Review: “31” Boasts One Awesome Character Surrounded By A Lot Of Terrible Ones



Title: 31
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Posted October 1, 2016 by

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If you are reading this review, it must mean that the clock has struck midnight and the 31 days of horror has started on The Film Philosopher. 31 days of nothing but reviews on horror movies that we think you should either watch immediately or avoid completely. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the whole thing off than by doing a review for the new Rob Zombie flick, “31”, so let’s get to it.

Every time Rob Zombie comes out with a new movie, I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get. I could either be about to watch an interesting horror flick like “The Devil’s Rejects” or I could be in for a bust like, “The Lords of Salem”. For me, his new film “31” falls somewhere in the middle. Not the greatest movie I’ve seen, but also definitely not the worst. The thing that saved it was the character Doom-Head (played by the talented Richard Brake). This character is by far the most interesting one that Rob Zombie has created and even though I was disappointed with everything else about the movie, Brake’s performance kept me in my seat waiting to see what he would do next. If there is a God, Mr. Zombie’s next movie will be Doom-Head’s solo story as I could watch him terrorize people for hours.

So the plot of the movie is this traveling group of performers get kidnapped and dropped in a dungeon-like warehouse where they must survive a 12 hour long ‘game’ of cat-and-mouse for the amusement of it’s operators: Father Murder, Sister Serpent, and Sister Dragon (Malcolm McDowell, Jane Carr, and Judy Geeson). The three overseers dress themselves up in old-timey garb, bet each other on which victim will die the soonest, who has a chance to make it, and whether or not their group of deranged clowns they’re about to unleash will be one of the last ones standing. They give each contestant a weapon to defend themselves with and then set loose their clowns to track them down and kill them. The group that is after the contestants ranges from ridiculous (Sick-Head; a latin little person who has an odd appreciation for Nazis) to downright cartoonish (Schizo-Head and Psycho-Head; two brothers with chainsaws who don’t offer much but grotesque threats and wigs). In between we also see Sex-Head (E.G. Daily) and Death-Head (Torsten Voges): a couple that seem to be better at acting crazy then actually doing any harm.

In this movie, the over-the-top acting by most of the cast doesn’t really bother me; neither does the excessive violence. What really made this movie hard to watch was the editing. The fight scenes in this film are so cut up and all over the place it was hard to follow the action; sometimes not even knowing what happened until everything was over with. I’m not sure what the desired effect was, but it didn’t strike a chord with me and instead left me feeling like I was constantly waiting for something to happen and when it finally would the editing made it so I couldn’t see any of it.

Doom-Head is proof that Rob Zombie can write bad ass characters that are exciting to watch. I just don’t understand why he buries them underneath a bad plot. If he made a short film that was just Doom-Head’s parts from this movie, I’d be writing a completely different review. Unfortunately I was forced to deal with every other character for the entire movie and that ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

“31” is currently available for rent on Amazon Prime. 





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