It goes without saying the fearsome threesome of The Devil’s Rejects; Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding, aren’t to be crossed. Their ruthless and vulgar nature, staggering body count, and passion for grotesque creativity in their torture rightfully deems them as the Devil’s Rejects by the media. But who do you think taught them their diabolical ways? Mother, of course, and I mean no one other than Mother Firefly played by the talented Leslie Easterbrook.
While Mother Firefly was originally portrayed by horror legend Karen Black there was a discrepancy between her and Zombie when she requested more money to reprise her roll in The Devil’s Rejects and Zombie had to replace her with Easterbrook.
Early in the film Mother Firefly and her family of misfits come under fire from the local police at their home. During this ten minute opening scene we quickly establish her motherly compassion with Baby Firefly and her bat shit crazy brains inside her murderous head. Donning a welder’s mask and taking up arms alongside her twisted family they work together to dispatch the armed forces of the sheriff’s station outside. However, when one of her family falls and her motherly instincts force her to come to his aid she she is captured alive by Sheriff Wydell and the sheriff’s department who survived their bullets.
When interrogated in the prison cell Mother Firefly’s colors are truly shown, and they range the spectrum of seductive to insane. However, Easterbrook balances crazy and seductive in a way that makes you believe she can seduce anyone she sets her eyes to lure them into her clutches, and right when she has them under her power she tips the balance and does what she pleases with them. You can certainly see in this performance where Baby’s seductive ways and Otis’ irrational insanity and love of murder come from. This family is tightly knit and it all stems from the matriarch of the Firefly family.
I also have to give props to Leslie Easterbrook not just for picking up a roll that was established by a different actress, but also because she is not afraid to play ugly. Being a beautiful woman she is transformed by Rob Zombie’s make up and costume department to fit into the white trash family her character is a part of. However, the actress takes it one step further by her performance. When crossing the crazy line she certainly not afraid to be ugly with her body language, facial expressions, and delivery of dialogue. While her screen time may have been short, Mother Firefly is surely an unsung villain of the Devil’s Rejects family who is sometimes forgotten by the overwhelming presence of the other colorful characters.
Want more Devil’s Rejects? Read Bill Moseley’s reaction to the talk of a sequel here.