Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell is the sequel that many believed would never surface. Of course, Zombie is primarily regarded as a musician and has maintained a strong following throughout the years. His stage shows have always been infused with horror iconography and this has extended to his music-videos, of which some he actually directed. As a result of his passion for the moving image, it was only a matter of time before he turned his attention to the world of feature filmmaking.
His 2003 directorial feature debut - House of 1000 Corpses - was everything fans anticipated. The film almost plays out like a ninety-minute music video, tackling the narrative in short, stylistic bursts, edited together like a parade of pop-culture. Highly indebted to Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Zombie's debut drew in genre fans who were keen for a sequel. This came in the form of 2005's The Devil's Rejects, a follow-up effort which takes a much more conventional approach, but one that ramps up the grisly content. The stylistic had been compromised by the sickening; nevertheless, fans loved it and a desire to see the Firefly family return was nurtured despite the conflicting conclusion.
Over the years, Zombie has turned his hand to remake John Carpenter's Halloween, a sequel, The Lords of Salem and more. His most recent effort - 2016's 31 - almost felt like a spiritual continuation of The Devil's Rejects. It was teased as his sickest movie to date, but one gets the impression that Zombie overestimates his film's in terms of controversy. The masses would certainly find them repulsive but to genre fans and his demographic, they aren't so disturbing. Could this change with 3 From Hell?
The third instalment of the Firefly family trilogy is estimated to arrive on October 31, 2019. Gradually, Zombie has been teasing their return on social media. Plots have been kept under wraps, but perhaps this latest image confirms something unexpected:
We see Otis (Bill Moseley) in a prison cell and the director's text confirms that he's "...spending his days behind bars", with the curious hashtag "#freethethree". So, could 3 From Hell be a prison movie? An escape movie? It's hard to say. However, despite prior belief, it looks like - along with the others - Otis is amongst the living. Fans have even begun to speculate that it could be a prequel, but either way, Zombie has a lot of explaining to in the film's opening.
Personally, it does feel like he will try to sculpt a prison narrative. It's likely that Zombie has struggled to secure funding for the project, as this was something he faced with trying to launch 31. Keeping the narrative enclosed and working with interiors would certainly be a solution, and there are still lots of possibilities to work with in doing so. Honestly, judging from Zombie's passion for the films of John Carpenter, this addition could be highly indebted to something like Assault on Precinct 13. Will we see a conflict between the characters that have been explored in prior films? No matter what the situation is, we're excited to see what he has in store.
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