Rob Zombie talks about his new bag of tricks, 'Halloween II'

Director-rocker Rob Zombie called last week, hyping his new movie Halloween II, the sequel to his 2007 remake of John Carpenter's slasher classic.

For a few minutes we chatted about split reactions from gore fans to his Halloween remake, this weekend's box office collision with another horror flick and prospects of a Zombie family reality TV show.

The only question Zombie didn't answer is why Dimension Films isn't showing Halloween II to many critics for review.

Why do this sequel after your Halloween remake didn't exactly thrill horror fans?

I felt protective of what I had started with the characters I reinvented. The most successful part of the first movie was the first hour, which was 100 percent my stuff. The second half started retelling John Carpenter's stuff. Now with part two, I'm not remaking anything. It's 100 percent original. That was very exciting to me.

But the plot outline sounds similar: Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) slashes his way through a hospital where Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is recovering.

That's the marketing department of the movie company. They just write this complete bull---- synopsis that doesn't have anything to do with the film. I've been battling that all along. They seem bent on trying to market a movie that I didn't make.

It's really a character piece on Laurie and Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), these really damaged people trying to carry on with their lives. I wanted to make a very dark psychodrama. At the same time, it's a very gritty, violent movie. It's a horror movie, but the damaged characters make it far more interesting. It's hard to fit that in a two-line synopsis.

The Internet allows anyone to play film critic, and many scorned your Halloween remake. How do you respond?

You can't respond. There's no sense in it. It doesn't mean anything. One reason it's an incredible waste of time is that you aren't sure who these people are. You wouldn't know if you're responding to a 12-year-old kid or a 75-year-old grandma. It's that faceless wasteland of the Internet. Some people get really hung up on that. I really don't care at all. You can't get into a scenario of the cart leading the horse.

Any thoughts about Halloween II opening the same day as The Final Destination?

It's a drag, obviously, because two horror movies (opening) on the same day splits the audience. It's not good for anybody. It is what it is.

After Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons did it, any chance of a Zombie family reality TV show?

No, definitely not. It's fine that people have done that; I'm not saying anything bad about anybody. But you put so much of your life into your work that, really, the only thing left that isn't exploited is your real life. To make that part of your work? I don't think you need that. You need to keep those things separate. I need to, anyway.

Are you telling me Rob Zombie at home is that different from Rob Zombie in public?

I'm not telling you anything. That's the whole point.

Steve Persall can be reached at persall@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8365. Read his blog, Reeling in the Years, at blogs.tampabay.com/movies.

Opening Friday | Halloween II

After reinventing the horror classic Halloween, director Rob Zombie takes the next logical step, giving the original's sequel an extremely violent makeover. With any luck, Halloween II (R) will be as ruthlessly entertaining as Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, which made my Top 10 list of 2005. Zombie recently admitted to ShockTillYouDrop.com that his Halloween was "a weird left turn that never found its groove." Horror fans mostly agreed. But the headbanger/goremaster proved with The Devil's Rejects that a sequel can surpass its predecessor. • "Halloween II is to Halloween as Rejects is to House of 1000 Corpses," Zombie said. "We shot the last film on 35mm, it was cleaner. This one, we went back to shoot a dirty, nasty movie on 16mm." • Picking up where he left off, psycho killer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) wants a bloody reunion with his sister Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), who survived an earlier massacre. As with the original, a hospital is Michael's new kill zone, although Zombie insists his version has little else in common with the first film. • Halloween II wasn't screened in time for Weekend review.

Rob Zombie talks about his new bag of tricks, 'Halloween II' 08/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:31am]

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