Back for more carnage and fright, director Rob Zombie returns to the silver screen for a limited, three-day engagement with “3 from Hell.” Member of the unofficial “Splat Pack,” a group including the likes of Eli Roth, James Wan and Alexandre Aja for starters, Zombie didn’t spare one drop of blood in the third part of his terrorizing trilogy preceded by “House of 1,000 Corpses” and “Devil’s Rejects.”
3 from Hell
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Richard Brake, Jeff Daniel Phillips
——– Warning, this review contains limited explicit language and SPOILERS ———-
Following Zombie’s usual casting pattern, “Three from Hell” stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig and Richard Brake and begins just where the three left off in Devil’s Rejects…recovering from at least twenty gunshot wounds a piece. In a very groovy and nostalgic way, Zombie summarizes how our evil heroes were taken down by a hurricane of police gunshots but somehow miraculously survived only to go to prison for their thirty-some known murders with what feel like 70’s style news reports and headlines from fictional old school newspaper articles. With the quick summary wrapped up, we are brought up to date about our three, their imprisonment and impending death sentences; we even find out that Otis Firefly has been named the world’s most dangerous man and therefore considered enemy #1, which he mentions a few times throughout the film.
Unfortunately, within the first twenty minutes of our film we lose one of our three from hell; Captain Spaulding, played by the late and beloved Sid Haig, is the first to lose his life due to execution for his crimes. Before his execution, we do get to see and hear some of his famous Captain Spaudling rants through news interviews and freaky clips spliced into the opening where-are-they-now sequence.
From here, the movie moves on to focus not only on our remaining terrors, Baby and Otis Firefly, but on the warden who is at the helm of our three’s prison ship, but also on the half-brother of Otis, Winslow Foxtrane “Foxy” Coltrane. Played by Richard Brake (you may remember him as Doom-Head in Zombie’s 2016 horror flick, “31”), Foxy adds that element of terror and murderous hillbilly mentality left behind by Captain Spaulding. With Foxy’s help, and the prison work-yard murder of Rondo (one half of the Unholy Two, a pair of bounty hunters tracking down our heroes in “…Rejects”) Otis is able to escape his imprisonment and begin the plan to free Baby.
With her own troubles in prison, including solitary confinement and the attempted prison murder facilitated by a prison guard with an axe to grind, Baby is seen growing more and more insane within the walls of the big house. As she grows increasingly unstable, Otis and Foxy plan their liberation mission which includes a very deadly and gruesome hostage situation including our dreadful warden. Once freed, the three are on the run from the law but barely staying under the radar as they give into their old ways.
After a, we will call it a run-in, the three need to get out of the country and the public eye as their images are plastered all over the nightly news reports and covers of seemingly every news outlets printed publications. Otis, Baby and Foxy decide to flee to Mexico, an interesting and unexpected turn for a Zombie film as it takes our three heroes into a more sunny and happy setting…or so it seems at first.
Upon crossing the border, they find a run-down motel headed by an almost-too-eager motel owner and they secure the presidential suite practically unrecognized. Unfortunately for the three, our creepy motel owner not only recognized them but is easily bought; he reaches out to Aquarius, Rondo’s son and major Mexican crime lord to report their whereabouts and ultimately make a profit off of selling out the fleeing outlaws. Unaware of their impending doom, the three do what they do best…get fucked up and do fucked up things. They spend the night before our final showdown partying with locals, drinking, doing drugs and making up for lost time spent in jail.
Ripped from their party recovery, they find out that Aquarius and his troops have descended upon the motel to seek revenge and take the lives of the three. In a sequence of blood, gore and gunshot, Baby and Foxy end up in the sunny courtyard adjacent to the motel tied to a fountain. Coming to what seems to be their rescue, we find Otis at a standoff with a number of gunman including Aquarius himself. After a bit of banter from our evil outlaws that we have come to know and love from Zombie’s script-writing, the three ultimately kill all of the gunman and dispose of Aquarius by burning him alive.
We are left with our heroes intact and once again we see them riding off into the sunset; leaving us to ask the question…will their be another installment for this terrifying horror series?