The Sinister Urge: Seven Top Rob Zombie Horror Movies

Rob Zombie: rock star and horror movie director, recently had a birthday, so let's delve into his top seven horror movies

By Dolores Quintana · @doloresquintana · January 12, 2024, 9:51 AM PST
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003)
Image Credit: IMDB

Rob Zombie horror movies make horror fans scream, for sure. The writer and director first came to prominence as the frontman of the hard rock group White Zombie, and he has worked as a singer, songwriter, record producer, filmmaker, and actor. White Zombie was a band that had a lot of horror movie imagery and themes that mirrored Zombie's interest in the horror film genre from his childhood. Zombie has made ten films to date, although not all of them have been horror films, the genre his directorial film work has most often been a part of. He works in his films with his actress wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, and yes, Rob Zombie is his legal name. His films are cult favorites that have explicit violence and vibrant imagery. Read more: Let Rob Zombie Do Rob Zombie Shit.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003)

Image Credit: IMDB

House of 1000 Corpses is Rob Zombie's first film as a feature film director. It stars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, Rainn Wilson, Walton Goggins and Karen Black. It is a black horror comedy and the first of his films that tells the story of the Firefly family, but definitely not the last. Zombie has worked with genre greats like Sid Haig, Karen Black, and Bill Moseley from the start, and his ability to attract great talent to his films is one of the lesser-known aspects of his work as a director.

The Devil's Rejects (2005)

THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (2005)

Image Credit: IMDB

The second film that Rob Zombie wrote and directed, The Devil's Rejects, continues the story of the Firefly Family: Captain Spaulding, Mother Firefly, Grandpa Hugo, Tiny, Baby, and the adopted son Otis. It stars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, and William Forsythe. The names of the Firefly family's male members come from movies made with The Marx Brothers. Some of the other actors in the film are Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman, P. J. Soles, Mary Woronov, and Kane Hodder, all well-known stars in scary movies. The film follows the first movie's hyperviolent style. Read more: Review: The Devil's Rejects.

Halloween (2007)

HALLOWEEN (2007)

Image Credit: IMDB

Rob Zombie's next movie is his remake of John Carpenter's horror classic Halloween. The film was commercially successful but was not critically successful. Zombie wrote and directed the film with a cast stacked with genre stalwarts and newcomers: Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, and William Forsythe. The film brings dreamlike imagery to Zombie's work, when Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) is a wild-eyed presence, robed in white, leading a white horse, that he would use again in later films and adds genre actors like Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Bill Moseley, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Sybil Danning, Sid Haig, and Adrienne Barbeau, some of whom Zombie had worked with before and others that he would continue to work with in the future to the film. Read more: Review: Halloween (2007).

Halloween 2 (2009)

HALLOWEEN II (2009)

Image Credit: IMDB

In Zombie's sequel to his remake of the original film, the tenth Halloween movie in the film's franchise, the connection between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, brother and sister, is explored further, as are the actions of Doctor Loomis. The principal cast of Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, and Scout Taylor-Compton return with the additions of Margot Kidder, Mark Boone Junior, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniel Phillips, and Weird Al Yankovic. Another notable addition to the cast is Richard Brake, the Welsh actor known for starring in Mandy as The Chemist. Brake would return in Zombie's later films as one of the most compelling and newer actors in Zombie's repertory group. While Halloween II did not enjoy the commercial success of the first film, if you've ever had the desire to see Brad Dourif and Malcolm McDowell face off in an intense scene, this movie is for you.

The Lords of Salem (2012)

THE LORDS OF SALEM (2012)

Image Credit: IMDB

The Lords of Salem is a departure from Zombie's other films since it is a supernatural horror film about a DJ who becomes the center of a plot hatched by Satan worshippers in Salem, Massachusetts, to bring the antichrist to Earth. The film stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace, María Conchita Alonso, Judy Geeson, and Meg Foster as the main cast. It is centered around Sheri Moon Zombie's character, Heidi LaRoc, and has genre actors like Camille Keaton, Barbara Crampton, Lisa Marie, and Clint Howard as part of the cast. This film brought the symbolic and surreal imagery that started coming out during the Halloween films to the forefront and is a cult favorite among Zombie fans. Read more: Q&A: Bruce Davison On Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem.

31 (2016)

31 (2016)

Image Credit: IMDB

31 is another film not part of another franchise and is an original idea from writer and director Rob Zombie. A group of carnival workers is captured by a group of aristocrats who condemn them to a game called 31, in which five killers called Heads, Sick-Head, Psycho-Head, Schizo-Head, Death-Head, and Sex-Head, pursue them, and they must try to survive twelve hours trapped in a maze with the Heads. It stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Kevin Jackson, Richard Brake, Jane Carr, Judy Geeson, and Malcolm McDowell. Unlike the Firefly series, a significant difference in the film is that the audience's sympathies are meant to be with the carnies rather than the killers. Sheri Moon Zombie's Charly faces off against Richard Brake's Doom Head, a sadistic sixth killer brought in at the last minute by the aristocrats when the group is much more resilient than their usual victims. Brake's Doom Head is a chilling force in the film.

3 from Hell (2019)

3 FROM HELL (2019)

Image Credit: IMDB

3 from Hell picks up the story of the Firefly family from where it was left at the end of The Devil's Rejects. After Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding drive into the police ambush at the end of the film, it is revealed that somehow they survived the shootout and have all been taken to prison. The film stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Dee Wallace, Emilio Rivera, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo, and Barry Bostwick as the Narrator. Sid Haig has a much smaller role in the film because of his health problems at the time of filming, and Richard Brake was introduced as the brother of Otis Driftwood, Winslow Foxworth 'Foxy' Coltrane.

Topics: