It seems as though it’s been forever since Rob Zombie has delivered a cinematic horrorfest, and fans have been anxious for any news on 31, Zombie’s latest film project. When news that Rob would be heading up the Return of the Dreads concert tour, along with Korn, it seemed we would have to wait even longer for something new on 31, but, fortunately, Zombie has taken the time to give a few teasers about his latest horror film.
Rob Zombie moves forward with 31
The big news is that, following a long wait for fans and much negotiating on Rob’s part, 31 does finally have a distributor and a release date. The news was first reported by Zombie himself, as he posted the confirmed release date in a statement on his Facebook account.
“Finally we have a release date! September 16!”
This news follows the deal with Saban Films for North American distribution rights.
31 sounds as entertaining as it does menacing, particularly for those suffering from a bad case of coulrophobia. Zombie’s latest shriekfest will center around five carnival workers, picking up just as these poor souls are abducted by a gang of sadistic clowns. The carnival workers are forced to engage in a game of survival, finding themselves forced to outlast the gang of clowns in a 12-hour contest.
The original cut of 31 was so violent that the MPAA gave it an NC-17 rating. Instead of accepting that rating, Zombie took the film back to be edited and had a few scenes trimmed, until the desired R rating was achieved. While Rob says the editing had little effect on the content of 31, there’s still hope that an unedited director’s cut of 31 will be released on disc.
Rob Zombie says 31 will “scare the sh** out of you”
Rob Zombie started off his most recent interview by addressing the concerns of horror fans that 31 suffered at the behest of the MPAA. Zombie wants to assure fans that, firstly, there will be an unedited 31 disc release, and, secondly, that he feels confident that editing the film did not affect its content.
“Every movie I’ve ever made has been an MPAA nightmare and this one was too, but it always is,” Zombie said of 31. “Really what you do is you get the things that they’re upset about, and you try to push it through as hard as possible without sacrificing the movie. I didn’t feel like  suffered from it at all.”
The new MPAA rating for 31 is a solid R for “strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.”
The CEO of Alchemy (formerly Millennium Entertainment), Bill Lee, praised Rob Zombie as a master filmmaker and, in speaking of 31, said that Zombie is at the height of his game. Lee added that the film goes along with Alchemy’s mission to connect exceptional storytellers with loyal fans and new audiences.
“With 31 he’s creating yet another terrifyingly immersive and twisted world that will delight audiences,” said Mr. Lee.
Rob was mutually appreciative of Bill and of Alchemy for their willingness to follow his dream for 31.
“I am thrilled to work with a company sharing the same vision for my film 31 as I have,” said Zombie. “Alchemy has committed to bringing the most intense experience possible to the screen.”
This will be Zombie’s first directorial effort since 2012’s The Lords of Salem. That film debuted to mixed reviews and unimpressive box office returns, leaving the film as fodder for even the most loyal Rob Zombie fans. Such a lukewarm response to The Lords of Salem has affected the reception to a new film from Zombie, so it seems understandable that Rob has had a measure of difficulty in finding a distributor for 31.
31, written and directed by Rob Zombie, stars Malcolm McDowell, Meg Foster, and Elizabeth Daily.
[Image by Alchemy]