Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, hellish compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.
Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record - a "gift from the Lords". The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?
Sheri Moon Zombie,
The day before Halloween, five carnival employees are kidnapped & held hostage in an isolated compound known as "Murderworld". On Halloween, they are thrown into a sadistic game called "31" where they must survive 12 hours against a gang of maniacs dressed like clowns. It's time to play 31.
When announcing the casting of Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Rob Zombie announced him as being "the manager of a traveling roadshow known as The Venus Lux Happy Time Fun Show". Later, when announcing Jeff Daniel Phillips, Zombie called him "the ass-kicking carney mechanic of Venus Virgo's traveling show", inexplicably changing the show-within-a-film's-title. Zombie has not addressed this apparent memory slip. See more »
[to Charly, Roscoe, Venus, Panda, and Levon, who are bound and gagged]
I bid you welcome, oh nameless and numbered ones! Tonight, we are going to play 31! What is 31, pray tell? Well, 31 is war and, as the old saying goes, war is Hell!
In exactly one hundred and twenty seconds, we shall begin. And all you have to do is survive twelve hours inside the walls of our own private little Hell.
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A group of carnival workers are on their way to a job when they are kidnapped by psychotic clowns. Once chained up in a building, Father Murder (Malcolm McDowell) informs them that they're going to play a game, which will last twelve hours. They can either survive or face the worst death possible from his killer clowns.
Rob Zombie's 31 is a film that he's highly been promoting and this includes before it was even made. There was a teaser poster released and fans helped get the movie made but the plot of the film was kept secret and it's easy to see why because there's not much of one. Sadly, what we've basically got is SAW but with the redneck/white trash types that we've seen in every Zombie movie up to this point. Sadly this here turns out to be the director's worst film.
31 has all sorts of problems with it and a majority of them are the same issues I've had with his previous movies. For starters, the characters are all just annoying to the point where you don't really care whether they live or die. I'm not sure why it's so hard for their to be a likable character in one of Zombie's films but if you don't have anyone to root for what's the point? Well, I guess it could be one of those movies where you root for the villains but that's impossible here too because the villains are all boring and just not that interesting. Heck, they're not even "clowns" but just the typical rednecks but with face paint.
Another problem that I had with this film is that it's simply not scary. As was the case in THE LORDS OF SALEM, Zombie tries to build up tension and suspense but it just fails. There's just nothing here that draws you into the story and when you're watching a film like this and there's no tension it just leads to pure boredom. Even worse is some of the lighting because there are times where you can't see what's going on and other times when lights are flashing at the camera and whatever effect they were going for just doesn't work.
Zombie promised that this here would be his most violent movie and I don't think that was the case either. A lot of the violence is off screen or just not nearly as brutal as he has delivered in the past. The performances are pretty much what they are with everyone doing a decent enough of a job. The music selection is good and I will say that there was one good sequence inside a cage with a chainsaw. Still, there's just no way around it but Zombie just isn't impressing me as a director. 31 could have been done countless other ways and any of them would have been better than what we got.
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