Welcome to Planet Motherfucker, homeworld of one Robert Barleh Cummings, known to you and me as Rob Zombie.
For the last 33 years, Zombie has been a controversial figure on the entertainment scene. From his unique blend of music to his polarising filmmaking choices, wherever Rob Zombie goes controversy seems to follow.
Today though, Zombie celebrates his 53rd birthday. So join us as we dig through the ditches, and burn through the witches to bring you our list of the 7 reasons why we love El Superbeasto himself, so damn much.
AKA Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head, Astro-Creep: 2000 was the final studio album by White Zombie and was released by Geffen Records in April 1995.
Bursting at the seams with heavy, chugging guitars, and film and TV samples that would become Zombie’s m.o., the album is by far the band’s finest work and regularly features on lists discussing the very best heavy metal albums of the 1990’s.
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES
When it was announced that Rob Zombie would be writing and directing his very own horror movie, the internet exploded with excitement. Zombie’s love for the genre had been apparent ever since he first appeared on the scene, so there was no doubting what he could and would bring to the world of film. The result was 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses, a film labeled so controversial that it ended up being shelved for a number of years.
I was one of those lucky enough to see the flick at the cinema on its limited release, and it blew my mind. This was unlike anything I’d seen before. Part horror movie, part music video, House of 1000 Corpses introduced the world to Zombie’s beloved Firefly clan, a band of charismatic devil’s intent on rape and murder at any cost. The film has received a lot of unnecessary criticism over the years, but for genre fans, it remains one of Zombie’s finest achievements.
Are you sitting down for this news? You are – OK, good. Because what we’re about to tell you may shock you to your very core. Before making it big in the music biz, Rob Zombie found employment on the set of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. In fact, Zombie was Pee-Wee’s very own Gofer! Imagine that, Rob Fucking Zombie is close, personal buds with Pee-Wee Fucking Herman!? What’s not to love?
RATFINKS, SUICIDE TANKS & CANNIBAL GIRLS
Rob Zombie has stated on occasion that he owes much of his success to the cartoon Beavis & Butt-Head. When White Zombie first broke out, the irreverent MTV show was the only place the band could get any airtime for their music videos. Not one to forget his roots, Zombie repaid the favor when Mike Judge needed music for Beavis & Butt-Head Do America, the 1996 animated movie. He even went one better and directed a whole musical sequence in which the two delinquent teens hallucinate in the desert.
Hellbilly Deluxe is the jewel in Zombies proverbial heavy metal crown. In fact, he has never achieved anything remotely close to his 1998 debut solo album.
Every track on the album is a love song to the horror genre, with stylistically inspiring music videos to accompany the mayhem. Explosive heavy rock guitar riffs and thunderous drums sound the impending doom, while Rob’s unique vocals howl his cryptic message. Zombie may have lost some of his hardcore edge in the few years between Astro-Creep: 2000 and Hellbilly Deluxe, but he more than makes up for it here.
THE GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE
Remember how you felt the first time you entered a spook house as a kid? Rob Zombie sure can. In fact, as a kid, he and his brother would spend many a day inside the ghoulish attractions while their parents worked long hours setting up carnivals all across America. It’s because of this that Zombie decided to bring the great American spookhouse back to the forefront, with his Great American Nightmare events – including terrifying ordeals in which the very bravest of marks enter a Lords of Salem inspired room in total darkness, with a bag over their heads, and an all-new Captain Spaulding experience.
The haunted house attraction was once at the forefront of family entertainment before TV came along and killed it. Thanks to people like Rob Zombie, it is back, and bigger than ever. What’s old is new again, and this time it’s scary as shit.
THE DEVIL’S REJECTS
If House of 1000 Corpses made us love Rob Zombie as a filmmaker, it would be The Devil’s Rejects – the film’s sequel – that would cement him as a true force to be reckoned with. The Firefly family were as despicable as ever, but somehow Zombie manages to spin the film on its axis, causing us to love and cheer them instead of championing their downfall.
The film is very different from Corpses, in that it relies less on the ridiculous, and more on the gritty drama of a modern-day Western. Even if you didn’t enjoy House of 1000 Corpses, you simply must watch The Devil’s Rejects – if only for the final, bullet-ridden finale.
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