The Lords of Salem (2012)

When I first saw this, I couldn’t help but think that Rob Zombie tried to make Rosemary’s Baby, albeit more graphic and in Salem, Massachusetts. You can even see the witch statue downtown if you look for it.

Watching it again, I caught notes of witchspoitation movies from the late 60s into the 1970s. I’ll spare you puns relating to devils and details, but I couldn’t help but study the setting.

The gloom of the setting and gray skies immediately caught me as a New England native.

The music contained in the Lords of Salem mystery record struck me as Zombie’s fantasy Kenneth Anger movie score. As touristy as Salem, MA got to be, the compositions work very well.

The movie itself, blocked into days of the week, was very fast paced up until the final act. It didn’t even feel like I made the progress into my knitting project that I did. Then, it started to slow down and really focus on the weirdness and surreal horror imagery, an extended psychedelic trip, one can guess as Heidi began using after a long period of recovery.

Overall, I liked the movie. It was experimental and atmospheric to be sure, but the performances were pretty good. Sherri Moon Zombie as Heidi played a recovering addict and radio DJ who innocently enough receives a mysterious record during her show, only to jokingly play it after a Rush song (a joke among her coworkers, but endearing as hell to me!) She and her coworkers play it to eerie effect that was subtle at first, but as Heidi progresses deeper into madness and eventual relapse, it gets scarier and the movie’s conclusion that much more odd and gruesome.

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