Earlier this year, Rob Zombie shocked audiences with news that he had begun filming a sequel to The Devil’s Rejects – 3 From Hell. Prior to the announcement, most horror fans were unaware that a sequel was even in the works. To date, The Devil’s Reject’sremains Zombie’s most critically-acclaimed work with its no-holds-barred approach to its sadistic violence alternately praised and derided.
It’s been nearly 13 years since The Devil’s Rejects shocked audiences. Given that its three main characters – Captain Spaulding, Otis Firefly, and Baby Firefly – died at the film’s conclusion there didn’t seem to be much of a chance for a sequel. The Devil’s Rejects seemed to have the perfect ending for it nefarious trio – going out in blaze of glory to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird. Now the big question is what direction does Zombie take the Firefly clan?
What Do We Know So Far?
Following the announcement that filming had commenced, the month of March saw a flurry of casting announcements from Rob Zombie’s official Instagram account (RobZombieofficial). Not surprisingly, the three principal cast members – Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sheri Moon Zombie – will all be reprising their iconic roles.
Fans know that Zombie loves casting familiar faces from B-horror films and a lot familiar faces will be turning up in 3 From Hell. In addition to Zombie regulars like Jeff Daniel Phillips (Halloween 2, Lords of Salem, 31), Clint Howard (Halloween), and Daniel Roebuck (Halloween,31), Assault on Precinct13-alum Austin Stoker will appear. Observant fans will also notice that Danny Trejo (Machete) is reprising a key role from The Devil’s Rejects – bounty hunter Rondo.
Aside from casting news, the only other formal announcement was from Bill Moseley’s official Twitter account (@choptopmoseley) that wrapping had finished up last week. Currently, there is no information about the release date or plot details.
Predicting Plot Details
It’s worth remembering that The Devil’s Rejects took the Firefly clan in a radically different direction from Zombie’s debut film, House of 1000 Corpses. Zombie’s bizarro debut was a pastiche of 1970’s exploitation styles and themes, which included supernatural elements. Dr. Satan’s appearance at the end of House of 1000 Corpses flipped that film’s narrative on its head, introducing a mind-bending nightmarish sequence. Zombie ultimately decided to cut Dr. Satan out of The Devil’s Rejects as the character didn’t fit with the sequel’s tone, though he did film a hospital scene with Rosario Dawson (John Squires, Bloody Disgusting, 2017 April 7).
So the Fireflay Clan has ties to a supernatural character in Dr. Satan and their second film was literally titled, The Devil’s Rejects. With a title like 3 From Hell, is it possible that the murderous trio are ‘spit out of hell’ to continue wreaking carnage. And with the casting of Trejo’s Rondo, can we expect the Firefly’s to be seeking revenge for their deaths? Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to wait for a trailer to drop to start sorting out plot details. In the meantime, hardcore horror fans have something to look forward to in the near future.
With production photos slowly hitting the Internet, at least one of the potential plot points discussed above can seemingly be dismissed. From the stills released to date and the first character poster posted earlier today by Zombie, the supernatural-themed direction looks like it can be dumped. The photos show Otis and Baby Firefly being led into court, and the Otis character poster is a defiant mugshot. In other words, it looks like Zombie is retconning his own ending to The Devil’s Rejects – the Firefly’s survived the ending.
There’s no trailer yet, so it’s way too early to pass any judgment on the project. But the early fan theory of the Firefly’s being literally “rejected by Hell” itself seemed far more intriguing, and opened a word of possibilities for Zombie to go as batshit crazy as he wanted. We’ll just have to wait for a trailer to drop to get a better feel for Zombie’s planned direction.