“Halloween” for the Uninitiated, Zombie Style

Of the three Rob Zombie flicks I’ve seen, I’d have to say that his vision of “Halloween” was my favorite. “House of 1000 Corpses” felt like a blatant rip-off of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, down to the van full of kids picking up a crazed stranger (in Corpses’ case a sexy, but crazy hitchhiker instead of a retard). Depraved white trash à la “Devil’s Rejects” just isn’t my cup of tea, but “Halloween,” on the other hand, has some merit to it despite being a remake.

Before I go any further, I do wish to admit that I never saw the original Halloween in its entirety. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I was more of a Jason fan, and also because I didn’t find Michael Meyers terrifying. Then again, most of these slasher flicks are the same; trademark unstoppable entity of pure evil kills a bunch of sex-crazed teenagers, and only the “virgins” survive. Story is second to gore.

In this rendition of Halloween, there is more of a plot, although one should not expect it to be very deep. This movie gives you a brief glimpse into the life of Michael Meyers as a child, before he donned his infamous mask. It’s never really explained how or why he is what he is, but when you look at the trashy deadbeat step-dad, the cute and slutty sister with the ugly-as-a-dog’s-ass boyfriend, and his sexy mom who doubles as a stripper, you can pretty much get the hint. Zombie makes him out to be a garden-variety psychopath.

Without trying to reveal too much, let’s just say that Rob the Director doesn’t break any rules with this one, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but would have been appreciated. For starters, the ensemble of victims are people that, honestly, you want to see get snuffed out. Save for maybe three or four of them, none of cast invokes any emotional response whatsoever. Watching cookie-cutter characters being brutalized feels just fine.

Oddly enough, Zombie’s movie almost works. The story is sub-par, although, considering the genre, a little meatier than its original counterpart. All in all, the film is mediocre. It won’t surprise you, shock you, or give you nightmares. It’s not a complete disappointment, but if you can wait for DVD, then that is probably your best bet.

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