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Every Rob Zombie Movie Ranked, According to Critics

In light of the upcoming release of Rob Zombie’s The Munsters, here’s a look at the films he’s directed ranked from worst to best.

Accomplished musician and director Rob Zombie is releasing his next movie, The Munster, in late 2022. But by the time Zombie directed his first film, House of 1000 Corpses, in 2003, he was already an award-winning metal musician. He was known for dark and gritty music videos, so shifting to directing horror films was an organic progression. And while critics have been about as harsh as his content, he has a cult following for his movies.

Ranked from worst to best based on critics’ scores, the following films are a chock-full of the visual terror so loved by his fans.

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House of 1000 Corpses is the first film Zombie directed. Filmed in 2000, various hiccups kept House of 1000 Corpses from being released until 2003. The plot is simple, following two couples on a back road hunt for local legend Dr. Satan. They get lost, stuck, and attacked by a family of psychos.

Critics received the film with tempered enthusiasm, generally agreeing that while House of 1000 Corpses delivered a heavy dose of graphic gore, it offered a contrived plot with little substance outside the blood and guts. However, Zombie’s fans and horror fans immediately took the movie under their wing, rating it much higher and anxiously awaiting the follow-up films.

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Halloween II is Zombie’s 2009 sequel to his 2007 adaption of the 1978 horror classic Halloween. The movie sees Michael Myers back home in the quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois. In Myers’ quest to tie up loose ends and bury the secrets of his past, Zombie sets the character loose on a crusade of evil only a master of horror could think up.

Fans of gratuitous violence and eye-watering gore weren’t disappointed, as Zombie delivered in measure. However, Critics cited the plot getting buried under bodies and entrails. But fans were undaunted by the criticism because details only get in the way of the carnage.

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In 2007, Zombie took a stab at revamping the horror staple, Halloween, which, with its release in 1978, set off a continuous string of sequels that came out every few years until Zombie’s rendition. The franchise already had a loyal fan following. Since this was his third movie, Zombie had already built up his own fan base, and they followed him enthusiastically into his Halloween venture. Zombie took the series in a new direction by going back to look at Michael Myers’ childhood and the making of a monster. In doing that, he added the ever-present bloodshed that was already synonymous with his movies.

31 was received about equally by fans and critics alike. Released in 2016, the film carries the death game theme seen repeatedly in recent programming. While all the movies in the death game genre have the same overarching premise — play and win or die — Zombie went the same gruesome direction as Saw, offering viewers copious violence in addition to gut-wrenching odds. In his vision, Zombie features five kidnapped carnival workers forced to play the death game “31.” They must fight for life for half a day against an onslaught of merciless killers who come at them with warped depravity.

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In several of Zombie’s films, critics suggested that while he delivered all the brutality audiences could stomach, he sacrificed detail in the plot to leave room for the visual display of bloody wreckage. However, that wasn’t the case with The Lords of Salem. A supernatural film with a bit of a paranormal flavor, it’s the story of a radio DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts. She receives a record from someone identifying themselves only as “the Lords.” Using the horror trope of “play this, and bad things start to happen,” the poor woman gets visions of violence in Salem’s past after she plays the record. Given the setting of Salem, Zombie sets his brand of horror loose via the black magic of truly evil witches.

Zombie released the sequel House of 1000 Corpses in 2005. The second installment, The Devil’s Rejects, goes deeper into investigating the Dr. Satan Cult Murders. Filmed just a few years after his first movie, Zombie really starts flexing his ability to push the envelope of sadistic violence and graphic gore. The hunt for the perpetrators from the first movie is on. The quest will leave a trail of carnage in its wake as those seeking justice fall into the pit of depravity that their quarry resides in, taking up their own brutal tactics in the name of revenge.

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The third installment in the story started by House of 1000 Corpses, 3 From Hell, picks up the trail of evil left unfinished at the end of The Devil’s Rejects. The family of psychotic killers from the first two movies is on the run from the law and clearing a path to freedom which piles more bodies on the bloody count they’ve already left along the way. Reviews from the critics were mixed, but in the end, they gave the movie a good score as a follow-up to the previous two films. They qualified that sentiment with the caveat that 3 From Hell doesn’t offer a stand-alone plot to draw in viewers unfamiliar with the story.

7. House of 1000 Corpses – Average Score: 25.5

6. Halloween II – Average Score: 28.5

5. Halloween – Average Score: 37.5

4. 31 – Average Score: 41

3. The Lords of Salem – Average Score: 52.5

2. The Devil’s Rejects – Average Score: 54

1. 3 From Hell – Average Score: 54

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