Spoilers lie ahead for Zombie's previous films

As you’ve probably heard by now, writer/director Rob Zombie has wrapped filming on the long rumored and now hotly anticipated follow up to The Devil’s Rejects. It’s Called 3 FROM HELL. It was immediately confirmed that the characters of Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding would return, so it’s impossible to ignore the giant elephant in the room: How are they coming back after being killed in The Devil’s Rejects?

It’s impossible to know for sure, but that hasn’t stopped us and our readers from speculating. Here’s my personal theory first:

They DID die, and a supernatural element will be introduced.

This one has been downright disputed by some already, but the truth is often hidden in plain sight. I feel like the title itself could be our greatest clue. If we look at it literally, 3 FROM HELL would imply that 3 people (Otis, Spaulding, and Baby) would be returning from Hell. Right?

Of course, things got a little more complicated this week when production photos showed the judicial system playing a heavy role in this one. Images show what looks like Otis in a courtroom, Baby being escorted to prison, and Spaulding already in prison. So if they are supernatural and returned from Hell, how the hell did they get arrested? Not to mention we’d need a protagonist equipped to deal with the undead, and the more I think of that, the more I realize there’s no way Zombie is heading into the supernatural–unfortunately. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong!

It’s a Prequel

This one has been floated by many, but I seriously doubt it. In fact, I’m pretty sure Zombie has already referred to the film personally as a sequel or as the “next chapter”. It’s not a prequel.

It Was All a Dream

As hard as it is to admit, this one is actually possible. It would enrage many (myself included), but luckily, I’m pretty sure ol’ Rob has a little more creativity left in him than that. At least I hope so. This would; however, explain how they’re alive and well in prison and seemingly facing trial.

They Survived

This one would require the audience to check its disbelief at the door, but surviving the shootout would obviously place them squarely in prison. But goddamn that was a lot of bullets. If this is the case, it’s been speculated that this might be a prison movie. And actually, that makes a bit more sense than you might think.

House of 1000 Corpses was a financial success. Devil’s Rejects was an even bigger one. Then Zombie directed the polarizing Halloween remake which led to his greatest return yet. After that, things changed. Halloween II would also find box office success, but it was significantly less. And perhaps more importantly, Zombie’s rep took a beating after that film. Unfortunately, Lords of Salem failed to even recoup its $2.5M budget (The Halloween films were $15M), and 31 earned just over half of its $1.5M budget. All that to say: 3 FROM HELL needs to be cheap, and an almost single location prison flick is an excellent way to keep costs down. It would be a little disappointing, but it could work.

The Fun Approach

kthxinru1n on Instagram aptly states: “They died at the end of TDR, bodies are dumped in unmarked graves by cops. Dr Satan digs them up and brings them back. Violence ensues.”

Zombie actually included Dr. Satan in The Devil’s Rejects, but ended up cutting him due to not fitting the tone of the film. If that’s the case, it would be hard to pull off, but holy shit that would be awesome. So what about the prison photos? Maybe it’s a trick? Maybe it’s from a dream sequence or something. Maybe it’s… actually there’s no way this is going to happen.

Truth Be Told

It’s probably a prison flick with a sub $2M budget. Fans have been asking for it for years, and heading back into the Rejects universe is almost guaranteed to put asses in seats and cash in the bank. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be good. A ton of genre “legends” have been confirmed for the film, and I’m sure they’d all make very good inmates, guards, wardens, etc.

Here’s to hoping this prison is in Oklahoma or some shit where we don’t have to hear a bunch of exaggerated and terrible southern one liners. Rob has been in the gutter lately, hopefully 3 FROM HELL gets him back on track.