Director - Rob Zombie
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Meg Foster
Horror - Thriller
1.75 Out of 5
It's like Rob swallowed all his movies and vomited "31" onto his audience. I have not been this disappointed in him since his second Halloween."
The latest from Rob Zombie has the Charred One scratching her head. What the fuck did I just watch? It's like Rob took all his movies and vomited "31" onto his audience. I have not been this disappointed in him since Halloween 2.
One either likes Rob Zombie films or they hate them. In the past I have been a fan and even with the bizarro film The Lords of Salem, I held firm to my belief that he was worth watching, but with new film, I have serious doubts about what direction he was aiming for with 31. It fell flat after the opening scene with Doom-Head (Richard Brake) which held so much promise for a gruesome story.
In this story a band of carnies run into trouble in a small town October 31, 1976. They are kidnapped and forced to play a game called 31 of which the objective was to survive 12 hours in a maze of horrors dreamed up by the game-makers.
Zombie is known for his heavier metal music but to horror fans he is the go-to for depraved gory splatter flicks that have given fans hits such as his directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses and fan favorite (sequel) The Devil's Rejects which lead to more horrors including his re-imagined film based upon the classic horror film, Halloween.
Through them all I sat on the edge of my seat and watched as his psychotic characters transferred from words written in a script to a screen bathed in blood. Depravity knew no boundaries where Zombie's stories were concerned. His work became my guilty pleasure and with each one I waited patiently for the next. I was thrilled to see 31 on DVD and snatched it up for a weekend viewing. However, once I popped it into my player...I sat in horror as I fought to stay awake to finish the entire film. It was a struggle and one that ended in a sound sleep.
I slept through the screams, blood-shed, the sound of chainsaws and the ticking off the clock while the victims’ time grew shorter as they fought for survival. I slept through it all! For this review I forced myself to watch it again and the lacked heart. I am sorry to report there was no soul to this film. It was real "snooze-fest". It's like Zombie swallowed all of his films and vomited 31 on his audience. I was watching a culmination of all his work and other horror films came to mind such as Saw, Kill and Circus of the Dead.
In each of the films listed above it is a game of survival. The victim/player is forced to make decisions that will affect either their own life or the lives of others. Odds were placed on the five players of 31; the odds that I was going to love this film or even like it are slim. I had three likes one being the gory blood scenes, Doom-Head as the opening and closer to the story and the soundtrack.
Doom-Head he just oozed a maniacal psycho with the face of a clown. In his opening scene he explains to a priest that he was not a clown, but he had a clown face (looked like Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses) and moments later he is swinging his ax and the blood spatter mixed with the wet squelching sounds as the ax struck flesh had me giddy with anticipation. That lasted a few minutes and never returned.
Sherri Moon Zombie is once again a character in her husband's film. She brings nothing to the film but a tired look and boring performance that had me begging the killers to find her and end the madness of watching her lethargic brand of acting.
Other familiar faces Meg Foster, Malcolm McDowell, Lew Temple did little to make the film interesting and became background dressings for a film that was doomed after the first five minutes.
Instead of total decimation of this film, I'll answer an important question. Would I recommend seeing this film? No. It's not worth the time or the $12.96 plus tax that I invested in it. It's a pass for me. However this is just my opinion. Be your own judge and if you want to take a chance on 31, by all means you take a chance on it, but I would recommend renting it from Red Box, Amazon etc., before shelling out the dough for it on DVD/BluRay.