Luke_0’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rob Zombie's debut is filled to the brim with hard stylistic choices. While a good deal of these decisions result in impressive imagery and effective scenes, the sheer volume and aggressiveness of them begins to seriously wear on the viewer. It's a movie that does not equal the sum of it's parts, even if those parts manage to be really fucking good when viewed on their own.
The film is an homage to other horror classics and uses it's inspirations as a surrogate for any actual substance (something that would be rectified in the sequel). And since the film has nothing to say, you are left with an overbearing amount of violence that weighs down upon the viewer until they are absolutely numb to it. By the time the film reaches it's climatic moments it's just about impossible to care about what's going on.
Credit where credit is due though, performances are great across the board (barring a juvenile Chris Hardwick). Sid Haig is disturbingly charismatic as Captain Spaulding, Bill Moseley is phenomenal as usual playing what could be described as a more unhinged and intimidating version of his 'Texas Chainsaw' character, and Sheri Moon is more than capable of playing the film's lunatic seductress.
However, I think one rewatch is all I can give this film. It's simply too much to take in. It's own director has since called it a "calamitous mess" and well, that just sums it up Rob.