‘Goddamn, motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit!’

Director: Rob Zombie

Cast: Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, Dennis Fimple, Matthew McGrory, Robert Allen Mukes

Plot: Two teenage couples are traveling across Texas the night before Halloween, when they encounter a sadistic family of serial killers. 

Zombie’s directorial debut adopts a familiar premise, but the story is focused primarily on the antagonists, and he creates such morbidly fascinating, humorous characters, that you cannot help but fully embrace them. He also wrote the screenplay, and composed the majority of the soundtrack, which adds yet another layer of zombifying insanity into the mix, further smothering the viewer with his depraved and unique style.

Captain Spaulding (Haig) and Otis B. Driftwood (Moseley), who are two of the main offending characters (as though this wasn’t evident from their eccentric names alone), are particularly voracious in their demeanour, but in strikingly different ways. Spaulding, although inherently evil, can be deceptively light-hearted and likable; his infectious laughter and devilish grin cleverly mask his true intentions. Contrarily, Otis is pure devil-spawn. His bitterly twisted sense of self-importance and righteousness is apparent from the outset. However, it is strangely difficult not to admire his intelligence, creativity and skilled oratorial prowess, despite his gaping mental and behavioural flaws.

If you enjoy getting involved with Halloween, but are tired of the generic tripe often spewed out with rapid force from the horror genre, then have a watch of this diamond in the rough. It’s a freak show of epic proportions, and for the star-hungry among you, Rainn Wilson – before he shot to worldwide fame as Dwight Schrute in THE OFFICE – appears as science fiction geek, Bill Hudley (aka Fishboy).

Horror Highlights: The juxtaposition of the beautiful Baby (Moon Zombie) getting down and dirty with a skeletal corpse, as well as the prospect of chomping down on a paper bag full of Captain Spaulding’s complementary fried chicken.

Best Ribald Stand-up Routine: Grampa Hugo’s (Fimple) cunnilingus shtick.

Feast your peepers on the rest of THN’s HalloweenFest here.