Welcome to 50 first times. For those who came in late, I’m working my way through 50 previously unseen movies, watching good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between.

The rules are as follows:

  • The film I watch has to be something new (for me)
  • The film can be from any decade/genre

Today I’m watching…

Rob Zombie’s 31 (2016)

Image: ©Saban Films

Full disclosure: I’m not much of a fan of Rob Zombie’s portfolio. I understand the director has a strong following, but his film’s always leave me cold.

His work on the 2007 Halloween remake was, in my opinion very bad, and in the case of Halloween II (2009) it was simply awful.

So, if I don’t really care for Rob Zombie’s films, why am I watching 31?

Well, while I might not like Zombie’s movies, I am willing to give them a try. Only by watching 31 can I be certain whether I am going to like it or not.

So, let’s give it a go.

*Clicks play*

10mins 30secs – After a ten minute prologue/opening title sequence, the story begins. Oh, and the events of the movie are taking place on October 31st. I presume the title refers to the date, maybe?

15mins – So, I recognise Sheri Moon Zombie and Meg Foster, amongst the cast, but no one else. Erm… well, I like Meg Foster, but I can’t say I have any real feelings towards Sheri Moon Zombie. The good thing is that Meg Foster has a great screen presence, so is a good fit for a movie like this.

20mins – Are Foster and Co. the bad guys in this movie? That’s the vibe I’m getting.

23mins 30secs – OH! OK, so I was not expecting that!

24mins – For around 15 minutes, the movie has focused on a group of carnival workers. The group – which includes Sheri Moon Zombie and Meg Foster – came across as misfits and I was under the impression they were the bad guys of the movie, in a similar vein to the Firefly family from Zombie’s, The Devil’s Rejects (2005). But this isn’t the case at all. These guys are the (sort of) good guys of the film and they have just been attacked and kidnapped by a bunch of weirdos.

24mins 10secs – I feel comfortable in using the term ‘weirdos’, because, well, they are. Malcolm McDowell is the leader of this villainous gang and he’s dressed like some bizarre aristocrat. He’s definitely weird. They are weird. All of them are weirdos.

30mins – So, the story seems to be that McDowell’s team have kidnapped the carnival folk and have put them in a game of survival.

Why?

Who knows? Maybe it’s because they are just weird. Anyway, this movie is now some kind of survival picture, with people running around a warehouse(?) with makeshift weapons.

40mins – Did I mention the Nazi? No? Well, one of the bad guys is dressed like a Nazi. Told you they were weird.

41mins – It’s OK, Meg Foster has just incapacitated the Nazi. Hurrah!

43mins – You know, this film has shades of The Purge, Saw and The Running Man about it. And I’ll be honest, all of those films are far more interesting.

50mins – I feel like I’m going through the motions here.

55mins – I’m bored. I’m really bored.

58mins – This film is just so generic. Where’s the originality? I admit, I was thrown off a little at the start of the movie, but the rest of this picture is playing out like some cheap, direct-to-DVD title that would crop up on the shelves of Tesco or Asda in the run-up to Halloween. Is this really a Rob Zombie film? Really? I expected much more.

*Yawn*

1hr 5mins – Strobe lighting, slow motion, bad acting – am I really only an hour(ish) into this movie? The only saving grace of this film is Meg Foster and she should be in a much better picture.

1hr 11mins – To liven things up a little, Richard Brake has been brought in to hunt down the remaining carnival folk (some of them are now dead) and… yeah, once again I’m reminded of The Running Man. Sigh.

*Checks watch*

1hr 21mins – On the plus side, Richard Brake is great and he is at least bringing something to the screen. On the downside, he’s just bumped off Meg Foster and that is simply unforgivable.

1hr 22mins – #Justice4Foster

1hr 31mins – There’s about ten minutes left of this film and all of the carnival folk have been killed off except Sheri Moon Zombie. Is there anyway I can swap her for Foster?

1hr 35mins – As the film draws to a close, Zombie has survived the night, but she has one final showdown with Richard Brake. Who will win?

I honestly don’t care.

*Presses stop*

What was the point of that movie?

The good news? 31 isn’t anywhere near as bad as Halloween II.

The bad news? It’s simply not very good.

31 was cheap, monotonous and a waste of time and money. It lacked originality or innovation, and played out like a fan film.

I may not like Zombie’s films all that much, but I appreciate what something like The Devil’s Rejects brought to the table. That was an edgy, downright unnerving film which deserved (and still deserves) its praise. 31 was the exact opposite and is just a poor horror movie.

Boring.

Very, very boring.

This hasn’t changed my opinion of Rob Zombie movies.

If you want to check out my posts on other previously unseen films then dive into Chef (2014)High Noon (1952)Xanadu (1980)When A Stranger Calls (1979),  The Sitter (1977)A Night at the Roxbury (1998)The Dark Crystal (1982)Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985),  Super (2010)When Harry Met Sally (1989)What We Do in the Shadows (2014)Shin Godzilla (2016), and Road House (1989).

Read: Part 15