Horror fans are some of the greatest fans on the planet. The term “fair weather” rarely applies to our ilk. Genre fanatics stick by their favorites through good and bad, thick and thin. That’s why film franchises like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th still exist and still rake in cash.
Each of those franchises has seen some very mediocre entries released… but crazed fans hang on and even find qualities in the weaker installments.
That’s because horror fans are truly dedicated. They invest their heart and their soul in the genre, and fortunately for all parties, they never look back. Try and find that unwavering, dedicated fan stance in any other genre of film, and you’ll be looking for a long, long time.
People are drawn to the taboo aspects of life, and horror has long exploited those taboos. That devotion from filmmakers inspires us lunatics to ride the ride until the wheels stop spinning. And you can call us fanatics any derogatory word you can conjure up; nothing cracks a horror fan’s enthusiasm and loyalty. Horror may often be viewed as the black eye of celluloid, but it’s the black eye that lingers on the face of film perennially.
We are forever.
That’s precisely the reason you’re reading this article, right now.
For the unaware, Blumhouse is gearing up to deliver a new Halloween film. John Carpenter will – to some extent (it’s looking as though he’ll score the film) – play a role in the production. That’s great news. Rumors that the story will pick up after the events of the first two original pictures is also great news.
But with great news comes great inquiries. One of the greatest question marks floating through the minds of fans is who will portray Dr. Sam Loomis? The amazing Donald Pleasence passed away in 1995. So we’re obviously not going to see the great one reprise his role as the good doctor. Where does that leave the character, and how will the story march on without Dr. Loomis, should the decision to eliminate him from the storyline surface?
These are tough questions to answer. But believe it or not, there’s a quiet answer slowly brewing in the minds of fans. And those who show enormous loyalty to the franchise are already working on a few ideas. One of which could actually be quite amazing.
Over on Change.org a petition has been launched to cast living legend Robert Englund in the iconic role of Dr. Loomis.
Initially, that seemed to be a strange motion. However, it’s an idea that could conceivably work.
While Englund has always had a blast hamming it up for the camera, he’s also a deceptively versatile performer. And what gives me hope that this casting could prove successful is a little film known as Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. In the film – a slasher, by the way – Robert Englund stars as Doc Halloran, a physician who once worked with the titular serial killer in training. Halloran takes it upon himself to thwart Vernon’s plans to massacre a group of 20-somethings. And he’s quite effective in trailing and developing an outline to bring Vernon’s killing spree to an end before it begins.
That sounds an awful lot like Dr. Sam Loomis, doesn’t it?
The beauty of Englund’s character is that he’s a straightforward individual who only hopes to stop a horrific incident before it happens. And Englund plays the role with a degree of seriousness we don’t often see from him. He’s not hurling about cheesy one-liners, and he’s not going far overboard in his demeanor, actions or dialogue. He gives us a strong performance as a compassionate doctor who hopes to save lives.
The parallels between Halloran and Loomis are uncanny – director Scott Glosserman no doubt modeled his doctor after the great Loomis – and they’re also all the evidence one needs to understand that Robert Englund could absolutely portray Dr. Sam Loomis to near perfection. Englund will never be Pleasence, and that’s okay. But as a fan of the Halloween franchise, it would be amazing to see a performer nail the essence of the character, and Englund is capable of doing just that.
I’m not privy to the story being developed for the new Halloween installment, but I am completely behind the petition to cast Robert Englund in the role. He’s put his time in, he’s proven himself versatile, he’s a true lover of the genre, and he deserves a chance to leave a mark on another amazing horror franchise.
If you’re of the same opinion, you may want to head over to Change.org and sign the petition to see Robert Englund step into the shoes of Dr. Sam Loomis.
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