Halloween: Unrated Director's Cut Rob Zombie

Halloween: Unrated Director's Cut Rob Zombie
In an ideal world, Rob Zombie’s vision of Halloween would have been the final nail in the coffin for horror remakes, seeing as the original is (arguably) the best horror movie ever made. But one look at the Paramount and MGM schedules, which include both Friday the 13th and Hellraiser remakes, respectively, and we know that horror fans are in for more and more bastardising. I strongly disliked Zombie’s Halloween upon its theatrical release but just as I expected and hoped, the writer/director uses the DVD to explain just why he bothered. "Re-Imagining Halloween” explores Zombie’s aims; he tells of a conversation with John Carpenter, who wasn’t involved but told him to just "go for it,” and explains how he didn’t want to shoot it like a horror flick but more in the realistic and visceral style of Alejandro González Iñárritu. Fair enough, and worth knowing, but repeated viewings show Zombie’s signature traits and alterations to Carpenter and Debra Hill’s story did little to remotely justify this effort. Though he would have been my first pick to re-imagine Halloween (a thought I clearly would never have had on my own), he somehow missed the target that Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes hit square in the nose. Zombie’s commentary is worthwhile though, considering he’s always in-depth with his analysis, rationalising every single shot and bit of dialogue. Being the director’s cut, there are new moments inserted, like a rape scene, but its gratuitous brutality leaves a bad taste. It’s funny to hear him speak about his actors, telling us that Daeg Faerch (young Michael Myers) was a "sweet kid who just wanted to kill somebody” and that he wasn’t comfortable with the ten-year-old doing the killing scenes because of his lack of coordination, and how the death of Ken Foree’s character had to be CGI’d out because of his breathing and blinking. (As he puts it, "Ken is a great actor but the worst dead body ever.”) An alternate ending is actually better than the original, avoiding the tedious, messy finale of the theatrical version — too bad it wasn’t used. Deleted scenes show more of Zombie’s commitment to working with familiar yet slightly forgotten faces: there’s more of Clint Howard and Udo Kier, a parole meeting that gives Tom Towles (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses) some screen time and Loomis’s visit to an adoption agency gives Adrienne Barbeau a paycheque. And the bloopers are actually good fun, with the best moments coming from McDowell’s impersonation of Hitler, where he jokingly calls the German Kier a "fucking Nazi,” and Tyler Mane (adult Michael Myers), who shows his comedic side, skipping down the road in full Michael costume, ringing the doorbell to get to his victim and exiting the house wearing a Jason Voorhies mask. Too bad the film itself wasn’t as satisfying as its special features. (Alliance Atlantis)