'3 From Hell: 4K Ultra HD'
(Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Richard Brake, Sid Haig, Danny Trejo, Daniel Roebuck, et al / 2-Disc + Digital / NR / 2019 / Lionsgate)
Overview: After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) are behind bars.
But pure evil cannot be contained, and a firestorm of murder, madness, and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to Hell … and back!
Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the glorific '3 From Hell' in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this October 15th, 2019.
For my money, this '3 From Hell: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is '3 From Hell' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, and Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like the various archival TV footage from KVXT News of the original arrests and such. It just all comes more vividly to life now, which is amazing to see, in truth.
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where - and trying not to give too much away here for those unseen - a barrage of junk yard and fun ground executions are brought forth, and the blood combines with the colorful scenery to make a complete canvas art, so to speak) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.
As for the audio, well we have just English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1.
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, Rob Zombie returns to the characters that first gave him true fame as a director: the Firefly family. It's been 14 years since we last saw the Rejects in what was, in my opinion, the best film of his career 2005's 'The Devil's Rejects'. So is the third entry in this series worth checking out?
Well, in truth, yes and no.
There is a lot to love for Zombie fans. Bill Moseley is once again the highlight as Otis B. Driftwood. He is having a ball in this role and is always the most interesting part of the film.
The addition of Richard Brake as younger brother Winslow is a solid addition to fill the void left by Sid Haig's Captain Spaulding. Haig does appear in the film for a short time and was nice having a last moment to honor his recent passing.
FYI: Captain Spaulding/Sid Haig was meant to continue his character arc in this one as part of the "three from hell", but unfortunately just weeks before shooting, he became too ill to work.
Rob was able to get him cleared for just one day of shooting to at least have him in one scene in the movie. In fact, Rob had to completely re-write the script right before they were to start shooting, so considering the circumstances, I still think he did a great job.
So, as mentioned, enter Richard Brake as Foxy. He is the new character that will fill the Captain's shoes. Now, he's no Spaulding, nor is he as interesting as the other two characters.
Still, I enjoyed having a new character and getting to meet yet another member of the Firefly clan. It was actually kind of funny watching him try to fit in with his sadistic half-siblings. His crimes (prior to this movie) were "two bit crimes", as Otis states.
You can tell he's trying to compete with, but also impress, Otis throughout the film. The film even jokes about him being somewhat of an outsider when Baby and Otis refer to themselves as "the two of us" and Foxy says, "What am I, f------ invisible?".
Sheri Moon Zombie's performance as Baby Firefly, however, is a mixed bag. She isn't a very strong actor, never has been, but she obviously loves this character and puts her all into it.
The movie is split into two halves. The first half follows where the characters ended up after the events of Devil's Rejects and how they came to reunite over the span of a decade. While the second half is the Firefly family's past catching up to them.
The first half is the weakest as it moves really slowly and the story struggles to get going. The second half, however, is a lot stronger. More fun and feels like 'The Devil's Rejects,' but more light hearted.
Overall, I don't think this film needs to exist. It doesn't add anything new or interesting to justify its existence. Seems to just be Zombie wanting to reunite with old friends and have some fun with them (which is fair enough if you have the money and a studio's backing, I guess!).
'The Devil's Rejects' ended on such a perfect note I can't really understand the exact reason to do this film. It feels as though this film is mainly for hardcore Rob Zombie fans.
Not as good as 'The Devil's Rejects,' but far better than 'House of 1000 Corpses,' of that there is no doubt, my friends! Some people have been complaining that it's too much like Rejects, but if it had been totally different, they would be complaining about that too!
In closing, and as I'm sure you all know by now, you just simply can't win with some people. Personally, I think this was a great (although, as mentioned, an uneven and unnecessary) follow up. It was extremely fun seeing the Firefly clan back in action and causing destruction.
As for the Special Features the best by a long shot of (sadly) just the two is 'To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell' Featurette which runs at an INCREDIBLE one and a half hours!
Chock full of pre and post production goodies, plus behind-the-scenes on set shots, conversations and actual filming, it's a "fun" look at the production.
Encompassing an awful lot of wondrous, revealing candid footage it also features a nicely hefty look at the late Sid Haig. Now sure this might be a wee bit bittersweet for fans of the great actor, but it also serves as a lovely testament to the actor too.
Audio Commentary with Rob Zombie
'To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell' Featurette
Official HD Trailer
'3 From Hell: 4K Ultra HD' Amazon Purchase Link