COMMENT | It looks like Rob Zombie will be returning to the horror genre, with a new, as-yet untitled movie which the director says will occupy similar "headspace" to his earlier film 'The Devil's Rejects.'
Okay - now it might seem that Zombie hadn't left horror at all (really, how can he with that name), given that his most recent movie 'The Lords of Salem' was released only last year, and was very much horror.
However, as the musician/filmmaker tells New Zealand's 3 News, he had for some time been working on something rather different...
"I was working on this thing called 'Broad Street Bullies,' which was a hockey film, but that got put on the backburner because something else popped up… I'd been working on this hockey film for over two years, it took so much research and work, and I was literally sitting with someone going, 'You know, I have this other idea…'
"And I said the idea and they go, 'We'll make that!' ... So you slave over something for years and it's still difficult, and you say some crazy thing off the top of your head and they say 'Where do we sign?'. And that turned into a weird bidding war. And that became the next film."
I'm noticing uncanny similarities here to the situation Kevin Smith was in not long ago. The 'Clerks' director had been planning a hockey movie of his own, 'Hit Somebody,' but struggled to make it happen - then in very short order got 'Tusk' off the ground instead.
I think the lesson here is - no one in Hollywood wants to finance movies about hockey.
Of his new film, Zombie says, "I think it's something fans of the other stuff will like. Probably fans of 'The Devil's Rejects' will enjoy the most. It's not connected to that film but it's more on that headspace."
Zombie doesn't mention whether or not this has anything to do with 'Tyrannosaurus Rex,' the biker movie he planned to make in the late 2000s before he did 'Halloween II' instead - but it seems unlikely, given he stresses this is a new idea.
I don't think I'm too unusual among horror fans when I say I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Zombie's work. On the plus side, his sincere knowledge and appreciation of the genre has always been evident, and his films do have a very distinct personality.
On the other hand, his screenwriting leaves a bit to be desired - his dialogue in particular - and his remake of 'Halloween' was, for me, so terrible that I've never bothered seeing his sequel.
Interestingly, Zombie himself expresses distaste for his earlier work in this very same interview; specifically, his first film 'House of 1000 Corpses.'
"The first film... which people seems to love, is just a calamitous mess. Well, when it came out it seemed like everyone hated it. Now everyone acts like it's beloved in some way. All I see is flaw, upon flaw, upon flaw…"
A little worryingly under the circumstances, Zombie also mentions - and not for the first time - that his interest in horror is on the wane.
"I don't even know if I like it as much as I used to, as I spend so much time doing it, that if I actually sat down to watch a movie that would probably be the last thing I'd choose to watch!"
Not the most encouraging words from someone about to embark on directing another horror movie, I'm sure you'll agree.
For all the flaws in his work, Zombie's talent and singular vision is hard to deny. I just hope he isn't coming back to horror for the wrong reasons, and that his heart is truly in this project; if it isn't, maybe he shouldn't even call 'action'...
Happy to see Rob Zombie return to 'Devil's Rejects'-esque territory? Speak your mind in the comments section below.
Ben Bussey is a freelance writer and comic book movie/horror/sci-fi fantasy enthusiast, and his personal favourite Rob Zombie movie is the animated feature 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.' Make of that what you will.
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