“You know what they say: in Hell, everybody loves popcorn.”
This film tells the story of a group of wealthy individuals that abduct and torture a group of travelers. The film opens on a strong note, with a black and white introduction to Doomhead (played by Richard Brake, in the most intersting performance of the movie). Whether it was his psychotic smile or devlishly quotable lines, he stole the show every time he was on the screen. Unfortunately, that can not be said about the other characters of the film. From Sheri Moon Zombie’s Charly to Jeff Daniel Phillips’ Roscoe Pepper, each character had a lack of character development and seemed there merely to keep the body count high.
The movie started off strong with a fantastic opening monologue, but went downhill quickly from there, courtesy of an overly long and drawn out opening credits sequence. From there, we’re treated to a long barrage of sexual innuendos and conversation that doesn’t seem to flow well with what is happening on screen. It isn’t until forty minutes into the film that it begins to pick up and the jokes begin to stop. From a visual standpoint, the movie looks fantastic. Rob Zombie is at home with beautiful scenery and fantastic gore effects. But a good-looking movie alone doesn’t always warrant the asking price to see it. The post-Hunger Games style slasher movie sounds like an interesting concept on paper, but the necessary depth or substance to keep me entertained. Some sequences contained unnecessary slow motion and dragged on for so long I found myself screaming for something to happen, just so I didn’t have to look at another slow and drawn out scene. Which I guess is the theme of the film.
The troubles I have most with this film is how badly I wanted it to be good. With Rob Zombie, his films are usually a hit or miss and he is on a bad streak of misses right now. He could have used this as a bit of a pick-me-up. The film’s concept is great and some of the plot points were nice, but I often found myself wondering why? Why was Charly an emotional mess one minute, then totally different in the next scene? It was like she was a totally different character from one scene to the next. The characters’ personalities jump around too much to get attached to any of them.
The murders are committed by a little person dressed as Hitler, sex-crazed chainsaw wielding clown brothers and a fetish fueled clown couple who have a strong Harley Quinn vibe. Because I lacked any real connection to the characters, I didn’t feel anything when they started getting killed. The rare moments of character development were nice, usually involving either Charly or Roscoe.
This all lead up to a fantastic forty-minute finale with Doomhead…which, sadly, left a few questions that will likely never get answered.
31 is a standard Rob Zombie movie filled with all the Zombie tropes you have come to expect from his films. If a sex-filled, redneck gore-fest with an easy-to-follow plot and fantastic cinematography is your thing, 31 will likely be right up your alley. It’s the type of movie you watch with your friends after a couple beers or couple joints. While the overall film wasn’t great, the scenes with Doomhead were fun. He was so interesting that I want to see him in a solo movie.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best. Nothing more than a cheap rollercoaster ride.
-Anti-Religous (Some audiences stray from that.)
-Lack of character development
-Open ended plot points that never get explored
-A sexual joke or reference every two minutes for the first half hour.