We decided to keep our review of ‘Lords of Salem’ brief although it could have been much longer because like all of the preceding Zombie films there’s always surprises and something for the viewer to discover. We appreciated the movie, coming from somewhat of a Pagan background, but can see how it might upset some people with it’s stereotypes and references to black magic.
The film plays as Zombie’s Magnum Opus, the movie his other films have led up to and what he’s always wanted to make. There will be some people who love it and others who may feel disappointed. What you won’t find is a lot of blood and guts or cheap jump-scares, but you will find images that will stay in your head.
Sheri Moon Zombie shows she is able to carry a movie in her role as Heidi Hawthorne, a lonely radio DJ recovering from a drug addiction who lives a basic life until an album from the Lords of Salem arrives at the station. The one song on the album, when played, causes the women of Salem to fall under a trance and unleashes an historical chain of violence and revenge. Jefferey Daniel Phillips plays Herman Whitey Salvador, her co-worker at the station who wants to care for the fragile Heidi, but it seems that they once had a relationship that “Whitey” wants to reunite but Heidi wants to be over.
Bruce Davidson plays Francis Matthias, a Salem historian and wax museum manager who has written a book on witchcraft and becomes engrosses with the “Lords” song after hearing it played while being a guest on the radio show. He starts to research it and find there’s a link between it and Heidi. He soon finds himself in danger as he plunges deeper in to discovering the connection. His performance gives a balanced feel to the film and gives it some sense or seriousness.
Rounding out the main cast are the trinity of Lacy, Megan and Sonny (Judy Geeson of A Candle for the Devil, Patricia Quinn of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dee Wallace Stone of The Howling, respectively). They represent the demonic elements in Heidi’s life. Those with some knowledge of psychology or alchemy will know in what term we mean that. Watching over everything is Margaret Morgan (Meg Foster), the anti-Christ of the story who leads the dark forces as they carry out their dominion.
“The Lords of Salem” is Rob Zombie meets Kubrick and Polanski with the paranormal elements of Jason Blum and Oren Pelli. There are many interloped scenes that will remind the viewer of ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ and ‘The Devil’s Rejects’. Also, the film has many flashback scenes reminiscent of Haxan, which is something we liked and found entertaining and authentic.