Oct. 10th: Halloween II (2009)

I love Halloween. Be that the holiday, the music, the decorations, or the movie itself from John Carpenter.

As such, I avoided Rob Zombie’s remake for almost a decade. I finally gave in this year though, trawling for footage to use in the montage The Shindig is currently putting together for the opening of The Art of the Halloween Mask show.

I also figured “Hell, this is a Halloween blog. How can I keep on doing this with a clear conscience having never watched Rob’s remakes?”

Very easily apparently. And I should have kept right on doing just that.

I won’t even talk about the original here. No, this is a minor celebration of the Halloween sequel, so we’re begrudgingly adding this sequel to the mix this year.

Though I did not like Halloween II, I did enjoy it more than Rob’s original for 4 distinct reasons:

1.) It actually kind of remakes the original Halloween II, at least for the first 20 minutes or so, and it’s probably the best portion of the movie. Remake sequels never remake the original sequel, and that was cool to see. Then it has to go and reveal that’s it was all just a dream. Oh well. One can dream, I guess.

2.) Aside from that, it’s its own beast, with a more original and interesting container than that box the remake bursts from and then forces itself back into.

3.) It pulls off the trick of making the dumb “Laurie is Michael’s sister” plot work…in context. It always felt like a cheesy add-on in Halloween II. In Rob’s version it feels organic and the depths of what that might mean are not only examined, but they are at the heart of his story.

4.) It’s more Halloweeny.

Other than that though, I can’t say there’s much here I enjoyed.

Why have they made Loomis, once a great horror hero for the ages, such a scumbaggy jerk? Is it cool to just flip the script on him? Didn’t seem cool.

Why is Michael some roided-out hobo version of Rob Zombie who barely wears his mask? Was he not Voorheesed-up enough in the original that they had to make him skulk through the woods, obsess over his mother and stand in front of an Alice Cooper poster? What’s next? Is he gonna throw on a fucking hockey mask and go to space? Michael was interesting because he wasn’t Jason Voorhees. He was stealthy and tactical, eerie and ethereal. This shit is too much.

Why is Sheri Moon just floating around robed in white with a horse, haunting her family? Oh yeah, you get a definition of “white horse” at the very beginning. Oh ok, cool. That totally makes those scenes less dumb.

Why would a girl who’s suffering serious post traumatic stress over the fact that her family and friends were just murdered by a serial killer only 2 years prior have a poster of Charles Manson hanging above her bed? Moreover, why would a film that’s so hung up on this idea make the same mistake? (Big ups to my LB homie Hollie for pointing that one out, cause it’s spot on and huge.)

Why isn’t that werewolf kid just getting the fuck down in his van on Halloween with the horny-ass girl that’s dressed up like Frank-N-Furter? Shitin’ bed there, partner.

So many questions. And many more if I sat and thought about it longer.

At least it wraps up the story nicely and leaves little room for expansion, so we can imagine the Akkad’s are done with this iteration of Michael Myers. But hell, you can never count out a horror sequel.

If you liked Rob’s original, you might enjoy this, however I think it may just be a bit too left of bizarre for casual fans of the remake. It’s a weird sequel, to be sure.

If you didn’t like 2007’s Halloween and have never seen this, it’s a crap shoot. I know people who hate it more and others who appreciate it more, so even then you’re on your own.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend adding this to your Halloween lineup. Unless of course your  options are Chubbies, Killer Eye 2 or The Fear 2, then I would strongly advise grabbing this one instead. There’s at least some fun gore and some holiday appropriate atmosphere, and ya know,…it feels like an actual movie.

But sadly for me, it gets a big fat non-Don Post mask down.

Designation: Trick!

Audio

Halloween (She Get So Mean)

080_halloween-hootenannyTRACK #80:

Halloween (She Get So Mean) by The Ghastly Ones (feat. Rob Zombie)

If White Zombie was a garage band in the late 60’s, they might have sounded a whole lot like our next divisible by 20 track.

From the Zombie A Go-Go released holiday mix “Halloween Hootenanny” comes this great Halloween track from perennial spooksters The Ghastly Ones.

Providing some uncharacteristic lyrical accompaniment for the Ghastly’s this time around is the man himself, Mr. Rob Zombie.

Since the song is titled Halloween (She Get So Mean) I’ve led the track in with every Halloweener’s favorite Halloween avenger Rhonda from Trick R Treat, as she schools us all on the sinister origins of our Hallowed holiday.

Enjoy!

 

Audio

House Of 1000 Corpses

046_house1000TRACK #46:

House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie

Well, Lords of Salem was released this past weekend, much to chagrin of critics and the Internet as a whole, it seems. Tumblr especially appears to be awash was some pretty negative reactions.

So, now seemed as good a time as any to drop in this previously unfeatured addition to the Shindig.

Why previously unfeatured? Well, at the risk of posting negative ideas, and alienating some followers, my love for Rob Zombie extends from about White Zombie to well,…White Zombie. Of Rob’s solo and film career, I can not say I am a huge fan.

So why add it at all? Well, its a Title Track and that’s a little hard to just straight-up ignore. Plus, of all his movie this is probably the one I enjoyed the most. And this song is cool enough and certainly Halloweeny enough to enjoy a position on the playlist.

And hell, I like Rob Zombie. He taught me how awesome samples are in metal songs and pointed me toward a lot of really great movies. What I think of his ability to remake them, or steal ideas from them, is neither here nor there.

So go support Lords of Salem. I haven’t yet, but that shouldn’t stop you. It may be derivative but at least it’s not another goddamn remake.