Friday, December 16, 2016

Opinionsploitation: Was Rob Zombie's '31' a scam?

By Spencer Combs

I finally sat down to watch Rob Zombie's new film 31 and like many others, I can't say I was a fan. But that's neither here nor there with regards to the point of this writing. What really irked me was when I remembered that Rob crowd funded this movie, then proceeded to put it in theaters in a "neutered" version with promises of an unrated cut later.

He has no studio to answer to due to the crowd funding, so why did he submit it to the MPAA three times to secure an "R" rating? He seems to be trying extremely hard to appease the MPAA when there's honestly no reason to do so. If it's already been paid for and there's nobody to pay back, why not do an unrated release ASAP? The only reason I can think of would be so that it can be shown in theaters and turn a profit. That's why studios put things in theaters in the first place, to make as much money as possible, otherwise everything would be going STV.

But since there's no studio behind it to pay back, guess who the money goes to? Not the backers who produced the movie of course, but Mr. Zombie himself. To me that's a straight con job and I would be pretty angry if I had paid to back a watered down version of a movie, then have to buy the better version again later. Of course many fans got what they wanted which is great, but many were left dumbfounded by the quality of the final product and are banking on the unrated version being a redeemer of sorts.

So from what I can surmise, he had his fans produce the movie for him then turned in a weaker version on purpose to net himself more money later. He did so by putting it in theaters (with ticket costs as high as $20-$25), then on home video when the unrated version (which the fans should have had all along) finally comes out. Speaking of which, the aforementioned unrated cut doesn't appear to be on the blu-ray as promised judging from specs that have been released, so where the hell is it? Probably coming later so you can quadruple dip (crowd funding, theater ticket, rated release at home, unrated release at home) and give him more of your money.

I feel at the very least somebody should be concerned or looking into this but there's been very little talk of the concept. Rob Zombie may have had different reasons of course but at the end of the day the fans deserve the best cut of the movie. He knowingly turned in a neutered version with promises of better things to come later - things which still haven't come to fruition by the way. This shouldn't be an acceptable practice, regardless of who is behind the camera or what you think of their previous work.

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