Monday, August 27, 2007
John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN is one of my all time favorite films and it is one of the key films of my youth. I first saw it in my early teens on VHS and I must have watched it, and its first sequel, over twenty times as a teenager. I also read all of the novelizations and devoured article after article about it in back issues of magazines like Fangoria. I still revisit the film every Halloween and I never grow tired of it, it is a true American classic and one of the major films that marked Horror as my favorite genre.
I have very mixed feelings on the upcoming re-thinking of HALLOWEEN by Rob Zombie. I think it is a mistake and whatever merits it might have, there is no way it will come close to equalling the original. That said, I must admit that I like Zombie very much and I will be seeing the film opening weekend and I hope it plays better than anyone might expect.
I was never a fan of his music and his first film, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003), left me cold but I greatly admired his THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (2005). To me it is one of the few modern exploitation films that comes close to feeling authentic. It is a controversial work that divides horror fans but I honestly believe that THE DEVIL'S REJECTS will someday be regarded as one of the key genre works of this decade.
I also really like Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon and think that she is an incredibly charismatic and talented actress. The main thing I like about both of them is that they seem to really love the genre. I don't feel any winking, pandering or apologizing, just an overwhelming affection for the same horror movies that I loved and admired growing up.
Zombie has stated repeatedly that the original HALLOWEEN had a major impact on him growing up and I believe that his new version is meant as a tribute. When I saw John Carpenter speak several months ago, he spoke highly of Zombie as a person and filmmaker (and very highly of the check he received for the new film).
So, I will be seeing the new HALLOWEEN but I have to admit that I wish it had been directed by a total hack and I could just ignore it. Apparently the studio has already been tampering with Zombie's final cut and I am honestly not expecting a lot. I hope that Zombie follows it up with an original work and doesn't get trapped in a remake mode, as we are overrun with them right now.
HALLOWEEN is one film that I did not want to see get remade. It is one of the most perfect American films of the seventies and I can only hope that Zombie's version isn't an embarrassment. Hopefully it will turn out like Aja's searing HILLS HAVE EYES remake and have something valuable to add rather than being something truly horrendously bad like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE re-working. Either way, I will be there opening weekend and success or failure, I will still admire Rob and Sheri Moon and hope that they will one day deliver another film as good as THE DEVIL'S REJECTS.
I must say that even if I do end up liking the new HALLOWEEN, nothing and I mean nothing will ever replace these three for me.