Friday, August 28, 2009

At Least He's Done With Halloween

After watching Rob Zombie's Halloween II, and reading comments online from people who found it to be 'bad-ass,' I have to wonder if Zombie could rape and kill the entire families of these fans before they'd have to say - begrudgingly! - that maybe everything RZ does isn't above reproach. I mean, I would think that Halloween II would give them ample cause to question the man's genius - and in some cases, hopefully this will come to pass - but in general, I expect that RZ's fanbase will have his back once again.

In the meantime, though, the rest of us have to discuss the fact that Zombie has no idea how to make a movie. Apparently The Devil's Rejects (2005) was a total fluke, because Zombie is one for four so far. I'll even give his first Halloween a half point because it had its moments. But come on, the man's track record is getting more sorry with each movie.

Zombie is clearly shrewd as hell on a business level - how he rallies his fans is genius (he could even give Sarah Palin pointers). But as a filmmaker? He's got a good handle on visuals, yes - even if they're employed to scattershot effect. But the rest of what goes into making a movie - like an understanding of storytelling, for one? Zombie hasn't mastered that skill at all - and really, he doesn't seem motivated to try. He seems to go from scene to scene on pure instinct with no regard for what came before or what's coming after.

And while he describes himself as a horror fan in interviews, he hasn't shown any talent yet for creating tension or suspense. If anything, based on his films to date, he seems to regard horror fans as easily pleased idiots who can't discern quality from shit. And boy, I think he may have called that one!

It's a crime that someone with so much leverage to make genre movies is so incapable making good ones. It's also a crime that someone who is so ingratiating in interviews and so enthusiastic about his work can't translate that personal vibe onto the screen. Zombie is an apparently nice guy who happens to make movies that are - at best - contemptuous of their audience. With all the profanity spoken by his characters, the biggest 'fuck you' of all are the films themselves.


FilmFather said...

Well put. Zombie, like Eli Roth, is one of those guys whose work I really don't care for, but I could listen to them talk about horror films for hours.

I guess by now you've heard Zombie's now moving on to ruin another horror classic by remaking/reimagining The Blob:

Jeff Allard said...

Yeah, I heard about that. I was going to say something about it but after watching Halloween II, I just didn't have the heart.

As for Eli Roth, I'd definitely give him the edge over Zombie as a filmmaker. He seems to be the more knowledgeable movie fan as well.

Cheap Beer said...

I caught a showing of Halloween 2 today and it was one the the weakest flicks I've seen in a long time. I actually liked the first Zombie Halloween, but this one seemed to be a complete rush job. The acting and the thrown together Loomis subplot were chill(the bad kind) enducing. Ughhhh.... painful stuff.

Tower Farm said...

I agree. But, the worst he gets, the more I like him. Then again, I love bad movies.


kindertrauma said...

I really enjoyed how crazy insane this movie was! I've been trying to write a review but yep, it may sound equally insane in the end. In any case, it was fun being in a theater full of audience members who were practically lighting torches and throwing tomatoes by the end of the film. (Is that wrong?)-Unk

Jeff Allard said...

Tower Farm, Unk - I understand the perverse appeal of movies that rub others the wrong way or that seem like all-out disasters. Have I mentioned lately that I paid to see The Mangler in the theaters and then returned the following night to see it again because I liked it so much? And I'll never forget walking out of Richard Stanley's Hardware thinking it was the best horror movie I'd seen in ages and hearing the crowd complaining that they would've been better off seeing the latest Ninja Turtle movie instead. By the way, I saw Hardward twice in the theaters, too.

But as far as Rob Zombie's movies go, I just get the feeling the guy is so shrewd about everything and that's off-putting to me. He's got a certain exploitation aesthetic down and that's his comfort zone. Unfortunately, that comfort zone happens to be a big bore to me. But for those who dig his work - more power to you!