When Rob Zombie’s first feature film made its way into theaters in 2003, the state of horror cinema was in decline. Studios were busy pumping out sequels to past hits like Scream and Final Destination, but House of 1,000 Corpses was a new and different beast.
The film is gritty; it doesn't care if you like its main characters, and practically begs the audience to root for the villains. Viewers accustomed to the defanged horror of the 2000s didn’t know how to handle it, much to the delight of Zombie.
The making of House of 1000 Corpses was a tumultuous three-year roller coaster. Before filming wrapped, Zombie ran out of money, and the movie passed through multiple distributors before the director found a company brave enough to release it. This uphill struggle set the stage for the trials and tribulations of Zombie's followup films, and judging by how the director talks about the experience, he wouldn’t have it any other way.