There’s an exceptional amount of divide in the horror community when it comes to Rob Zombie as a filmmaker. While he may have made some missteps along the way as an artist, Zombie’s 2005 sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, titled The Devil’s Rejects, remains a beloved horror movie masterpiece. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, it’s a fully realized film which resonated with a significant audience.
That said, there’s currently much trepidation within the fanbase about a third entry to the franchise. Many die-hard fans of The Devil’s Rejects are concerned that Zombie may be about to ruin his masterpiece. While I can’t say how the execution will be once all is said and done, I think the premise of 3 From Hell has become clear in recent days. As is obvious, this is still technically speculation, and I could, of course, be wrong. Time will tell.
In the interest of being thorough, let’s state the obvious, that the name of the predecessor is The Devil’s Rejects, while the upcoming sequel is called 3 From Hell. From the movie titles alone it’s clear the latter film seems to be an answer of sorts, to the name of the former. Already we have a suggestion of a premise, though I don’t think this escaped anyone.
Moving forward, the tagline of The Devil’s Rejects, as well as lyrics to a Rob Zombie song sharing the same name, seem potentially indicative as well. “Hell doesn’t want them.” This implication isn’t subtle, the main characters, Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding, or The 3, are so evil, Satan himself would deny them entry to hell.
“We love evil, but you guys are just too evil.”
It’s not just a clever title, though, The 3 even refer to themselves as The Devil’s Rejects in the film, sprawling the moniker in blood across the wall of a hotel room. Sheriff Wydell (played by William Forsythe) mocks the self-applied Rejects title as he performs an homage to Taxi Driver, practicing his intensity in the mirror.
Why would they call themselves this? Initially, one would assume it’s just some gangland or prison yard type of psychological attempt at intimidation. But since The 3 seem to die at the end of The Devil’s Rejects, yet somehow a sequel is occurring, fans are forced to consider a more literal translation. Thus, it stands to reason that likely the film name and inclusion of said name within the film as a self-applied title were examples of clever foreshadowing. Although The 3 appear to die at the end of The Devil’s Rejects, the devil will indeed be sending them back to face the music.
As was recently reported by The Inquisitr, Rob Zombie took to Instagram earlier this week and teased fans with images of Captain Spaulding (played by Sid Haig) being taken to a prison cell, along with an image of Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley) talking to the press. This all lines up perfectly.
Now that we’ve figured out the likely premise, we can move forward, but there will of course be those who still don’t buy the connection. OK, maybe, but if we’re staying within the realm of reason here, we have to assume that barring seriously questionable continuity or profoundly intricate abstraction, only a few possibilities exist for how Rob Zombie plans to work around the deaths of The 3.
1. The 3 die, are rejected by The Devil, and are likely sent back to just a few moments after they would have begun their epic shootout with police at the roadblock. Instead they find themselves in custody.
2. It was all a dream, or some variation of sorts. They never really fought it out with the cops. Whether a literal dream or fantasy, it simply never happened. They surrendered and went to prison, having imagined the Bonnie and Clyde ending. Or maybe Sherriff Wydell never stooped to their level, taking them instead to jail. This is particularly unlikely, as William Forsythe does not appear to be apart of the cast of 3 From Hell.
3. They survived numerous gunshot wounds all over their bodies.
4. Somehow this is a prequel to The Devil’s Rejects, rather than a sequel.
5. This whole thing has gone very supernatural, and we’re seeing their ghosts in the film.
Of the five listed possibilities, I believe the first option seems the most reasonable, if perhaps the most obvious. But perhaps there’s still a hidden aspect to this premise. Has it occurred to anyone that Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding refer to themselves as The Devil’s Rejects because they’ve died before?
It would make sense, wouldn’t it? How brazen and generally carefree is the Firefly clan? It could be chalked up to psychopathy, but it also works as a group of people who know that death is going to be nothing more than a quick U-turn. Of course, they try to avoid capture, who wants to go to prison? Not to mention, dying probably hurts. But they’re also rather casual about wreaking havoc in the same area for presumably decades, then taking their sadistic ways out on the road.
The 3 go out in a blaze of glory, not simply as a last stand of defiance, valiantly dying together as a family, taking one last hurrah; they’re just really not looking forward to prison. The odds of winning this gunfight are incredibly slim, but one can’t win if they don’t play, might as well try. Furthermore, The Firefly family doesn’t seem like the type to turn tail and run, so fighting back, even with the prospect of prison looming, sounds about right.
I’m assuming this Satanic rejection only applies to The 3, since Grandpa, Mother Firefly, and RJ are all dead and presumably never came back, with no mention of them showing up in 3 From Hell.
So The 3 die, come back and go to prison, and that’s the premise of the movie, it’s a prison movie. If one watches House of 1000 Corpses, then watches The Devils Rejects afterwards, a sharp switch in genre is obvious. 3 From Hell may be just as much a departure.
Now that I think about it, The Devil’s Rejects is often described as being hyper-realistic at times. Perhaps Zombie will take a hard left and make this one psychological. Go back and look at the 5 premise possibilities I laid out earlier. Knowing Rob Zombie, it’s not beyond reason to believe this may be a hybrid between option 1 and option 2, or maybe even option 5.
While The 3 will assert their rejection from The Devil, from the place called hell, others in the movie may assert The 3’s insanity, leaving the audience to question if the Firefly clan simply believes they’ve died and come back
Further down the rabbit-hole still, did The 3 die and come back, or did they die for good and are now in hell? A hell resembling a literal prison. Will this forthcoming prison movie be as literal a take on the story as its predecessor? Or will Zombie take an approach similar to The Lords of Salem, leaving audiences to wonder if The 3 are lost in their own delusions of grandeur?
While no official plot points are yet available to the public yet, it’s fair to consider the simplest answer as also probably the most likely. Hopefully, we’ll find out how correct or incorrect my opinion is in 2019.