Eight years ago (or so), I checked out a little movie called HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES at a midnight showing in my college town. The flick paid homage to my favorite film genre of all time and simultaneously had a look all its own that was somehow fresh and unique, and something we hadn’t seen in a while. I knew it was a Rob Zombie movie at the time (his first) and remember wondering what else he might have hiding up his sleeves. Take a time warp to last week where news of Zombie’s latest flick THE LORDS OF SALEM jump started into production, with all new details as to the film’s storyline surfacing as well. The dude has five solid feature films under his belt (with a TV show and a faux trailer in there as well), and yet all I saw on the internet were naysayers and shit talkers taking shots at the guy, and immediately… I wanted to punch some of these mother*ckers in the face. Enough already! It’s time for ya’ll to shut the f*ck and give the guy a f*ckin’ break!
Some argue that the guy is a ‘hack’ and he’s ‘destroying the face of horror.’ Let’s think about that for a second—a hack? Really? After busting on the scene with the exceptionally awesome HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, he dived even deeper into the world he created with THE DEVIL’S REJECTS and blew everyone (and their mothers) away! The same internet that hates him now couldn’t stop blowing the guy for his grimy tale of outlaws and rednecks, praising the man for creating such a down and dirty film, and for giving Bill Moseley and Sid Haig a chance to be mainstream again. And talk about f*cked up violence! Genre fans want gore and violence, they want to feel uncomfortable, they want to see a side of the world that is horrifically more gruesome than their own and Zombie delivered. This is a guy who had only made one movie prior to this, mind you. Not bad for a sophomore effort, eh? You’re goddamn right it’s not.
I guess my point there is, how could he be a ‘hack’ who also is out to ‘destroy the face of horror’ by making a couple of solid, gritty, and let’s face it, more or less original horror films? By remaking a masterpiece, I suppose. This is it, right? This is the reason why, beyond the comments like the one above, people have called him a shitty director, an ass-raper of the most sacred horror movie in movie history, an audacious f*cktard who would have the gall to remake John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN—after saying that he would never direct a remake, no less. You either hate what he did with HALLOWEEN or you thought it wasn’t bad, but nobody really loves the remake. Or rather, no real horror fan would give Zombie credit for what he did with it. And yet, beyond all the hate, the film made a shit-ton of money, so who are the real ass-rapers here? Oh yeah—we are. For going out and seeing it and making it a bonafide hit.
But looking beyond the film’s background and origins, if you look at the film as a stand alone film, it’s not bad! It’s well made, there’s some savage shit going on, there’s some originality with the mom and the f*cked up family dynamics, there’s tons of gore and gritty violence, and seeing Myers kill on screen again after a string of shitastic sequels was a joy. Most horror fans can’t see it that way and took it as an assault on the holy grail of horror and immediately lumped Zombie into the same asshole category as Platinum Dunes (the remake Kings) and the makers behind shit like THE STEPFATHER and WHEN A STRANGER CALLS remakes. Seriously? The same dude people couldn’t get enough of is now a douche who couldn’t direct traffic after remaking one movie? Goddamn the internet has turned a generation into a bunch of unhappy cry-babies.
So you hated HALLOWEEN. Ok. I’m not gonna argue with you there—mostly because I saw the same movie before, back when Carpenter made it, so was bored with what I saw. After HALLOWEEN Zombie did something crazy: he announced that his next movie was going to be HALLOWEEN II! And oh how the haters rejoiced in their hatred of the guy! Then the film came out and people hated it up and down, left and right, and shat down the neck of its severed little head. And why? Because, at this point, it was the cool thing to do. Zombie redeemed himself with HALLOWEEN II, making an original movie with the beloved characters from the HALLOWEEN universe and he did his own thing—with fantastic results! He hit all the marks to please most horror fans, with the gore and the violence and the Myers brutality, and gave us something new and fresh to a played out franchise that actually pushed the envelope more than Busta Rhymes or Josh Hartnett could have ever imagined. And what did Zombie get in return? Hate. Nothing but f*cking hate—simply because that’s the cool thing to do if you’re a horror fan these days is hate all over Zombie. Because, with one remake under his belt, he somehow lost all the street cred his first two beloved flicks gained him.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but the haters need to stop talkin’ shit about Rob Zombie and they need to give the guy a f*ckin’ break already. THE LORDS OF SALEM isn’t a remake, it doesn’t revolve around the same hillbillies as DEVIL’S REJECTS or CORPSES, it’s a brand new, original horror flick revolving around witches going apeshit after a cursed record is accidentally played. Sounds like a blast to me! And more importantly , it doesn’t sound like something we’ve seen before... so stop your f*cking bitching. For a guy who’s only been making movies since 2003, he has one of the more solid filmographies out there and a track record to boot. Throw in his fun animated adventure THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO and his GRINDHOUSE trailer for WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE S.S., and you have yourself a guy who obviously loves horror and has made a career exploiting his passion for it. He understands what fans want out of it and he brings his own unique style to the table with everything he does. You don’t have to like what he puts out there, but enough with the shit-talking already.