Known for his ultra-violent visuals, and downright hostile dialogue, it’s often easy to spot a Rob Zombie character just by listening to them talk for a few seconds. A common complaint is that none of his characters are likeable, but people who say that seem to be missing the point.
We’re meant to me intrigued and entertained by them, not identify with them, and hopefully not emulate them. So we wanted to give a spotlight into Rob Zombie’s 10 most interesting characters.
If you’re interested, you can also check out our rankings of every Rob Zombie movie!
10. Dr. Satan (House of 1000 Corpses, deleted scene of The Devil’s Rejects, portrayed by Walter Phelan)
While we sadly get very little time with Dr. Satan, he’s the starting point of this list simply because of his lore. Going by the story told at Captain Spaulding’s murder ride, he was a disgraced doctor who experimented on people.
Sort of a Dr. Frankenstein meets Dr. Mengele character. We know that there was some sort of agreement between him and the Firefly family as they offered up rabbit costumed victims to him. Honestly, it’s a shame we never got more of him, as his character design and backstory are nothing short of fascinating.
9. Doom Head (31, portrayed by Richard Brake)
While some found this movie divisive, one thing everyone agreed on was the opening monologue by Doom Head was by far its best scene. We then don’t see him again until the third act, and the film gets much better at that point. Unlike the previous “Heads” that the main characters fight off, Doom Head honestly seems pretty sane.
To him, the game of 31 is just that, a game, where things like honor, respect, and sportsmanship come into play. He gives remaining survivors a chance to mourn their fallen friend, and for him it’s all about his track record. He considers himself an Olympic Gold Medalist, but for murder.
8. Professor Francis Matthias (The Lords of Salem, portrayed by Bruce Davison)
When it comes to dialogue, Matthias remains the least vulgar of all these characters. He’s portrayed more like a “normal” person as opposed to your typical Rob Zombie character. But it’s in that contrast that he stands out.
His scholarly curiosity leads him down a dark rabbit hole that winds up having terrible consequences for him. Yet he serves as something of an audience surrogate delving into this world of witchcraft and covens. His role in the film makes us all question how far we would go to learn the truth.
7. Laurie Strode (Halloween, Halloween II, portrayed by Scout Taylor-Compton)
Staring out as a typical edgy teenager in the first RZ Halloween movie, Laurie really shines in the sequel, where her portrayal of PTSD is both realistic and tragic. The entire time, she’s barely keeping things together, and her identity crisis only made worse by the revelations in Dr. Loomis’ novel.
Here, we see a Laurie torn between two paths, one of which could easily lead her to become just like her homicidal brother Michael. And it makes her ultimate fate all that more heartbreaking.
6. Heidi Hawthorne (The Lords of Salem, portrayed by Sheri Moon Zombie)
Speaking of characters torn between two paths with tragic fates, let’s not forget Heidi, the radio DJ pulled into a world of Satanism against her will. All she wants to do is get through life, maintain her sobriety, when an overwhelming supernatural force envelops her.
And what makes it equally tragic and compelling is the fact that she was always meant for it given her ancestry. It begs the question of fate and free will. Many say that everything happens for a reason, and that we all have a destiny, but what if that destiny isn’t something we want? What if we don’t want the tragic fate that we’re “meant” to have?
5. Dr. Loomis (Halloween, Halloween II, portrayed by Malcolm McDowell)
Even when he’s playing a “good” character, Malcolm McDowell still often comes off as a villain, which kind of works for his version of Loomis.
He genuinely wants to try to help Michael, at least in the beginning, but his vanity and pride get in his own way, and he has a decent redemptive arc in the second film.
Upon his retirement, he told Michael Myers that he was “like my best friend”, and in the end, their fates are ultimately linked. Overall, Zombie’s version of Loomis is a great example of a character that’s morally gray.
4. Sheriff Wydell (The Devil’s Rejects, portrayed by William Forsythe)
In many ways, Wydell is the most frightening character in The Devil’s Rejects. No, he’s not a mass-murdering cult member who believes he’s doing the devil’s work.
But his self-righteous quest for justice and belief that he’s doing God’s work leads him down a dark path where he becomes just as vicious and brutal as the people he’s hunting.
Motivated partly by justice, and partly by revenge for the death of his brother, Wydell arguably gives the Firefly family exactly what they deserve. He doles out the exact type of treatment that they gave their victims.
But while they’re cold blooded killers, he’s supposed to be a man of the law, and it’s a bit disturbing how much he enjoys hurting them. The very best villains are the ones who believe they’re the heroes, and Sheriff Wydell embodies this idea in every way.
3. Otis Driftwood (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell, portrayed by Bill Moseley)
As we get into the top three, these picks should come as no surprise. Otis remains the iconic muscle of the Firefly family, constantly spouting an absurd and nihilistic philosophy. He’s brutal, over the top, and downright despicable, but he has a morbid charm that makes him fun to watch.
He believes himself to be vastly more important and brilliant than he really is, but his insanity is honestly hard to look away from. And the only reason he’s third of the titular “3 from Hell” is that his character remains the most static between all three movies.
2. Baby Firefly (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell, portrayed by Sheri Moon Zombie)
Otis may be the most brutal member of the family, but Baby is the most impulsive and fun-seeking. She loves the spotlight, almost as much as she gleefully loves knifing innocent victims down.
No one takes as much pleasure in killing as her, but she also has a vulnerability to her that makes her relatable. When we catch up with her in 3 From Hell, the decade of solitary confinement has definitely taken its toll on her sanity.
She starts hallucinating more and just craves a familiar and loving environment. It does make one wonder that had she been raised by a different family, she might have been a cheery, upbeat, and positive person.
1. Captain Spaulding (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell, portrayed by Sid Haig, RIP)
Who else could it have been? He’s every bit as brutal and philosophical as Otis, but with Baby’s lightheartedness. Killer clowns are a staple of horror, and Captain Spaulding remains among the best.
His incredibly dark sense of humor appeals to many horror fans, and he steals every scene that he’s in. Out of the three, he’s the best suited for “normal” life as he’s able to maintain a public persona with his murder museum/ride, as well as his ill-fated presidential campaign.
And we can all agree that going on murder ride would be an amazing, unforgettable experience!
Which characters are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!