The Lords Of Salem (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-07-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
88





Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Films- 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring:Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Philips, Ken Foree
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Written by: Rob Zombie
Music by: John 5 and Griffin Boice
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 3, 2013







"Heretic. Witch. Devil."


Film Synopsis:

Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record -- a "gift from the Lords." The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?




My Take:

I have yet to really like a Rob Zombie flick. 2003s House of 1000 Corpses was decent, but went on a bit too long. Its sequel 2005s The Devils Rejects was his best effort to date albeit more of a grind-house flick then a horror film like the original. He then was given reins of remaking Halloween and made 2 films that went from bad to what I consider terrible. I like what he is inspired by, I like what he wants to try to do...but he never makes a really good movie. They are technically sound but they try too hard and lack in the story department. With The Lords Of Salem, Zombie pays even more homage to influences, blatantly using feelings and plot devices from Rosemary's Baby, Suspiria, and even the Shining. Too bad it was much more dull than any of those, not a bit spooky, and tried so hard to be "art" that it was almost comical.

The premise had me interested-- Salem, Ma DJ Heidi (his smoking hot Wife Sheri Moon Zombie), receives a vinyl recording of a band called "The Lords". After playing it, weird things start to happen, she starts having flashbacks to a ancient witch burning that took place in Salem. The Dj's at her station play the track and it becomes a bit of a hit and another anonymous package arrives with free tickets to a "Lords Of Salem" show, The original Lords of Salem are returning and they're out for vengeance. Sounds cool, right? Well it's a slow burn that starts of with a intriguing atmosphere, but just keeps wallowing along until it drowns it its own world. Any twist or turn I saw coming a mile away, characters are never given solid enough motivation and It just never grabbed me. At least it looked and sounded great.

Rob Zombie sure is a polarizing director, and it took me until this film to really grasp him as a filmmaker. He needs help in the writing department. He could make a visually amazing film if given the right material-- I am looking forward to seeing that happen. For now we get a lot of flair, but some tough meat to chew.





Parental Guide:

Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug use



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


The Lords of Salemcomes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23.4 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8mbps

The Lords of Salem looked the part of a 35mm artsy 70's horror film, with popping colors reminiscent of Argento's Suspiria. Film grain added to the pseudo -retro vibe, however, it was filmed in digital on the Red One camera, and printed on 35mm for the "grain". It was pretty heavy, but it did not take away from the finer details of the digital video.Being a very dark movie Black level and shadow details were well above average and never crushed or caved in. I was happy with the outcome of this transfer as it lent to a more rewarding viewing experience than the film itself did.

The Dolby TrueHD 5. audio was dynamic and a bit aggressive. Dialogue was always stable, even in moments of softer spoken passages and the mix was good, however, I would have liked to have heard a bit more out of the effect channels.The films soundtrack plays with authority and has a nice wide front sound-stage, when called upon the LFE digs deep, though not a track to want to hear for that reason. This is a very good mix on an overall all decent sound design.





Bonus Features:


  • Audio Commentary with Rob Zombie

  • UV Digital Copy

  • DVD Copy


Trailer:






Final Thoughts:

The Lords of Salem will polarize audiences, much like Director Rob Zombie always seems to do. For me the story needed a bit more exposition, but not at the sake of making it any more of the slow burn that it already was. Sonically and visually the film is wonderful and comes across great on Blu-ray. Fans will love the HD encode but will be dissapointed in the releases lack of special features. I suggest a rental before a purchase.


99311







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review Systems:

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Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
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Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs


Panasonic TC-P65ZT30 3D 1080p Plasma
Marantz NR1603 Receiver
Sony PS3 (HDMI Audio/Video)
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-08-2013, 07:31 AM
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Good review! I love Rob Zombie, own all of his CD's, go to all of his tours, watch all of his movies, hell, I've even met the man. I actually do like Corpses and Rejects, basically anything Zombie does I'm going to be a bit biased towards. But, this movie just did not get it with me. I thought the plot was a little elementary, and it just never developed into anything spectacular. When I had heard he was doing a movie about Salem witches, I was very excited. His songs about this stuff kick a$$, so I was stoked about the movie. Hate to say it, but it was a big let down. Other than visually seeing Sheri, there's nothing to see here.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-08-2013, 10:45 AM
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Thanks Lee. I held off on seeing this or buying it based on RZ's hit and miss history (IMO). I enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses the best. I did not like Devil's Rejects or Halloween II but enjoyed Halloween. I agree, he needs help in the writing department and tends to go a bit overkill on the "hey we are poor white trash" message but he knows how to create great atmosphere which is what I loved so much about HOATC. I'll be adding this into my 31 Days of Horror list for this year but will go in with low expectations.

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-09-2013, 12:38 PM
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Are they still letting this guy make movies?

Just because he is a rock star and a fan of horror movies doesn't make the man qualified to make films. Give it a rest already Mr. Zombie and let real filmakers tackle these projects.
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Stand tall and shake the heavens...
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-10-2013, 06:12 AM
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With all the crap that is made you're going to bag on Rob Zombie?

I just watched this flick and I'm still not sure what I think about it. It had a Rosemary's Baby vibe to it and sometimes even reminded me of the Shining here and there.

Not a giant fan of Zombie movies (zombie movies are another story) but I really liked The Devil's Rejects.

The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-10-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VidPro View Post

With all the crap that is made you're going to bag on Rob Zombie?

Yes, because he's absolutely terrible.

He's not the absolute worst I've ever seen, but his movies rank up there.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-12-2013, 08:51 PM
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Hate to play dog pile on the Zombie but yeah, pretty much when I hear Rob Zombie had something to do with a horror flick I go cold with fear... and not in a good way! I absolutely love horror films as do many folks, but I realize (as I assume the vast majority of fans) that our reverence does not automatically translate to an ability to make said movies... cause it doesn't... obviously... painfully obviously, in the case of Mr. Zombie. IMHO.biggrin.gif

I actually stumbled onto this thread based on the title which screams "Great horror movie inside"... until I read the RZ part and said.. out loud... pass!

I'm getting there....!!!
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-16-2013, 01:01 PM
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I'm going to disagree but that's what makes the world go round. As I said I'm not a big fan of his movies but they're not total junk either. smile.gif

The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-20-2013, 03:50 PM
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Lee,

I enjoy reading your reviews. Keep up the excellent work!
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-21-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JA Fant View Post

Lee,

I enjoy reading your reviews. Keep up the excellent work!

Thanks! I needed that. smile.gif
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-25-2013, 09:09 PM
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My Pleasure! Lee.smile.gif
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-31-2013, 12:16 AM
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I watched this tonight. The only good thing about it is I got it for free from the library. What a steaming pile of poop.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-09-2014, 04:14 PM
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Man, that's harsh... Jim McC...
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 07:29 AM
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Remember guys, the horror genre (like the porn genre) exists to poke fun (no pun) at the major movie company/studio.
I am very thankful that writers/directors & producers have the courage to make horror films for the rest of us. Certainly, very, very few release turn a real profit, so tha tmakes it a labor of love, IMO.
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