Movie Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 (2009)

Halloween2-2009There are a few very good reasons why John Carpenter’s Halloween has made such an impact even three and a half decades later:  The music, the mask, and the mute.   No other film’s soundtrack is as recognizable or sets the mood as much as the one Carpenter himself composed for his swan song, Halloween.  The subtleness of Michael Myer’s plain mask helps create a spook factor that has been replicated over and over since.  Mix in a merciless, homicidal madman who never utters a word sporting said mask, and you get this emotionless enigma that can’t be reasoned with.  If you’re in his line of sight, you’re dead.  Plain and simple.  No matter how fast you run, Michael can walk faster.

Rob Zombie took that enigmatic nature of Michael Myers that we all know and very much love and pinched a big steaming loaf on it.  I tolerated his remake of the original Halloween.  I was curious, and I’ll admit there was an interesting back story.  But I never saw any reason for him to do a second, and after witnessing the pile of garbage that is Zombie’s Halloween 2, I understand it even less now.  After sitting through it I felt like I needed to watch Carpenter’s Halloween 1 and 2 back to back while taking a long shower with a toothbrush planted firmly in mouth.  It left a bad taste and ruined an image I’ve had since I was 12.

Where I come from, Michael Myers was a 6-foot tall human Godzilla that destroyed anything in his way—doors, windows, glass, and of course… humans.

Rob Zombie tried adding a more humanistic side to Michael Myers with grunting, being maskless half the movie (and looking suspiciously like Zombie himself), and even giving us a single word in English at the end.  Part of what brings people back to watching the Halloween franchise is wondering if we’ll ever seen Michael’s face (excluding the very dark glimpse of him in the original Halloween) or witness some type of emotion.  We’re waiting for it, but we never really want it.  Like the sexual tension between two characters in a TV series.  You want Jim and Pam to hook up, but when it happens the excitement is gone.  It was a mistake.

Halloween 2 pic 1Zombie also destroyed the image of Dr. Loomis—the lovable doctor that did everything he could to help Michael and everyone around him, dedicating his entire life to the monitoring and treatment of Michael, all the while reminding us time and time again that Michael Myers was pure evil.  In Zombie’s Halloween 2 remake, Dr. Loomis is nothing but a greedy-eyed, selfish monster himself with no real regard for anything but a bigger paycheck and a girl in his bed.

In my opinion, Zombie isn’t a horrible filmmaker, though I think he misses the mark several times with all but maybe The Devil’s Rejects.  You can tell the man has a great artistic eye, but he also likes to trash up his movies to where even the hardcore audiences wonder where he’s coming from.  I believe he feels he’s bringing some unique element to something that doesn’t need it and instead distracts the audience from a potentially decent film.

I think one day Zombie may just get a homerun with one of his films.  But I’d really like to see him stay clear of tainting any other franchise that so many hold dear.

GingerDEAD Cookies!

Gingerbread men. Their spice scents the air and lingers on gd cookiesthe tongue. Many reserve gingerbread cookies for Christmas, but why not give them a Gothic twist?
Fred sells cookie stamps called “Ginger Dead Man” which leave an imprint of a skeleton into which white icing can be piped for a skeletal effect. Williams Sonoma sells skull cookie cutters crying for sugar skull status. Foodiggity offers a macabre little cutter called “conjoined.” Two heads for the horror of all.
Andrea from Cupookie in Los Angeles, California posted amazing Dia de los Muertos cookies with beautiful, devious designs. (www.cupookie.blogspot.com) She takes the ordinary form and transforms it into the extraordinary.

Zombies and monsters may lurk within the traditional framework. With swipes of white chocolate, a gingerbread man can become an avenging Mummy. Drip red from broken bits to denote victims. With a little poke and a pin or two, the cookies become weapons in the hands of a voodoo practitioner. Simple circles can become Tim Burton’s Jack Skellington.

To begin, bake traditional gingerbread men and ladies, or buy unadorned cookies to decorate.
A simple gingerbread cookie recipe:
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions: Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar in large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Then comes the fun. Let your imagination run wild.