Captain Spaulding (a.k.a. Johnny Lee Jones, Cutter or just plain old Spaulding) is the lovable psychopathic killer clown from the Rob Zombie, Devil’s Rejects franchise. He is the head of the Firefly family and brings no end of depravity and witty banter in equal measures to the films. Spaulding however is only the father of Baby Firefly, who was born as a result of an affair with then prostitute, Eve Wilson (Mother Firefly). The other sons, Jr., Tiny and Rufus are Mother Firefly’s from a previous marriage. Otis Driftwood is not part of the family in any way but befriended Spaulding through a common interest in illegal activities from moonshine and prostitution to murder.
He gets the name cutter given to him as a nickname by his adoptive brother, Charlie Altamont when he witnesses Spaulding stabbing a man to death soon after he first starts killing people. He started killing at a young age however even though he still dressed as a clown he instead used to use the name, Mister Ding Dong a Bo-Bo.
Played (brilliantly I might add) by Sid Haig, we first meet him in the first film out of the trilogy, House of a Thousand Corpses, where he runs a roadside attraction known as “Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madman”. It’s a curiosity museum built as an ode to the traditional freak show, complete with a narrated (by Spaulding) train ride known as the murder train, and of course the captains famous fried chicken.
His story progresses through the next 2 Rob Zombie films, The Devils Rejects and 3 From Hell, however this pop figure is based on the House of 1,000 Corpses Captain. Some may say the original and best incarnation of the character. However, I would love to see further versions of him produced in the future, especially the more causal clown from the end of the film and in Devil’s Rejects. Seeing him in smudged clown makeup and civilian clothes adds a whole new dimension of creepy to the character.
The Pop Figure
At the time of writing this, the Captain Spaulding pop is by far my favourite in my collection, although there are some others out there which I have my eye on which may or may not trump this one if I ever get my hands do on them, but they will have to be real special in person to do so. This pop really captures the whimsical side which the character brings to the movies, whilst also perfectly recreating his creepy aura…. Especially since they’ve managed to make this serial killer pretty damn cute!
The quality of the pop, as you would expect from Funko by now is absolutely amazing, with crisp, bright colours which match the scheme of the character incredibly well (although the pop is a much cleaner version of the clown than in the movie). Whilst the lines and finish are equally stunning and well put together. The result is actually an incredibly simplistic figure, with the only accessory really being the little top hat, but it’s so good that it doesn’t need anything else to accompany it. They could have given him a weapon, a museum display or some chicken (actually thinking about it, they should have given him some chicken), but they really didn’t need to. You see it at a tiny glance and you instantly know who this is supposed to be!
I wouldn’t have changed the pop much to be honest but a chase or two would be a really cool touch, perhaps with a big knife, or as I said a piece of chicken and maybe covered in blood.
I also think that it would be nice to see a full set of House of 1,000 Corpses figures, or for that matter even just a combination of characters from the franchise as a whole. In particular I’d have loved to see Otis, Mother Firefly, Baby Firefly, Rufus, Tiny (although he’d have to be done as an oversized pop), doctor Satan, Spaulding in his “normal” clothes and Bill (one of the young people who come to Spaulding’s museum) but only after he’d been merged with a fish as well as maybe one of the girls after she was forced to wear a Jerry mask. A sick bunch of characters indeed but all of such cult status that they surely deserve to be popped by now!
Value & Rarity
This is purely based on the time of writing so the value in particular may increase with time, however it is currently worth around £97 according to the ever helpful funko app. Even without a box I have seen them go for around 40 whilst those with poor quality and damaged boxes can still fetch around 60 – 70, however these are starting to become harder and harder to find, especially if you want them in a good quality, original box.
A word of warning is that in recent weeks, due to the scarcity and value of these, there have been fakes being sold on online auction sites – you can see my article about these here.