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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Rob Zombie: Past, Present & Future (CD/DVD)
Rob Zombie: Past, Present & Future (CD/DVD)
Other // Unrated // September 23, 2003
List Price: $18.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Mike Long | posted September 25, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Videos

In October, 1999, Rob Zombie released a CD entitled "American Made Music to Strip By", which was a collection of remixes for the songs from his "Hellbilly Deluxe" album. The booklet which came with "American Made Music to Strip By" promised that a DVD of Zombie's music videos would be coming soon. Yet, years went by and this video never surfaced. Now, four years later, Rob Zombie has finally released a music video collection, as a bonus DVD with his new CD, "Past, Present & Future", a greatest hits package.

Ostensibly, the main focus of "Past, Present & Future" is the CD, which contains 19 tracks from Zombie's career, ranging from songs with his band White Zombie, up to his recent solo releases. There are also two previously unreleased tracks on the CD. But, with the attention garnered by Zombie's directioral debut House of 1000 Corpses, many may be interested in the 10 music videos which appear on the bonus DVD packaged with the CD, especially when they learn that Zombie directed 9 out those 10 videos.

If you've seen House of 1000 Corpses, or know anything at all about Rob Zombie, then you're probably aware of the fact that the man loves his horror movies, especially old, (relatively) obscure ones. This affection comes through in his music, but it's blatantly obvious in his videos. Following is an overview of the videos included on this DVD:

"Thunder Kiss '65" -- (3:59, 1.85:1) This is the video which Beavis & Butt-head loved, and first garnered White Zombie mainstream attention. The video features appearances by the Frankenstein monster and Santo, the Mexican wrestler, along with a generous dose of references to Russ Meyer movies. Although this is the only video in this collection not directed by Zombie (Juliet Cuming is credited), it is smothered in his personality.

"More Human Than Human" -- (4:16, 2.35:1) This video features footage of White Zombie performing in a cluttered room intercut with a bizarre mixture of home-movie footage, and shots of a Coffin Joe look-alike running through a morgue. There is also an appearance by a robot who appears as an illustration in the "Astro Creep 2000" CD booklet.

"Dragula" -- (3:47, 1.85:1) What can you say about a song which is named after Herman Munster's car? How about a video in which Zombie mimicks the head-bobbing schtick from A Night at the Roxbury? This promo also features the robot from the 1939 Bela Lugosi serial The Phantom Creeps, who became Zombie's side-kick (?) during this period.

"Living Dead Girl" -- (3:27, 4:3) Zombie proves that he's not all about 50s/60s schlock with this video, which is a homage to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Zombie plays a showman who reveals his "living dead girl" (played by Zombie's wife Sheri Moon) to the crowd. She then takes to the rooftops of the city, just like the somnabulist in the famous 1920 film. All of this plus the obvious nod to Jean Rollin's 1982 film Living Dead Girl. Nice B&W photography here.

"Superbeast" -- (4:17, 4:3) This video doesn't really fit the ouvre, as it's mostly a performance piece, although there is a woman in a tight leather outfit (Moon, I believe), sword-fighting with a guy who looks like Darth Maul.

"Never Gonna Stop" -- (3:08, 2.35:1) Wow, Rob Zombie meets Stanley Kubrick. Who woulda thunk it? Zombie clearly loves A Clockwork Orange, as the bulk of this video takes place in a re-creation of the milk-bar from that film. Also, Zombie is dressed as Alex, complete with painted-on eyelashes. This one must be seen to be believed.

"Feel So Numb" -- (3:38, 1.85:1) As with "Superbeast", this is basically a performance video, showing Zombie and his band rocking out against an American flag backdrop. But, Zombie is able to sneak in some movie references. If you look quickly, you can spot Santo, as well as one of the aliens from Invasion of the Saucer-Men. Also, the video could be considered a preview for House of 1000 Corpses, as cast members Sheri Moon, Sid Haig, and Irwin Keyes all appear here.
(The last 3 videos were previously unreleased.)

"Demonoid Phenomenon" -- (4:08, 4:3) This video is made up solely of concert footage, which was shot on video. We get to see Zombie in action on stage and dozens of blurred images of women with their shirts lifted.

"Return of the Phantom Stranger" -- (4:28, 4:3) It may seem unnecessary to say that this video is weird, but it truly is. What we basically have is Zombie and his band (dressed in skeleton costumes) performing in a (clearly fake) graveyard, as zombies rise from the ground. The papier-mache looking zombies are clearly a reference to the EuroHorror zombie films of the 1980s.

"Spookshow Baby" -- (3:37, 4:3) If you were looking for a video which would hint at what Zombie would do in House of 1000 Corpses, this may be it. The video is chock full of twisted and disturbing images, including Sheri Moon dressed in dominatrix garb electrocuting a masked man. There is no overriding theme here -- just weird imagery.

(It should be noted that these videos are not "uncut" versions, they appear exactly as they would've on MTV, save for the three unreleased ones. Also, this isn't an all-inclusive collection, as some of Zombie's videos are absent.)

Video

Despite the fact that 5 of the videos offerd on "Past, Present & Future" are letterboxed, the transfer is not enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. (Actually, the main image on "Never Gonna Stop" is letterboxed at 2.35:1, but the area where the black bars should be is filled with visual info, so an anamorphic transfer of this video would have resulted in a marring of the imagery.) The vides all look very good, eventhough Zombie has filled most of them with intentional defects, such as the numerous scratches in "More Human Than Human". "Thunder Kiss '65" does show some slight grain during the B&W sequences, but otherwise the images here look fine, showing no compression artifacting or oversaturation of color. The bitstream remains over 7 MBPS at all times.

Audio

The videos in this collection are all presented in Dolby 2-channel stereo. While this obviously pales in comparison to Dolby 5.1 sound, the audio is CD-quality and the stereo effects abound in these songs.

Extras

Technically, this DVD is the bonus feature. The DVD itself features no extras, aside from the videos. There is a menu, but it is very tricky and may be confusing to many.


This greatest hits package from rocker Rob Zombie "Past, Present & Future" will be a must-buy for fans of the man and his music. But, the bonus musid video DVD should appeal to horror fans and those who were intrigued by Zombie's imagery in House of 1000 Corpses. The man certainly pours his passion into the videos and it could easily be argued that you don't see anything like these shorts on MTV these days.
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