Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 030: Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009) – Part 4 of 5

HMP030 Artwork

Welcome to the most controversial and contentious episode of our HORROR MOVIE PODCAST HALLOWEEN EXTRAVAGANZA… This is a five-part series, where your hosts — and some great guests — cover the entire Halloween franchise in-depth, Horror Movie Podcast-style…

In Episode 030, the gloves come off, and we bring you in-depth movie reviews of Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and his sequel, Halloween II (2009). We have two special guests for Episode 030: The Southern Gentleman GREGAMORTIS, who is the host of Land of the Creeps horror podcast. And we also have ONE SICK PUPPY, the host of the Dead as Hell Horror Podcast.

Don’t forget to enter our drawing to win one of two horror t-shirts, courtesy of Fright Rags. See the details below.

Horror Movie Podcast is typically a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. But during the month of October 2014, we will bring you a new release every Friday this month: October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24 and October 31. If you like what you hear, please subscribe. And thanks for listening.

If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789. Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


[ 0:03:11 ] I. Feature Review: HALLOWEEN (2007) with special guests GregaMortis and One Sick Puppy
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 9 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
GregaMortis = 9 ( Buy it! )
One Sick Puppy = 9 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:30:08 ] II. Feature Review: HALLOWEEN II (2009) with special guest One Sick Puppy
Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 4 ( Avoid )
Dr. Shock = 5.5 ( Rental )
One Sick Puppy = 8 ( Buy it! )

III. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Check out Dr. Shock’s daily horror movie reviews in October on DVD Infatuation.com
— Jay of the Dead’s guest appearance on Ep. 043 of the Geek Cast Live Podcast
— Jay of the Dead’s guest appearance on the Dead as Hell Horror Podcast

Enter Our Fright Rags T-shirt Give-Away Contest:
Don’t forget to e-mail us at HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com
1. Tell us where you’re listening from. (Ex. Salt Lake City, Utah)
2. List your top 5 Halloween franchise movies.

We will announce the two winners during Episode 031, which releases on Halloween!

Both shirts are Men’s XL, and there is a Dr. Tongue (Day of the Dead) shirt and a Splatter University shirt, pictured below. Fright Rags.com

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JOIN US NEXT TIME ON HMP: Halloween Day! Friday, October 31, 2014 — Ep. 031 – Halloween Extravaganza – Part 5 of 5:
Franchise Overview
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) documentary

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.


Links for GregaMortis:
Land of the Creeps horror podcast
GregaMortis on Facebook
On Twitter: @GregaMortis
LotC on iTunes
LotC on Stitcher
GregaMortis on YouTube
See GregaMortis in the horror movie: Honeyspider
Honeyspider on Facebook
Honeyspider on Twitter: @HoneyspiderFilm

Land of the Creeps’s coverage of the Halloween franchise:
Land of the Creeps gives a commentary on John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)
Land of the Creeps covers: Halloween 2 and 3
Land of the Creeps covers: Halloween 4, 5 and 6
Land of the Creeps covers: Halloween H20 and Resurrection
Land of the Creeps covers: Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 and 2 with special guest Tyler Mane

Links for One Sick Puppy:
One Sick Puppy’s Dead as Hell Horror Podcast
Follow One Sick Puppy on Twitter: @DeadAsHellHP
One Sick Puppy On Facebook
On Stitcher
On iTunes
One Sick Puppy’s crew: The Tangent Bound Network.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Wolfman on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Wolfman Josh covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
Wolfman covers movies streaming online on: Movie Stream Cast

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dr. Shock’s daily movie review Web site: DVD Infatuation.com
Dr. Shock on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Dr. Shock’s other horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Dr. Walking Dead on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead
Dr. Walking Dead’s books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

Thanks for listening, and join us again next Friday for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies.

Jay of the Dead

57 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 030: Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009) – Part 4 of 5

  1. Yes! I love this episode! Things got super tense during that Halloween II discussion. Here’s how I pictured you guys in my mind’s eye 😉

    • This reminds me of Mark Ruffalo’s Sympathy for Delicious … and Fletch Lives. Haha. It’s a very funny idea with the Street Fighter homage, though. There was definitely some down and dirty Street-Fighting on this episode. Tiger!

  2. I too was just coming to comment regarding the tense moment of frustration brought on by white horses! I loved it. That was fantastic, but what I loved even more was how you guys still kept your cool and somewhat just agreed to disagree and carry on a civil conversation. Real good stuff right here.

    As always gentlemen a great podcast and even made me want to re-watch Zombie’s Halloween again. I haven’t seen it in a while and Im also in the middle. I wasn’t happy when I initially saw, but after another viewing I’ll agree it slightly grew on me as well. As I said Im now looking forward to watching it again to see how I feel about it now. Unfortunately H2 I cant speak for only seeing it once and just remember being bored out of my mind and I’ll have to say Im not down with white horses either. With that being said I feel like I might need to see it again to refresh my memory.

    Great job guys and looking forward to the next episode for the wrap up on this month long Halloween edition.

  3. I’ve got to say I’m really loving the host dynamic of this episode, both Greg and One Sick Puppy bring a lot to the table in terms of contrasting opinions and attitudes and it’s great to here so many ideas and explanations both in criticism and defense of these movies. I’m currently right in the middle of the “white Horse Argument” and had to go open a beer because it’s getting so intense. I’ve never heard Doc like this before, he’s normally cool as cucumber!

      • Come on guys! Why the hate on the Batman movies? Yes, The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t everything it was hyped to be, but it was still pretty good, don’t you think? And yes the Joel Schumacher movies haven’t the most sophisticated take on the cape crusader, but they’re still quite charming in their own right. They definitely fall on the so-bad-its-good category, right? Anyway, I’m curious as to how you’d rank the Batman movies.

        • My only point, initially, was that A) Fans of anything have a stake in the execution of the creator’s idea and B) Just because fans have a stake in it, doesn’t render their criticisms invalid. Jason didn’t like Batman Rises Again 😉 so that was my first example, but then I changed it to the roundly-despised bat-nipples of Batman & Robin and Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars: Episode 1 to better illustrate my point.

          Having said that, I’m actually not the biggest fan of any Batman movies. I watch the 1966 Batman: The Movie the most, probably 4 times a year with my kids. Batman 1989 was a monumental part of my childhood, but I can now see that the film does have it’s problems. The rest … they’re fine. I’m not a fan of Christian Bale as Batman.

          Batman: The Movie (1966)
          Batman (1989)
          Batman Returns (1992)
          The Dark Knight (2008)
          The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

          Batman Begins (2005)

          REALLY BAD
          Batman Forever (1995)
          Batman & Robin (1997)

  4. Wolfman I think you should stop worrying about sounding insane due to your conflicted feelings on this franchise. To me you just sound like you’re being honest and kind of trying to figure it out for yourself. We all have love in our hearts for films that maybe we know are objectively flawed and often our reasons for that love can be obscure if not totally inscrutable. I think it’s really interesting that you’re kind of voicing your internal dialogue and attempts at rationalisation in these reviews. There’s nothing insane about either acknowledging the flaws in something you hold dear or defending something that you consider objectively/technically sub-par, in fact it makes for pretty refreshing and sincere podcasting!

    You do need to worry about sounding insane while defending Van Sant’s Psycho however.

      • I’m sorry Josh. I think most of the time we’re on a similar wavelength but Van Sant’s Psycho is one of those movies that I just loathe. Maybe I would feel differently if I had your knowledge of the technicalities of filmmaking and appreciation for it as a “film experiment” but just on an emotional level I can’t bridle my distaste.

        I do hope you guys get around to covering the Psycho franchise as a whole though because I’d love to hear an in-depth defence of the movie. Maybe get Greg back for the role of the prosecution.

  5. So guys, I finally, belatedly checked out “Stake Land” and I know Josh suggested I report back in the episode 11 comments section but I thought you’d be more likely to see it if I put it here (though feel free to move my comment into there if you so wish).

    Anyway, being a curmudgeonly git who lives in the past it’s sadly rare that I find a modern horror movie that I really like and even more rare that I find a modern vampire movie that I really like, in fact it’s almost unprecedented. People with leather trench coats, machine guns and CGI veneers should stick to their awful neon-lit techno clubs and stay the hell out of the candlelit, cobweb strewn old parlour that is my (probably somewhat insular) concept of horror. To me it appears that so many modern vampire movies seem less interested in eliciting horror from their audience and more interested in eliciting the kind of synonyms for “edgy” used primarily by X-treme-dudes in the late 90’s. Forget character development, suspense and atmosphere, just give us Sega Saturn quality video game cut-scenes in slow motion where no one obeys the laws of physics, things explode a lot and vampire hunters make I-tunes playlists to listen to while fighting their hemovorian foes! Apologies if all this just seems like another grumpy-old-sod tangent but it’s actually an attempt to provide context to the fact that I consider “Stake Land” to be a contemporary Vampire film done right.

    This movie was everything I want from modern horror but so seldom get: Characters that I actually grow to care about (making the horror that befalls them that much more potent), great practical effects, a refreshing lack of clichéd and predictable plotting, the ability to genuinely shock and surprise me, a mood balanced somewhere between ominous dread and fun anticipation, no moments of asinine pandering that leave me feeling like I’m watching something written to appeal only to the most heavily lobotomised of knuckle-draggers. Not only that but I felt that this film was testament to my belief that movies in the horror genre don’t need big budgets and focus groups behind them, all they need is someone at the helm who really loves and understands the genre. I seriously couldn’t believe it when I read that the budget here was estimated at £650,000. I’ve seen horror flicks made for twenty times that amount that have been nowhere near as effective and enjoyable.

    I went back and re-listened to the review of this in the feral vamps episode and I definitely agree with the comparisons that you guys made to “The Road” and “Zombieland”. This movie felt to me like “Zombieland” bereft of the things that annoyed me in that film or a more fun version of “The Road”. I also got shades of Stephen Kings “The Stand”. Just a great movie all around. My only real complaint is where they went with the main antagonist. Not really because I felt it didn’t jive with the rules established by the film but just because it felt like something out of another film entirely. That’s a small criticism though and one I’m more than willing to overlook when the main characters are this engaging and the threat to them this disturbing.

    I have to thank you guys for getting me to watch this. Yet another recommendation that hit the mark! 8.5/10.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as you did, man. It just goes to prove that maybe you shouldn’t just dismiss modern horror. Sometimes you have to dig through the dirt to get to a gem. I think this is true for horror more than any other genre. Don’t give up on modern horror David, there’s tons of great stuff out there. Have you seen Let the Right One In?

      • You are of course absolutely correct in your assertion that I shouldn’t be so dismissive of modern horror, Juan. I just tend to find that older movies suit my preference of aesthetics and pacing more than newer ones and there’s still so many old movies out there to see! I am trying to keep an open mind with regards to contemporary offerings though.

        As for “Let the Right One In” I’ve kind of half seen it. A buddy and I put it on after a long night at the pub so I unfortunately don’t recall much about it. It’s one that I’m all too aware I need to revisit though.

      • Well maybe “annoyed” wasn’t exactly the right word because I did enjoy “Zombieland” quite a lot in spite of the fact that I’m not a huge horror comedy fan (I differentiate somewhat between “fun” horror and “comedy” horror) and although it was a quirky and unique idea, the whole freeze frame on-screen text rules thing sort of bugged me. I get that it gave the film something different but the way it was done just wasn’t my cup of tea. Also with “Zombieland” I got the impression that it was very much aimed at a teen demographic and was kind of calculated to suit more mainstream tastes. That’s not necessarily a criticism but personally I prefer the more stripped down, grittier approach taken by something like “Stake Land”. For me “Zombieland” is probably a 7/10.

    • He did raise some interesting points during the discussion, but I found that particular comment to be completely ridiculous.

      That White Horse done affected his brain.

      • Yes I hate the white horse. When I saw those scenes my first thought was that RZ had dropped acid prior to writing them. I’ve done LSD in my life. Those scenes seemed like an acid trip. I’m also not down with comparing Stephen King’s writing to Halloween 2007. I see no similarities.

        • The White Horse always gave me the impression that Rob Zombie had seen “Blade Runner” and thought those wacky unicorn scenes were totally rad while absolutely failing to grasp their relevance to the story. That’s probably selling him short but still I can’t help but see the White Horse as anything other than hollow and pretentious (and I hate to have to use that word).

  6. Hey guys,

    Fun episode this week. A couple of thoughts after listening to this:

    1. Jay, I COMPLETELY agree with your comments about the “white trash” dialogue from the first Zombie HALLOWEEN. I vividly recall cringing during these scenes when I first watched it in the theater. Subsequent rewatches have not changed my opinion. I also live in the south, and I’ve NEVER heard anybody talk quite like this. It was way overdone and didn’t feel natural at all. I am a fan of Rob Zombie’s films, but I think dialogue is his Achilles’ heel. I’ve had the same criticism for all of his movies, but here it really stands out.

    2. From what I understand, Zombie got screwed in the editing room during HALLOWEEN 2. He’s apparently made comments that the movie is the Weinstein brothers version, not his. There is a director’s cut version of the film that some have said is far superior, and eliminates a lot of the “white horse” weirdness. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment as to whether it’s an improvement or not. I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think about that version, if you ever happen to revisit it.

    3. Finally, I want to tell Josh and Doc that I admire their ability to maintain their cool during the more heated moments. I was yelling at my computer, like a crazy person, during this section

    Well, that’s it. You’re still the reigning champ in the horror podcast division. Keep up the awesome work!


  7. Good discussion, gentlemen. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of horror movie fans and more specifically, Halloween movie fans, on one of the more divisive issues in the series, the remakes. I agree with you all on Loomis. The character did not work in these films. For one, he was not needed. In the original Loomis was the character who informed the audience who Michael was. We did not need him in Zombie’s film since there was no mystery surrounding Michael. Everything we needed to know about the character was explained in the first half of the movie. None of his scenes with his cringe worthy dialogue moved the story forward. “It’s me… Samuel!” Ugh…

  8. Is everyone in Zombie’s world a white trash stereotype? Even the principal was dropping f bombs. And what’s with casting so many horror movie icons? One would be more than enough. It was so easy to get pulled out of the movie. Look! The sheriff is Chucky! I’m surprised Robert Englund and Kane Hodder weren’t in the film. Total amateur hour in the casting and dialogue writing department. A bit of trivia for you… did you know that in Zombie’s original Halloween script Michael ran and talked?

    • I don’t agree with it being an issue that RZ casts so many horror actors. It doesn’t take me out of the movie and I love his loyalty to these amazing men & women whose bread and butter is horror. And Brad Dourif is soooo much more than Chucky. He is an amazing and talented actor who is terribly under rated. He is 64 and has 156 credits. His first credit was One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

    • I see your point, because they aren’t all great in these roles, but Dourif, for me, is an example of it working perfectly. Like Quentin Tarantino, I have a lot if respect for directors who step outside the box of popular casting to give a shot to an actor they have a personal fondness for. I’m sure he had to fight for each of these and many are spot on … Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, couldn’t be better cast. And I’m more forgiving of Malcolm McDowell than everyone else.

        • Personally I think it’s mainly the result of miss-casting. I don’t think Malcolm McDowell should be blamed but I also don’t think he was right for the role.

          I will say that the worst part of the second movie for me was neither Loomis or the White Horse but Laurie Strode. I don’t think Scout Master Compton is a bad actress but the thing I remember most from that movie was how amazingly grating her character was. I’ve heard that she didn’t swear as much in the theatrical cut but that’s not enough to persuade me to re-watch this movie.

  9. Really interesting discussion guys. Even though I recall being tremendously disappointed in Rob Zombie’s Halloween, your reviews compelled me to go in for a second viewing. I’ll concede that the first act felt a little better, but as a whole – nah. It’s just, well, not scary. I wanted to like it better this time, I really did. But Zombie’s remake doesn’t cut it. I’m not even sure that it ranks about Halloween 6. And I can’t believe I just said that either. I haven’t bothered with Zombie’s Halloween 2, and based on your rather contentious discussion, not sure I should. I really want to like Zombie as a filmmaker, but there’s something about his movies that are lacking (I’ll admit that I’m in the minority who actually liked House of 1,000 Corpses better than The Devil’s Rejects). Should I even try Lords of Salem or will it just result in more disappointment?

  10. Rob zombie Halloween 1 and 2 is some trash he missed the whole point of the first 2 movies . I don’t want to feel sorry for the shape , I like the fact he is a force of nature not someone poor white trash kid . He did not get the dr loomis right . He used gore to tell the story and not let the story be told on its own . Everything they try to tell the backstory to our horror icons , it does not work to well . That is why zombie can even get his movies to come out nationwide because he is now a one trick pony .

  11. The reality is that Halloween really shouldn’t have been remade. It’s a landmark film and everything about it fits together so perfectly. Films like Halloween, Jaws, or even The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are just too classic for a remake to do them justice. Every beat of that original Carpenter film is so masterfully captured. Zombie’s film looks like a high school art project by comparison. The comparison of the two films paints a clear picture of how the material can be elevated when a talented filmmaker is at the helm and how it can be reduced to bottom of the barrel schlock when a lesser talented individual takes a stab at it. Pun intended.

    • Hi Madman,

      While I somewhat agree with you in heart, I think filmmakers should have a chance to remake films regardless of their status. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have films like John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or David Cronenberg’s “The Fly”. There are many film purists who believe that the original movies of those two examples above are better than their remake counterparts, but I think that’s missing the point a bit. It’s not so much about being “better”, but about having a different take on the subject matter. Remakes will always be around. All we can do is hope that they’ll be good or the very least, not terrible.

      • I agree. However, I do not think Zombie’s film elevated the material. Those examples you gave show how a remake can be done right.

    • I think we’re being a little too precious with movies when we act as though remaking a film “there is no way to improve upon” in some way does violence to that original piece of art.

      I like the analogy of a band doing a cover version of a song. It’s just their take. If you don’t like, that’s fine. You still have the original. Sometimes you get a cover that is just as interesting as the original, like Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” or Jose Gonzalez’s cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats” or Jimmy Cliff’s cover of Rancid’s “Ruby Soho” or Joe Cocker’s cover of The Beatle “A Little Help From My Friends.” They don’t replace those songs. They’re just their own thing.

      Who cares that Gus Van Sant wanted to try and remake Psycho? He gave it a shot. Maybe most people think it was a failure, but I think he did some interesting things in there. Rob Zombie brought plenty to the table with Halloween. It didn’t work for everyone, but a lot of other people like it. Some even prefer it to Carpenter’s film.

      And often times these movie remakes, much like cover songs, just end up leading fans back to the originals anyway. It worked on me when I heard Nirvana cover “In the Pines” aka “Black Girl” aka “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” That lead me down a musical road I may have never found. Similarly, I doubt we’d have ever seen Nosferatu if people suddenly stopped telling the Dracula story back in the 1920s. Artists learn and build from one another. None of Quentin Tarantino’s movies would exist if he wasn’t constantly stealing and remixing and reworking classic material.

      • Good points, Wolfman. I just find Carpenter’s film to be virtually untouchable from the soundtrack to the stylized camera work. That opening scene on its own is so much more captivating than anything in the Zombie film imo. I like your cover band analogy. I just don’t think Zombie was a good fit for the material. His cinematic sensibilities may have better served a Chainsaw remake. When I think “Halloween” I don’t think 70s grindhouse.

      • This is one of those issues that I’m forever conflicted over. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here Josh (and I too loved your cover version analogy) but it seems so rare to come across a remake of a classic movie that comes close to the original. I don’t believe that that’s a reason films shouldn’t be remade though and in the case of Rob Zombies “Halloween”, though the films aren’t to my taste, I respect the fact that he had the integrity to make them very much his own thing and to take some pretty big risks. I never got the impression that he was just doing it for money, I think he is someone who truly loves and understands the genre.

        I do reject the placing of certain properties on an untouchable pedestal and I think it’s always interesting to view an idea through the lens of another creator whether or not their take on it is as good as the original but I think my main problem with remakes is when they feel like the cynical work of a bunch of money hungry executives just exploiting an established name and dumbing it down/compromising it for the sake of making as much profit as possible. That’s the kind of remake that I believe shouldn’t be made but hey what the hell am I gonna do about it?

        Either way a remake of a film that has as huge and loyal a fanbase as “Halloween” is always going to be divisive. It’s inherently problematic because if the filmmaker pulls a Rob Zombie then they’ll be lynched for not staying close enough to the source material and if they pull a Gus Van Sant people will just say “what was the point?”. To me the obvious way around this would be to remake movies that sucked originally but of course that would circumvent the benefits yielded by a more acclaimed property. I would genuinely love to see someone try to remake “The Room” as an actual good movie though, how fascinating would that be?

        Also, I’m totally with Madman in that I think Zombies style would have been much more befitting of a “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake(Though I guess you could say that a Rob Zombie “Chainsaw” remake would basically just be “House of a Thousand Corpses”). He seems to have a massive preoccupation for white-trash characters and part of what I didn’t like about his “Halloween” movies was how it felt like he was really forcibly injecting said preoccupation into the material. As I said before I respect his willingness to make them his own thing but that doesn’t mean I like it.

  12. Had they have gotten someone with a masterful vision, an up and coming Carpenter, I may have had a different opinion. Carpenter was like a young and hungry Hitchcock back then and Halloween was the next evolution of the Psycho. It would have been fascinating to see a Halloween remake made by someone with a talent for building suspense and foreboding.

  13. Imagine how schlocky a Zombie remake of Psycho would be. Norman Bates would have been depicted living in a trailer with his white trash mother who would have probably been married to her brother Cletus. Ugh.

  14. I think I remember the late Gene Siskel asking: why is it that today’s filmmakers don’t try remaking bad movies instead of re-imagining the classics? Take something like “Twisted Brain” from the 70’s and see what you can do with it.

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