Rob Zombie Stands Behind ‘Halloween 2,’ But Not its Parent Company
There are just a few days before Halloween and, strangely, Rob Zombie‘s ‘Halloween 2,’ which came out on in theaters August 28 is not yet available on DVD. On Oct. 30, Weinstein Company will put the movie back in theaters for the holiday, but the company’s official Web site offers no indication of a future DVD release date.
Putting out a DVD from the ‘Halloween’ series after Oct. 31 is kind of like issuing a Christmas CD in February. And it suggests a serious lack of foresight on the part of the Weinstein Company, which, Zombie says, exhibited similarly questionable judgment when they put the movie in theaters the same week ‘Final Destination 3D’ came out. According to Zombie, this is part of the reason why ‘Halloween 2′ pulled in $17 million in its first week as compared to the over $30 million brought it by Zombie’s 2007 film ‘Halloween.’
“Unfortunately, Weinstein Company is not a big company and them going up against ‘Final Destination’ was straight-up dumb,” Zombie tells Noisecreep. “You’ve got another horror movie that is competing for the same dollar that is being marketed 20 times more and crushes you in that sort of fashion. If we had opened up any other weekend, the movie would have easily been number one and our numbers would have been bigger. But at the end of the day, it pretty much did what they thought it was gonna do. Sequels with horror movies like that are usually diminishing returns, and at this stage in the game it’s done about $33 million in the U.S. so far, so it was a huge win.”
Not everyone who saw the movie agreed that ‘Halloween 2′ was a triumph. Horror fans expressed mixed feelings online, and critics were generally unkind. Variety called the movie “repellent not only in content, but in visual style,” The New York Times said the film was “nearly devoid of wit,” while Entertainment Weekly scoffed that if “only we cared about the prey.” Zombie says he was unconcerned about the negative reviews.
“Everyone kept saying, ‘We don’t like this one because we loved the last one.’ That was in The Hollywood Reporter. And I was like, ‘What are you guys talking about? You gave that one a horrible review,’” Zombie says. “It doesn’t matter what you do. Every review is why the new thing isn’t good, and the last thing is great. I’ve gone through that with every movie and every record. And it’s only because people have something they’ve been living with for years that is really special to them. And then the new thing comes out that they’ve been living with for 49 seconds, and they go, ‘Oh, these songs aren’t classic like the other ones I’ve been listening to for 20 years.’ [The critical reaction to 'Halloween 2'] would upset me if I hadn’t gone through that on every single project.”
Some horror fans have criticized the approach Zombie took with his two ‘Halloween’ movies. Instead of making Michael Myers an invulnerable phantom specter as John Carpenter did with the 1978 original, Zombie made the monster human, presenting him as an abused child from a troubled family who snaps and becomes a sociopath. By doing so, Myers is no longer the boogeyman of the past. He’s less the stuff of nightmares and more the horror of the nightly news. Ironically, that’s exactly what Zombie intended.
“My movie is not a follow-up to John Carpenter’s movie,” he says. “It’s a reinvention of 30 years of crappy sequels. Believe me, the mystique of the original ‘Halloween’ has been trampled and flushed down the toilet 9,000 times by the seven s—ty sequels that followed Carpenter’s movie. To me, Michael Myers had no mystique left. It was just a stunt man walking around in a crappy rubber mask and a jumpsuit looking ridiculous, getting beat up by Busta Rhymes. So I felt that bringing him back and giving him a back story and a life and presenting a new way to look at the character is much more of a legitimate way to approach it rather than going, ‘Here he is. Spooky guy standing in shadows with mask.’”
Zombie’s vision of delving into Myers’ past stemmed from a childhood spent watching old Hollywood horror movies that emphasized storyline over brute violence. “I really love the original wave of Universal monsters — stuff like ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘King Kong’ and ‘Frankenstein,’” he says. “All those monsters had a soul, and there was something to them. They weren’t just faceless killers killing people. And that’s what I wanted to do with Michael Myers. I saw him as an iconic monster as well.”