ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Halloween (2007)(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Rob Zombie

Starring:
Malcolm McDowell/Dr. Loomis
Daeg Faerch/Young Myers
Sheri Moon/Deborah Myers
Scout Taylor-Compton/Laurie
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Young Michael Myers has it rough; stripper mom, alcoholic step-pops and whore of a sister. His surroundings eventually take a toll on him and slaughter becomes his outlet. He’s then slapped in the loony bin but years later; adult Michael escapes his cage and makes a group of dumb-dumb-dames pay… via…you guessed it…more killing! Oh there’s also some sister thing but…WHATEVER!
THE LOWDOWN
I’m gonna get this off my knife right off the slit! I mucho enjoyed the leaked Work Print of HALLOWEEN i.e. Zombie’s initial cut before the Studio sent him on his way to re-shoot land after some lukewarm test screenings. The Work Print was more focused, economic, had less plot holes and sported a way more satisfying (if not Halloween 4-esque) ending than the final cut. With that said; here are my thoughts as to the theatrical release.

Personally, I didn’t want a Halloween remake. I mean as a horror nut you got to draw the line somewhere right? Dawn of the Dead, NOTLD, Day of the Dead, Ringu, TCM… f*ck off already and make your own films! ENOUGH! In my book this was the line and it got crossed. No matter how I felt though, it happened anyways; so I had to deal with it. So when I heard that Rob Zombie was going to be behind the Halloween remake, I had a glimmer of hope. I worship both House of a 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects and let’s face it, Rob Zombie has his own voice and he makes it heard loudly. I like that about him. I knew that at least with Zombie at the helm I wouldn't get a shot by shot remake or anything that would stick close to the original in terms of approach or tone. Was good news for me; I'm sick of watching the same damn films over and over again cause Hollywood got lazy on our asses with this pathetic remake trend.

As I was watching Zombie’s Halloween; I kept thinking Bizarro world from the DC Comics Universe. It wasn't a sequel and not really a remake either; just an alternative take on already established material. So I took it as a stand alone and didn't expect or craved Carpenter's Halloween to surface. Zombie’s Halloween started off on the right swing of the aluminum bat. It gave me compelling insight on Michael Myers’ upbringing and his twisted family environment; all communicated via an aggressive, grungy and 70s ish visual style. Granted Baby Mike’s world was mucho akin to an After School Special gone wrong; I mean anything that could go sour for the kid went down. It was heavily clichéd no doubt…but with that said…clichés are sprung from reality and I didn’t have a hard time buying into young Myers' world and his plight. This shit really happens! Consequently I was right there with little Mike, feeling his frustrations, anger and eventually, sharing in his need for slash-slash rebuttal. In my overrated opinion, the first half of Zombie’s Halloween was the best part of the film; somewhat white trash uninspired in terms of meat - yes. Honest, cleverly written, freaky (all about little Mike with The Shape mask on...brrr) and affecting…F*CK YEAH!

It’s when the film shifted to Carpenter territory that it failed me like a crack whore oblivious to what a cock (aka her paycheck) is. The flick actually managed to insult my minute intelligence fairly quickly. First it served up 3 dames that even in a cold day in hell I could never warm up to. Annoying, crude, vacuous and cackling (shitty dialogue) like chickens with broomsticks up their bungs; Laurie and her cohorts spelled only two words for me “noisy and dumb” and I couldn’t wait for them to check out. Then the film went about getting that job done in such a rushed, half cocked and plot hole laced way that I lost 3 brain cells in the process. I mean how did Mike know what is his sister looked like? Why did he feel the need to waste everybody else in the neighborhood ON HIS WAY TO HIS sister? He hid the mask/knife for 17 years why again (and cops didn't find them-great cops)? It didn’t make any f*cking sense to me. You can't always get your whore and eat her too. Here by grounding Michael to "serial killer" status, making him a "human being" as opposed to what he was in the other Halloween films; an almost supernatural entity, evil on two legs if you will, Zombie opened himself up to a couple of traps and sadly he got pinched in a couple of them.

So the second half of the movie I managed to enjoy purely as a suspense-less (hard to feel tension when you DON'T CARE about anybody) yet deliciously brutal body-count party. Layers, depth, ties to the initial "Young Mike" plot line... freaking weak! Yup, the M.O. that the first half of the film worked so hard to establish with Young Myers was spit on heftily by this DUH and "one gratuitous stalk sequence too many" second half. On the other hand; mucho stabbings, Danielle Harris' gorgeous breasts popping out to say wassup and Myers violently busting through many o walls - OH YEAH! In spades! Can't go wrong with that! Mike killed brutally and mercilessly and I appreciated that. The bonus was; when he did, I cheered cause the moron dame leads and their inane dialogue were coming to an end. THANK YOU! 

As the end credits rolled you had a conflicted Arrow on you slab. I was all for Zombie’s exploration of young Mike and what drove him to nix out peeps - no matter how basic in terms of "white trash" stereotypes it was. Actually, Zombie should've shot a full prequel if you ask me! I would've killed to see that! The second block of the film though failed me in terms of characterization, suspense and smooth narrative evolution. In closing; Rob Zombie’s Halloween had a clear and gripping vision until the halfway mark  when it threaded on the "be a remake" path and stumbled like a drunken tramp with too many dicks in her ass. See the Work print guys; this compromised version just didn't slice as deep. BOOGEY THIS!

GORE
You know what, I was taken aback by a lot of the kills, they brought lots of smiles to my face, hence I won’t ruin them here. I will say this though; the flick is not particularly graphic but its brutal and harsh as f*ck.
ACTING
Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Sam Loomis) was on for the most part. Doing his own thing, surviving bad wigs while channeling Donald Pleasance now and again. But was it me or did he throw away his performance during the bulk of the last block i.e. re-shoots? Tyler Mane (Michael Myers) nailed it! Imposing, somber while emulating the token Myers moves we all love perfectly. He was a wrecking machine! When the script wasn’t playing against him, Daeg Faerch (Young Myers) aced his role like a champ! Loved him! Sheri Moon (Deborah Myers) got to stretch on this round. Sure she played yet another hussy; but she had a heart this time and I f*cking bought it. Props! Scout Taylor-Compton (Laurie), got on my nerves and screamed well while Danielle Harris (Annie Brackett) underplayed it and let her eatable breasts gap the rest. Brad Dourif (Sheriff Brackett) can rarely do wrong in my pitiful world and here was one of them cases; he owned!
T & A
SING IT! Titties to the left - titties to the right - a butt shot dropping in - Danielle Harris' 32/34 B look aright!
DIRECTING
Rob Zombie’s keen eye was so felt for the first 45 minutes of the film or so. Grungy, plays on focus, sly freeze frames, some slow mo and an axis towards atmosphere I was so grooving to his visual take on the material. The second half though felt by the numbers to me, style was rtoned down and the approach seemed to be “whatever gets the job done and nothing more”. So the whole was uneven to me.
SOUNDTRACK
The mix of old school Carpenter shite and Zombie –esque industrial like rumblings by Tyler Bates made sure to have the flick be faithful to its forefather while bringing in its own slick edge to it all. Dug it the most!
BOTTOM LINE

HALLOWEEN slammed in a visceral first half that had Rob Zombie carved all over it -  it felt like it came from the bottom of ones dead beat heart and I so grooved to that. The second half on the other snap, although beautifully brutal and sporting a Michael Myers that didn't f*ck around when it came to the human laundry, was uninspired, rushed, plot hole laced and filled with annoying twat chicks  – it let me down. So on the whole I’m so-so on this theatrical, Studio tarnished cut – the Work Print has my respect though – its more Rob and less Dimension – in a perfect world that's the version that would’ve been released. Hey at least both cuts were better than H20 and H8… I guess some solace is to be found in that. I'm curious to see where HALOWEEN goes after this Halloween 9 or Halloween 2?

BULL'S EYE
William Forsythe, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Easterbrook, Clint Howard, Ezra Buzzington, Sybil Danning, Micky Dolenz, Tom Towles and Richard Lynch all have cameos.

The clown mask that little Mike wears in the film was inspired by a mask design originally considered to be the Michael Myers mask in Carpenter's original.

Looking out for the movie White Zombie playing on a TV in the film. That's the film that Rob Zombie took his band name from.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL HALLOWEEN SITE HERE

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