Saturday, December 31, 2016
Day 6: 31 (2016) 1h 42m
So I'm pulling an audible for today's film. If you happened to watch my Halloween special post (you can see it here) you know that I'm a fan of Rob Zombie films. Luckily for me, 31 came out on DVD just before XXX-mas and it was gifted to me from my fiancé. So rather than roll for a film for this post I decided to pop 31 in and watch it. Let's see what you've got, Mr. and Mrs. Zombie!
31 revolves around a group of carnie folk that get attacked and kidnapped. They find themselves thrust into a game of "31" (which I assume is called that because it happens on Halloween). The object of the game is simple: survive 12 hours inside of some sort of basement labyrinth while psychos dressed as clowns attempt to kill them. While all of this is going on, Malcolm McDowell and two women are dressed in powdered faces, wigs, and old French noble clothes while they watch and listen in on the whole scene.
This film had two other versions that existed at some point. The MPAA gave those versions NC-17 ratings until this final cut had an R rating. The MPAA is a group of random shit sacks. I don't mean just a bag full of feces, I mean actual scrotums full of feces that lead to some imaginary dick to fire shitty loads. Censor that assholes!
I can't say that 31 was better in its original form as I haven't seen that. I will say that it feels like Rob Zombie is running out of tricks when it comes to his directing. A lot of the shots were similar to those that existed in his prior films. They feel less like a signature for him and more along the lines of a madlib that he keeps writing the same thing in for every space. I liked the acting in it and everyone interacted well with each other. Malcolm McDowell steals the show every time he is on screen and I really wish I knew more of the back story of his group.
I think my biggest complaint though is that I had a lot of moments where I would become suddenly invested in the characters or scene only to have the scene become drawn out or the next shot slow the pace too a crawl. It was a bell curve of being a bit bored, then getting really into 31, then bored again, repeat. That isn't to say that I didn't like 31 though.
There were some great kill shots. One of the guys falls on top of a chainsaw that is running (I'm not sure how without someone holding the trigger) for a long ass kill scene. In addition to that, the first killer is a Spanish speaking little person with nazi body paint and a room devoted to Hitler... which, honestly, the killers' personalities were great, but this one was one of those things where he should've pulled back just a bit. I think it's Tim Gunn that said that while you are accessorizing you should always remove the last thing you put on because it was probably overkill. Then there's Doom-head who is such a weird sleazebag and I hate/love his character, all in a good way.
So I think that this isn't Rob Zombie's best film. It's not a bad film, but I just don't know who this film was really made for. It makes me want to watch Battle Royal, or The Running Man, or Slashers (the 2001 film) because it's kind of the same premise. I will end this saying that there is a great nod to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in this film. At least I hope it was a nod...
I give 31 2 ceramic ass clowns out of 5: