31 – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61% (Critics) / 88% (Audience)
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Written By: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips
Studio: Bow and Arrow Entertainment
Synopsis: Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns. – (Source)


The Good:
I’ll just let Det. Frank Drebin handles this one. Take it away, Frank:
You heard the man…scram!

The Bad:
It is hard to narrow down all that was wrong with this cacophony of dreadfulness but I’ll try to address the most egregious cinematic crimes Rob Zombie committed in this movie:
The characters are not just vapid or paper thin, nope all of these characters are obnoxiously unlikable to the point that you wish they would all disappear or at the very least be rendered mute for the duration of the film.
The direction is like something a 14 year old would make after being given his first video camera.
I can’t believe that there was an actual script for this movie. I am leaning more towards the idea that Zombie gave his cast a general outline of what the movie was and told them to just make up shit as they went along.
A homicidal Nazi dwarf who spoke Spanish probably seemed like a good idea during a long weed smoking session but it didn’t translate well to film at all.
I get that Zombie loves his wife and likes working with her but Sherri Moon Zombie is an atrocious actress and would be disappointing in a bit part part let alone as the lead in a movie. So cut it out with the nepotism, Mr. Zombie.
Also Malcolm McDowell, Meg Foster, Judy Geeson and Jane Carr deserve much better from the entertainment biz in these twilight years of their careers than having to star in Rob Zombie’s semi-annual schlockfests.

The Ugly:
Why would anyone with a lick of common sense think it was a good idea to ask Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs to try and affect a Jamaican accent? And after seeing how comically bad his attempt was why wouldn’t someone nip that nonsense in the bud?

Final Verdict: A chaotic, sloppy, incoherent assault on the senses that is more obnoxious than being trapped on an airplane with a cabin full of crying babies; 31 is just the latest in Rob Zombie’s overly indulgent home movies that has officially wiped away any previous misconceptions that Zombie might have it in him to be a decent filmmaker. Utter trash.

Grade: F

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