In 1978, fledgling director John Carpenter released a low-budget, independent horror film titled simply: Halloween. It told the tale of Michael Myers, an escaped mental patient in a spray painted William Shatner mask (true story) who returns to his hometown to engage in a mass killing spree. The movie was a surprise hit, and became one of the highest-grossing independent movies of all time. In addition, it helped give birth to the “Slasher” film genre, and soon scores of imitators were happily chopping up innocent teenagers on movie screens across the nation.Halloween spawned a long-running franchise (9 installments to date), with John Carpenter only directly involved with the first two films. In the hands of various other directors, Michael Myers has seen varying degrees of success at the box office, yet has always remained a somewhat second-tier villain to the likes of Crystal Lake’s very own Jason Voorhees.
I’ve been a big Rob Zombie fan for years, and the news that the rock star was helming a remake of John Carpenter’s original Halloween was greeted on my part with equal portions of interest and disappointment. Why the split? Well, let’s cover why I was interested first – in addition to being a unique and talented songwriter and artist, Mr. Zombie has revealed himself to being quite the film director as well (previously directing his band’s music videos). His directorial debut was the fun-yet-amateurish House of 1000 Corpses. A modest hit, it was followed by The Devil’s Rejects, which displayed a huge growth and maturity in Zombie’s skills. As a fan of both films, I awaited his next cinematic undertaking with fevered anticipation. Yet, upon the announcement of Halloween, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of the aforementioned disappointment.
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