Monday, September 14, 2009

Thirty4Point5 Presents: Totally Wasted Movie Reviews #4 - Halloween II

When Rob Zombie made House Of 1000 Corpses in 2003, it seemed as though a new voice had emerged with a stark and brutal approach to the age old genre of horror films. That movie made me feel genuinely "uncomfortable" which, for someone who's been heavily immersed in horror films since I was knee high to a zombie-hooker in 5 inch heels, is kind of saying something.

When the fledgling director's follow up movie, Devils Rejects, was released in 2005, I didn't go to the theatre to see it. Instead, I waited until I could sit at home and watch it alone in the dark, wasted, with a zombie-hooker in 5 inch heels... I was so anxious about what that movie was going to be like that I actually paused and questioned whether or not I really felt like subjecting myself to a viewing. I had been to the San Diego Comic Con earlier that year and sat in on an open panel discussion with Rob Zombie and a majority of the cast... who, it seemed, had been genuinely traumatized by the experience of acting out what had been birthed by Zombie's vision. But I did subject myself to it, and it was definitely everything I had anticipated, and it was all kinds of awesome! Now that was a horror film for our times!

After the success of Devils Rejects, the studios, who had once locked Zombie out of the editing room in an effort to put an end to the production of his first film, were now fighting tooth and nail to turn the new horror "visionary" loose on one of their guaranteed money-making franchises. When the dust had settled, one clear winner rose to the top of the bloodied and mangled heap; Dimension Films remake of Halloween.

The 1978, John Carpenter written and directed, original Halloween is one of horror film's classic moments in history. With that one film in 1978, Carpenter was unknowingly inventing the modern horror genre and setting the table for the countless future film makers who would turn antagonistic homicidal maniacs into protagonist pop-culture icons. With Halloween, he had unintentionally created the horror movie franchise.

30 years later, after Hollywood had long lost it's ability to conceive new ideas to put to film, Rob Zombie took a whack at reinventing the psychopath that started it all. Moving the story in new directions that explored the building blocks necessary to create a monster like Michael Myers, Halloween's emotionless killer, his efforts successfully managed to create a modern telling that reverse engineered the self effectuating legend from early violent youth to full-blown homicidal maniac adulthood.

* Everybody content with the groundwork above? Yes? Terrific. Make sure you ask any questions now. I'm starving and waiting to get my guts around entirely too much pizza... but I'm typing this bullshit instead so we better be clear: Horror Movies = Good. Rob Zombie and John Carpenter = Good. House of 1000 Corpses, Devils Rejects, Halloween = Good. Okay? Okay... Onward and upward... *

With this groundwork in place, I ignored all the negative reviews floating around about the new Halloween II film and drug my dumb ass to the theatre to do the only respectable thing I could do get really wasted, sneak into the theatre through the back door, buy a Cadillac sized bag of popcorn (which, coincidentally, actually cost more than a real Cadillac) then proceed to waste a couple hours of my highly valuable life and check it out for myself.

Here's the kicker: For this viewing, I had the entire theatre to myself... and I'm talking a full, Jurassic Park sized theatre! So, imagine you're me *I call that burning sensation you're imagining "Ashley Greene, Kate Beckinsale and Scarlett Johansson" * and you have a bit of that Devils Rejects anxiety running through you. You're about to view a private screening with a film who's main character is the progenitor of horror movie gold for decades to follow and you have a Cadillac sized bag of popcorn clogging your colon. How could anything go wrong? My only concern was the whiplash I was guaranteed to receive from constantly looking over my shoulder...

But the movie sucked.

Here's the trailer anyway...


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