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Film / The Devil's Rejects

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"I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil's work."
Otis B. Driftwood

The Devil's Rejects (2005) is a black comedy horror film directed by Rob Zombie. It is the sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, picking up six months later as the remaining members of the psychotic Firefly family are on the run from a posse of State Troopers who want them to answer for over 75 murders and disappearances over the past several years.

Of course, we all know this isn't going to be easy, and when Baby and Otis escape from the resultant firefight, they'll be out for one thing: Mayhem. Gory, stomach-wrenching mayhem.

Good times.

A sequel, 3 from Hell was released in 2019.

Has a character sheet.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: To describe it at best, it's a road movie that also features intense action and touches of horror.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: For all their monstrosity throughout, the remaining members of the Firefly family seem to have finally gained a conscience at the end, and despite all they've done, the scene is shot in a somber light with no sound other than "Freebird" playing. Then they come to a roadblock, with dozens of cops preparing to rain bullets down on them ... and they resolve to go out in one last blaze of glory.
  • All There in the Manual: The official website had character bios that explained the backstories of Otis, Spaulding and Baby.
  • Ascended Extra: Sort of; in the original film Captain Spaulding's connection to the Firefly family was tenuous at best and after the opening half was absent from the rest of the film. In the sequel it's revealed that he's the family patriarch and has a considerably more prominent role in the film.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Otis. Every time he does something cruel, he is absolutely reveling in it.
    • Sheriff Wydell loses it by the end, brutally torturing the Firefly family while laughing in their faces.
  • Badass Boast: "I am the devil. And I am here to do the devil’s work", courtesy of Otis.
  • Bash Brothers: The Unholy Two are so badass that they take on the Firefly family and win!
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: "I need to borrow your car. Official clown business."
  • Berserk Button:
    • If you ever, ever say a derogatory word about Elvis Aaron Presley in Sheriff Wydell's presence, he will kick the living shit out of you!
    • If you don't give Captain Spaulding a reason why you hate clowns, he'll kill your whole fuckin' family.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    Adam: Please, mister, stop... please, stop.
    Otis: Stop? Bitch, I have just started! Y’know I was gonna take it easy on you, boy, but you brought this down on yourself. You had to come all fuckin’ big stick, walkin’ tall like a big fucking hero. Got yourself to blame, hero, look at you now, hero, you’re gonna fucking bleed to death!
    Adam: *spits blood into Otis’ face* Fuck you!
    Otis: (Beat) That's what they all say. "Fuck you!" Well it ain’t gonna save ya. It don’t scare me none and it don’t suddenly make you a fucking hero!
    • Later played straight when Tiny saves Baby from Wydell.
  • Black Comedy: The blackest of black. There's plenty of humorous scenes, but it's overshadowed by the sheer grittiness. A prime example of this is when Captain Spaulding punches out a mother in front of her son before gleefully threatening the kid.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This film is much more bloody and gruesome than House of 1000 Corpses.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Zigzagged The film ends with the remaining members of the Firefly family driving straight into a police blockade engaging in a shootout where they are apparently killed. 3 from Hell shows that they survived the encounter.
  • Brick Joke: One of the prostitutes suggests using a Star Wars theme for attracting more customers. Later on she is seen wearing Princess Leia hair.
  • The Cameo: The woman that Spaulding punches out in order to steal her car? That's P. J. Soles, A.K.A. Linda "Totally" Van Der Klok in Halloween (1978).
    • Kane Hodder plays an officer wearing a gas mask during the opening shootout at the Firefly house.
  • Characterization Marches On: Otis and Baby are far more grounded and lucid than they were in House of 1000 Corpses. The same could be said for Spaulding although it's made clear that the clown persona is largely an act he puts on.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Tiny appears near end of the film to kill Sheriff Wydell.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In the original film, most of the Firefly family were named after various Marx Brothers characters. The sequel reveals that these are in fact aliases and deliberate references to Marx by the family.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: It's a Rob Zombie movie, what did you expect?
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Firefly family does this quite a bit. Sheriff Wydell turns it back on them towards the end.
  • Darker and Edgier: Comparing this to the previous movie, you'd never guess that they're part of the same series.
  • Deconstructed Trope: In any other horror movie the Firefly family would have survived long enough whenever the sequels demanded it. This movie doesn't play that Karma Houdini card. Or at least it didn't for a very long time, and even then they were arrested and Spaulding gets the death penalty.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Deconstructed when Otis kills Adam: as the former points out, using your last breath to insult your killer with a Precision F-Strike doesn't suddenly makes the killer want to run for the hills or really makes your death any less undignified (he even escalates the brutality of Adam's death as an act of showing him "how heroes die").
    • Karma hits Otis hard later, as he along with the rest of his family are victims of the trope's deconstruction as well. They fight with all they got against the police, insulting them and mocking their victims. Which does...nothing. In particular, when Wydell captures and tortures Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding, they mock the sheriff and insult thier previous victims, including the sheriff's deceased brother. It does nothing to stop Wydell from torturing them and neither makes them brave or less powerless as they are now. The same can be said about their last stand against the cops, in which they decide to fight to the end, and they are quickly overpowered and defeated without killing a single cop.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: This line from Marty Walker, the film scholar:
    "I happen to be a self-proclaimed Marx Brothers expert, if I say so myself."
  • Devil Complex: When Otis B. Driftwood marks himself as the devil doing his work to Roy as a mockery of Christian beliefs before he brutally murders him.
    Otis: I am the devil. And I am here to do the devil's work.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's clear by the end of the movie just how much the Firefly family loves one another.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Firefly family vs. Sheriff Wydell. Ultimately very few named characters and no major characters in the film wind up being entirely sympathetic. A film where the protagonists are vicious serial killers and their opposition is a religiously fanatical Rabid Cop seeking vengeance is ultimately how the story winds up. A telling example of the fact that this film leans very heavily to the cynical end of the spectrum is that all the named characters that are not in some way involved with either the Firefly family in some manner or the police wind up being innocents get caught up in the situation and wind up dying horribly.
  • Fake Band: Banjo & Sullivan. It's a plot point that Adam Banjo and Roy Sullivan are country musicians, but we never actually hear them perform in film. One of their songs appears on the soundtrack album, while a full fake Greatest Hits Album, titled The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978, was released as a tie-in: In both cases, the music was provided by country performer Jesse Dayton.
  • The Family That Slays Together
  • Fan Disservice: Captain Spaulding in dirty underwear. In the unrated cut you can even see his ballsack for a second.
  • Fandom Rivalry: In-Universe. The police aren't happy about the movie buff's complaining about how Elvis Presley's death knocked that of Groucho Marx off of the front page.
  • Flaying Alive: Let's just say Otis has quite a hobby.
  • For the Evulz: Though to a slightly lesser extent than the first film.
  • Foreshadowing: A very dark example. When the audience first meets the Banjo and Sullivan crew, they're reminiscing about a time when Gloria's top fell off while riding a mechanical bull, leaving her breasts exposed. The story is told with humour at first, but later on, Gloria is subjected to a Shameful Strip by Otis, who proceeds to rape her with his gun.
  • Genre Shift: House of 1000 Corpses was a straight forward Hillbilly Horrors Slasher Movie. This one is more of an outlaw movie along the lines of Easy Rider or Bonnie and Clyde.
  • Gorn
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Otis: There is no fucking ice cream in your fucking future! (cuts to Spaulding and Baby eating ice cream)
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Sheriff Wydell. He's actually a decent guy trying to avenge his brother and all the people that were murdered by the Firefly family, but he becomes just as violent and sadistic as them in the process.
  • Hero Antagonist: Wydell.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Baby is reduced to a shaking, tearful mess when Wydell taunts her about how he killed Mother Firefly. She is also visibly terrified later on when he is chasing her.
  • I Am the Trope: See page quote.
  • I Hit You, You Hit The Ground: "I hit you, your dick hits the dirt!"
  • It Runs in the Family: The Fireflies
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When hostage Gloria tries to turn the tables on Baby, only to find out it's been unloaded for some time, and Baby murders her with a knife after taunting her.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Subverted. Spaulding's dream towards the beginning of the movie starts of as his idea of a damn good one. He wakes up in surprise after it ends on a sour note.
    Spaulding's lover: What's the matter? Bad dream?
    Spaulding: Eh, 50/50...
  • Karma Houdini: The Unholy Two succeed in helping Sheriff Wydell capture Otis, Baby, and Spaulding, but even killed one of Charlie Altamont's prostitutes in the process, and they disappear afterwards. However, this finally changed for Rondo in 3 From Hell, while the fate of Billy Ray Snapper (who didn't appear nor was mentioned in 3 From Hell) was left unknown.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: This movie removes the one the Fireflies carried in House of 1000 Corpses. It starts with the police surrounding the house with full intent to Take No Prisoners and ends with the ones that escaped that confrontation getting blown away by a roadblock.
    • Ultimately averted in 3 From Hell, which reveals that they somehow managed to survive.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Spaulding finds out about his family's predicament when he is watching the premiere of the new commercial for his business on television.
  • Knight Templar: Sheriff Wydell
  • Large Ham: A lot of characters, but especially the Fireflies.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After spending most of the movie (and untold years before that) torturing, raping and killing, the three remaining Fireflies are captured, tortured and beaten by Sheriff Wydell. After escaping thanks to Tiny, they don't get very far because of a roadblock of pissed off cops with guns.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Baby, who is shown naked twice.
  • Monster Clown: Captain Spaulding, although he takes off the clown makeup fairly early on.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Wydell's torture of the Fireflies. Although he embraces He Who Fights Monsters, the people he was horrifically abusing and butchering had seventy-five bodies (minimum) worth of victims, ranging from torture and rape to horrific mutilation. The fact that they actively brag about their kills in detail doesn't help their situation.
  • Pet the Dog: Captain Spaulding trying to protect Baby during interrogation.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Otis uses some homophobic slurs.
  • Precision F-Strike: For a movie that holds the record for F-bombs (224 uses, to be exact), it has an F-strike made all the sweeter by the fact it actually lampshades the F-strike itself!
    Adam Banjo: Fuck... you...
    Otis B. Driftwood: That's what they all say. (mocking) "Fuck you!" Well it ain't gonna save you. It don't scare me none and it don't suddenly make you a fucking hero.
    • Arguably becomes an Ironic Echo toward the end when Wydell has Baby at his mercy.
  • Rabid Cop: The Texas State Police themselves, especially Sheriff Wydell and Officer Ray Dobson.
  • The Savage South: Where else can you find a family of killers, a freak show made of real former people, and Captain Spaulding's Fried Chicken?
  • Shout-Out: Captain Spaulding, Otis B. Driftwood, and Rufus T. Firefly are all named after characters played by Groucho in various Marx Brothers movies. Wolf J. Flywheel is a corruption of Wardolf J. Flywheel, Groucho's character on the radio show Shyster, Flywheel and Shyster. Groucho also played Wolf J. Flywheel in the 1941 film The Big Store.
  • Sinister Southwest: As with the previous film, The Devil's Rejects is about the homicidal and insane Firefly family.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The ending scene is set to "Free Bird" as Baby, Otis, and Spaulding ride to their apparent deaths at a police barricade.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Several Firefly members are killed, captured, or disappear after the opening shootout with police.
  • Suicide by Cop: The final shootout.
  • Themed Aliases: The Firefly family all use names of characters from Marx Brothers films. It gets them caught in this film.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Did I stutter, bitch?"
  • Villain Protagonists: The Fireflies, Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Enjoying some "Tutti-fucking-Frutti!"
  • The Voiceless: Tiny
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Captain Spaulding goes to pee; cut to a shot of coffee being poured.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There's no mention of Grandpa Hugo or Dr. Satan from the first film; Rob Zombie decided not to recast the former out of respect for Dennis Fimple, who died shortly after shooting his role in House of 1000 Corpses, while the latter was shot, but cut out of the film as he felt it would’ve been out of place for the type of film he was making, comparing it to putting Chewbacca in The Wild Bunch.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Captain Spaulding has no qualms knocking a mother unconscious to steal her car, or another girl as she tries to escape Baby’s wrath.
    • Sheriff Wydell is perfectly fine with slapping and choking Mama Firefly, as well as torturing and beating Baby relentlessly. And they deserve every bit of it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Being able to overthrow a madman with a gun is something that could only really happen in film. In the real world? Not so much when said madman has been doing this type of sick shit for a very, very long time.