3 From Hell: Rob Zombie talks return of the Firefly clan


Rob Zombie and the remaining members of the Firefly family are coming back in 3 From Hell, but this return took a long time to happen.

House of 1000 Corpses introduced us to the Firefly clan, a group of psychopaths with a shared love for torture and murder, and it also introduced us to Rob Zombie’s vision and style as filmmaker – and it’s a very peculiar one. Some love it, some hate it, but no one can deny that there’s some twisted appeal to the Fireflies.

The clan continued with their murder spree in The Devil’s Rejects, which seemed to be the final chapter in their story as the remaining members were shot multiple times and there was no way they could have survived… until Rob Zombie decided they did, and they are ready to continue killing. Now, 14 years later, Captain Spaulding, Baby and Otis are back in 3 From Hell and they are more alive than ever, but their return wasn’t always part of the plan.

In an interview with Forbes to promote 3 From Hell, Rob Zombie talked about this trilogy and its development, sharing that making a trilogy out of these characters wasn’t the plan. After House of 1000 Corpses was released, he didn’t have plans for a sequel, and the same happened when The Devil’s Rejects was out, but nothing is ever set in stone and he changed his mind… more than a decade later. Better late than never, right?

The ending of House of 1000 Corpses has made way for a couple of theories, most of these saying that the ending (specifically from Dr. Satan’s appearance onwards) is a hallucination of the surviving members. The Devil’s Rejects, on the other hand, had a less open ending, as there was no way they could have survived being shot that many times (we were clearly wrong on that). Turns out that all those vague endings are intentional, but not because they are preparing the ground for a sequel, but because Zombie wants us to discuss and think about what we saw for days (or even years). He explained:

"“Any time I’ve ended a movie in a way that seemed vague is because I just like ending movies that way. I like making people leave the theater, discussing what they thought things meant. It’s never because I wanted to leave it open for another one. To be honest, at the end of each movie, you’re so beaten up by the process of making that particular movie that you’re never thinking, ‘Oh boy. I can’t wait to start the next one.’ You’re more like, ‘Well, I’m never doing that again.’ It’s crazy”."

The trailer for 3 From Hell gave us a brief look at how society reacted to the Fireflies’ survival and imprisonment, and it’s not what you would expect: the clan gained a following, very much like Charles Manson back in the 1960s, with people defending them and campaigning for their release (“Free the three” they chant). This media frenzy is something Zombie wanted to explore with this film. In a separate interview with NME, Zombie explained he wanted to shed some light on how the media turns “anybody into a celebrity”, even those who have committed horrible crimes (e.g. Charles Manson).

"“And they’re not always even criminals. Sometimes there are people who are so famous that I’ll go, ‘What did that person do, other than take pictures or videos of themselves?’ It’s just very strange. And even back then, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when the whole Manson thing happened, they did become martyrs to the youth because they were out there and they looked like hippies and they had the message. It’s just really strange how these weird villains can become counter-culture heroes”."

Things are about to get even crazier in 3 From Hell then, as it’s not only about the survival and return (and dare I say, the escape from prison?) of Spaulding, Baby and Otis, but also about how the media turned them into martyrs (uhm, hello? They tortured and killed a lot of people?) and how people defended them, for whatever reason. It’s going to be a crazy ride.

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Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell will have a very limited release, starting on September 16 through Fathom Events, so if you have the chance to watch it you should definitely do it.

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