July 26, 2009

The Zombification of Halloween

I'm not a fan of Rob Zombie. I've never liked his music, and his ventures into motion picture direction have left me ... unimpressed. That being said, I'm at least happy there is a director with some kind of profile working in horror films, even if I'm not a fan of his movies. Horror films somehow equate to slumming it in the industry, something I've never quite understood because, frankly, making a good horror film; a movie that genuinely shocks, scares or disturbs an audience is a very difficult thing to do and requires a skilled filmmaker.
Unfortunately, Rob Zombie is not a skilled filmmaker. He's got a new movie coming out in August, a sequel to his remake of Halloween. I really truly hated his remake. Hated is almost too weak a word to describe it. I hated it with a burning hate as hot as a thousand suns. If the film had simply been Rob Zombie walking into frame, unspooling John Carpenter's original classic, unzipping and urinating on it while giving the audience the finger, that would have been roughly the same thing to me. I went to the screening, fully expecting to hate the film, but so... compelled to go see it anyone because I so loved the original series of films as a kid. (Well, really only Halloween, Halloween II and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, but the point remains the same.) So to prepare myself, I brought an ally, my friend Lucky who was ideally qualified because she was well versed enough in the Halloween lore that she met the snobby criteria as a horror fan and B) She was more the sufficiently funny in the likely scenario that the film was awful and we would need to yell at the screen and make sarcastic remarks in order to keep ourselves entertained. To this day, two years after that screening, we still email each other pictures of Rob Zombie that simply read "Fuck Rob Zombie" so that gives you an idea of how much we appreciated his take on this classic horror character. I don't need to get into the myriad of reasons why I hated his take on the story, because that's not the point, but the one good thing that came out of his Zombification of Michael Myers was that he swore off any sequels.

After his remake was released in 2007, he told Entertainment Weekly "I'm not going to do anymore Halloween films, or any remakes of any kind." Well that's good news! And then, of course, comes word Zombie's new film would be...
Halloween II. To make things worse, Zombie, in doing his press for the new film, never acknowledged that he promised he wouldn't make this movie and on top of it says that he's excited about the sequel because it's completey "his own creation." Right.... Um, there's been nine previous Halloween films. Michael Myers is an icon of slasher cinema. So let's not pretend you've done anything other then re-hashed them like countless other nameless filmmakers have before you. (The Halloween series, outside of John Carpenter who made the first film, has not really seen any directors of any merit. Rick Rosenthal, Dwight H. Little, Dominique Othenin-Girard, Joe Chappelle, not exaclty "ring a bell" type names.) But Zombie - who it appears to have a inflated sense of self-worth - went on to criticize Carpenter's work on the first film, which is widely regarded as a classic. "These are characters he wrote and not me. So they're not characters I would have come up with or the way I would have handled it." Yeah, cause the problem with the remake was that Zombie was stuck with all that lousy John Carpenter stuff. Riiiiiiiight.

So we get this new, original take where Rob Zombie isn't shackled by the limitations of Carpenter's imagination. And what has he come up with? Well, judging by the trailers, he's stolen much of Carpenter's idea from the original Halloween II that has Myers stalking Laurie Strode in a hospital. Oh, and that thing in Friday the 13th, where the killer is being told to kill by a voice from beyond the grave? Yeah, he stole that too. Perhaps the real issue is that when he was making the remake he was stuck just stealing ideas from one movie instead of a slew of them.

So now, with the release of Rob Zombie's Halloween II just around the corner Zombie recently told MTV, when asked if he would direct the inevitable Halloween III, "No. I could not see that in any shape, way or form. Never." Right Rob, we heard that one before. If only you were a man of your word.

1 comment:

  1. you forgot to mention we had to get really drunk after we saw it. HAD to.