Unfamiliar with Rob Zombie’s special brand of filmmaking? Watch the video for his song “Dragula” below. In just three minutes and forty-eight seconds, you get a nigh on perfect sense of the man’s personal style. More than his love of gore, his sense of gallows-ready humor and an obvious fondness for the color red, it betrays Zombie’s fandom. The guy really, really loves his horror movies.
His feature length work, originals “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects” play like over-enthusiastic love letters to seventy years of scary cinema. Horror gave back by letting him play with one of its favorite toys a couple years back. Zombie got to remake “Halloween” in 2007, which he did such a great job with that he was allowed to turn right around and make "Halloween II," which hits theaters this Friday. The sequel makes me a little sad though. It’s not that I’m sick of Michael Myers or anything. After all, everyone loves a supernatural serial killer in a William Shatner mask. No, I just want Zombie to take a stab at a few other horror perennials. Such as…
“Critters” is, unlike “Halloween”, very much a product of its time. In no other era of filmmaking than the mid-'80s could a movie about bloodthirsty, space-born furballs eating people in the American Midwest get made. It is a thing of utter beauty and hilarity. It’s perfect for Zombie too. It’s got all the bloodletting and back-country goodness he likes so much, and the titular beasties practically look like they jumped out of Zombie’s old album art.
It ain’t too big a leap to get from “Critters” to “Tremors”. You just go a few years forward and a few hundred miles southwest, add a dash of Kevin Bacon, and you’re ready to go. This one’s got three key features that make it ready for Zombification. First, much of it takes place in daylight, and Zombie has a penchant for making scenes not in the dark creepy as hell (see “Halloween”). Two, it too is a back-country freak show akin to “1000 Corpses” and “Rejects”. Three, Zombie was born to play survivalist gun nut Michael Gross. Tell me I'm wrong.
Yes, I realize that the last “Blade” movie only came out a few years ago, but did you see “Blade Trinity”? There was a five-minute scene of Jessica Biel making an iPod mix! That means it’s time to freshen up the series. Vampires are all the rage these days too, but they’re all way too clean and nice. I’m sick of all these pretty vamps already. Bring in Rob Zombie and have him pit Wesley Snipes against legions of nasty, mullet-sporting trailer trash vampires in Texas. It will be awesome.
Enough time has passed. The world has gotten over the last American attempt at “Godzilla” (though rumor has it Matthew Broderick still wakes up at night, screaming and terrified that it’s still 1998). Given the success of “Cloverfield” and its gritty, street-level take on giant monsters, it’s time the USA gives it another go with Rob Zombie at the helm. Picture it. A giant monster, traipsing through the south, stomping on everyone in its path. When you get a look at the thing's scales, they’re all covered with entrails and heads and whatnot. It would be simultaneously gross and sweet.
“City of Angels” (1998)
Yeah, that’s right. Except this time, Nicolas Cage doesn’t get all weepy when Meg Ryan gets hit by a logging truck. This time the angel gets pissed and goes on a terrifying rampage of vengeance, directing his infernal ire at some local college kids on a camping trip! Just imagine Zombie’s cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”.