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?