The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Films- 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
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
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?
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
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.
- Audio Commentary with Rob Zombie
- UV Digital Copy
- DVD Copy
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.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review Systems:
JVC DLA-RS56 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
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)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
MKSound SB-8 Subwoofer
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.
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.
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 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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