Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses has earned two sequels, but the filmmaker doubts he'll bring Dr. Satan, who motivated much of the original film, back to the big screen. The film focused on a group of characters seeking to explore the legend of the sadistic Dr. Satan, only to encounter the Firefly family and become the victims of their torture. Despite the film ending with the reveal that Dr. Satan lived in an underground cavern, the design of the character didn't lend itself well to heading out on the run with the rest of the "Devil's Rejects" in the sequel, with the terrifying character having been absent from the series ever since.
"I got rid of him on The Devil’s Rejects," Zombie confessed to Bloody Disgusting. "I brought in the character with the idea that I would incorporate him into the [sequel] and try to bring him into the more realistic world that the films had evolved into, but it just looked stupid. So I just abandoned it.”
The core concept of House of 1000 Corpses is similar to the narrative structure of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, yet depicted with Zombie's signature psychedelic style. Both Devil's Rejects and 3 From Hell lean more into a gritty, realistic style and, despite Zombie's intentions being to bring Dr. Satan along for the follow-up films, his involvement threw the whole thing off tonally.
“House of 1000 Corpses was so cartoony and psychedelic and weird you could kind of do anything,” the filmmaker noted. “But when I shot the scenes for Devil’s Rejects with Dr. Satan, almost instantly I was like, ‘This is stupid. This is not going to work.'”
Given the ethereal nature of House of 1000 Corpses' finale, Zombie even hinted that Dr. Satan never really appeared at all and was merely a horrifying hallucination.
“I left it so that it could be whatever,” Zombie confessed. “Is it real? Is it probably just the girl, that Denise, after a long night of being tortured and watching all of her friends killed, maybe she just went cuckoo and was imagining all these crazy things? You know, I thought for that film it’s best just leave it as however people want to interpret it.”
While some fans might be disappointed that we never got more adventures focusing on the character, 3 From Hell focusing on three characters that we thought were killed at the end of The Devil's Rejects nearly 15 years ago means that we won't be surprised if the filmmaker finds an inventive way to bring back Dr. Satan.
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