In Defense of Sheri Moon Zombie

I’m taking a short break from the Saturday Night Grindhouse series while I put the finishing touches on the next chapter so I figured I’d still give a weekly update after reading some more horrible comments from the horrible fans of our horrible industry.

First, let’s create a scenario.

Imagine it’s the 1980s and you’re a beautiful, blonde, teenage girl from the suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut. You’ve graduated high school and have decided to move to Los Angeles to try your luck as a cartoon voice-over artist. You’ve maybe made a few show-biz contacts in LA but you also have some entertainment experience after briefly attending Connecticut School of Broadcasting with dreams of joining the likes of Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn and the other original MTV VJs of the early 80s.

Then in 1993, a mutual friend introduces you to a gentleman named Robert Bartleh Cummings – AKA, Rob Zombie. You were born Sheri Lyn Skurkis but are better known now as Sheri Moon. 

Before meeting you, Rob had started White Zombie, one of metal’s most infamous – and dare I say, most important – bands. Being raised among carnies and briefly attending Parsons School of Design, it isn’t hard to believe that Rob could create (well, co-create with his ex-girlfriend and bass player Sean Yseult) a band that specialized in violent creativity, vibrant hyper-sexualized visuals and chaotic sonic experiences. 

With a die-hard passion for art and music, White Zombie hit the ground running in 1985 independently releasing Gods on Voodoo Moon before dropping the 1986 follow up Pig Heaven / Slaughter in the Grey. In 1987, indie metal label Silent Explosion released the Psycho-Head Blowout EP and the Soul-Crusher LP. The band would go on to release the God of Thunder EP and Make Them Die Slowly LP in 1989 under Caroline records. 

Before landing their major record deal with Geffen in 1991, White Zombie had made quite a name for themselves in the independent metal scene, getting the attention of reputable A-list musicians and other competing labels. This doesn’t mean indie life was easy, of course. While on those labels, Rob was known to pay out-of-pocket to make sure his band’s albums included every inch of artwork he intended because the label refused to pony up.

Then on March 17, 1992, White Zombie dropped La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. Their label put them on the road with the likes of Testament, Pantera, Crowbar, Danzig, Monster Magnet and Anthrax among others to promote the new record and support their singles Thunderkiss ‘65 and Black Sunshine. The album would go double-platinum in the United States and gold in Canada. It took almost a decade of blood, sweat and tears, but White Zombie were megastars with a bulletproof frontman.

As if things weren’t going well enough for Rob, he met Sheri on that fateful day in 1993. They went out for pizza, chatted the night away and were an item shortly thereafter. Once things were official, Sheri and Rob started working together in a very heavy way as she danced on stage with White Zombie to tracks like Feed The Gods (promotional single released on the Airheads soundtrack in 1994) and More Human Than Human (from their major-label sophomore record Astro-Creep 2000 in 1995). 

After White Zombie broke up in 1998, Zombie went solo releasing his debut Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International. Not only was the album a commercial success, but his ride-or-die girlfriend at the time was right there with him, dancing alongside him on stage and appearing in the music videos for Superbeast and Living Dead Girl. She would go on to appear on the cover of Zombie’s remix album American Made Music to Strip By in 1999 and star in the music video for Feel So Numb when it was released as a single from his followup record The Sinister Urge in 2001.

After nearly 10 years of courtship and collaboration, in 2002 Zombie and Moon tied the knot on Halloween in Memphis.

Since then, Rob has continued his career as a musician but also delved into the world of filmmaking, and in doing so, Moon-Zombie’s resume only grew as she landed starring roles in each of his productions – House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005), Werewolf Women of the SS (2007), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009), the Lords of Salem (2012), Dead City Radio and the Gods of Supertown (Music Video, 2013), Well Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO (Music Video, 2016), 31 (2016) and 3 From Hell (2019).

You could bet your entire savings account and the farm you live on that if Rob Zombie is working on a project, his wife is going to be a part of it. And after a while, his fair-weather fans started hating it, frequently expressing their displeasure at learning that she was going to be starring as Deborah Myers in each of his Halloween visions, then again as Heidi La Rock in the Lords of Salem and Charly in 31.

So it’s no surprise that in 2021 when Zombie announced that he was going to be taking on a film adaptation of the beloved Munsters, fans waited with bated breath to see what it was going to look like, and more importantly, who he was going to cast. And after decades – DECADES – of consistent casting, fans were somehow flabbergasted when Zombie not only cast Sheri in the Munsters but cast her in the lead role as Lily. 

So it’s here that I must ask … why the hate? What has Sheri done that is so bad it makes you say such terrible, ugly things about her? She’s been one of the few consistent elements in Rob’s life and acts as his most trustworthy confidant in an industry ran by crooks, sexual predators and pedophiles. She’s acting in roles written by Zombie which I’ll admit are sometimes a bit cliche and “type” for him, but I’ve always been taught to write what you know and he writes it well. She depicts it even better. Without her charm, dazzling good looks and ability to channel the gradient that happens between a Manson girl and a supermodel, the famous character of Baby Firefly would’ve never reached its full potential. She’s a talented dancer, fabulous model and a top-notch fashion designer. She’s also a damn-good actress.

And if that isn’t enough – her casting was the decision of an artist who knows what the fuck he’s doing. Don’t agree with that statement? Take it up with the millions of records he’s sold comprised of gold, platinum and double-platinum sellers, his eight Grammy nominations, multiple Eyegore, Fangoria Chainsaw, New York City Horror Film Festival, Rondo Hatton Classic Horror, Scream and Shockfest awards. As of 2020, Rob Zombie has a net-worth of $50-million.

If you’re still not convinced, then I’d like to challenge you to start a band and use your own money to see to it that your vision is realized. You are to write, tour and perform incessantly for two decades. You are to then lose your band and start from scratch. From there, write a horror cult-classic on your first try, then rinse and repeat with so many box office smashes that you build up a reputation that earns the trust of a major film studio that will back your vision to turn a beloved television series into a full-length feature film. If you can get there, you can cast whoever the fuck you want.

Until then, just admit that the man knows what he’s doing and he sees the talent in Sheri Moon Zombie.

Why don’t you? 

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