Easily the two most polarizing horror franchise films of all time are Rob Zombie‘s Halloween and Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, the first of which added a very human backstory to Michael Myers while the second took the franchise down the most unexpected of paths. Incredibly polarizing to this day, to be sure, but also two of the most ambitious franchise films.
Long before this year’s Halloween, Rob Zombie made Michael Myers scary again, his Halloween scaring up what were big box office numbers at the time. Zombie’s Halloween II didn’t fare nearly as well, but in a new chat with SFX Magazine (relayed by Games Radar), Zombie notes that Halloween II is his favorite of the two Michael Myers films he contributed.
“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,” Zombie told told the mag. “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. 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 programme or something [laughs]. 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.”
Zombie most definitely took the franchise into boldly unique territory with Halloween II, love it or hate it, and it’s that personal stamp that makes it the series’ most interesting sequel.
He reflects, “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 fuck 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.”
Zombie also spoke about the progression of his Laurie Strode (played by Scout Taylor Compton) from the first film to the second, admitting that she’s fairly boring at first.
“I think Laurie Strode from my Halloween was a bit boring,” he admits. “I mean, she is supposed to be the all-American nice girl and, to me, that is just dull [laughs]. That is why when we did the sequel I made her this really damaged person – because that is infinitely more interesting and cool to explore. But in Halloween, I made a movie about Michael Myers, that came from the pitch of, ‘Okay, what if this was a real man? An actual serial killer? What set him off?’ And then I wanted to think about what Doctor Loomis would be like if he were a real person too – and Malcolm McDowell loved that character. He really understood what I was trying to do and he played it very differently from Donald Pleasence in the original movies.”
My advice? Revisit Zombie’s Halloween films. They’re better than you may remember.