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By now you have probably heard that rock star turned filmmaker Rob Zombie is writing and directing a cinematic reboot of The Munsters - the classic TV sitcom about a family of supernatural entities trying to make do in a world run by the living. I am not sure how many people will agree with me, but I am actually very intrigued and almost excited by the idea of the man behind twisted flicks like House of 1000 Corpses putting his own spin on the otherwise family-friendly dark comedy. To better understand why I feel this way instead of immediately condemning the concept altogether, perhaps we should take a closer look at all of the Rob Zombie movies streaming (or available to rent or purchase digitally) right now to gain deeper insight into the horror auteur’s unique mindset, starting with his certainly unique debut.
House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
As Halloween draws near in 1977, a pair of aspiring authors (the Office cast’s Rainn Wilson and Chris Hardwick) drag their girlfriends (Jennifer Jostyn and Erin Daniels) on a cross-country trip in search of the country’s creepiest road side attractions, leading them on the path to uncover the secret behind an infamous urban legend that may end up being their last stop.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: Say what you want about House of 1000 Corpses - one of the most bizarre and most polarizing horror movies in recent memory - but you cannot deny that few directorial debuts have set the tone for a filmmaker’s subsequent career as definitively as this aesthetically inventive ode to the grindhouse era featuring an irresistibly maniacal performance by the late Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding.
The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
The surviving members of the sadistic Firefly Family - Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife) - go on the run after Sheriff John Quincy Wydell (William Forsyth) comes looking for them to put an end to their long, long history of carnage and avenge the murder of his brother, Lieutenant George Wydell (Tom Towles).
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: Few would would have expected a film like House of 1000 Corpses to spawn a sequel, let alone one as smart, engaging, and shameless in its exploitation of pure ugliness as The Devil’s Rejects - considered by most to be the finest film in the Firefly Trilogy and, of all the Rob Zombie movies, the best that the filmmaker has made in his entire career thus far.
3 From Hell (2019)
After 10 years on death row, Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) escape from prison with the help of their trusted friend, Winslow (former Game of Thrones cast member Richard Brake), and, once again, go on the run in search of a new life, but not without stirring up more mayhem.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: Most people would also agree that 3 From Hell is not exactly one of the best Rob Zombie movies and, arguably, the weakest of the Firefly Trilogy, yet it is worth taking a look to see where this family of outcasts (much like The Munsters, in a more likable way, could be described) end up following the events of The Devil’s Rejects and to see the final performance of Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding.
After spending 17 years in a mental institution for the murder of his stepfather, older sister, and her boyfriend when he was just 10 years old, Michael Myers (former professional wrestler Tyler Mane) returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, to reunite with his unwitting baby sister, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), and leaves a trail of blood along the way that his former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) intends to stop.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: There are some audiences who still cannot understand why anyone would ever even consider doing a remake of one of the best horror movies of all time, but if you can find a way to set Rob Zombie’s Halloween apart from John Carpenter’s 1978 quintessential slasher classic, it does stand on its own as a relatively well-crafted, character-driven carousel of carnage.
Halloween II (2009)
After surviving the deadly rampage of Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) struggles to come to terms with the discovery that she is his biological sister and fears for her life when it becomes apparent that the infamous psychopath’s is somehow still alive.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: There are some audiences who still cannot understand why anyone would ever even consider doing a sequel to a remake of one of the best horror movies of all time, and Rob Zombie himself has admitted that his begrudging decision to make the second of his Halloween movies led to a miserable experience. That being said, he still cites 2009’s Halloween II as his favorite of the two, which is enough of a reason to give the bloodier and trippier follow-up a chance.
The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009)
A former masked luchador and adult film star (writer Tom Papa) teams up with his sister (Sheri Moon Zombie) - a trigger happy undercover secret agent - to take on a devilish mad scientist (Paul Giamatti), a stripper (Rosario Dawson) branded with a Satanic symbol, an army of undead Nazis, and more in their problematic attempts to save mankind in the strange world of Monsterland.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: Surprisingly, the straight-to-video, animated adventure comedy The Haunted World of El Superbeasto could actually be the most definitive film of Rob Zombie’s career with an uproarious and erotic plot that fans of classic grindhouse craziness will not be able to resist and an all-star cast of comedic geniuses and horror heroes alike - including Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson.
Tom Papa: Live In New York City (2011)
Comedian Tom Papa riffs on the strange anatomy of certain domesticated pets, the trials and tribulations of marriage and fatherhood in the 21st century, and makes some comments about the influences of Facebook in front of a Manhattan audience.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: If you thought The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was a surprising moment in Rob Zombie’s career as a director, I am positive that you never expected to see his name attached to a hilarious and thought-provoking stand-up comedy special like Tom Papa: Live in New York City - which actually makes a bit more sense when you remember that said comic is the writer and the voice of the titular hero from the animated exploitation extravaganza.
Stream Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Netflix.
Stream Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Amazon Prime.
Stream Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Tubi.
Stream Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Pluto TV.
Stream Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Vudu.
Rent/Buy Tom Papa: Live In New York City on Amazon.
The Zombie Horror Picture Show (2014)
Rob Zombie pulls double duty as the orchestrator and performer of this collection of footage from shows in Dallas and Houston, Texas, as part of the Mayhem Festival Tour in the summer of 2013.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: For a concert documentary that feels a lot more in line with Rob Zombie’s line of work, The Zombie Horror Picture Show sees the former White Zombie lead singer directing himself and his band in a performance that proves he really is a master showman of music and mayhem with nightmarish costumes, over-the-top stage decorations, and death-defying pyrotechnics beyond any metalhead’s wildest imagination.
The Lords Of Salem (2012)
A DJ for a local rock music radio station (Sheri Moon Zombie) is sent a record that, upon dropping the needle, mysteriously causes her to suffer from horrifying visions of the gruesome history that haunts her town: Salem, Massachusetts.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: Sheri Moon Zombie (a self-proclaimed non-actress who prefers to only appear in films directed by her husband) leads the cast of The Lords of Salem, which often feels like how Rosemary’s Baby might have turned out if it was conceived by one Rob Zombie.
A group of five employees from a rundown carnival are suddenly taken prisoner and forced to participate in a deadly game that puts them at odds with a slew of clownish killers.
Why Rob Zombie Fans Should Watch It: A statistic which states that more people go missing in the United States on Halloween than any other day of the year served as the central inspiration for 31, which often feels like how the Saw movies might have turned out if the they were conceived by one Rob Zombie.
You know, I really wanted to include Grindhouse on this list for Rob Zombie’s hysterical and colossally messed-up faux trailer for Werewolf Women of the S.S. However, the only way to properly experience Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 double feature, in my opinion, is the full theatrical cut which is not available to stream or even rent on any digital platforms at the moment. Luckily, you can bask in the delicious depravity of Zombie's fake preview on YouTube, too.