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House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 exploitation Horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie and starring Bill Moseley, Rainn Wilson, Sid Haig, Karen Black, Walton Goggins, and Sherri Moon Zombie. It is his directorial debut. It was released in the United States on April 11, 2003, by LionsGate Entertainment.
Two young couples are in the field writing about strange and offbeat roadside attractions. On their journey, they meet Captain Spaulding, who tells them the legend of Dr. Satan, finishing by telling them about the tree from which he was hanged. Excited by the story, they continue in search of the tree in question, picking up a hitchhiker named Baby along the way. When their car breaks down, Baby invites them to her house; but they are about to discover some very dark secrets lurking in the Firefly clan...
House of 1000 Corpses contains examples of:
- Body Horror: The fate of all the victims except Mary, who simply gets stabbed to death. Bill's death in particular is a standout example.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Goddamn motherfucker got blood all over my best fucking clown suit..."
- Danger Takes a Backseat: Pulled off with a convertible.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: An early cut had the relatively harmless Grampa Hugo Firefly turn out to be Dr. Satan. Rob Zombie decided this would have been anti-climatic and changed it.
- Evil Albino: Otis B. Driftwood, though his albinism was written out in the second film when it was decided that it didn't work outdoors.
- Executive Meddling: Quoth Mr. Zombie, "I named it House of 1000 Corpses; what did they think it was going to be about?"
- The Family That Slays Together
- Final Girl: Averted. Denise escapes the Fireflys, but the driver of the car that gives her a lift back to town is the Evil Clown Captain Spaulding, who turns out to be an ally of the killer family.
- Force Feeding: Sometimes mystery meat should just stay a mystery...
- Genki Girl: Baby Firefly.
- Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death
- Gross Up Close-Up: The first film features a number of cut-aways to close-ups of what appear to be operations.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Otis when he has Mary bound and gagged in his room.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Fireflys.
- It Got Worse: The movie is just one moment like this after another.
- It Runs in The Family: "If your family tree does not fork, you might be a redneck."
- Laughably Evil: Captain Spaulding, a local celebrity clown who turns out to be a psychotic murderer.
- Monster Clown: Captain Spaulding, who uses his disheveled clown persona to advertise his truck stop house of horror, but is actually a psychopath. He also doesn't take kindly to people insulting clowns.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Captain Spaulding was made out to be a primary antagonist, despite only having about three or four scenes.
- The Savage South: Where else can you find a family of killers, a freak show made of real former people, and Captain Spaulding's Fried Chicken?
- Shout-Out: The male members of the family are all named after characters played by Groucho Marx; Otis B. Driftwood, Rufus T. Firefly, and Captain Spaulding. Lampshaded in the second film for some reason.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Slim Whitman's "I Remember You" is used to particularly disturbing effect.
- Torture Cellar: Comes standard with every secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere.
- Trippy Finale Syndrome: The first film is mostly about a clan of crazy psychopaths, but in the end it's revealed that cyborg monsters live under their house, and that Jerry and Denise are about to be turned into them.
- The Voiceless: Tiny.
- You Taste Delicious: Otis licks the cheek of a bound and gagged Denise while wearing a mask made out of her father's face.