Pop culture’s heart is currently aflutter with love for David Gordon Green’s Halloween, which is a sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween, but should not be confused with Rob Zombie’s Halloween, despite all of them being called…Halloween.
But while Green’s film is intended to serve as a direct sequel to Carpenter’s, what Zombie had set out to do in 2007 was to reboot the beloved franchise and remake it in his own image. The House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects director has a particular cinematic language he likes to speak, and his two Halloween movies were very much a reflection of that. And while the first one sparked people’s interest- to the tune of the franchise’s biggest opening up to that point- the sequel failed to keep that momentum going.
Now, in the wake of the success of this new Halloween– which wipes the slate clean of Zombie’s work and reverts the franchise back to the original continuity (while also erasing all of the sequels that followed the original)- Zombie has opened up about his two outings with Michael Myers in a new chat with Games Radar.
It doesn’t sound like he has an ounce of regret about his time as a Halloween helmer being over, as he’d much rather develop more original ideas. But that’s not to say he didn’t enjoy the ride:
“To be honest, I would rather be doing my own thing. But I am still proud of both Halloween movies. I prefer the second one, which might surprise people.”
His reasoning for preferring the sequel are sound. While the first film had the thankless responsibility of retelling John Carpenter’s story (albeit with a Zombie twist), in the sequel he was able to do whatever he wanted.
“But the problem is that when you do a remake you can never get a true judgement on what it is you have done. I think it’s the same deal when someone remakes A Nightmare on Elm Street or anything else – it’s just too hard to completely break the formula.”
And it was his desire to break from the formula that seems to have led to some frustration on his part, as Zombie outlines the kind of backlash he got from fans for trying to not simply remake the Halloween lore but to actually take it into unexplored territory:
“Everyone knows Michael Myers and a lot of the fans want the same thing again, but maybe with a small twist – like when they did the eighth one and he’s part of a virtual television program or something. One thing that I got a lot of was, ‘This is what it should have been,’ or, ‘He should have done it like this,’ but if that is the barrier we set then you cannot ever do anything. I really wanted to rework what Halloween was.”
The last thing he said of note had to do with reverence for the original film. The current Halloween has found a ton of success, and a fair amount of that is because of the way it links itself to the 1978 original with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode- and the fact that John Carpenter was actively involved with the production. But Zombie says that stuff like that didn’t appeal to him in the slightest when he was making his movies.
On the contrary, the original series acted as a road map for what he wanted to avoid:
“Yeah, I mean there was so much stuff in the old films I wanted to avoid. They had already made eight Halloween movies – all of different quality – by the time I came along and I took a completely different approach. I wanted to do a new take on the whole series and that is why my Halloween was more of a serial killer movie – we got to look at this troubled kid’s childhood in more detail and what made him Michael Myers. I wanted my version of Halloween to feel a lot more real because the previous films had done everything except for maybe sending him to outer space.”
On that same note, but specifically relating to getting people like Carpenter involved, Zombie added:
“I kept being asked, ‘Hey, should we show this to Carpenter or so and so from the original and see what they think?’ And my response was just, ‘What the f-ck do I care?’ When I get asked what my advice is in this business I tell people to just focus on what they want to do because if you start worrying about what other people think you are screwed [laughs]. I am oblivious to all that. I love Halloween and I wanted to do my own thing with it. Whether people like my Halloween or don’t like it is irrelevant to me. At least it has my own personal stamp on there.”
The man’s got a point. Love them or hate them, his two Michael Myers flicks were undeniably his and- in a world where studios are all too happy to serve you reheated leftovers- he dared to serve up something new.
SOURCE: Games Radar