I would like to wish a big happy birthday to one of my favorite actresses, Sheri Moon Zombie, who turns 50 on September 26, 2020! When I started getting into the horror genre, she was one of the first horror actresses who really stuck with me. To honor her on her birthday, I want to discuss her most psychotic and badass character, Baby Firefly. Baby Firefly is a depraved soul who was created by Rob Zombie and perfectly executed by Sheri Moon Zombie. There are three things we know about her: she finds joy in carnage, she’s always there for her family, and she LOVES to have everyone’s attention on her. She’s one of the first fictional psychos I was introduced to. Here are my favorite and most memorable Baby Firefly moments!
***MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS!***
Baby’s Home Videos
A few of my favorite parts in House of 1,000 Corpses (2003 – read our retro review here) happen in the Firefly family’s home videos, where they discuss the importance of slaughter in their lives. This was our introduction into Baby’s mentality. She talks about how, in her mind, killing can sometimes be necessary. Although, it seems to me that Baby kills more for fun than necessity.
Her Big Performance
If there’s one thing Baby can’t pass up, it’s the spotlight. She thrives off attention, and she makes sure she provides good theatrics. When four young adults are stuck at the Firefly farmhouse, the family celebrates Halloween Eve and treats their guests with a live show. After Grampa’s (Dennis Fimple: Maverick 1994) comedy act, Baby steps out in a sleek white dress, brown hair, and pale makeup. To the enjoyment of the male visitors, Baby dances around to Helen Kane’s I Wanna Be Loved By You. She adores and loves to be adored. Just be sure not to interrupt one of her performances, because she will NOT take it well.
A Little Off The Top
One of the poor hostages in the Firefly torture shack is Jerry (Chris Hardwick: The Talking Dead TV series), a curious soul whose goal was to learn about the legend of Doctor Satan. He let his curiosity get the better of him, and that’s how he found himself at the (lack of) mercy of Baby. He soon finds himself taped to a chair with the inability to move his head. In walks Baby with a pair of scissors and an old-fashioned razor. She always treated torture like a game. She makes Jerry guess what number she’s thinking of, and she starts to cut his hair when he refuses to answer. Doesn’t seem like torture, right? Well, when she asks her next question and he gets it wrong, she takes that razor and starts to scalp him! It’s one of her most brutal moments!
The Rabbit In The Cabbage Garden
We knew it was going to end badly for young Mary (Jennifer Jostyn: Deep Impact 1998) ever since Baby came into her life. Mary always gave Baby a hard time, unaware of the beast she was about to unleash. After being captured, tortured, and forced to see her boyfriend turned into Fishboy, Mary finally escapes the Firefly family and runs off into the night. However, Baby is NOT about to let her get away. Mary trips and falls in a small cemetery. Never one above theatrics, Baby taunts Mary by running around and telling her the story of a little rabbit invading a cabbage garden. Baby then tackles her to the ground and drives her knife deep into Mary’s chest. Mary’s screams of agony were piercing for our ears but most likely music to Baby’s. As Mary dies, Baby continues her little story and laughs in her face, truly showing how she views other’s misery as mere fun and games.
The Slapping Game
Now on the run from police, Baby has to wait for her brother, Otis (Bill Moseley: read our interview with him here), to come back to their motel room with his guns. She has to watch over their two female hostages, Gloria (Priscilla Barnes: Jane The Virgin TV series) and Wendy (Kate Norby: Inheritance 2017). In a desperate ploy to escape, Wendy asks Baby if she can excuse herself to the bathroom. Instead of allowing her to go, Baby demands something in return – she wants Wendy to slap Gloria in the face. For Baby’s amusement, Wendy ends up slapping Gloria 3 times, each one worse than the last. This scene perfectly showcases Baby’s need for power and control. She even made Wendy get on her knees and kiss her like a groveling peasant.
As Wendy tries to escape through the bathroom window, Baby tries to get her out… while leaving her gun unattended. Gloria seizes the opportunity and threatens to shoot Baby, unaware that our favorite maniac is hiding a knife behind her back. Baby acts afraid and tries to reason with Gloria, and the woman actually believes that the nightmare is finally over. She takes her attention off of Baby for two seconds … big mistake. In one swift motion, Baby throws the knife directly into Gloria’s chest. To add insult to injury, while Gloria is on her knees, Baby shows her bare ass and taunts Gloria to shoot it. When Gloria tries to shoot her, she realizes the gun was never loaded in the first place, and Baby was just teasing her.
The Final Shootout
At the hands of a rogue cop avenging his brother, Baby, Otis, and her father, Cutter (Sid Haig), find out what it’s like to be on the other end of torment. When it seems like this is the end of the Firefly clan, the family is rescued by big brother, Tiny (Matthew McGrory: Big Fish 2003), and the three are able to escape once again. Their rest is short lived, though, because they end up driving right to a police barricade. With no other options, they accept their fate.
However, they’ve never been the type to surrender without a fight. They grab their weapons and position themselves. Baby sits right in the middle, points her gun at the cops, and gives them one last, “Motherfuckers!” before Otis hits the gas and they—supposedly—meet their end. That moment always stays with me, and I can’t ever listen to the song, Free Bird, without thinking about it!
Her Parole Hearing
Ten years after being in the shootout and locked up in prison, Baby gets her first (and last) parole hearing. As she’s sitting there, she’s showing that she is FAR from rehabilitated. They note that she had 157 violations since she’s been there. Baby, ever so proud of the things she’s done, corrects them by stating she’s actually had 158. She then tries unsuccessfully to show that she’s sane. With her parole denied, she seems to be just fine with it at first. We see how she truly feels almost immediately as she hits a guard, Greta (horror maven Dee Wallace), and breaks her nose. Even locked up, Baby is able to create as many messes as possible.
Slackjaw And Poker
Speaking of the nose-breaking incident, Greta didn’t take that lightly. After that, she finally decides she’s had enough of Baby Firefly and escorts her to an isolated place to lock her in. In comes Slackjaw (Dot-Marie Jones: The Boondock Saints 1999) and Poker (newcomer Alicia Adams), two prisoners who’ve been wanting to get their hands on Baby for a long time. As Greta has a cigarette, she listens to the screams and ensuing slaughter with a smile on her face.
Thinking that her problem is finally over, Greta walks back to find the two prisoner mutilated and Baby covered in blood. This CO should’ve known Baby wasn’t going to go down that easily. She has survived over 20 bullets, so two prisoners with a little knife were nothing to her. To show that she’s not going anywhere, she writes a message in their blood that says, “Fuck you, Greta,” with a little heart, in true Baby fashion.
The Cat And The Mouse
In order to help Baby escape from prison, Otis and her brother, Winslow (Richard Brake: read our interview with him here), take the prison’s warden, his wife, and their friends captive. Among those friends is poor Heather (Sylvia Jefferies: Shaft 2019). Once Baby is free, the first thing she does is chase Heather out of the warden’s house and down the street. What stayed with me in this particular moment is how happy Baby is. She is treating the chase like she’s the cat playing with the mouse. Considering how much she loves cats, it is a nice moment of demented symbolism.
Right In The Heart
This was a perfect example of Baby being underestimated and exceeding people’s expectations. As she is partying and enjoying her freedom, she decides to join a knife-throwing contest. Of course, the other contenders take one look at her and laugh, believing she’s just a bimbo who can barely lift a knife, let alone throw it. After the others’ decent throws, Baby downs a shot of tequila and delivers a small monologue, emphasizing the importance of suspense. After that, she throws her knife RIGHT into the heart of the sign! She not only wins the money, but we also get to see the smug knife throwers eat their words. The entire scene was just epic!
Happy Birthday, Sheri!