You have to have a particular taste for the weird and creepy to be a fan of director Rob Zombie's dark films. Along with the Halloween twosome, Zombie's latest offering, 31, sets the bar for the horror genre by creating an array of gory villains who will gift you with nightmares.
31 takes place in the 1970s and follows a motley crew of carnival workers who must try to survive the horrors of Halloween night. Taken hostage, they're forced to play a game of life or death as their captors bet on which carnie will survive their 12-hour horror ordeal, all the while ensuring there won’t be any survivors by sending gruesome killers into the death maze.
If you haven't already, check out the 31 trailer:
Zombie’s film is in your face and will surely seep into your thoughts for some time to come. Each killer that is introduced brings a unique and grisly distinction for villains in the horror genre. Zombie acknowledges that his monsters are the acme of all his films, telling The Daily Beast:
"I wanted to make them filled with personality so you’re like, 'Why do I like the killers? They’re horrible.' Because they have pizzazz! People are always drawn to people with pizzazz."
Other 31 Related News:
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- 31 Facts You (Probably) Didn't Know About Rob Zombie's Films
Let's take a look at the most twisted villains in Rob Zombie's 31.
Played by Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Easy A), Father Murder is the architect of the events that unfold in the murder maze. Donning makeup and a powdered wig, he casts himself as the malicious doomsayer, offering no pity to the carnival victims.
Father Murder is powerfully disturbing, particularly as we later see him as your average Joe — an old man who exits the murder house as if he’s just participated in a chess match. It subconsciously makes viewers wonder about people’s true nature.
Sister Serpent And Sister Dragon
Flanking Father Murder throughout 31 are the devilishly charming sisters Dragon and Serpent (respectively played by Judy Geeson and Jane Carr). They are all in when it comes to amplifying the troupe’s odds at losing (which, in this case, means dying).
Cloaked in the same disturbing aristocrat attire, the sisters show no mercy, reveling in the victims' horrific and gory predicaments. In fact, these ladies' concern is leveled more at how much they will win after their little wager ends. Like Father Murder, these grandma-like ladies — who probably come across as rather sweet in their everyday lives — prove that psychological horror films leave a greater impact on our psyche than the traditional jump scare.
Psycho-Head And Schizo-Head
The second murderous tag team sent in by Father Murder is a chainsaw-wielding onslaught known as Psycho-Head and Schizo-Head. These maniacs hide in the murder prison in a bid to truly mess with the victims' minds.
Although clowns have routinely been nominated as villains in today's horror films (the Joker, Pennywise, et al.), Zombie brings his own unique spin to the clown experience. Each of the villains in 31 disguise themselves in some style of clown visage, but characters like Psycho-Head and Schizo-Head add a twisted sense of humanity by incorporating the brotherly bond into their psychotic actions.
You might recognize Elizabeth Daily’s enchanting vocal stylings from her days spent voicing Tommy Pickles in the Nickelodeon animated classic Rugrats. Well, Daily is still repping that pseudo-childlike innocence as one of Zombie's villains in 31. Sex-Head lures her victims to their demise with her lusty and diminutive stature, offering them a false sense of safety before leaping to massacre. Zombie uses characters like Daily's to set unprecedented wickedness in his villains.
Doom-Head is by far the highlight of the film. Richard Brake’s performance is what viewers might expect from the Joker, but with the volume turned up to 11. Unlike Father Murder and the sisters, Doom-Head doesn’t try to hide behind an archetypal role; he fully embraces his psychopath persona. The film opens with a lengthy monologue from the sadistic clown, and as we watch him struggle to maintain sanity, we can't help but feel titillated by his unabashed enthusiasm for killing.
Zombie predicted that Doom-Head would bring about a whole new perspective to villains of the horror genre, writing on his Facebook page:
DOOM-HEAD (aka Richard Brake) does not fuck around. This guy is one fucking intense dude. I predict that he is the next great villian of horror.
31 will hit VOD on September 16. Are you scared?