Lords of Salem is a major step forward for Rob Zombie as a director. Before this movie, The Devil’s Rejects is his only movie that works as a whole. House of 1,000 Corpses is a good start and shows how he loves the genre.
But he also made misses during his directorial career. His two Halloween movies are bad and this is due to his misunderstanding of the Michael Myers character. It might not be his fault as remakes can be tricky, especially if someone wants to approach it in a personal manner.
Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie plays a major role in Lords of Salem. She stars as Heidi, a radio DJ at Salem’s largest hard rock station. Most of the cast members have been part of his ensemble, including Ken Foree in a vital supporting role.
Heidi’s co-hosts are Herman (Foree) and Whitey (Jeff Daniel Phillips). One they, they guested local author Francis Matthias (Bruce Davison) who has wrote a book on the town’s history with witchcraft. He tries to debunk the myths spreading around town.
Heidi receives a box that contains a record that is attributed to The Lords. She decides to play it on her radio show. We discover that the song has a strange effect on women who hear it. She realizes that the record is designed to make Salem pay for its treatment of a coven known as The Lords of Salem. Margaret Morgan (Meg Foster) is the leader of The Lords of Salem. She uses Heidi for her plan.
Zombie uses music as the conduit for darkness. There’s a feeling of restraint in Lords of Salem. It doesn’t assault the viewers like his previous movies. It has a controlled pace that starts slow until it reaches the climax. Zombie aims to be more surreal with this movie than shock.