10 Things I Love About Rob Zombie’s Halloween
I’m shocked that Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 didn’t fare too well at the box office this past weekend. Are people still skeptical about this beloved horror franchise being in Zombie’s demonic hands? I figured they would’ve gotten over that by now. Or is it just that moviegoers would rather watch crappy, uninspired retreads? If you saw Halloween 2 this weekend here’s my question to you: Would you have been more satisfied by a run of the mill Halloween film on par with every installment released from ’88 – ’02?
Zombie’s Halloween 2 didn’t live up to my expectations as a Halloween film nor as a Rob Zombie film. The film was well made, but the atmospheric tension and creepiness that the 1978 original had in abundance seemed to be tossed aside. Even Zombie’s first Halloween outing retained some of that mood. Halloween 2 didn’t even feature John Carpenter’s Halloween theme music until the end. This sequel served as an excellent follow up to Zombie’s Halloween reimagining, but not for the franchise as a whole.
In contrast to 2009’s Friday the 13th reboot, Zombie’s Halloween 2 seems to grant Michael Myers freedom to grow, whereas Jason Voorhees remains basically the same. Is that what we want? One dimensional horror icons? We want them to be what we expect them to be, nothing more, nothing less. They should kill, they should be scary, and they need to maintain a consistent look. In Halloween 2, that Shatner mask started to look like someone actually SHAT on it. Like in Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, every facet of the film is based in reality to help refresh Batman’s story and supply the franchise with endurance to last far into the future. Clearly, Michael Myer’s mask wouldn’t have stayed pearly white with all the schmutz he gets all over it. Zombie gave it a valiant effort, and no matter how derided, his vision for the Halloween films served to inject new life into the franchise.
To bring the greatness of Zombie’s first Halloween into focus, here’s a list of what made it so frigging cool.
10. Sherri Moon is ridiculously hot.
9. The opening scene blasts KISS’ “God of Thunder,” aside from the usual KISS songs, this underrated track hasn’t appeared in many films at all. Zombie deserves credit for having the balls to showcase it in his movie, which means he’s not embarrassed about being a KISS fan. White Zombie covered the song for an EP and on the VH1 Rock Honors Rob Zombie sang lead vocals on the track while joined by a supergroup including Ace Frehley, Slash, Tommy Lee, Scott Iian, and Gilby Clarke. Even young Michael Myers is wearing a KISS Destroyer t-shirt.
The KISS t-shirt is a sign of the times and it adds to the macabre tone. One of the underlying themes of the film involves Michael Myers’ reliance on masks to cover up his tortured soul, so it’s appropriate to make reference to KISS’ ghastly faces.
8. It’s clear that Malcolm McDowell was a fine choice for Loomis. McDowell puts a very different and interesting spin on the character. F-cking Shirtuckers!
7. Not taking anything away from the 1978 original since it’s the best film of it’s kind, but there’s more layers to this films story. We discover that Michael Myers has an Oedipus Complex which is ripe for dissection in film class.
6. Shit, I would have an Oedipus Complex too. Look. OMG. OMG.
5. In this film we come to realize that Michael Myers is quite a ladies man! Look how he fondles sister’s leg:
4. Ben Tramer = the male horror movie version of Gwendolyn Pierce. Ben Tramer must’ve been one dreamy heartthrob.
3. Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) delivers the sluttiest line of the movie: “Do you want to f-ck me? Let me hear you say it.”
2. The doucher Paul (Max Van Ville) who Annie’s making out with follows that line up with “It’s so fucking warm” WTF??? Before that Annie scolded him for almost ruining her expensive sweater, “…hey, don’t pull it like that, you’re gonna stretch it all out! Stop it…this is expensive idiot!”
1. The who’s who list of cameos include Clint Howard, Sid Haig, Mickey Dolenz, Sybil Danning, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Bill Mosely, Leslie Easterbrook, Danny Trejo, Courtney Gains, and Adrienne Barbeau. That about covers every guest at your next horror convention.
If Dimension films wants to continue the exploits of Michael Myers at this point, they sure as hell can. Michael Myers always comes back, and at this point perhaps the fans would enjoy a more traditional take on the character. But after we’ve seen Zombie’s tragic and psychotic look behind Myers’ mask, would an archetypical Halloween film really impress us?
Monster Mania Con 11 at Crowne Plaza, Cherry Hill New Jersey 8/23/08
Whenever a Horror or Pop Culture convention rolls through town I always wind up missing it. I used to make it an event and go with my Dad every year but as I got older and actually started working full time, the weekend became a time to cram everything in that I neglect during the week. Even though weekends are busy, I’m realizing life is too short and I should be doing things that I enjoy. If going to a concert is the best way for me to spend my hard earned cash, then blowing the rest of it at a convention is a close runner up. In fact, not only did I make it to a convention this weekend, but as soon as I got back from my near hour drive I was off to Crue Fest at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Talk about a jam packed day of pop culture!
Chiller Theatre is the most well known Horror & Nostalgia show in the Tri-State area. It attracts a slew of actors, musicians, and personalities from horror movies and pop culture. Another convention that has made a big name for itself in the past several years is Monster Mania. Monster Mania took place at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill and featured Robert Englund, A Lost Boys Reunion, and a Halloween Reunion.
Getting overwhelmed at one of these shows is ridiculously easy. If you’ve never been to one I’d actually advise you to NOT bring too much cash because you WILL unload it ALL! There’s so many vendors and sellers that have copious amounts of “stuff.” It all happens to be “stuff” that you NEED! From obscure bootleg horror movies to rare action figures and magazines, you will find it all at a convention. It’s almost like a flea market except it only sells the coolest crap. When walking around one of these events you might forget eBay ever existed because everything you ever wanted, and everything you didn’t even realize you wanted is all there spread out in the hotel’s convention centers. And oh…did I mention the celebs? Ok, we’re not talking A-listers like George Clooney but people who are much closer to our hearts. You might want to take your picture with Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. He’s such a cool guy that he’ll put the glove on and ham it up as Freddy in your picture. That’s a photo op that you’ll tell people about for the rest of your life! Adam West did a similar thing for me also. The personalities that appear at these events are usually people who love to interact with their fans.
The real grabber for me, aside from The Two Coreys, was Danielle Harris. I spent most of my life having a major crush on her. One of the main reasons is because I used to watch the Halloween 4 and 5 and I related to her since we were almost the same age. I remained a fan through the movies that followed although they weren’t big budget films nor were they easy to find. The overlooked Killer Bud actually became one of my favorites. Who knew that she’d have such a resurgence with Rob Zombie’s Halloween? When I found out that she would be coming back for the Zombie version I turned into a smitten little bitch all over again. I was waiting for her name to appear on the guest list at one of these horror conventions and sure enough, she was signed on to appear at Monster Mania along with some of the other stars of the Halloween series.
When I met her, I told Danielle that I brought her a Sexy Armpit T-Shirt, which was based off my blog. She actually said that it was really cool because she wears shirts people give her alot and the tank she was wearing was actually from a fan also. Danielle was cool enough to take a picture with me holding the shirt.
I never thought I’d say that I got to meet Corey Haim and Corey Feldman considering that I’ve seen basically all of their movies collectively. That’s a difficult task since there’s so many films that they’ve done which no one’s ever heard of. I haven’t just seen those, I own them. That’s how much of a dork I am. If you grew up in the ’80s and were young enough to think these guys were cool then you know what I mean. Heck, anyone who was always on the cover of Bop and Teen Beat were considered cool. It didn’t matter if you were a guy or a girl, you appreciated that crew. If it was Nicole Eggert or Alyssa Milano, or The Two Corey’s it was almost a prerequisite to revere them. If not, then you probably weren’t the right age. All I know is, their movies were all anyone my age talked about for a few years. Then it all got weird. Just like with Danielle Harris, I remained a fan.
Getting to meet The Two Corey’s was possibly the closest thing to surreal as it gets. For a kid who knows all their lines to their movies and used to mimic the things they did, I still can’t believe that I was talking to them face to face. I wasn’t really excited though, it was more weird than anything. I almost wet my pants when I met Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue but meeting The Two Corey’s just made me feel like I was having an outer body experience. I guess the possibility of meeting them never even crossed my mind.
I can’t say it was a let down, but Haim is out of his mind and Feldman is kind of a dick. Suzie just liked to horn in on Feldman’s every word and interaction. She was noticeably agitated that I was ignoring her and talking it up with her husband who’s actually talented. Thanks Yoko. I bet The Two Corey’s would still be on the air if it weren’t for you! I don’t give a crap if you were in Playboy! You’re mooching off the fame of one part of The Corey’s. Now that’s pretty much sabotaging yourself.
It was definitely hard to come up with something to say to these two. I knew I’d mention one of my favorite Feldman roles but Haim seemed so drugged up that he wasn’t even making much sense. Perhaps it’s true that all the years of drugs actually did fuck him up so bad that he has a major slur. Who knows. All I know is Haim told the kid before me in line that he was “very close to getting Robin.” That meant that he was in the contention for the role of Robin in the Batman film franchise. As far as I know there’s no plans for Robin in future Batman films AT ALL, so maybe I could get the role of Nightwing if I take whatever pills he had in his system!
As for Feldman, I tried to throw him a joke but he wasn’t too receptive. You would think he’d appreciate that some guy respects his work so much that he remembers a minor role he had from 1988 (Ricky Butler from “The ‘burbs”). I didn’t want to be like everyone else and talk about The Goonies. In fact, alot of the people were pulling the exact thing that he hated by asking him to say certain lines from some of his movies. That is kind of rude in a way because he’s not a sideshow, at least show him that much respect. I think I might react the way he did if I was put on the spot like that. The girl before me asked him to say a certain line from one of his films and he got noticeably perturbed and said “c’mon that was 20 years ago.” Damn these guys are bitter aren’t they?
I don’t think there’s such thing as a child star curse. I think it’s that certain people just can’t cope with not having fame. Fame provides them with self worth and that’s the unhealthy part. Who knows, they may not turn to drugs or create shitty bands like The Truth Movement if they truly loved themselves. Regardless of seeing how fucked up they really are, it was cool to meet them and I’ll never abandon their movies!
How can I forget to mention what I bought at Monster Mania? I picked up a fantastic Toxic Avenger box set at the Troma Films table. I’ve been trying to track down the complete set of Toxie films and I wanted to make sure that they had the ENTIRE animated series included as well. This box set has it all so I was happy to plunk down the cash for it, otherwise it would sit on my amazon wishlist forever.
Among all the fanboys and girls and just plain horror freaks, I noticed a lot of awesome tattoos. One nasty giantess wearing fishnets and an uncomfortably skimpy black number had a tattoo on her arm of David Bowie’s “Jareth” from Labyrinth. I would’ve commended her on it, but she scared the hell out of me and she was kinda gross! Luckily this girl was able to wash the bad taste out of my mouth:
She had a kickass JEM tattoo that I noticed from about 10 feet away! I went up to her like my usual psycho self and said “yo! cool Jem tattoo! Can I take a picture?” She must’ve thought I was a weirdo, but who cares! lol.
If you haven’t made it out to a convention, make sure you experience one. You’ll have alot of fun, see alot of cool stuff for sale, and possibly meet some of your idols! What’s up next? Chiller Theatre!
Film Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween
I thought Rob Zombie might have overplayed his hand. Halloween hit theaters today and I was excited and intrigued by getting the chance to learn about Michael Myers back-story. Was the decision to delve into this killers past too risky? Would giving away too much of his early life make him less scary? At first, I thought it might have taken away from the big question mark that was Michael Myers. After all, Myer’s largely undefined past helps make him the ominous character he is. In this film it’s the realism of the character that makes him terrifying.
As I watched the plot develop it made so much sense when I understood where director Rob Zombie decided to go with the character. You may be a little bewildered by the mannerisms and unmanly behavior on the young Myers because he’s a character we know to be such a monster. All I can say is…have some patience. Early in the film we get to see so much striking footage of a young and messed up Michael Myers. I don’t want to give too much away, but he does some deranged things as a child and winds up in the mental institution where he’s cared for by Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). Loomis starts out long haired and youthful and as the film progresses we see Loomis in a more modern sense. (On a side note I left the theater and hopped in my car, only to have a white van with the company name of LOOMIS slapped right on the side of it!) The film advances periodically by one year and 10 year increments and then to the present. I enjoyed the jumps as it added not only to the sense of the plot but also the pacing.
Zombie used his “starting lineup.” You’ll see everyone from Sid Haig to Police Academy’s Sgt. Debbie Callahan! Bill Moseley turns up again and there’s even a cameo from The Monkee’s Micky Dolenz! Zombie’s wife Sherri Moon, who’s not playing Baby Firefly this time, turns in a potent performance as Michael Myers mother. For the past few months I’ve also been anticipating seeing Danielle Harris since she played Jamie in Halloween 4 & 5. Harris plays Laurie’s friend Annie. Annie’s a hot little number who has the honor of uttering one of the best lines an actress can ever say…“Ya wanna fuck me?” Harris’ delivery of that line will be ingrained in my head forever now. What is it with Zombie’s stuff that sticks in my head? I always have Baby’s line from House of 1,000 Corpses in my head: “You know we like to get fucked up?” And in White Zombie’s Thunderkiss ‘65 “I never try anything, I just do it. Want to try me?” Don’t be surprised if Harris’ “Ya wanna fuck me” sound byte turns up in one of Zombie’s songs. Hell I’d purposely write a song just as an excuse to use that sound byte. Ahh, Harris was such an innocent little girl. Now she’s topless and skanking it up for the majority of her performance. I love it. My one gripe is that all of the rumors lead me to believe that Sheri Moon was going to get naked but it didn’t happen. She does a stripping scene so I’m assuming there’s going to be an unrated DVD coming out with that scene extended for horn dogs like me. I had to settle for all the rest of the girls getting naked. It wasn’t so bad.