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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Tuesday Top 10: Worst Things About Halloween II

I'm an angry blogger tonight, folks. Yes, I'm that guy. I just can't help it. Why? Because I saw Halloween II, that's why. Ever see a movie you hated so much it actually made you angry? Well that would be this disaster for me. I wanted to hold off till tomorrow and make it my Hump-Day Harangue, but I can't wait. I need to get at it tonight. And so, I'm making it the theme of my Tuesday Top 10. So here goes, let's dissect the ten major reasons why a colon irrigation would be preferable to seeing this film again...

10. Homeless-Looking Heroines
Rob, why must you make every character in your movies look like they've spent the past week hanging out at the Port Authority--especially the girls? The female leads may be OK on the eyes, but it seemed like Zombie did all he could to make them look as skeevy as possible.

9. The Best Part Never Even Happened
Hands down, the movie's best sequence was the opening in the hospital--but guess what? It was just a dream! That's right, the only part of the flick that felt like an actual Halloween movie, wasn't even real. Cause you know, Rob Zombie had to put his "stamp" on things and give us his version of the franchise. Thanks a lot, buddy.

8. That's So Jason
Characters you hate so much you can't wait to see them killed? Isn't that the domain of Friday the 13th? Don't get me wrong, Halloween dabbled in that to a degree as well, but not to the cartoonish level of the Voorhees series. Until now. I don't want to root for Michael Myers. I didn't in the original, and I shouldn't be now.

7. Logic? We Don't Need No Stinking Logic!
Why would Laurie be sharing the same hallucinations as Michael? And don't tell me because they're siblings, that crap might hold water if this was some lame-ass Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers-type supernatural nonsense, but I thought we ejected all that garbage in favor of realism.

6. Not Enough Danielle Harris!
What was the point of letting her character survive the first movie (unlike in the original) only to be rendered pointless in this one? Her presence is a major selling point of the film as far as I'm concerned, yet she was completely wasted.

5. Paging Dr. Frank N. Furter...
What was up with referencing the characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, yet vehemently refusing to mention them by name? Even going so far as to repeatedly refer to the good doctor merely as "a dude pretending to be a chick". Mr. Zombie, do you really think we're that dumb? Well, you got my ten bucks, so maybe you're right...

4. You Ma'am, Are No Laurie Strode
The completely annoying and unsympathetic Scout Taylor-Compton is such a far cry from Jamie Lee Curtis' iconic final girl that it's not even funny. Lacking all of the poise, style and acting chops of her predecessor, she turns Laurie into just another run-of-the-mill whining slasher flick chick. If this is the "good girl ideal", then our culture is doomed.

3. Angry Michael Myers
The Shape has no emotions. The Shape feels no pain. The Shape is an automaton. Or at least, he's supposed to be. Every time I heard Michael utter those seething grunts and groans as he murdered his victims, it felt like he was plunging the knife into my own heart. As if the humanization of the character in the first one wasn't bad enough...

2. Sheri Moon Zombie, Will You Please Go Now?
I know she's your wife, Rob, but why oh why did she have to be shoe-horned into this one, too? And as a completely out-of-place supernatural entity on top of it... It's been said before, but Michael isn't supposed to be the movie slasher who hallucinates his dead mommy, remember? Ms. Zombie and her stupid white horse nearly ruined the movie for me single-handedly.

1. The Dr. Loomis Character Assassination
I say nearly, because what really did it for me, what drove me into paroxysms of geek rage, was the cynical, stupid way in which Zombie ham-fistedly raped the character Donald Pleasance made so famous. The doctor is supposed to be a heroic figure--the voice of reason crying out against the madness, the yin to Michael's yang. Instead, Zombie thought it would be cute to make him a sleazy media-whore. So very sad. Not to mention the fact that his character serves absolutely no purpose in the picture whatsoever. Not since Jack Black's Carl Denham has a classic character been so thoroughly FUBARed.

And just so you don't consider me your typical bitter genre blogger... Here are the handful of little things I actually liked about the movie: Some very cool imagery, the nods to Frankenstein, Michael-as-transient, Brad Dourif, the Psycho homage at the end. There, happy?


Wings1295 said...

Haven't seen this in theaters, and frankly, I don't plan to. Your points are all the things I was afraid of.

Anonymous said...

I Loved H2 saw it twice with friends we all loved it Brutal yes

Jeff Allard said...

Thanks for calling out this movie. I've bitched up and down about it on my own blog but really, I feel like I only scratched the surface of what a piss-poor movie this was.

Tenebrous Kate said...

*passes B-Sol the antacids* Sorry this was such a frustrating movie-watching experience for you, man! One of the wacky things about genre movie reviews is I frequently wind up agreeing with folks who have differing opinions from mine in terms of the *details* they've observed--I just draw different conclusions from them. Your feelings about H2 are a perfect case in point!

For me, 10, 7, 2 and 1 were the *best* parts of the movie. To such a degree that I think I need to make my own post. Thanks for the inspiration!

B-Sol said...

Kate, I can't wait to see this post of yours. Always happy to inspire!
Anonymous, you and I may need to have a little chat lol...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting the death nail in the coffin that was still a little bit open as I've almost been swayed by quite a few positive reviews. Most people comment on Zombie's style (which has never been in question)and fail to recognize his lack of substance.

The last time I was severly angry after watching a film was The Collector. Such an insult to the audience.

Regardless, I will say this summer has definitely been the most fun I've had at the theaters watching horror films. To being geekily thrilled by Drag Me To Hell, to being thorougly surprised with Orphan to being close to throwing my iPhone at the screen (see aforementioned movie).

Phantom of Pulp said...

Agree with you completely. I wrote an equally angry review.

F--- those f---ing dream sequences.

I was so mad I could barely articulate.

I had no trouble finding expletives, though.

You've articulated with style.

Thanks, buddy.

Meg said...

Wow, I had the exact opposite reaction to #9 -- I was incensed at first, thinking he was just going to do a straight remake of the original. Borrrrrring! And relieved and pleased when it veered off into a completely different direction.

My biggest issue was with Sheri Moon, who always seems like she's on the verge of a crazy cackle to me, even when she's trying to play it serious. The "dream sequences" were hokey to begin with, and that just made it ten times worse.

Great post, man!

gord said...

Am I to understand that you're surprised that the film sucked?

Because a) he hasn't made a quality film yet, and b) his first reimagining sucked completely.

Anyways, nice to know that it's official that I can skip this clunker.

Wesley Cavins said...

You should have heard the audience at the premiere moan when the hospital scene was revealed as a dream sequence. Knowing Zombie was in the room to hear it was the icing on the cake.

Also, I would like to recommend Kindertrauma's review. It's my favorite so far.

Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoyed it along with several other people who I know saw it. You are comparing it too much to the original Halloween II and that was not where Rob was even trying to go with this movie. Jesus lighten up!

B-Sol said...

Planet, I agree that Zombie's style isn't in question. Aesthetically, I think he's an interesting filmmaker. I just think in this case he was completely out of control and undisciplined.

Gord, I personally loved House of 1,000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects, so I do think Zombie has made great horror movies. This was not one of them.

Wesley, I can't even imagine what that must've been like. But yeah, that hospital sequence was really great, and such a letdown when you discover it's just a dream.

Anonymous, I actually thought, as bad as this movie was, it was better than the original Halloween II--believe it or not. That movie is a complete waste of time. I understand Zombie shouldn't be doing a copycat remake (like Psycho). I just think he shouldn't have remade it at all. He's a smart director, and needs to be focusing on original material.

gord said...


I agree that Zombie's style is great. It's basically the only thing that has continued to interest me with his films. Though I've always seen his films as very similar to the TCM series, which I've also never liked. For whatever reason it's always been hard me to tolerate those films. I'm not put off by the subject matter or anything, I just don't enjoy them.

Although I have been meaning to re-watch House of 1000 Corpses, and maybe it'll grow on me a second time.

Also it's nice to see someone, especially a Halloween fan, who thought that the original H2 was a disaster. In my opinion it's the worst of the sequels, if only because of the talent involved.

gord said...

Follow Up Post

This little blurb from an Amazon review sums up my thoughts nicely;

"Clearly, Zombie fancies himself as horror's answer to Quentin Tarantino, but he lacks Tarantino's gift for riveting plots and escalating tension. Instead, The Devil's Rejects is just raw, rampant excess from start to finish, paying visual tribute to gruesome classics from the '70s and guaranteed to earn the cult status that Zombie is all too obviously aiming for. He's an unabashed horror buff who's carving a niche in the genre he loves, shamelessly satisfying a small but loyal audience of sicko-phants."

I think he's good at what he does, but not great. He shows clear talent, he just needs to reign himself in a bit.

RayRay said...

I have an idea: how about a moratorium on sequels and remakes? Hollywood and all independent film producers are hereby commanded to come up with new ideas. If they fail to deliver, we get to sacrifice them in old school Aztec fashion.

H30 said...

I agree with everything in the 'top 10' list. I went into the movie wanting to like it. I was hoping for a great sequel with more Myers on the big screen! Crap. This movie was sooo bad it didn't deserve the word Halloween to be anywhere in the title. I'm sorry, but that was NOT Michael Myers. The character of Michael Myers isn't suppose to act that way. The grunting with every single stab was so distracting and ...well...just plain stupid.The absolute worst Halloween movie ever made. EVER. I hated this movie and will never watch it again. I will not buy the dvd and want to just wipe this bad memory from my mind. Rob Zombie needs to go back to music and give up on making movies. It's just not working.

B-Movie Becky said...

Great post, this sums up almost every problem I had with the movie.

Corey said...

once i dissociated this film from John Carpenter's vision, i actually came to really like it. who says that michael isn't angry or that loomis isn't an ass? since when does a 're-imagining' come with such strict rules about what can be changed and what can't? while nowhere near the quality of the original film, i've enjoyed both of Zombie's takes on these characters. as we saw with the psycho remake, an exact duplicate of the original would be pointless and insulting. i think it'd be fascinating to see how different artists interpret the same concept... can you imagine seeing james cameron's halloween? terry gilliam's? tarantino's? it's unlikely we'll see those, but for now we have john carpenter's and rob zombie's... and i like both very different films in very different ways.

stop comparing this to the original and it's clearer what h2 actually is... a brutal, quirky, and damn entertaining slasher film.

B-Sol said...

I understand where you're coming from Corey, but here's my take: So much of what made the movie bad stemmed from Zombie's need to distinguish his movie from Carpenter's work, and to put his own print on things. As a result, it's reactionary, and far inferior to the original. Of course, I wouldnt have wanted a mindless regurgitation a la Gus Van Zant's Psycho remake. I just wish he had never tackled it in the first place--original material from him would be SO preferable.

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