The Deleted Horror Movie Scene That Gave Rosario Dawson A Gruesome Death

Rosario Dawson is a bonafide geek culture queen, having worked with directors ranging from Kevin Smith to Quentin Tarantino. She hasn't gotten to do a ton of spooky stuff, but sought to change that with a small cameo in Rob Zombie's 2005 tribute to '70s exploitation horror, "The Devil's Rejects." Unfortunately, her scene was cut from the movie, meaning her character's harrowing death has been relegated to the DVD extras of time.

In the significantly more serious sequel to Zombie's 2003 debut "House of 1000 Corpses," the murderous Firefly family goes on a killing spree after their house of horrors is raided by law enforcement. During that raid, the police retrieve the mutated Nazi scientist, Dr. Satan, played by special effects legend Walter T. Phelan. Dawson appears in the deleted scene as a nurse named Marsha who cares for the deteriorating doctor. He's attached to all manner of IVs and wires and appears to be in some kind of coma, but when poor Marsha leans in to check on him, he reaches up and rips out her throat with his bare hand. 

It's an absolutely horrific death that comes a mere forty seconds after Dawson is introduced, but it makes for an unforgettable moment. So why did Zombie decide to leave the scene on the cutting room floor? 

Slicing out Dr. Satan

In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Zombie explained that he had initially wanted to include Dr. Satan in "The Devil's Rejects," but he was just too cartoonish to fit into the film's more grounded reality. "'House of 1000 Corpses' was so cartoony and psychedelic and weird you could kind of do anything," Zombie said. "But when I shot the scenes for 'Devil's Rejects' with Dr. Satan, almost instantly I was like, 'This is stupid. This is not going to work.'"

Dr. Satan is a truly monstrous character, a sadistic former Nazi doctor with a mutated, withered body and a whole host of mechanical appendages to help him operate. He would be more at home in a film like "Mad Max" than in the sunburnt '70s grime of "The Devil's Rejects," so it makes sense that Zombie would want to cut his brief appearance to make the movie feel more cohesive. 

On the Without Your Head podcast, franchise star Sid Haig, who plays Firefly patriarch and killer clown Captain Spaulding, agreed with the decision, explaining that originally the plan was to cut from the Firefly family on the run to Dr. Satan in the hospital bed, but it brought the movie's momentum to a complete stop. It would have been great to see Dr. Satan (and Dawson's doomed nurse) in the movie, but it would have hurt the overall pacing, which can honestly tank an otherwise solid film.

A cool cameo left on the cutting room floor

Dr. Satan is a beloved villain in the franchise, but some fans were even more disappointed that the scene had been cut when they found out Rosario Dawson was in it. She had already garnered some attention for her roles in films like "Josie and the Pussycats," "The Rundown," and "Alexander," and she was due to star as the supremely kickass sex worker Gail in Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City," as well as Mimi in the film adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical "Rent." Dawson's star was on the rise and getting to see her in a Rob Zombie movie would have been a pretty big deal, but unfortunately, it just didn't work out. 

Dawson herself was disappointed, telling /Film in 2007, "I was a Reject in 'The Devil's Rejects,' which was very sad. I thought getting my throat tore [sic] off by Doctor Satan was a definite in, and it clearly wasn't." That wasn't the end of the road for Zombie and Dawson, however. "Luckily I was able to do a voice for him," Dawson continued. "He called me to do a voice for him on the 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.'"

Zombie's lackluster venture into animation didn't entirely make up for fans missing out on seeing Dawson get the "Road House" treatment from an elderly eugenicist. The scene is absolutely brutal, with Dr. Satan's fingers grabbing a good bit of her carotid artery before ripping it loose. The practical effects are grisly, and the sheer amount of blood that soaks through Dawson's stark white nurse's outfit is impressive, but it wasn't quite enough to justify slamming on the brakes during a heart-pounding escape sequence. 

Will we ever see Dr. Satan again?

Rob Zombie went on to tell Bloody Disgusting that by simply removing the Dr. Satan subplot he left the character's possible demise completely ambiguous, going as far as to say that Dr. Satan could have been a figment of one survivor's imagination:

"I left it so that it could be whatever. Is it real? Is it probably just the girl, that Denise, after a long night of being tortured and watching all of her friends killed, maybe she just went cuckoo and was imagining all these crazy things? You know, I thought for that film it's best just leave it as however people want to interpret it."

Dr. Satan didn't appear in the follow-up to "The Devil's Rejects," "3 From Hell," so it may be that the satanic surgeon will never be seen again. Oh well, at least fans will always have that deleted scene.