SELLER: Rob Zombie
LOCATION: Woodbury, Conn.
SIZE: 4,693 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It seems old school shock rocker turned low budget horror filmmaker Rob Zombie and his wife — veteran video vixen, part-time scream queen actress and sometimes fashion designer Sheri Moon Zombie, are in the mood to turn their residential real estate portfolio upside-down.
Avid celebrity real estate watchers may recall that in January, the Zombies unloaded a painstakingly preserved, 1924 Tudor mini-mansion in L.A.’s hoity-toity Hancock Park ‘hood for $3.65 million. And now, Your Mama first heard from a kindly Connecticut-based informant we’ll call Crystal Ball, Mister and Missus Zombie — née Robert Bartleh Cummings and Sheri Lyn Skurkis — hoisted their bucolic country compound in Connecticut’s gorgeous and historic Litchfield County on the market with a $2,285,000 pricetag.
The liberally tatted, elaborately bearded and heavily dreadlocked Mister Zombie, in case some of the children don’t keep up with the more gleefully macabre end of the showbiz spectrum, founded and fronted the Grammy-nominated 1980s and ’90 heavy metal band White Zombie. Although Your Mama wouldn’t recognize one of his hard driving ditties if it busted both our eardrums, he’s also enjoyed a five-time certified platinum solo career and since the middle 1990s he’s performed and provided soundtracks for a slew of television programs, videogames and movies.
In 2003 he made his silver screen directorial debut with the blood-soaked (and critically lambasted) horror film “House of 1000 Corpses” and, clearly with a very focused fixation on all things horrifying and loud, went on on to direct a pair of tepidly successful remakes of the “Halloween” movie franchise. In 2012, he wrote, directed and produced (the slightly more critically well received box office lemon) “The Lords of Salem” and the same year was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New York City Horror Film Festival.*
Property records and other online resources reveal the Zombies acquired their 22.8 acre country spread bordered by the Pamperaug River in semi-rural Woodbury, Conn., in late December 2008 for $1.9 million.** While this property gossip can’t claim any inside intel about the Zombies’ decision to sell their counterintuitively Arcadian dominion in Woodbury, there will undoubtedly be loads of speculation amongst the children and other real estate chatterboxes that it’s because of the couple — and a few of their neighbors, too — politely asked town officials to crack down on the “significant noise pollution” that emanates from a small skate park that just about butts up against their property. The irony of the Zombies not caring for the clamorous tones of screaming children just a Godzilla flip gone wrong from a painful broken limb is not lost on Your Mama but, it should be noted that Mister Zombie took to the Twitter to tell anyone who might care that he and the missus are not children or skater haters and, at the time, hoped to work with the town to come up with a successful solution to the noise pollution. Anyhoodles, poodles…
The nine-room, white clapboard-sided colonial residence, parts of which date back to the mid-1700s, hides behind a low stacked stone wall, tall hedges and electronic drive gates. A paver stone driveway circles up at the side of the house before it sweeps around towards the back and heads deep into the property where it slices a wide swath between a couple of well-preserved vintage barn structures of undetermined utility.
Much of the home’s original architectural elements — well-worn wide plank wood floors, muscular exposed wood beams, wainscoting and paneling and a handful of fireplaces — coexist (arguably somewhat awkwardly) with modern-minded open concept living spaces on the main floor and plenty of contemporary conveniences throughout such as updated mechanicals that include a multi-zone heating system.
The front door opens in to a compact central hall with double-height ceiling and — much to Your Mama’s much-too delicate decorative chagrin — a large compass rose rose painted right on to the antique floorboards. Have mercy! We can’t even discuss our thorough mortification as regards the finger paint-like fashion in which the interior side of the front door is painted without an extra strength nerve pill chased by a stiff gin and tonic. And, since we happen to be fresh out of nerve pills, let’s not even go there, okay?
Listing details show the 4,693 square foot main house has three (to four) bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, plus, somewhere on the property, an additional guest house. As mentioned above, any walls between the living and dining rooms were blown out to create a pleasantly ample and homey (if not exactly elegant) L-shaped combination living and dining space. The fireplace in the living area is gas while the dining room fireplace is fitted with a paneled Dutch oven.
Four sets of French doors in the living room area open to a covered patio with long views over the three-shaded river. The adjoining library boasts original, unadorned wainscoting, an exposed river rock fireplace, some built in bookcases that may or may not be original to the room, and four very appropriate six-over-six sash windows.
The center island kitchen isn’t Your Mama’s idea of a dream kitchen the pressed tin ceiling and backsplash seems like an odd overkill and blue-hued stone counter tops make us uncomfortably squeamish — but it is quite clearly reasonably roomy and well equipped with loads of white raised-panel cabinetry, a full suite of commercial-style stainless steel appliances, and an adjoining informal dining area the opens to the landscaped gardens that surround the house.
Upstairs, according to listing details, are two family bedrooms — one with quarter-circle windows eerily reminiscent of the Amityville Horror house — plus a family room that could be converted to a fourth bedroom, a laundry room and a small sun porch.
Also upstairs is spacious, rustic-luxe, loft-like master suite comprised of a voluminous bedroom with vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams and columns, and four more of the Amityville Horror house-like quarter circle windows with spider web-like pane pattern. A full staircase ascends to a full-height loft area and, somewhere, there’s a walk-in closet and dressing room. The more intimate areas of the master bathroom — shower and toilet — are thankfully located in a private room but the freestanding soaking tub that’s flanked by matching sinks is actually open to and, indeed, a part of the bedroom itself. The only division being an uncomfortable switch from antique wood floors to tile. Call Your Mama a pinch-faced prude or whatever but we (and The Dr. Cooter both) staunchly prefer proper privacy during daily ablutions and bodily evacuations than this layout allows, thank you very much.
The compound-like estate’s extensive grounds include: vast, well-tended lawns; long white picket fences; a couple of postcard-perfect barns — one with parking for three cars; an in-ground swimming pool; tennis court; acres and acres of open space bisected by a slender river; and a couple of (swampy-looking) ponds. Listen, chickens and kaboodles, Your Mama likes to swing a tennis racket every now and then but we have a difficult time imagining Mister Zombie out there on the tennis court. Then again, what do we know? For all we know Mister Zombie has excellent anticipation, a smooth backhand slice and soft hands at the net. Stranger things have happened, right?
*Your Mama was intrigued that Mister Zombie has also directed and/or produced a couple of television specials for decidedly un-zombie like (if delightfully foul-mouthed) comedian Tom Papa. Huh. Hmm. Who knew?
**FYI: Woodbury is about 35 miles due north of Bridgeport (CT) and about 90 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan.
listing photos: Klemm Real Estate