Article Thumbnail

Rob Zombie, Certified Wife Guy

Having cast Sheri Moon in nearly every project he’s ever worked on, he’s made her career as important as his own

Rob Zombie has written and directed five of his own music videos, seven full-length films and five video shorts. He has put his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, in all of them (save for the music video for “Dragula”). He even once directed an episode of CSI: Miami — and guess who has a role? 

All of this points to one conclusion: Rob Zombie is a certified wife guy. He’s made it so his career is defined as much by his own work as it is Sheri’s, and it’s clear that the hellbilly king of carnivalesque horror, campy gore and kitsch brutality loves his girl so much that he’s incorporated her in nearly everything he’s done since they started dating in 1991. And frankly? His work is better for it. 

Sheri is undoubtedly both beautiful and talented. Had she not immediately started touring with Zombie at 21, working as a choreographer and costumer for his shows, she likely would have created a successful career for herself just the same. 

The thing is, she and Zombie clearly make sense together, both romantically and professionally. Often, it’s Sheri who truly shines in his films. Tall, blonde and with a bubblegum-sweet voice, her appearance is the perfect foil to the violence and murder her movie characters regularly dole out. Most famously, she plays Baby Firefly in Zombie’s trilogy of films — House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 from Hell. In the first, she uses her looks and sweet facade to lure unwitting strangers into her family’s torture manor to kill them for kicks. In the next two, she uses those same talents as they continue their murder spree on the road. 

In Lords of Salem, Sheri plays the protagonist. Never does it feel as though she’s been cast simply because she’s Zombie’s wife; rather, the fact that they’re married is more of a pleasant surprise for the unfamiliar viewer to uncover in the credits. Sure, Zombie likely wrote each of her roles knowing damn well he’d give them to her, once more proving his wife guy status, but it’s clearly perfect casting — who else but Rob Zombie’s wife could perform that creepy lip sync of “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and then scalp a guy a few scenes later, giggling the whole time? 

Admittedly, with the music videos, the acting stakes aren’t quite as high. More than anything, they appear to be an opportunity for the duo to create something fun together. In “Living Dead Girl,” Sheri plays the titular role in the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-themed narrative. Really, just about anyone could have been the Living Dead Girl — she does nothing but saunter around — but I like to think Zombie was just eager to have her on set. The same is true for “Superbeast,” ‘Feel So Numb” and “More Human Than Human,” though she isn’t credited in the latter. It just seems like they consistently find any excuse to create something together. When Zombie goes on tour, Sheri doesn’t merely go along for the ride — she performs as a backup dancer on stage, too. Earlier this year, the duo also announced they’d be releasing a series of interviews called “Zombie Interviews Zombie” where, you guessed it, Sheri interviews Rob.

In an interview with the New York Post in 2013, Zombie and Sheri discussed how with all their creative endeavors, they see each other as one organism. Often, it seems, they’re learning from each other. “Both of our first movies were together,” Zombie said. “So it was like, ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ ‘No.’ “Do you know what you’re doing?’ ‘No.’ ‘Let’s do it anyway!’” 

This is really what defines a wife guy above all else: For him, his wife isn’t just a companion piece to the rest of his work, but an integral part of life. Thus, when we consider the oeuvre of Rob Zombie, we have no choice but to consider it to be the oeuvre of Sheri as well. He is her sun, she is his Sheri Moon.