Zombie, Rob (Halloween 2)
Today I sat down with Rob Zombie to get to the bottom of a few things pertaining to his upcoming film Halloween 2. What direction has the series taken, what's up with the characters, what's up with Michael's look, who is this teased "unlikely hero", and most of all will this be his last outing in Haddonfield? Read on for the goods.
"The first one had a lot of ... baggage? I guess that's the word? Whereas this one had none," Zombie tells Dread Central. "I could have done whatever I wanted with the first one, and I guess I did to a point, but I felt that since it was technically a remake that there are some important things that you need to take into account. If you change it too much it's weird, if you don't change it enough it's weird, so you get kind of trapped in that bizarre remake zone that movies fall into. What's great about following up your own movie is now it's all new. The thought of past Halloweens hasn't even entered any of our minds."
"What was difficult with the last one was that Laurie Strode and all those characters were characters as envisioned by John Carpenter, and I ... just like everyone else, that's how they came into my brain, so that's how everyone saw them," Zombie continues. "So as much as you want to change them, you still sort of see them that way. But now enough time has passed that I really don't see them that way anymore. Laurie and all these characters are now totally different and have absolutely no relation to what came before, and for that reason I think that they are about a million times more interesting."
From here we got to shooting the shit about Michael himself and the many changes the character has gone through both personally and aesthetically.
"Tyler is ten times bigger than he was in the first movie. He's probably packed on about fifty pounds of muscle for this film. Michael Myers is funny, because that's the character that nobody wants to see change. They always want him to be and look the same," says Zombie. "For me one of the main things that interests me about making Halloween is making that character change. When approaching this film I was like, well, where did Michael go? Did he disappear into the shadows like a ghost and then suddenly reappear? What I thought would be cool and kind of scary would be if he were like right out there in plain sight and no one notices him anymore because he just looks like a homeless bum. When you see pictures of him it looks odd, but within the context of the film it makes perfect sense. It's interesting because that happens sometimes. I mean you see these homeless people, and you're like -- who are they? They could be fuckin' serial killers for all you know. Maniacs. But you don't pay any attention to them. Michael is just living on the fringe of society."
"My Michael Myers is a totally different Michael Myers, so the rules of what has come before don't really apply to what I am trying to do with him," Zombie continues. "I love the fact that he's big and physical and brutal. He's like a bull in a china shop. He's totally calm until that moment that his brain snaps and he's just beyond vicious. He's much more brutal this time around. Michael's insane. I've always played him as if he is completely insane. He lives in a different reality than the rest of the world does. What he sees and hears and does has no basis in normalcy. In this movie I just wanted to mess a bit with the way that he perceives the world. What he sees has no reality to it."
At this point the conversation moved to the synopsis that the Weinsteins had put out earlier in the week. Allow me to reiterate it for ya: "It's that time of year again, and Michael Myers has returned home to sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois to take care of some unfinished family business. Unleashing a trail of terror that only horror master Rob Zombie can, Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past. But the town’s got an unlikely new hero, if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the unstoppable."
Who is the unlikely hero? Weird Al? Uncle Coffins? The Skunk Ape from Corpses? Rob's reaction to this was pretty fucking hysterical.
"I have no idea who this unlikely hero is. I haven't read their synopsis. I don't even know if it's correct. Shit. I don't know!" Rob laughs. "Truthfully I don't even know what they could be hinting at."
With that it was time to wrap things up. Was this the end for Zombie's stint in Haddonfield? He already said he wouldn't be back after the remake. What about after the sequel?
"This is the last one for me. It's the last one for all of us. I said that after the first one too because I was just mega-burnt out and I just didn't want to deal with it anymore, but sequels are nice when you can get in there and expand and complete your original ideas," Zombie continues. "When this one was over, we all kind of walked away from it feeling that we established something with the first one, and in this second one we really expanded upon it, and got to go somewhere with it kind of like we did in Devil's Rejects. This movie is to the first Halloween what Devil's Rejects was to House of 1000 Corpses. The same way that I thought House of 1000 corpses was more cartoony and Rejects was more real, I feel that the Halloween remake was more cartoony and this one is more gritty and real. Halloween the remake was more like me at odds with someone else's world. Whereas this is one hundred percent my thing. The way that the characters act, dress, move, talk, walk, everything, it's all me. This is a much darker, dirtier, nastier, and more psychotic world. After this there's nothing more we can do. That doesn't mean that there won't be more, there just won't be more involving me."
There you have it, kids! Hope that clears a few things up for ya! Look for Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 in theatres August 28th!
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