Rob Zombie Brings Back Halloween with 'The Lords of Salem'

Just when you think Halloween has lost its edge, a rock-star-turned-director appears and manages to scare the crap out of you with a new trailer. Such is the case with the trailer for Rob Zombie‘s new horror flick, The Lords of Salem.

The Lords of Salem will feature the likes of Zombie regulars Sheri Moon ZombieJeff Daniel Phillips and Ken Foree doing what they do best: bringing to life the twisted, redneck and horror-obsessed mind of former White Zombie front man, Rob Zombie.  For those who are familiar with Zombie’s former cinematic work, The Lords of Salem should stand as no surprise in terms of plot or subject matter.

The official synopsis for the upcoming horror film reads as follows, courtesy of IMDB:

“Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the “Big H Radio Team.” A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting. The original Lords of Salem are returning and they’re out for blood.”

The trailer for The Lords of Salem neatly juxtaposes classical music with quite disturbing images featuring goats, satanic chants, horrific creatures covered in who-knows-what, and Heidi (played by Sheri Moon Zombie) seeming to embrace it all quite emphatically. Visually, it’s safe to say that few have ever seen anything like it.

It’s refreshing to see the likes of a director like Rob Zombie embracing his artistic merit. When it comes to films like House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, it’s obvious Zombie is going for a sort of formulated shock factor more than anything (never mind the unintended social commentary). The two films also offered a  seemingly forgotten B-movie humor that Hollywood has discarded, probably intentionally.

It isn’t until his re-imaginings of both Halloween and Halloween II that we see Zombie’s work becoming something more of his own. The two films stand as an attempt at the serious. They offer darkly personal views regarding motherhood, childhood and trauma. The B-movie humor is completely absent, making it obvious the films are instead focusing on a more serious message.

However, the audiences that consider themselves the true Rob Zombie faithful flat out hated the Halloween remakes, and will inevitably be calling for a return to both House and Rejects. Hopefully,The Lords of Salem will stand as a cleverly blended hybrid of the two types of film. The trailer doesn’t offer any sort of joviality. The normally obvious over-the-top gore has been replaced with attempts at the life-like. The outlandish plot has been replaced with something more surreal. The Lords of Salem may stand as Zombie’s first attempt at a disturbing horror film. Knowing Rob Zombie, it probably won’t matter as to whether or not audiences are ready for it.

In spite of creating massive amounts of buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Lords of Salem has yet to set a release date, other than promising to release in 2012. Knowing Zombie, it will probably be hitting your local theaters closer to Halloween. In the meantime, check out the trailer below. Enjoy!

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