Gleefully anarchic, the long-haired heavy metal rocker-cum-slasher-film-director Rob Zombie sustains an instantly recognizable image on par with his musical contemporaries (and friends), Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne. Long fascinated by Charles Manson, gore films, and the occult, Zombie exudes a dark sensibility that has earned him mainstream success as well as a certain cult following in the film world. Founder of the band White Zombie, the rocker made his name behind the camera not only by directing his group’s music videos, but by designing the surreal “head trip” animated sequence in Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996). His first feature outing came in 2003, with the controversial House of 1000 Corpses, a kind of Texas Chainsaw Massacre update, overloaded with buckets of gore, packed with references to ‘70s and ’80s horror staples, and starring no less than Karen Black. Universal rejected the picture, certain of an NC-17 rating, but Zombie refused to make cuts and… read more
He's an auteur, through and through. His films all have the distinct stamp and atmosphere of a particular director - and I can't think of another horror director in contemporary American cinema who reaches his level of trashy craft mixed with serious pathos of drama. Absolutely phenomenal stuff, so far.
I don't think he's trying that hard. It's occured to me, personally, that there are often two types of artistic expression (whether it be film, music, etc) that either try to create a new idea or they pay tribute to an existing one. I believe Rob Zombie is the latter, and he is probably better qualified than most and I'm more than okay with that.