House of 1000 Corpses (lost deleted scenes of Rob Zombie horror film; 2003)
House of 1000 Corpses is a cult-classic horror film written and directed by musician Rob Zombie. Originally set to be released in 2000 by Universal Studios, the company shelved the film after fears that it would receive an NC-17 rating by the MPAA. It wouldn't be until 2003 when Lionsgate would release the film; In the process, scenes deemed too violent or graphic for an R rating were cut. While some of these scenes still made it into the movie, albeit censored, some sections and subplots were completely cut altogether.
Many scenes from the film were heavily altered during the editing process. Baby Firefly (played by Sheri Moon Zombie) was the character most heavily affected by the censors. Many acts of violence that the character committed had to be edited or removed. The creation of Fishboy, which was filmed after Universal passed on the movie, was also originally much longer.
Rob Zombie would also shoot two different versions of some scenes, depending on how graphic the material was. Some scenes were shot with or without gory effects, depending on which would successfully make it into the film. Other scenes were shot using different types of lighting, with blood-red lights used to make a scene appear more violent than it actually was.
Scenes involving a character named "Miss Bunny", played by Jeanne Carmen, were completely cut from the film. One scene involved her character using dead animals as puppets to re-enact famous movie moments, most notably the ending of Casablanca. A subplot involving the skunk ape shown briefly in the film was also cut, as well as scenes showing the four tourists on their road trip.
On March 13th, 2003, the full uncut version of the film was shown in Argentina at the Mar del Plata Film Festival. This version of the film was 105-minutes long, compared to the 89-minute-long cut of the film that was shown theatrically. On the possibility of the footage ever being found, Zombie had this to say:
“I don’t think it ever will (be released), because I don’t think anyone knows where any of it is, truthfully,” said Zombie. “Even when they put together the DVD, which was 13 years ago, we couldn’t find anything because they had shot two hundred interviews in the time since the shoot. We had behind-the-scenes stuff, make-up tests, all these different things, and nobody could find it. It was all lost. That’s why I think whatever exists is all that’s going to ever exist.”
A pirated screener was allegedly leaked out online a month before the films' theatrical release, with a run time of 103 minutes. As the Mar del Plata version of the film has a run time of 105 minutes, it's unknown what happened to the two minutes of footage that was cut between the two versions of the film. The whereabouts of this pirated screener are unknown.
Press photos from the time show an alternate ending to the film. Little is known about this ending compared to the final release, however, we do know that the character Jerry (played by Chris Hardwick) is eaten alive by zombies. This alternate ending also doesn’t include the character Dr. Satan. The ending was changed after receiving poor reception from Universal. After giving Rob Zombie more funding, he was able to change the ending to include Dr. Satan. This footage is presumed to be lost along with the rest of the deleted scenes. It is unknown if this alternate ending was shown at the Mar del Plata Film Festival, or if it was included in the pirated screener version of the film.
- 2002 MTV interview with Rob Zombie. Retrieved 10 Feb '20
- HorrorHound issue 36 that has info on House of 1000 Corpses. Retrieved 07 Feb '20
- Info on the Miss Bunny deleted scene. Retrieved 08 Feb '20
- Archived Rob Zombie interview. Retrieved 08 Feb '20
- Official catalog for the 2003 Mar del Plata Film Festival. Retrieved 08 Feb '20
- Business of Film product guide that confirms the 105 minute run-time. Retrieved 04 Apr '20
- Bloody Disgusting interview with Rob Zombie. Retrieved 08 Feb '20
- A 2004 capture of an alleged copy of the full film. Retrieved 10 Mar '20
- Facebook post by Actor Chris Hardwick. Retrieved 09 Feb '20
- Another interview with Rob Zombie. Retrieved 10 Feb '20