The first trailer for Rob Zombie’s new movie The Lords of Salem has hit the internet and it looks like it might herald a welcome return to form for the director. The metal musician is best known for his time in White Zombie and his infectiously danceable solo album Hellbilly Deluxe, and turned his hand to directing in 2003. His debut movie House of 1000 Corpses was a visually stunning evocation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on hallucinogens and it’s sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, was an excellent nightmare road-trip that mixed a little Natural Born Killers and From Dusk Till Dawn into a cocktail of bleakly misanthropic ultra-violence.
Since then Zombie has struggled to find his form. Whilst I enjoyed the first of his Halloween remakes, the sequel was an abomination that trotted out all the worst clichés of the genre whilst bringing nothing new to the table. His animated movie The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was apparently even worse. Zombie has also struggled musically over this period, with his sequel to Hellbilly Deluxe entirely failing to set the world alight. The Lords of Salem sees Zombie return to his horror and rock music roots with a story about a DJ who gets more than she bargains for when she plays a mysterious record attributed to the titular Lords of Salem. The trailer looks like there’s plenty of visual style and gore to be found in the movie. Whether the plot will stand up to the style is another question entirely.