I’ve admitted that I don’t hate everything about Rob Zombie’s Halloween, which I blogged about here.
I am so glad that I failed to make it to the theaters to see Halloween II…although even then I would have gotten a different experience than I got by watching the unrated director’s cut first, which is significantly different than the theatrical version. My general assessment is that Zombie must have read all the hate from Halloween ‘78 purists on the Internet after the release of his first remake, and said, “Oh yeah? You think that’s white trash? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” And then he thought, “But Halloween ’78 fanboys aside, I must create a script solely for the purpose of making sure my wife, whose character died in the first film, can be on screen about every 10 minutes.”
After throwing us a crumb in the first half hour of the movie with an homage to the original Halloween II that’s pretty much as good a more brutal re-magining as the homage segment in the first movie, we are catapulted two years into the future (in the director’s cut)…and can’t help wonder how Laurie managed to make it through the first anniversary of Halloween night as she struggles to make it through the second anniversary. She is no longer the happy go lucky virginal sweetheart who grew up in a gorgeous suburban home in Haddonfield, Illinois. She is now a white trash bitch living in the white trash home of the town’s sheriff and his daughter Annie out in the middle of the woods somewhere. In fact, all of Haddonfield, the quiet suburban town from the first film, has turned into some sort of Midwestern nightmare where nearly toothless ambulance drivers who like to talk about screwing dead bodies can crash their ambulance into a rogue cow on desolate dirt roads.
But back to Laurie. Scout Taylor-Compton deserves an Oscar just for memorizing her complicated dialogue: “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” That’s right folks. When she’s not boozing it up, Laurie spends the majority of the movie dropping the F bomb. It makes for a great drinking game with friends at a party: “Everybody drink! She said ‘fuck’! Oh wait! She just said it five more times while I was saying that!”
Not exactly Lynda and Annie….
Trailer trash Laurie isn’t the only beloved character who has been forever re-imagined as wholly unlikable. The character Donald Pleasence spent over a decade making an iconic horror hero, played by Malcolm McDowell in Zombie’s movies, has now become a despicable gold digging author who hopes to cash in on the Michael Myers story and can’t even remember the face of one of the victims.
And then, there’s Michael. Don’t know where he was for two years and where he’s coming from now, but when he’s not visiting a strip club (which he does in this movie…probably looking for his mom), he spends his time trekking across meadows killing any hick who gets in his way as he heads back to Haddonfield…you know, the place where he was believed to have been killed by Laurie in the first movie.
Michael has changed. Gone are the mechanic’s overalls and the vacant white Halloween mask. He still wears the mask occasionally, but it’s in terrible shape with one whole side ripped off and he doesn’t bother to make a pit stop at a convenience store this time to get a new one. Probably because this uneducated poor white trash has been voting against his own best interests, in which he would get government assistance to buy a new mask. Instead, he most often keeps the mask hidden under a hoodie! Michael Myers looks like Ben Kenobi on a murderous rampage. And Michael Myers also has a long scraggly beard and hair that sticks out from under his mask. In fact, most of the men, including Sheriff Brackett, have long scraggly beards and long head of hair in this film. It’s like a bunch of wannabe Rob Zombies have taken over Haddonfield.
As for young Michael Myers, who is featured prominently in this movie along with his dead mother (aka: Sheri Moon Zombie), there’s a failure in continuity, because the Hanson-looking actor that everyone seemed to hate from the first movie does not reprise his role here (do hater blame him?). Danielle Harris, whom hardcore Halloween series lovers adore, reprises her role as Annie. She starts out dressed when she comes face to face with Michael Myers, but as in the first movie, afterwards, she’s inexplicably pretty much naked again. Are Annie and Michael having some sort of torrid sexual affair we don’t know about? Will the next installment be called Halloween 3-D: The Birth of Annie’s Lovechild?
Other highlights include cameos by Howard Hesseman, Weird Al Yankovic, Margot Kidder, and a unicorn-looking white horse. The horse is pretty gay, but the film is way too hetero and could have been fagged up a little more. Sure, the girls go to a Halloween party dressed like characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but EVERYONE in this film listens to psychedelic 60s rock, 70s classic rock, and thrash metal, including Laurie! I was praying for a real scream queen to jump on stage at the Halloween party and start performing “I Will Survive.”
No. Seriously. This is an image from a Michael Myers movie.