The Lords of Salem (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
I knew when I reviewed the UK DVD release of Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem that it would be a divisive movie, and it appears I was right. There are those that hate it and those, myself included, that love it. Hell, I’d go as far as to say that it is Zombie’s most accomplished movie thus far. Now, somewhat belatedly, we get to see it released in the US, and unlike the UK we get to see it in hi-def on Blu-ray (or Ultraviolet if you are so inclined).
Rather than just rehash my previous review (there are no spiders in this baby) I’ll just skim over the plot, and instead focus more on the actual release itself. You already know that I think the movie rocks.
The plot involves Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), who is a DJ that finds strange events start occurring after she plays a mysterious record that is left for her. Strange events that involve witches, Devils and a dark history surrounding Salem.
Visually, Zombie has taken his cues from the Euro flicks are the 70s, which is no surprise seeing as he seemingly loves the 70s. The Lords of Salem also takes a far looser approach in its narrative than Zombie’s other films, and it benefits greatly from it. Sure, this is not going to appeal to everyone, mind you have any of his films?
Personally speaking I enjoy what Zombie has done here, a hell of a lot. I’ve watched the film four or five times now and like it more on each subsequent viewing. A lot must be said about his films in general for their replay value, and Lords is certainly no exception.
As you might expect, The Lords of Salem does look and sound quite wonderful on Blu-ray (not that it didn’t on the UK DVD), and adds a further dimension to the enjoyment of the film. If you already don’t like it, why are you reading this?
The release itself is a strange affair though. On the one hand you do get the Blu-ray edition, the DVD and the Ultraviolet Digital copy, which all adds to the value of the release, and it does come with a particularly sexy slipcase. However, when it comes to the special features it isn’t exactly brimming with them. Anything is more than the UK bare bones release though, and here you do get an audio commentary from Zombie himself.
The commentary is a most enjoyable experience, and if you’ve listened to any of his previous tracks you will know what I mean. Even though it is a solo track, RZ doesn’t stop for breath and delivers an informative and amusing track. A word of warning though, he does reveal things about the film that once seen can’t be unseen! It was good to hear firsthand about some of the decisions he made, with regards to the making of the film; such as certain omissions and character changes and what have you.
Does this track make it a worthy purchase, especially if you shelled out for the UK release? Hell yes. Zombie’s commentaries are some of the few that I will actually take the time to watch through, and this is another good one. I am confused though as all his previous films, most of which Lionsgate released, all got pretty damned loaded releases. The Devil’s Rejects and Halloween in particular were filled to the brim, and even House of 1000 Corpses had a hefty amount on it, not to mention the coolest menu screen ever. I do wonder why Anchor Bay didn’t include more, as surely there is more, on this release. Maybe there’ll be a super Witch version somewhere down the line?
Regardless, The Lords of Salem is an excellent film and a new personal favorite of mine. This release might not be loaded, but what it does have is more than enough when the film is this damned enjoyable.
The Lords of Salem is released on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and DVD by Anchor Bay on September 3rd.