WWE Films Presents…
Rob Zombie’s take on Halloween is a pretty weak one, and I dug House of 1,000 Corpses and consider The Devil’s Rejects to be an, italics and all, American classic. Some parts were hilarious, like every line Malcolm McDowell uttered, while others were just bad. Not only did I hate the lame porker that played Lil’ Myers, but there’s a point at which too much information can be given about a character like this.
Take the 1978 original for example. The opening scene follows Michael, age 10 (?), as he murders his sister, all in first person. From there you essentially flash forward to his escape from confinement 15 years later, and a lot of the missing pieces are filled in by Dr. Loomis’ exposition. Fantastic; it’s an effective setup and it shows that Myers isn’t really supernatural but he’s still an enigmatic and intense force.
“Let me tell you what is transpiring in this movie, young girl!”
Zombie’s version, no matter which cut you watch, takes this and stretches it out over the first half of the movie. It’s slow and about as subtle as a knife to the face. They might as well chop out a half hour and explain that Michael was driven mad from being called “faggot” too much. After that, the last 40 minutes are pretty much a shot for shot remake of Halloween condensed for time, and you’ve seen that before, right?
It’s weird, because it’s stuck between two extremes and never really hits a sweet spot. The white-trash backstory made me feel like I was watching a slasher 8 Mile, but then it stops trying to be fresh and just rides it out like a louder version of Carpenter’s.
Here’s some positive things to end it on, though. Ken Foree’s brief but amazing role as Big Joe Grizzley deserves its own spinoff; to be honest, Donald Pleasance was also pretty wacky and had some funny-ass lines in the original; everything William Forsythe said was a complete riot; Danny Trejo as Myer’s bestest buddy; and, last but not least, the girls in this one don’t all look like they’re 35!