Fall is officially in swing, which means an annual rewatch of Halloween-themed horror movies is in order. One that is no doubt on your watch list is the John Carpenter classic Halloween, but you might also have Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake in your rotation as well. Zombie’s striking, violent film was, unexpectedly, met with a strong reaction. It’s entirely in keeping with Zombie’s style, but it also—as remakes post-2005 are required to do—“expands the mythology” to try and explain the mystery surrounding Michael Myers.
Zombie’s film was met with a tepid critical reception, and now Carpenter himself has weighed in with some not-so-kind words for the film and Zombie himself. Carpenter took part in a discussion with some film students back in April, and for some reason video of the Q&A has taken off as of late with regards to Carpenter addressing Zombie and comments the Devil’s Rejects filmmaker made in a 2010 TV documentary called Halloween: The Inside Story:
“He lied about me. He said that I was very cold to him when he told me that he was going to make [Halloween]. Nothing could be further from the truth. I said, ‘Make it your own movie, man. This is yours now. Don’t worry about me.’ I was incredibly supportive. Why that piece of shit lied, I don’t know. He had no reason to. Why did he do it?”
As for the film itself, Carpenter admits that his opinion is influenced by his feelings towards Zombie himself, but had this to say:
“Frankly, that will color my response to the film. If I take that away, I did not—I thought that he took away the mystique of the story by explaining too much about the guy. I don’t care about that. It’s supposed to be a force of nature, he’s supposed to be almost supernatural. And he was too big. It wasn’t normal.”
Indeed, while Zombie’s Halloween does get bogged down in trying to explain too much of the Michael Myers mythos, I personally think his 2009 sequel Halloween II is a pretty swell film. The follow-up allows Zombie to explore his own territory, venturing off into his own Halloween story, and in that regard I think it’s quite successful—although it certainly appears I’m in the minority.
Carpenter’s frankness here is refreshing, and he’s always been upfront about the fact that he doesn’t care too much if folks are remaking his films, as long as he is duly compensated for originating the material in the first place. Although we can probably surmise that in the future, Carpenter wouldn’t be too enthused about Zombie tackling another one of his own films.
Watch video of Carpenter’s comments below (via The Guardian).