Rob Zombie Celebrating Halloween Early with '3 From Hell' Special Screenings

Rob Zombie hopes his new horror film 3 From Hell will roll-out in theaters at some point before its Oct. 14 home video release. But he's getting the gory party started this week with three nights of special screenings -- and goodies to go with them.

"The landscape for how to release films seems to be changing moment-to-moment," Zombie tells Billboard. "With a movie like this you're not thinking, 'Oh, we have a mainstream type of movie,' so you're not gonna go on 4,000 screens and spend $100 million advertising it. So I love the idea of rolling  it out on, like 1,000 screens for a three-night event so anyone who really wants to see it on the big screen can see it.

"But I also know most people just want to see it at home or buy the DVD or the Blu-ray, so I kind of dig it. It's less pressure on the release. You can just worry more about the film, which is great."

Working with Fathom Events, Zombie will screen 3 From Hell -- the threequel to 2003's House of 1,000 Corpses ($16.8 million gross box office) and its 2005 sequel, The Devil's Rejects ($19.4 million) -- from Sept. 16-18. On the first night, the first 50 attendees will receive an exclusive poster, while the second night's screening will be followed by a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film. Night three, meanwhile, will pair 3 From Hell with The Devil's Rejects (theater and ticket details available at, and Zombie says he might look at showings of all three films together at some point.

"I never had any plans to come to it," Zombie says of his return to the adventures of Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis Driftwood (Bill Mosely) and Baby Firefly (Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie). But fan and studio demand has made him think differently, and favorably, about keeping this particular saga going. "As a kid, the word 'franchise' was never spoken," he notes, "but I was very glad they made Frankenstein, they made Bride of Frankenstein, they made Son of Frankenstein because we love these characters. Same thing with Star Wars. Seeing characters you love return in other adventures has always been something that I've always been aware of; It's not always appropriate, but... I felt like there was more life in these characters, as long as I can make something different even though it's connected to the (previous) films."

Zombie is also well aware of the life his characters have taken on over the years. "They keep growing and growing," he acknowledges. "Every day I see another action figure or Halloween costume or tattoo, or at the Universal Studios maze. So they're always present in my world." With 3 From Hell, meanwhile, Zombie "tried to pull from real life. They're older, so we play them older. They've become popular in pop culture, so we sort of play that into the film. I tried to ground it in a lot of what actually happened in the last 15 years concerning these fictitious characters and the real people that played them."

And there will be blood -- as if we had to ask. The synopsis for the film reveals that, "After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly, Otis Driftwood and Captain Spaulding are behind bars. But pure evil cannot be contained... A firestorm of murder, madness and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to hell and back." The home video releases will also include a 95-minute documentary about making the film and audio commentary by Zombie.

As for a fourth film in the series, Zombie says that "there's always room for more" while countering that, "I don't think I'll necessarily do more... I always mean it when I say it. It took me 15 years to change my mind and do (another) one, so... There's absolutely no plans at the moment, and I'm not even thinking about it." At the moment Zombie -- who's also made two Halloween movies, The Lords of Salem, 31 and more -- has "several" other film projects in the works, though nothing to announce yet. "Whichever one happens first will be surprising -- and not surprising in some way," Zombie says. "In some ways you'll go, 'Oh, that makes perfect sense,' and in other ways you'll be like, 'Wow, he's gonna do that? That's so weird!'"

Next up, however, will be some new music in 2020 -- Zombie's seventh solo album and first since 2016's The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. Zombie -- who's been touring again with Marilyn Manson this year -- calls the forthcoming set "probably my favorite record I've made. It's heavy but it's a very catchy record -- the song structures are much more complex and odd than we'd typically do, with a bit of different sorts of orchestrations going on. We worked on it for a long time, ripping the songs apart and piecing them back together -- kind of an old school way. So, yeah, it's different. But I think people will like it.”


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.