Directed by Rob Zombie, starring Sid Haig, William Forsythe, Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley and Ken Foree.

Having scored a cult hit with his debut feature film 'House of 1,000 Corpses', rocker-turned-director Rob Zombie reunites with his monstrous creations the Firefly Family for a bloody and disquieting sequel. '...Corpses' didn't get a theatrical release in Ireland (and makers Universal balked at releasing it in the US - another distributor subsequently stepped in) and given the brutality on show here, it's a wonder that its follow-up has fared better.

Mixing 1970s exploitation flicks, low budget horror and the rough-and-ready feel of Peckinpah, Zombie picks up the story with Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe) leading an assault on the Firefly homestead. But head of the clan Captain Spaulding (Haig), son Otis (Moseley) and daughter Baby (Moon Zombie) avoid capture, continue their killing spree and find a hideout at the brothel owned by Spaulding's brother Charlie (Foree). Wydell, however, isn't far behind...

Even those who've become immune to the non-shocks and disappointments of US horrors may find themselves tested by 'The Devil's Rejects'. While not particularly scary, it's nastiness is relentless, with the violence in some scenes so harrowing and realistic that you wonder why Zombie felt compelled to go so overboard. Populating his film with horror icons (Haig, 'Dawn of the Dead's Ken Foree, 'The Hills Have Eyes' Michael Berryman) and references to other movies, the writer-director approaches 'The Devil's Rejects' like a fan who's been let loose behind a camera. As a result, his well-shot film has precious few ideas of its own and plenty of everyone else's and he fails to make the best use of some excellent characters with a script that feels thrown together during a marathon video viewing session.

No doubt there'll be those who'll wallow in the grimy, sweaty atmosphere and viciousness of it all, but most would be best advised to give it the widest berth.

Harry Guerin