Rob Zombie: Hallowienie or Hallowinner?

It pains me to say that, at first glance, this looks pretty good.

Halloween Remake Art

Franchise reboots are all the rage and who’s complaining? I’m a big fan of both Batman Begins and Superman Returns. Whether or not the intent here is to start crankin’ out a whole new series of Halloween’s or just a stand-alone remake, I’m unsure. John Carpenter’s involvement would indicate Rob Zombie has his blessing. But Halloween II had his involvement/blessing too and: abomination.I’m a vocal hater of Rob Zombie’s first two features, House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects (pretty sad when a walk through your home on MTV’s Cribs is more engaging than your filmography) but I’m as eager as anyone to see him redeem himself with this. Sheri Moon Zombie is in it and that’s at least one strike against it. But Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis?! Sybil Danning? Ken Foree? Dee Wallace? Clint Howard? Brad Dourif? Adrienne Barbeau?! This is your last chance, Zombie — don’t fuck it up.

There’s been a butt-load of horror remakes over the past few years and movie-dork internet chatter usually reacts with the standard “has Hollywood run out of ideas?” or “they’re going to ruin a classic!” I find this annoying because nothing is so sacred that it should be off limits for re-imagining. Some remakes reek of cynical studio opportunism but as far as I’m concerned the remake mill has a pretty decent batting average. Here’s a list of remakes that make me wonder why people are still bitching:

Dawn of the Dead – It’s the first to always come to mind because it’s a vast improvement on the original — a sacred horror cow. While there’s no doubting the original Dawn’s influence and impact, I always considered it pretty plodding for a zombie flick. And blue-faced ghouls just aren’t that scary. The remake’s most certainly ARE. It’s also better acted and more appropriately paced.

The Fly (1986) – Another improvement on its namesake, though that’s not necessarily fair to the original Vincent Price classic. They’re two very different types of films from very different times, but there’s no denying David Cronenberg’s skill at taking the bare bones of a standard sci-fi conceit and pumping it full of gore, slime, drama and metaphor. It’s a success on so many levels and has secured itself a place in horror history that’s as important or maybe more important than its source material.

The Hills Have Eyes – It worked for me.

The Blob (1988) – Chuck Russell took a charming iconic family-friendly drive-in movie and turned into a violent, suspenseful and technically dazzling creepfest. If you haven’t seen this, it’s definitely worth a look. It missed the CGI boat by several years but sports some of the 80s greatest use of practical effects — the kind that SHOULD win Academy Awards but never do. Of course, Kevin Dillon is no Steve McQueen…but who is?

The Thing (1982)- John Carpenter at the top of his game (Wow. Twenty-five years ago). Though it does nothing to dethrone it’s 50s source material (The Thing from Another World) it stands as a real special effects achievement and duplicates the original’s claustrophobic vibe.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2002) – Well, it’s at LEAST as good as any of the original’s sequels and certainly ramps up the shock value of the opening “hitchhiker” scene.

House on Haunted Hill (1999) and 13 Ghosts (2001) – I mention these together because they were released around the same time and both reinvent William Castle’s gimmicky b-horror semi-classics. While neither is necessarily good both have value as late-night popcorn movies. Both are high-spirited and campy and far better than the effects-soaked remake of The Haunting from around the same time.

Of course there are plenty of remakes to avoid at all costs:
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
The Fog (2005)
Psycho (1998)
…and probably worst of all: Godzilla (1998)

~ by Number5ive on April 9, 2007.

One Response to “Rob Zombie: Hallowienie or Hallowinner?”

  1. rob zombie makes horror movies getin a new name ,u r cool MR Zombie,u can also make a remake of friday the 13th movie

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