Stars from the worlds of horror and heavy metal descended on the historic Vista Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday for the world premiere of Rob Zombie’s savage new thriller “3 from Hell.” The film, which is being shown theatrically through Fathom Events for three consecutive nights until Sept. 18, is the third entry in Zombie’s horrific series centered on the murderous Firefly family, first introduced in “House of 1000 Corpses” in 2003, followed by “The Devil’s Rejects” in 2005.
Rockers Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of the Misfits, and metal guitarist John 5 were on hand to celebrate the film’s gory debut, along with dozens of actors who have appeared in Zombie’s films over the years.
Noticeably absent, however, was cult film superstar Sid Haig, whose unforgettable performance as psychopathic clown Captain Spaulding in “House of 1000 Corpses” turned him into a modern horror icon. According to a post on Haig’s official Instagram account, the actor suffered a “nasty spill” approximately a week ago and was admitted to the ER. When serious breathing complications ensued, Haig was then transferred to the ICU, where he remains under observation. A recent follow-up post says that his health is currently improving.
On the red carpet, the cast and crew of “3 from Hell” offered their heartfelt support to Haig, who reprises his Captain Spaulding role in the new film.
“We’re all wishing Sid well,” says actor Jeff Daniel Phillips, who has appeared in four of Zombie’s films, including the latest. “It’s too bad that he couldn’t be here tonight, because he’s really the anchor for this whole series. He’s a treasure, and we’re all so appreciative that he was involved in this from the get-go. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Sid.”
Actress Dee Wallace, who has appeared in Zombie’s “Halloween” and “The Lords of Salem,” and who plays a sadistic prison guard in “3 from Hell,” offered her best wishes to Haig. “I love Sid so much. We’ve been buddies forever, and I’m holding him in my heart. I just know that he’s going to be fine.”
Genre favorite Bill Moseley, who portrays the menacing Otis Firefly in each blood-splattered installment of Zombie’s horrific trilogy, says that Haig is apparently on the mend. “He’s doing better from what I’ve heard. I just know from his Instagram account that his wife says he’s days away from getting out of the ICU.”
Horror director Eli Roth was in attendance as well, and offered his own support to the ailing actor. “I’m so sad that Sid isn’t here tonight,” Roth says. “I was really looking forward to seeing him. He’s as sweet in real life as he is mean on screen. He’s a genuine icon, and I’m really sorry to hear that he’s not feeling well. I have a long list of actors that I want to work with one day, and Sid is definitely on it.”
Best known for his lead role in George A. Romero’s 1978 classic “Dawn of the Dead,” actor Ken Foree has also appeared in three of Zombie’s films, including “The Devil’s Rejects,” where he shared several memorable scenes with Haig. “Sid’s going to be fine,” Foree says. “He’s recovering from what I understand, and all of us wish him a speedy get well. Wherever you are, Sid, we know you’re going to be back to your magnificent self very soon!”
Rob Zombie puts it even more succinctly: “Sid once told me that everyone in his family lives a really long time, so I’m holding him to that.”
Fans of Zombie’s depraved Firefly franchise can also confront their favorite characters at Universal Studio’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, which features haunted houses, interactive scare zones, and live entertainment. A walk-through maze dedicated to Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” is one of the most popular attractions.
Actress Sheri Moon Zombie, who portrays the criminally insane Baby Firefly, recently attended the theme park’s opening night festivities and explored the “House of 1000 Corpses” maze with her director/husband. “It was awesome!,” she exclaims. “When I saw one of the performers playing my own character, Baby, she was jumping up and down, so I instantly started jumping up and down with her. I couldn’t help it! It was great!”
Rob Zombie agrees. “The maze was very cool, and I’m happy that they’re doing it,” he says. “But it feels kind of bizarre because I made that movie with Universal, and then they fired me, and then Lionsgate bought it, and now Universal Studios owns the attraction. Ironic, isn’t it?”