Rob Zombie’s not concerned with the August 31st release date for his creepy remake of the John Carpenter movie Halloween. “I have no problem with it,” said writer/director Rob Zombie. “I guess it seems a little weird but to me, I wanted to get it out early enough. I'm always afraid that if you put it out too close to Halloween, will people not care come November 1st? It's kind of like Christmas movies are great until December 26th and then they're like, ‘Ugh.’”
Zombie’s take on the classic Carpenter film finds Tyler Mane in the role of Michael Myers and veteran actor Malcolm McDowell as the incompetent Dr Loomis.
Analyzing Michael Myers: Zombie has his own ideas about what made Michael Myers a killer. “The way I wanted it to come across was that Michael Myers in this movie is not a product of his environment,” explained Zombie. “He has what I thought was kind of like a normal crappy life. I thought it would be kind of cliché if he had nice parents and a nice house like that. But he was born bad is the way that I always played it. There was no explanation for why he was like this. Every kid gets picked on in school. Nobody's life is perfect. But in researching kids that kill other kids, which does happen, there was no explanation. It would be a normal kid.
This one kid, I can't remember his last name but his first name was Eric, and he was this kind of goofy redheaded kid with big glasses. One day he took this other little kid out in the woods and killed him. Now he's 21 and he's still in prison but it's so weird to see him. He looks like Opie but he decided to kill this other little kid one day. That's what I wanted to do is that there's really no explanation. He's basically psychotic. He's kind of charming and friendly and nice at times when he's talking to Dr. Loomis. And he's manipulative because you kind of go, ‘Well, he does seem like a nice little kid but he is evil because he's psychotic.’"
Zombie didn’t want the audience to come away thinking his family life had turned Michael Myers evil. “He was already turned. I just thought that for me, when everyone's like, ‘Oh, a nice…,’ I'm like where were these mythical nice families with the perfect parents and mom's wearing curls and everybody lives in a big giant white house? I don't remember that. I didn't grow up in that house and I didn't know anyone who lived in that house. So to me, that's like Leave It to Beaver. I don't even know anybody from there. Everybody I knew seemed like the kid in this movie, and that's what I remember. I can only draw from my own life, so to create the other thing, like when I did the Laurie Strode part, I was like, ‘What is this weird world of these homes that people live in?’ So to me that's more of a stretch.”
The Scoop on the Reshoots: “Reshoots happen on every single movie so it's hardly some unique experience,” said Zombie. “We did a test screening in New York early on. We weren't done editing or anything, but whatever. You gotta screen it anyway. The movie scored really high and Bob Weinstein was all excited and he goes, ‘Rob, I love this movie. If there's anything you felt that you wanted to get or you didn't get, I will give you more money to go back and get it.’ At first, I was kind of feeling like I was done, that there wasn't really anything else I wanted to do. But then I felt like this is a pretty amazing opportunity for someone to give you more money to go back, so then I looked at the film and thought about the things I wanted to do.
One of the things I thought was that Danny Trejo's character never really resolved itself. It was kind of a small part but because it's Danny, I think people latched more importance onto it so then I wanted to resolve his character. I wanted to restructure the timeline of the film because originally I had Dr. Loomis getting the phone call about Michael's escape the next morning. I wanted things to seem more urgent so I refilmed him getting the phone call in the middle of the night. Then I had to refilm the other side of the phone call with Clint Howard making the phone call in the middle of the night, so it was just a lot of things, time restructuring.
The other thing was I just felt like I needed more on the ending because when we were shooting the ending of the movie - this is just a logistical problem - but we were shooting in South Pasadena at 11 o'clock at night, they just shut us down. The cops come and they would just stand in front of the cameras and go, ‘You guys are done,’ whether or not you're done. At that point, I didn't really feel like I had the ending. I didn't have enough footage. So that was where I wanted to go back and add more to the ending.”
Making Halloween His Own: No one tried to interfere with Zombie’s vision of Halloween. “To me I thought, I could have changed every single thing and nobody else cared. There was nobody telling me what to do. I wanted to keep adult Michael's mask and his look. I thought that was sort of the iconic thing. To me that was the exciting part. If I was going to remake Frankenstein, I would want him to have a flat head and bolts in his neck because that to me is what Frankenstein is. Then I was trying to think as a fan. I could have made it not Haddenfield. I didn't need to put Dr. Loomis in the movie or Laurie Strode but then I thought, ‘Well, these are probably things people want to see done.’ It would be kind of like remaking Willy Wonka without the Oompa Loompas. You kind of want to see them. So I tried to keep the things that I thought were fan iconic moments.”
Keeping in Touch with Halloween Creator John Carpenter: Zombie talked to Carpenter about the project before he set to work. “Oh yeah, I talked to John Carpenter. I met John Carpenter when he was making Escape From L.A.. I see him every once in a while. I called John right before the news about the movie was going to come out. It was going to be in Variety and I wanted him to know first. I just called him and talked to him a little bit. He was excited about it and was like, ‘Great, make it your own. Just do one thing. Just make sure you make it your movie. Don't worry about my movie. Just make your movie.’ Then I talked to him about a week ago, told him that I was totally done. That was about it.”