3 FROM HELL / CERT: 18 / WRITER & DIRECTOR: ROB ZOMBIE / STARRING: SHERI MOON ZOMBIE, BILL MOSELEY, RICHARD BRAKE, SID HAIG, DEE WALLACE / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 14TH
Special Features: To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 from Hell / Audio commentary with Rob Zombie
After 14 years, Rob Zombie has finally decided to bring the infamous Firefly family back to life with 3 from Hell. But wait, didn’t said Firefly folk get brutally murdered in a storm of bullets at the end of 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects? Why, yes, yes they did. As the opening moments of 3 from Hell explains, maybe said trio weren’t all that dead after all.
Following a miraculous survival against the odds, we pick up the action with Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis (Bill Moseley) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) all separately incarcerated years after the events of The Devil’s Rejects. Of course, prison was never going to be enough to hold these sinister sorts, and before long it’s back to all-out carnage and chaos. Haig’s Spaulding may not be featured quite as prominently as some would’ve hoped – largely down Sid’s real-life health issues that tragically saw him pass away this September – but once the attention turns to the outside world, we get the introduction of Richard Brake’s Foxy. The half-brother of Otis, Foxy is a character who’s just as twisted as the rest of the Firefly family, even if he does spend portions of the movie trying to prove that fact to Moseley’s Otis. And for anyone who’s seen Rob Zombie’s 31, you’ll know Richard Brake is a force of nature when let off the leash.
As the narrative progresses, Baby, Otis and Foxy find themselves trying to stay incognito in the best possible way – by heading to Mexico! Of course, more mischief and mayhem lie ahead of them as once again there’s the prospect of one final fight to the death.
When it comes to the film itself, mind, many are going to wonder whether this is a worthwhile return for the Firefly family or merely cashing in on a property that’s amassed quite the cult following over the past decade. On that front, 3 from Hell may ultimately feel like an unnecessary film in some respects, yet it’s a whole host of fun as it serves up plenty of what we’ve come to expect from the Firefly bunch.
Zombie delivers a film that is full of plentiful familiar tropes, as he delivers an offering that is dripping in the style, tone, music, and dialogue that we’ve been accustomed to now from a Rob Zombie picture. The movie is full of explosive set pieces, bloody battles, and quips aplenty. To be fair, some may see the film as pulling just a tad too much from The Devil’s Rejects in its narrative, and the movie could well have done with losing 20 minutes from its two-hour run time. That said, 3 from Hell is a good movie that offers plenty for fans looking to see the Firefly family in full chaotic mode.
In terms of the rest of this home release, the To Hell and Back addition is so much fun as it looks back at the process of bringing 3 from Hell to life. But not just is this your regular 20-minute making-of, for this goes deep into 3 from Hell, stylishly exploring every angle of the project in an effort that clocks in just over the 90-minute mark. Then there’s the chat track from Zombie himself, in which the writer/director oozes his usual cool, calm charisma that’s sure to strike a chord with fans of the rocker-turned-filmmaker.
With the movie and the strong additional features, this home release of 3 from Hell is most definitely something that fans of Rob Zombie’s films should be chomping at the bit to check out. For others, if you’re not a fan of the gritty ‘70s chic of Zombie’s features, then 3 from Hell is likely not going to change your thoughts.