CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

29 years in the making, Rob Zombie's "Halloween" revision

As the Production Assistant for "The Miracle Worker,"
I witnessed the step by step blocking of the kitchen
fight scene between Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.
The blocking was a mixture of tedium, worry and belly
laughs. Sometimes the teenage actresses connected
blows, sometimes they would deliberately miss and
laugh at the fakery of it. The final product during
the run of the show was a gripping piece of theater
for the audience.

After one rehearsal, I went home and my parents were
watching Joanne Woodward and Sally Field in "Sybil."
My poor parents had invested two nights of television
viewing. It was the big climax in which we witness little
Sybil being abused by her mother. I walked into the
scene and started to laugh, the more the wicked and
cruel mother tortured little Sybil, the faker I found
the action - knowing full well that the young actress playing Sybil
was not getting hurt. Even though my parents were horrified
by my behavior, for me verisimilitude was lost at “The Miracle Worker”
dress rehearsal.

When viewing the latest “Halloween,” my perception was my recollection on meeting most of the cast at either local Film Festivals, “Screamfest” or the “Corpses are Forever” set; Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Danielle Harris, Ken Foree, Richard Lynch, Clint Howard and Malcolm McDowell. Each actor resonates in director Rob Zombie's revision of John Carpenter's original scary movie of the same title. This 2007 “Halloween” fills in the gaps and details of the original 1978 version which introduced Jamie Lee Curtis to the movies.

Rob Zombie details the origin story of Little Michael Myers (Daeq Faerch), the middle child of Deborah Myers (Sherri Moon Zombie, the director's wife), a career stripper. Little Michael has been privately murdering his pets and eventually murders a bully in the woods. On Halloween Night in Hadonfield, Illinois, Michael murders his wicked stepfather and promiscuous sister.
Under the care of Dr. Loomis (McDowell), the caring psychiatrist attempts to treat Michael Myers for 15 years. When Dr. Loomis drops the case, the adult Michael Myers breaks out of the mental hospital and stalks his way home for a reunion with his orphaned sister; little Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton). A showdown ensures between Laurie Strode, Dr. Loomis and the 7 foot Michael Myers(Tyler Mane).

As Kane Hodder is considered the best Jason Voorhees of the “Friday the 13th” franchise, Taylor Mane gives a good physical performance as the monstrous Michael Myers. Being mute, Mane manages to communicate puzzlement, desire and fierceness with his body language. Mane is the quintessential bogeyman.
Despite being a labor of love for Rob Zombie and his first rate cast from the rogues gallery,

“Halloween” boils down to being just another slasher movie with a knife. Fans of the genre will appreciate the details of the flick, while the non horror film fans will find “Halloween” socially offensive. One nightmare scene features a topless Danielle Harris being dragged into the Myers house. Harris' blood curling primal scream will haunt anybody with a conscience. Love his work or loathe it, Rob Zombie does know how to direct terror on the big screen.
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