Horror of Horrors: Rob Zombie
Salutations and amputations geeks! Once again, it has come time to delve into the Horror of Horrors, and lose your mind to the terrors within. You might as well…it’s such a sweet release. Coming hot off the heels of a sweltering Mayhem Fest in Saratoga, I felt that it would be nothing short of necessary to focus this week on a man who eats, breathes, and upside down sleeps horror. You all know him, you all love him, and you all want to be him, and sadly, none of us will ever be as fucking cool as the man known as Rob Zombie.
When I say that my brain almost melted during Zombie’s set at the Mayhem Fest , it would be a slight understatement. It was fucking massacred. Flashing lights, giant creepers, Macho Man style awesome jackets, and motherfucking Inframan (Ultraman for US audiences) playing on the screen in the background. Needless to say, it was fucking nuts. I had never gotten a chance to see Zombie before, and frankly I was planning on leaving before he played to beat the crowd, but I am glad I stayed. What happened was an assault of the senses in the best of ways. Now I am not the biggest fan of Zombie’s music, although I do enjoy it. The thing with Zombie is that his stage show and presence are so intense, that it almost drowns out anything else, but not in a bad way. It fuses everything together and instead of experiencing everything slightly separate, you get a whole package of eye and ear murder that partially liquefies your brain for a good while before easing you back into your senses. It was absolutely crazy. I go to metal shows all the time, and have seen awesome shows and terrible shows, but I had never seen anything like Zombie on stage before. I think mainly due to the fact that most of the bands I listen to could be considered underground and would not have the sort of budget that Zombie does. Zombie does have it though, and by fuck does he use it to the fullest extent. If you ever get a chance, please make good use of it and see him live. You won’t be disappointed. The best part is, his repertoire is not simply limited to his music, but into film as well, as he has become a rather accomplished director in his own right. What style of movie you ask? If you guess Romantic Comedy..congratulations! You have now earned the right to drown yourself. Of course it’s fucking horror…sweet, sweet horror.
When I had first heard that Zombie was going to be getting into the film business, I was kind of excited. I figured why the hell not, right? He seems to know what he’s doing, and has an eye for the spectacular and the macabre. It seemed like a perfect fit. I was working at a lowly video store at the time, and when House of a Thousand Corpses came out, I immediately took it home and watched it. To be honest, I was slightly underwhelmed. Not because the movie is bad, but I felt like I had just expected more, especially towards the end when he finally films and shows us Dr Satan. I saw the character and immediately thought,” Where the fuck has this guy been the whole time?” Why hasn’t he been out hunting with the crazy family that graced the whole movie (Sid Haig, why are you so awesome?) and conducting experiments of the most horrifying varieties on more people? It was kind of upsetting to me, but like I said, it is not to say that the movie was bad, I was just left with wanting a little more. The characters were well done, and for a first time director of a motion picture, he did a pretty solid job. Shit I saw Avatar, and that motherfucker has made so many movies and so much fucking money, that I was insulted when that glorified rape montage graced my movie screen. Zombie acted like he had been to that championship game before, and he made it work for him. Which leads us into the sequel…..
The Devil’s Rejects came out a while after House of a Thousand Corpses, and it outshone its predecessor in almost every way. I was completely impressed. It was amazing to me how only on his second movie, and he was doing better than a lot of accomplished directors I knew of (once again, Avatar. I understand they didn’t come out at the same time, but my hate for that movie runs deep.)This movie was so good, that it was almost terrible, if that makes any sense. I say it was almost terrible because it was hands down the best horror movie I had seen in a long time, and I was worried that nothing would be as good for a while, which technically was true. Everything about this film was done better than the first, and it seemed like Zombie took everything he did in the first film, and added a bunch of fuckawesome to it. The characters were very well done and we saw the continuation of the family from the first movie, but not really at the same time. It’s slightly weird, yet it will make sense if you see it. Once again, Sid Haig is at times horrifying and other times hysterical. He makes Capt Spaulding almost as menacing and scary as Dr Satan, but with a touch of class and comedy that the previous one didn’t exude. It was absolutely wonderful. The soundtrack was amazing as well, and the end scene being played up against Freebird was masterfully done. It could also, hands down, be one of the best ending scenes in any movie I have seen. It was just so well done. I was completely impressed .
Zombie’s next film was a revival of the Halloween franchise, which had seen some better days until he got his hands on it. Sorry Busta Rhymes , but there is no fucking way you’re getting past Michael Myers, and anyone who thinks he can is simply fooling themselves. I got a chance to catch this movie in the theaters, and I actually thought it was pretty good. I enjoyed how he made Myers menacing again, and they explored his dark past. Now most people got rather upset that they gave Myers are more down to earth backstory, but I thought it was tastefully done, especially the scene where his younger self finally goes crazy. The look on the boy’s face is horrifying and the pain his mother feels is almost too real. It takes away some of the mystique of the character, but adds more to it in the sense that we now know he is not some mystic entity, but a man who can take an abnormally large amount of punishment and keep trying to kill you. I thought that was more scary than any other interpretation of him because it keeps him from being too over the top, but still able to fill you with fear and dread. It was very well done. There was also a sequel to the Halloween movie, but I unfortunately have not gotten a chance to see it just yet, so I do not want to give an opinion on something I have not seen yet. That would not be fair to you guys, and to Zombie himself. Hopefully sometime soon I can get a chance to catch it.
To say that I enjoy Rob Zombie would be an understatement. I would say it falls more in line with admiration and respect. How many people do you know that can literally do whatever they want, and still look so fucking cool while doing it? Not many. Also, the guy is classy as fuck and has no problems showing his patriotism. The funny thing is at the Mayhem Fest, I was lucky to speak with a grounds worker who I let plainly know I did not envy, due to sheer amount of trash and stuff laying around, who informed me that a person had died at the Phish show that was there recently, and I could not help but be slightly confused. How is it that this man of demons and monsters is so patriotic and supported the troops while donning a Star Spangled Banner Tuxedo with matching top hat while playing a “We’re an American Band” cover on a show filled with death metal and musical violence, be so peaceful and respectful while supposed good timers and the like trashed a venue and were irresponsible enough to let a person die? It just goes to show that even though some people may look and act differently, does not mean that they do not support things that are important and feel a sense of pride of where they come from, and can act like the picture of class in such harrowing times. I am not knocking Phish at all, I am sure they are cool people in their own right, but there is just something to be said about situations like these. I applaud you Mr Zombie, and I look forward to all of your future work. Until next time my loyal servants! Please excuse me, there’s a lady in white who looks slightly living, yet slightly dead, and I must meet her.
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