I’ve seen the Woolite commercial that Rob Zombie made because Phro linked to it in an NCS comment once upon a time, but I’ve never seen a Rob Zombie movie. This is because (a) I don’t particularly enjoy horror movies (I scare easily), and (b) because I’ve never particularly enjoyed Rob Zombie’s music. I would add, (c), that I prefer not to spend money on bad movies, except I can’t say the movies are bad since I’ve never seen one. So, I will not be seeing his new movie, The Lords of Salem. However, I have now seen a music video that may be in the movie and is at least connected to it.
The video is for a song by a fictional black metal band named Leviathan The Fleeing Serpent, who apparently appear in the movie, as does the song, “Crushing the Ritual”. Rob Zombie and guitarist John 5 wrote and recorded the song, and I guess that’s Rob Zombie appearing as the corpse-painted frontman, who bears a passing resemblance to Gaahl in his Gorgoroth days.
I guess the song and the video are parodies — but I’m not 100% certain of that. On the one hand, Rob Zombie’s bug-eyed, campy facial expressions, the ridiculous headgear worn by his bandmates, and the selection of words flashing across the screen suggest this is satire. Also, the song has about two chords in it (plus non-stop blast-beats, of course).
On the other hand, Zombie said this in talking with Revolver magazine about his decision to include black-metal imagery in the film:
“There’s a band in the movie called Leviathan The Fleeing Serpent, and they have a music video that they made for a song that’s in the movie. It’s sort of weird, though — for years, Norwegian black metal was the kind of music where I was like, ‘Ah, I don’t get it.’ Then about five years ago, I was listening to Darkthrone or Mayhem, and all of a sudden I was like, ‘I get it now, and I fucking love it!’ A switch just flipped in my brain. I like the music, and I wanted to include it in the movie. That character isn’t part of any sinister plot in the movie, though. He’s just there to add some background color.”
When asked what kind of what kind of black metal he likes other than Darkthrone and Mayhem, Zombie said:
“I like the stuff that sounds really lo•fi. When we [Zombie, John 5 and drummer Aaron Rossi] were recording Leviathan The Fleeing Serpent’s song for the movie, my comment to the producer was, ‘It sounds too good. Make it sound shittier.’ To me, when it sounds shitty, it sounds scary. It sounds real. When the production is too good, it sounds cartoony and operatic. But when it sounds like shit, you’re like, ‘Yeah, this sounds like a bunch of guys who are gonna kill each other.'”
So, do you see why I’m not 100% certain? Okay, I’m 99% certain, but there’s a suggestion here that Zombie and John 5 were really trying to record a black metal song. Granted, it’s not a very good black metal song, but that doesn’t necessarily prove anything (and Zombie’s vocals are pretty horrifying). There’s also the further confusing fact that some corpse-painted black metal bands who play repetitive two-chord songs are dead serious about what they’re doing, despite the fact that they are virtually self-parodies in the eyes of many metal fans.
I don’t really know where I was going with this. Goofy Rob Zombie videos really aren’t the kind of thing we usually spend time on around here. If Zombie really does appreciate black metal, I guess I wish he had done something better than this song, because it sounds like he and John 5 really could have recorded a nasty but interesting piece of bestial black metal if they’d put their minds to it.
Anyway, since I’m not sure why I wrote this, maybe you should leave some comments about whatever thoughts cross your mind when you read this. Here’s the video:
I want to see this movie. Rob’s movies have been hit and miss with me, but Devil’s Rejects is one of my favorite movies, its just so much fun.
As for this song, I hear worse in my interhole travels nearly every day but its not something I’d pay for. And what did they do, steal Dimmu’s head-wear?
Well, there you go — I thought the headgear was one of the giveaways that this was a parody. I wasn’t thinking about Dimmu’s costumery. 🙂
I didn’t hate the music, to be honest. However, Zombie himself is just basically unwatchable, and holy shit, that bass player is even more ridiculous somehow. When they cut to the shot of Zombie with the sword I actually started laughing. If he meant to make a parody, he fuckin’ nailed it (and I have a hard time believing that anyone could write those lyrics and not be taking the piss out of black metal).
I don’t hate the music either, I just think it could have been more interesting. I suppose its primitive structure was created on purpose. I did think of some of the Immortal videos when he pulled out the sword.
The crazy eyes and the tongue-wagging also made me think of Immortal.
I thought House of 1000 Corpses was a solid movie, actually. Devil’s Rejects not bad for a sequel. This one looks interesting.
It’s apparently not doing well at the box office.
that’s true, but aside from the first Halloween movie, Zombie’s never really been a big-screen success. he does way better in the dvd market.
Isn’t Rob Zombie always a parody? Of himself? I say this as someone who has nothing against him–I liked me some White Zombie back in my college days.
As far as being able to make something better…eh, I doubt it. He’s been recording that same Rob Zombie song/album over and over again for years. If he had the potential to break out of it, I’d like to think he would have done it long before now.
I wouldn’t know. 🙂
I think Rob actually wanted to make a real Black Metal song, but sounded way too shitty and then he decided to call it a “parody” to make it less embarrassing.
Not a chance this is for real. The look on his face. No way.
I’d call it a tongue-in-cheek homage to campy black metal. It’s not unlike his film House of a Thousand Corpses, which was a fun takeoff on Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
That’s probably the best summing up. It definitely has some fun with certain cliched tropes of the genre, yet it’s not mean-spirited or sarcastic in tone, and as he said in that interview, it seems that he does enjoy the music. Plus, the song is not completely ridiculous. So “tongue-in-cheek homage” sounds right.
That’s kinda what Rob Zombie does. A big part of his career, not just House of 1,000 Corpses, has been spent on doing fun interpretations of things that he really loves. I don’t doubt that he thinks black metal is awesome and really does get it, it’s just… Rob Zombie doesn’t really do “serious” all that well. The Devil’s Rejects is the big exception and it was kind of a sadistic downer, everything he’s really known for is expected to be somewhat fun. Now, whether or not he achieves his goals is another story, that’s a matter of taste.
The fact that people aren’t sure of how to feel about this video says more about black metal than it does about him. There are bands that do things like this and are 100% serious. What the fuck?
Think you nailed it man…I mean, even as a fan of black metal, I cant help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the tropes that surround it.
Also, anyone else think the vocals are just him stringing random scary words together…”Darkness, Satan, Dick Cheney, 666″
The moment I saw the bassist’s helmet I started laughing. Has to be tongue-in-cheek, has to be.
Well that was certainly a video. Awful lot of cross/sword stroking going on… and to my recollection, this is the first time I’ve seen the aggressive, two-handed crotch grab in a “black metal” video. Looks like it was probably pretty fun to make anyway.
can’t wait to see this movie, I always enjoy Zombie’s films and this one looks like good cheesy creepy perverted fun to me.
don’t know about the “black metal” song, though. sounds like something they threw together in a couple minutes, kind of half assed.
one other thing, is that actually Rob playing the lead in the video? that guy just doesn’t look or move the way Rob does, i’d swear it’s someone else.
Dont go in expecting a straight forward horror film
…its a slow burn horror flick by way of art house acid trip
that’s what i’ve been hearing and reading in reviews, just makes it even more enticing 🙂
This is what Rob should been doing, instead of the music he plays now!!! The video is quite stupid, but the music and the vo-kills are quite good!!!