Storytime, Kids!
October 22, 2009 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Rob Zombie's Where The Wild Things Are
posted by empath (39 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
That actually seemed to me to be more in line with the original story than the new movie is....
posted by zeugitai_guy at 9:22 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, no, no. If this were done by Rob Zombie, you would immediately note four things:

1) The rise of the white trash
2) Sheri Moon's little backside
3) Sheri Moon's psychotic titter
4) Careful explanation sucking the life out of the original
posted by adipocere at 9:29 PM on October 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


The real horror is Rob Zombie's career, stuck in the purgatory of watered-down KROQ junk between the heaven of metal and the hell of Top 40.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:35 PM on October 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


See, smart people know that Rob Zombie's [Noun] is going to suck in a way that few other people, places or things in the universe can be known to suck.
posted by Avenger at 9:52 PM on October 22, 2009


I think this is awesome. I will admit Rob Zombie's music is terrible, but Devil's Rejects was a good flick.
posted by sacrifix at 10:01 PM on October 22, 2009


Rob says to splendor, others laugh and wonder about needles.
Or ones who need needles.
Or loops.
posted by Mblue at 10:02 PM on October 22, 2009


I was expecting a lot more looped and distorted guitar riffs. Or even one chord played over and over and over and over again.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:07 PM on October 22, 2009


I don't get the Zombie hate, honestly. I understand why he's not everyone's cup of tea, but my gut tells me the level of vitriol is one of those "are you cool enough" shibboleths.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:07 PM on October 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


As a typical middle-American white dude in his mid-30's, let me give you my reaction.

"Huh. Rob Zombie has dreadlocks? I know who he is vaguely-- I remember he was making music with the same marketing plan that a lot of people have used before him: aim for shock, piss off the parents, and you will profit. I guess the cynical marketing-as-music wasn't worth pushing too far because lately I've heard his name attached to movies and not to music. Not that I saw the movies either, or could tell you the names beyond 'Night of One Thousand Corpses' because it sounded particularly reaching and juvenile enough to stick in my head.

"So this how the writers of this piece think he would adapt 'Where the Wild Things Are.' Huh. I don't think this is particularly inspired because every kid who read 'Where the Wild Things Are,' once they got too old for the book, has pondered 'what if the monsters came to Max rather than Max going to them?' I don't think I considered gang rape, and that's for good reason because that's one of the least funny topics I can think of. This sucks. Even if it's a deft parody of Rob Zombie's work, I don't care nearly enough about him to think anything beyond 'this is some lazy shit.'"
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:31 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


We all go down for the God of the moment
Super demon seed running wild and below and
Head trip news turn a trick to the flow and
Sugarland Express what you know and
Get inside get in there
Evil in your eyes baby I don't care
Get inside get in there
See the flesh falling everywhere
posted by bwg at 10:34 PM on October 22, 2009


>: See, smart people know that Rob Zombie's [Noun] is going to suck in a way that few other people, places or things in the universe can be known to suck.

That's gross.

I think they should cast Rob Zombie as the next Jack Sparrow.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:17 PM on October 22, 2009


G4 sucks..bring back Tech TV. I can't believe we lost good, informative, smart, and entertaining programming for this juvenile hunk of festering garbage that is G4.
posted by GavinR at 11:21 PM on October 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


The carefull explanation thing is just standard operating procedure for remakes. It's done around about the same time they're exterminating all possible subtext.
posted by Artw at 11:43 PM on October 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel about Rob Zombie the way the rest of you nerds feel about xkcd.

OK, not really, but one of us has to choose not to be a snarkyopteryx.
posted by hifiparasol at 12:10 AM on October 23, 2009


Oh boy does this take me back
posted by Artw at 12:29 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


No Superbeast during the rumpus scene?
posted by qvantamon at 12:33 AM on October 23, 2009


Parodiesseem to have a lot less of an effect when they're imitating someone who mostly uses recycled concepts. At least for me.
posted by mannequito at 12:49 AM on October 23, 2009


It's funny because it's true!

No, and indeed, wait.
posted by asok at 1:39 AM on October 23, 2009


If you start from the assumption that Rob Zombie's entire schtick is ironic and deeply self-aware (which definitely appears to be the case), then it's just pure dumb fun. The goth equivalent to folk music.
posted by Ryvar at 2:10 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Exactly. As long as Rob Zombie is ironic and deeply self-aware of his schtick, then the attentive listener can be assured the music really isn't as bad as it sounds.
posted by belvidere at 2:57 AM on October 23, 2009


This is something of a derail, but here's my Rob Zombie problem, as a whole — he ought to know better. He is an unabashed fan of horror films of a variety of ages, so he's at least had exposure at a level most people have not. He's at least got the background. I love fine chocolates but I know I'll never be a chocolatier, that's where I'm going with this.

Start off with Domicile of One Kilocarcasses. Now, I love Sheri Moon's little backside and Sheri Moon's psychotic titter, too, but we need more than that to structure a movie around, so he more or less dusts off the "crazy family" thing in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre fashion and goes with that, but not anywhere in particular. Nice to see you again, Ms. Black, and your voluptuous horror, too. The DVD menu to the movie was more entertaining than the movie itself. Oh, I guess I like that bit where that guy says "Doctah Sataaaaaaan" from the trailer.

I cannot speak to The Devil's Rejects. Eventually, someone will arrange something where I end up feeling pressured to see it, and do not have to pay money for the likely disappointment.

Then there's the remake of Halloween and Halloween II. The first two movies are, if you watch the originals, stripped-down dune buggies of films, simple but innovative, going to places movies hadn't much gone before. Zombie could have gone with them as presented but instead he chose to do the very tedious Michael Myers backstory. Here is what was terrifying about Myers in the original film — he has no backstory. He's a six year old who one night keeps his costume on and kills his sister. Nobody knows why. Michael Myers just happens, bam, out of nowhere. The idea that a child who wasn't a Bad Seed to begin with could just ... transform, for no apparent reason, into a sister-slaughtering death machine, that's terrifying. He's even listed as "The Shape" in the credits. Michael Myers isn't a person, he's a silhouette in your doorway, he contains almost no information at all. He's the barest outline of a human being you can get short of catatonia.

Instead, we get White Trash, "we saw it coming" Michael Myers. He's just a pastiche of various serial killers, with background bits of familial trouble and tendencies anyone who has seen, oh, three episodes of CSI could have put together. Absent father, replacement father, substance abuse issues in the grownups around him, and so forth. He tortures animals and his mom's profession skeeves him out. Oh, and he's real tall, too. The explanation has subtracted from the terror. We never knew what set him off in the original two films: did some shadow, darker than the rest, creep into his bed? Did the Devil whisper in his ear one night? We never knew, and that meant that any little kid (and they're all pretty strange, aren't they?) could simply pick up a knife and stab away. Is he that hard to kill because he is granted supernatural strength from On Low, or simply because there's nothing to him but muscle and the urge to keep going? We did not get to know that and the very ambiguity frightened us.

The second film tried to make up for the overexplanation of the first with some Jungian stuff that never resolved into anything interesting, aside from giving Sheri Moon an opportunity to wear a gown and float about the moors. Plus, hey, I'm deep! I'll admit his filmmaking techique on a technical level has some a long way, but it was used in service of "Oh, cool, I get to work with Brad Dourif" and the most banal motivations for Myers that we never needed in the first place.
posted by adipocere at 3:48 AM on October 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


On the bright side, this has really helped reinforce my appreciation of what a beautiful and brilliant illustrator Sendak was.
posted by Shepherd at 5:49 AM on October 23, 2009


One day Rob Zombie will direct someone else's screenplay. On that day, it is very possible that Rob Zombie will make a good movie, but not before.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:10 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, that one song of Zombie's that was on Guitar Hero, that was awesome. Nineteen-sixty... five, yeah!

This, not so much. In the future, please let your fellow MeFites know when the funny stuff starts in the video. I didn't get a minute in and got bored.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:18 AM on October 23, 2009


adipocere: "I cannot speak to The Devil's Rejects. Eventually, someone will arrange something where I end up feeling pressured to see it, and do not have to pay money for the likely disappointment."

In my book, The Devil's Rejects was one of those films that's surprisingly good; rising above its own material and its own director's apparent capacities in what becomes increasingly clear in retrospect (as Rob Zombie keeps making more movies) was a fluke. Ebert has a pretty good review of it, also in my book. (My book has many pages and honestly does need an editor.)

I am thoroughly with you on the Halloween remake, which overall made me sigh and have almost no desire to see whatever he did with the sequel.
posted by Drastic at 7:43 AM on October 23, 2009


Here is what was terrifying about Myers in the original film — he has no backstory.

But that had already been ruined by the never-ending series of terrible sequels. In the original, he was the boogieman, and they only gave him enough backstory to make it clear that he was a homicidal maniac. It was shot in a way that both the audience and the main character only saw him in glances until the final confrontation at the end of the film. The build-up and reveal were key to the tension and climax of the film, and many other monster films use the same basic technique (Jaws, Alien, etc.).

Once the cat is out of the bag though, you can't really do the trick again. Everyone knows who Michael Myers is now, he's one of the most iconic horror villains of all time. If Rob Zombie had wanted to do a low-key horror build up (which is really, really not his style) he probably would have done it with original characters rather than in a remake.

One day Rob Zombie will direct someone else's screenplay. On that day, it is very possible that Rob Zombie will make a good movie, but not before.

It's possible for a horror movie to be well-written, but I don't think it's all that necessary. I think most aspects of what make a good horror film are very visceral and appeal to the more lizard-brain parts of people, so things like special effects, acting, editing, and whatnot are more important than the script. If you ask people what makes Psycho a great film, it's probably Janet Leigh getting stabbed in the shower or Anthony Perkins' creepy acting or Hitchcock's excellent directing, because the exact same screenplay could have been used to make a much worse film (and arguably it was, considering that nobody really liked the shot-for-shot remake).
posted by burnmp3s at 7:47 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like Zombie more for his music than his work as a film maker (which isn't to say I don't like this films, I just really enjoy some of his albums). I find this funny, because normally I care a lot about the lyrical content of what I'm listening to, but I think Zombie is more like an abstract impressionist when it comes to putting voice to his songs. It seems to matter less what the song is supposed to be "about" as to what emotion it evokes.

"I dreamed I was a super-nova fucker
Nitro burning fuel-injection
Feed the gods a strychnine soul
A mother-fucker of invention"


I have no idea what this means, but fuck if it doesn't sound cool.

I was expecting a lot more looped and distorted guitar riffs. Or even one chord played over and over and over and over again.

Followed, preceded and present while he is saying "Yeah!", because he does that a lot.
posted by quin at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]



No, no, no. If this were done by Rob Zombie, you would immediately note four things:

1) The rise of the white trash


To be fair, a key ingredient of any successful Hollywood blockbuster is the White Trash Hero.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:03 AM on October 23, 2009


Real H*psters like rob zombie becuase of his marriage of My Life With Thrill Kill Kult and Ministry with 60s camp. And for being late 90s music that isn't rap rock.

His movies are whatever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:09 AM on October 23, 2009


Followed, preceded and present while he is saying "Yeah!", because he does that a lot.

This is a big tangent, but I'm running with it.

I enjoy the chunk of rock n roll phrasing that revolves around the punctuations, hooks, what have you. As a vocalist your refrains can range from "Yeah!" to "Uh-huh" to "Woooo" to really sexy combo hits like "Woooo - Yeah!"

Gives the vocalist something to do in between measures. Gives ya' something to latch onto.

So yeah, Rob Zombie goes Yeah! a whole lot and sometimes he drops a manly Hunh!. It's really quite enjoyable. But that's not where I'm going. Bob Rock (wiki), a name so metal that its last name ends in Rock, ahem, was a popular record mixer/producer working his way up through the late 80's/early 90's. Engineered / Mixed Bon Jovi's Slippery when Wet, establishing that shiney glossy rock pop sound, Produced Motley Crue's Dr Feelgood, with extra GRRR Crunchy guitars and thundering bass drum hits, yada yada.... he also produced The Cult's smash Sonic Temple, featuring the single "Fire Woman".

So Metallica, which it can be argued for any number of reasons, my personal favorite being -- ...And Justice For All sounds like it was recorded with no bass at all (rip cliff :() --, Metallica, they decide they want some of that thick deep sound that Dr. Feelgood had. So they sign up Bob Rock to produce their 1991 megawhomper, Metallica.

I'm getting there.

So Metallica, they hire some guys to record a documentary while they're recording Metallica, which came to be labelled A Year And a Half in the Life of Metallica. They allowed them pretty good access to all aspects of the recording process, including banter/sometimes heated exchanges between Bob Rock and Metallica singer James Hetfield.

Here we are!

So there's a clip in the documentary which starts with Bob Rock producing James Hetfield as he's recording vocals for one of the songs. They've already had exchanges about this track as you can tell and Bob suggests that James adds some kind of punctuation to the end of the line -- "Yeah!" , something like that. James agrees.

So they play the track again and James does his line and the punctuation comes up and he rips into The Cult and goes "Fii-yahhh WooMAWN!!" Insult made. Room is full of laughter. Except Bob. Bob grimaces and counts his millions in his head.

Favorite rock punctuation bit ever.
posted by cavalier at 8:36 AM on October 23, 2009


Considering how much people seem to love zombies on the internet, it's a wonder Rob's schtick isn't more popular.
posted by box at 8:47 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't get the Zombie hate, honestly.

I've figured it out. (I'm no fan, by the way). It's probably because his name is "Zombie" and the nerds have co-opted this genre as their own (for god knows what reason).

It somehow bothers them that his name is "Zombie".
posted by Zambrano at 9:24 AM on October 23, 2009


And his half brothers name is Spider One. (I would love to go to one of their family dinners, I bet they fucking rule.)
posted by quin at 9:53 AM on October 23, 2009


Great comment adipocere. I could not agree with you more on your assessment as to how much of a disservice Zombie did to the Halloween legacy through his remake. Giving Michael a back story really takes away mystery surrounding him in the John Carpenter version. In the interests of full disclosure I have to admit that I have but 2 experiences with the Halloween franchise. Those being the Carpenter original and Zombie's remake. I've never had any interest in the franchise outside of Carpenter's first film, which IMHO is a nearly perfect movie. I've deliberately chosen to not see the numerous sequels because reviews that I've read of them all seam to indicate that those films take a departure from the slow burn subtlety of the original film min favour of an emphasis on over the top gore and violence. A direction that I knew the Robb Zombie version would also take much to my dismay. Can I tell you what my favourite part of Carpenter's Halloween is? Every time I watch that version, it still creeps me out quite a bit, and I love that it is done almost completely without needing to show any gore on screen. There are TWO shots in the entire film that even feature blood. How awesome is that?

I could go on and on all day about how many things I find wrong with Zombie's version. Perhaps saying that these things are wrong is a misstatement, because for the world Zombie creates his choices make sense. I just feel that his decisions don't have the same impact on me as a viewer as the original "cleaner" version.
posted by theButterFly at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2009


If dual commenting is not allowed I apologize. (I'm new here) I noticed another thing I wanted to comment on in Adipocere's comment.

Michael Myers isn't a person, he's a silhouette in your doorway, he contains almost no information at all. He's the barest outline of a human being you can get short of catatonia.

One of my favourite subtle touches in the Carpenter film is actually the casting of Nick Castle as the body of "The Shape". When you compare it to the actor who plays "older Michael" in the RZ version this becomes even more apparent. Nick Castle is NOT a big dude. Or at least he certainly is not a former professional wrestler. I really like the fact that the Carpenter version has very little clues to the fact that there is something other worldly about Michael Myers. Until the very climax when he survives 6 gun shots and a fall from a balcony we are given very few hints at his supernatural nature. Even the injuries he sustains up until this point are things that a normal person could conceivably withstand. (A knitting needle to the neck, a coat hanger in the eye and a knife to the chest. Okay maybe not the last one.) I like this air of mystery. I think it makes the final scene where his body is revealed missing much more frightening. Maybe he was indeed the "Boogey Man".
posted by theButterFly at 12:30 PM on October 23, 2009


Kenneth Hite's Where the Deep Ones Are
posted by Zed at 2:07 PM on October 23, 2009


The ultimate horror of Halloween... the earworm:

Eight more days till Halloween, Halloween, Eight more days till Halloween... SILVER SHAMROCK!
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on October 23, 2009


What? … it has masks which turn people’s heads into centipedes and worms and which are made of bits of Stonehenge, that can’t be bad, can it? Come on now…
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on October 23, 2009


Re Rob's lyrics and music... Dragula is one my favourite tracks evah and is utter genius. There I've said it.

That said I've only seen The Devil's Rejects and that was utter garbage (well apart from Moon's bottom and laugh and the psychotic clown... because you can't really go wrong with a psychotic clown especially one played by cult film legend Sid Haig)

And one they started introducing all the silly 'it was the Druids that made Micheal' into the Halloween series it was all over. (Though it was probably really dead from film 2 onwards)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:38 AM on October 24, 2009


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