and awake at one in the morning (I know big shock there right), by this point I was less interested in the movie review and more about doing something, other than nothing until I fell asleep.

I wandered on over to my movie collection, and while I was finger-tips away from selecting Howard the Duck, I wanted something darker and moved over to a rather large stack of unopened Blu-Rays that sat on my printer. There on the very top of the others was my answer: Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell.

While I admit that I have to be in a certain mood to partake in a Rob Zombie flick, I consider myself a fan of his music and movies (for the most part). But that night, I was in the perfect mood for a gratuitously violent and bloody film. I think I put this movie off for so long was that when I was working in Hollywood, I had an opportunity to speak with Sid Heig—so the idea of this being his final Rob Zombie movie was rather sad for me.

And man, for what little time he had, Sid gave a bone-chilling performance as Captain Spaulding, but I am getting slightly ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

One of my favorite things about Rob Zombie is how he can bring the past back with imagery, case in point is how the movie opens with vintage style footage of new reports as if you were in the Firefly World watching the 8 O'Clock news at the conclusion of the previous film Devil's Rejects. We move along the reports until we find out that Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding somehow survived being shot over twenty times at the end of Rejects. Then we pop to the trial (which had a very Manson feel to it), which is beamed into every home in America and becomes the hottest thing in pop culture at the time. The three killers are glorified as murderous celebrities and garner a following of people who accept that they are coldblooded killers. But there are some who believe they were fighting against the system and protested their captivity.

To no one's surprise, the trio was found guilty of the murders and are sentenced to life in prison. Okay, this is where things get a little mucky; Captain Spaulding (who gave the excellent performance in an interview earlier) and was sentenced to life in prison was executed by the state. I am assuming it was one of those things that got lost in translation from the numerous rewrites Zombie did for Sid until giving up and bring in a new character—which we will get to in just a moment.

Okay, Spaulding is out of the picture now, and we find Otis in a work detail with Rondo (from the previous film). In a rampage of violent action, Otis kills the former hitman and reconnects with his half-brother Winslow Foxworth Coltrane AKA Foxy. Yeah, the last name made me wonder if he was related to Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from Moonrunners and Dukes of Hazard.

Anywho…

We find Baby Firefly at a parole meeting. One of the most significant changes in the remaining two characters is with her after being locked up for ten years. Baby has become bat-shit crazy. Throughout the movie, she seems to come back toward reality, but in the beginning—nope, lights are on, but no one's home.

Jump back over to Otis and Foxy somewhat on the run, begin to talk about getting their little sister from prison. They target the Warden, Virgil Dallas Harper, more specifically, they target his family and friends. They are held hostage until Baby is freed; if not, the brothers will brutally murder everyone they have captive.

The following day, Warden Harper loads up on a ton of cocaine and sets the brother's plan into motion as he disguised Baby as a woman guard and simply walked her right out of prison. But unfortunately, once they arrive back at his home, Otis and Foxy still end up slaughtering everyone.

Finally, the three are united and armed with a handful of weapons and Mr. Baggy Britches' van (I let that part out you'll have to watch it), the killer siblings decide to get away from the forthcoming heat and flee to Mexico.

Otis, Baby, and Foxy arrive in a small Mexico town during their celebration of Día de Muertos or in English, Day of the Dead. The three stay in what appears to be the town's only hotel ran by a mousy guy by the name of Carlos Perro.

While the three move about with little worries of being discovered, Carlos Perro, who is looking to capitalize on the siblings, informs Aquarius (the son of Rondo) that the people who murdered his father were there. It is agreed for a large sum of money, Carlos would occupy them as to allow Aquarius time to get there. He cleverly does so in the facade of the Día de Muertos celebration and offers a copious amount of liquor and prostitutes.

The next morning, a little person who works for Carlos by the name of Sebastian brings Baby breakfast. There is a connection between the two (which I found a bit uncharacteristic of Baby, as the other two films she was never presented in a romantic light and only used sex as a tool). Eventually, he tells her that Black Satans gang were on their way to kill the three of them.

The next scene is Aquarius and his Black Satans gang arriving into town, as Sebastian warned Otis of their arrival as well. They fight off the men dressed in white suits and a luchador mask until Foxy saves them from impending doom. Carlos is caught loading his car and trying to get away with a bag of money, but Otis blows his head off, calling his a "Rat."

Going back to the action with the gang, Baby takes out many of the Black Satans with a bow and arrow, she lifted from Warden Harper's place midway in the film. But, her badassery was still not enough and are captured by Aquarius. He uses them as bait and brings Otis out into the open.

There is a machete dual with Otis and one of the Black Satans, Sebastian reemerges at being shot earlier and cuts the ropes of Baby and Foxy. Aquarius is beside himself in anger, which allowed Otis to get the upper hand on the masked man. Eventually, killing all the members of the Black Satans gang overpowered Aquarius, although Sebastian was killed in the process.

The final scenes finds Aquarius tied with rope and is placed inside a black, wooden coffin. He is covered in gas and eventually torched as the 3 From Hell walk away to freedom.

Now, I really dug this flick. Honestly, I think I liked it better than House of 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects. But with that said, I was less thrilled with the ending. Now, I get that Rob Zombie had to rewrite this a few times, but let's just take a peek at a few things before I deliver judgment.

While it was sold as a return of the Firefly family, to only have Captain Spaulding in a single scene, felt kind of a letdown. Now, I understand the properties behind as to why and accept it, but for me personally, I was sad only to see one scene (note that I'm not including it in my tally). So, we are reintroduced to Otis and Baby; both have character growth, which was awesome to see. The introduction of Foxy was actually a plus as well; he was a tight fit in the progression of the story.

Now, one thing that I had to deduct a point on was the fact that they are portrayed as cold-blooded killers with Harper and the other, but then changed themes in the third act and became the good guys. That was a little hard, but I fell back into the story after a short while with all the great action. But my biggest hang-up was at the end as Aquarius burned alive, I broke the connection with the characters as he screamed out in agony. It broke the good guy facade and painted them differently in those closing seconds.

So, for Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell, I give it three blood-soaked and murderous stars. Okay, that is it for this month, come back next time, and we will see what I find to review.

Until Next time!
I remain…
Moviegoer Grim

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