Lords of Salem | 31 Nights of Horror Challenge

For this year’s 31 Nights of Horror Challenge, the Day 18 prompt was Witchy Women. There are a bunch of witchy women in horror, but to me, the best has to be Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem (2012). In my opinion, this is Zombie’s best movie and I know that most would disagree with me. But if you watch it with fresh eyes it still holds up very well.  

#31nightsofhorrorchallenge Wicthy Women: Lords of Salem (2012)


Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the “Big H Radio Team.” A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting.

The original Lords of Salem are returning and they’re out for blood.

Our Thoughts on Lords of Salem

I enjoyed this film. I’m a fan of all of the Rob Zombie films, but this one is a cut above Devil’s Rejects and to me, a total departure.

Sheri Moon Zombie does a great job with her role, and the rest of the cast (especially those horrid witches) are first-rate. I enjoyed the plot, the pace, and the deeply disturbing visuals. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dream-like scenes were reminiscent of the old horror movies or yore. The anti-church ranting, combined with gruesome, vivid imagery is unseen in a lot of the “new horror” movies of today. 

There’s also more than a trace of Rosemary’s Baby, which was also a fairly slow and “trippy” visual movie. Slow and trippy can be really good when done with style. This film has style and was anything but boring to me. The scares are there; this is a much more refined, artistic endeavor than House of a Thousand Corpses or Devil’s Rejects. The script and plot hang together and make for a thoroughly engrossing little horror film on a whole different level. This is, without a doubt, my favorite Rob Zombie film. A witch movie with a brain and some heart. These witches talk trash like nobody’s business and scared me nearly to death while they did it. Nice character development and enough empathy developed over time to care about the protagonist’s fate.

While I see the points made in the negative reviews, I didn’t mind the pace. It’s a trip, but it’s one I plan to take again, and probably a fourth time.

7 out of 10


There are no digital effects in the film.

Filmed in the actual town of Salem.

An earlier cut of the film started in 1996.