Sid Haig and Rob Zombie are long-time collaborators who have worked together on multiple projects successfully; Haig was meant to be a featured player in The Lords of Salem, but ended up with his role cut down significantly in the final product.

Zombie’s 2012 tale of witchcraft, The Lords of Salem, is sometimes considered to be one of the director’s most unique and underrated movies. It differs heavily from his other works, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, and was his attempt to get back into the creative groove after his Halloween remakes in 2007 and 2009. Blumhouse Productions was the driving force behind the project, which granted Zombie creative freedom and autonomy, something he claimed to miss after Halloween, and allowed him to embrace his style as an artist once more.

However, significant limitations with his shooting schedule forced Zombie’s hand and required he make difficult decisions with what could be done in that time frame. Realistically, cuts had to be made, and some of these cuts involved major characters - and actors - that had already been cast.

Why Sid Haig’s Role Was Cut Down In Lords Of Salem

Sid Haig, who became beloved by fans of Rob Zombie for his role as Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, was originally cast as Dean Magnus alongside Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes). Virgil and Dean Magnus were meant to work alongside Reverend Hawthorne (Andrew Prine) to help him capture and burn witches during the Salem Witch Trials. This set up the continual bad blood between Morgan (Meg Foster) and Hawthorne, and would better explain why she returned to seek out his descendent, Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie). Haig and Berryman appeared briefly in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ kind of way during a flashback scene where Hawthorne and the brothers are burning witches.

In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Zombie said that Haig, Berryman, and Prine’s characters were meant to be fleshed out much more, and would their inclusion would have explained a deeper connection to modern-day characters. He has also stated that much of what was cut from his script included more in-depth flashbacks during the Salem Witch Trials. As it stood, Zombie and his crew only got the opportunity to shoot in Salem for three days, and had lots of other troubles during production that resulted in significant hold-ups. Other actors, such as Barbara Crampton, got the same treatment with diminished roles that were a direct result of Zombie needing to make necessary - though certainly difficult - cuts for time.

Later, a novelization of The Lords of Salem was released that included much of what Zombie axed from his script and final cut of the film. Many have said that this tie-in novel redeems the movie and fixes a lot of the continuity and story errors that arose from the cuts that were made. Interestingly enough, Haig was featured heavily in early-stage marketing from the moment he was announced to be joining the film’s cast, and photos of him in character were released despite the scene being a very small part of the film.

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