We’re approaching the ten-year anniversary of The Devil’s Rejects, which was released on July 22, 2005. It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years already, but the time has passed, and the movie is still a bonafide classic.
Today, we’re looking at some trivia about the movie in celebration as one of a handful of articles we’ll be posting in honor of the Firefly clan and Rob Zombie’s landmark film.
1. Kane Hodder was in it.
Kane Hodder is best known to horror fans as Jason Voorhees and Victor Crowley, but as you’re also probably aware, he’s a stunt guy. He was the stunt coordinator on The Devil’s Rejects, but he also appeared in the film as an uncredited “officer with gas mask”. You know the scene. The cops enter the Firefly house after throwing tear gas in before they go head to head with the killers. Hodder is one of those cops.
2. Sheri Moon Zombie’s brother was in it too.
Sheri Moon Zombie’s brother also played the role of a police officer at the beginning of the film. He was hanging around the set, and since he was a military guy and knew about guns, Rob Zombie had him stand in as an extra during the big shoot out. You can see him standing behind William Forsythe firing away as the cops shoot up the house. The shots go by so quickly it’s hard to capture the right screen grab, but I think it’s one of the guys in the pic below.
3. Eli Roth was also hanging around on set.
As far as I know, he didn’t appear anywhere in the film, but Eli Roth was apparently on set at some point. From a JoBlo set visit and interview with Zombie:
JoBlo: Is Eli Roth here trying to pick up some tips? (Eli Roth standing nearby)
Rob Zombie: (Laughs) I don’t know he just lingers and write things down (From afar with much sarcasm Eli starts praising Rob as his reason for directing) I’m having trouble sitting with Eli’s face attached to my ass. (Rob looks down). What? Eli what? (Laughs)
JoBlo: How important has the internet been to your film’s success?
Rob Zombie: The internet is such a mystery. You know it’s important but it’s really hard to gauge and you don’t know what it’s reading sometimes because you just don’t know. I feel it more on this movie because it seems like in the last four years it’s gone from, “Oh there’s this horror website that mentioned you.” Now it’s like you can really feel the effects when people mention us because it’s so fat. Like tonight, I’ll go home and read, “Eli Roth was on the set of the movie”, where it would take a magazine two months to mention it, where it would be on someone’s website tonight. You know you can really feel it.
4. Those photos of Wydell’s corpse were of real dead bodies.
If you’ll recall, there’s a scene in which Mother Firefly is in police custody, and she and Wydell (Forsythe) are looking at photos of his brother – who was killed in House of 1000 Corpses – played by the late Tom Towles. In a director’s commentary track on the DVD, Rob Zombie explained that he had photoshopped Towles’ mustache and eyes onto pictures of real dead bodies. Consider the desired effect achieved, because they look pretty gruesome in the film.
5. That pig head was also real.
Speaking of real dead bodies, the pig head that sits up on top of the gate to the Firefly abode was a completely real pig’s head. As Zombie explained in the commentary, it continued to rot and become more maggoty as shooting went on. It was pretty disgusting, but according to him, it didn’t bother anybody too much because it was up so high.
6. That abandoned chicken farm was full of petrified chicken corpses
Yes, there was a lot of real death surrounding The Devil’s Rejects – real dead people in photos, real dead, maggoty pig heads, and a farm full of dead chickens.
This is the scene in which Otis takes Banjo and Sullivan out to murder them. They go to an abandoned chicken farm. As Zombie explains in the commentary, it was just full of chickens that were also abandoned. Unfortunately, they were also all dead. According to his telling of it, they weren’t even decayed, but petrified. Just a bunch of petrified chicken corpses lying around in the heat.
7. The movie is full of CGI.
Films considered to be horror classics and fan favorites typically don’t make a ton of use of CGI. We all love practical effects. However, The Devil’s Rejects proves that when used right, the medium can be used effectively and convincingly without taking the viewer out of the movie. There are plenty of practical effects as well, but pretty much anytime you see a wound directly on somebody’s skin, it was created with CG.
A lot of people are no doubt aware of this one, but the movie is so good, and the effects blend in well enough that it’s easy to not think about it when you’re watching it, unlike say Land of the Dead, which came out the same year.
8. Natasha Lyonne was nearly in the movie.
The role of Candy, which was played brilliantly by EG Daily, was originally going to be played by Natasha Lyonne of American Pie and Orange is the New Black fame, but something happened at the last minute and Daily was brought on board on pretty short notice. Luckily she completely nailed it, and it’s hard to imagine the role being played by anyone else.
9. David Hess wanted to be in the Unholy Two
According to IMDB, David Hess of The Last House on the Left, whom one could easily consider an original “devil’s reject,” auditioned for one of the bountyhunter parts. These parts of course went to Danny Trejo and Diamond Dallas Page, who knocked their respective roles out of the park. Still, with Zombie’s penchant for casting horror greats of yesteryear, it is a little surprising he didn’t find a place for Hess in the film. From the viewer’s perspective, he certainly would have been a welcome addition.
10. The Firefly house was also Leatherface’s house.
The house used as the Firefly house, which is located in Santa Clarita, California, is the same house that was used as the Sawyer house in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.
A lot of this is probably common knowledge to hardcore Devil’s Rejects fans, but hopefully you at least learned something. I know I actually forgot about a couple things over the years. Either way, here’s to celebrating one of the best films since the turn of the century on its tenth anniversary.