Anyone familiar with Rob Zombie’s onscreen endeavours will know the traits most of his films are famed for: trashy B-movie style slashings, crazed hillbillies, hazy 70s nostalgia and his wife shrieking her head off in skimpy outfits.
31 continues this thread; it’s the mid-70s and a bunch of vulgar carnival performers are kidnapped and taken to an elaborate house of horrors run by Malcolm McDowell in a Victorian wig.
Here, they’re forced to participate in the 31 game, which basically involves trying to stay alive while various pervy deranged clowns with names like Sick-head and Doom-head are let loose. A non-stop barrage of violence from beginning to end, sadly 31 lacks a lot of the campy, tongue-in-cheek fun of Zombie’s previous films. And while House Of 1000 Corpses and The Lords Of Salem were so packed with trippy imagery and garish visuals that they almost seemed like elongated Rob Zombie music videos, 31 is just packed full of blood and guts. There is literally no character development, and it’s difficult to feel invested. If you want a gut-punchingly gross, grindhouse horror bombardment of violence, 31 is for you. Otherwise, it’s best avoided.