I've been following Rob Zombie's career for almost 20 years. I saw him for the first time live with White Zombie in 1995 and countless times since. I was always a fan of many different metal/goth/evil/satanic whatever bands, but Rob Zombie was different. His was straight up horror music, and classic horror at that. Where other bands would try to shock or gross you out, Zombie's music was more spooky and completely lined with pulp. I mean his band was named after an 1930's Bela Lugosi movie and he had a song about Grandpa Munster's car for Christs sake. Who does that? And more importantly who does that and is then able to to package it to sell to young kids? Click after the jump for more...
He has always come across as a cool guy to me as well. Whenever I've seen him as a talking head or in interviews, he provides excellent observations and opinions about genre material and pop culture in general. He gets it. He's always done things his own way and I have great respect for that. As well as performing, he wrote and produced his albums, directed and edited all his videos, designed artwork, pretty much had a hand in every level. His ability to adapt himself as he gets older is also very admirable. His evolution into a prominent horror director has been totally organic. That's not to say it has been without controversy.
'House of 1000 Corpses' is a little iffy, but I still dig it. His 'Halloween' adaptations, though, are extremely polarizing. For as much as I love Rob Zombie and what he does, I did not care for those films. There is some good stuff there but, eeeeehhh, maybe if they hadn't been called Halloween, I don't know. 'The Devil's Rejects' on the other hand I adore and with that film his capability was proven. That capability is what has me excited for his next film.
I really think this is his element. A fully original concept where he is totally in control. And what a cool concept at that. The official synopsis is...
Heidi, a blonde rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the "Big H Radio Team".......Ok that write up is pretty hokey, but basically it's real life ancient monster witches, come to modern day Salem to start some shit and get some revenge. Sounds kick ass to me. Zombie has announced most of the cast, and the man knows how to cast movies.
A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, "a gift from the Lords". She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords' record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma.
Later Whitey plays the Lords' record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with listeners.
The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H Team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon Heidi and her cohorts find that the gig is far from the rock spectacle they're expecting: the original Lords of Salem are returning, and they're out for BLOOD.
Zombie's Halloween remake, for all it's problems, did have one of the coolest casts I can remember. Rob has a real knack for casting. He's from the same school as Tarantino and Rodriguez; cast lesser known character actors, maybe some washed up former stars, and people who you are just a total nerd over. Then just sit back and watch the devour them scenery. And Rob takes it even a step further by often casting people that are famous for being notoriously difficult to work with. This film is no exception with the cast filled with genre "they are still alive"stars and total "WTF are they doing in this movie" actors.
We touched on some of the casting a little while back, but here's look at some of the recent announcements...
Bruce Davison He's seen a lot of success in recent years with his prominent role in the X-Men movies, but he's been around forever in all kinds of horror and Sc-Fi. I mostly associate him with the original 'V' and the 'Harry and the Hendersons' TV show.
Ken Foree - A staple of Zombie's films, he has horror credits going back 30+ years most notable in 'Texas Chainsaw 3' and of course the baddest zombie killing mother ever in 'Dawn of the Dead'.
Maria Conchita Alonso - Mostly known for her prominent roles in 'Predator 2' and opposite big Arnold in 'The Running Man'.
Meg Foster - Those goddamn eyes! I always had a little thing for Meg Foster (even though I used to always get her and Kirstie Alley confused). I always associate her with 'They Live' and the sultry Evil-Lyn in 'Masters of the Universe'.
Barbara Crampton - A huge cult actress. She was in three Stuart Gordon Lovecraft movies, 'Re-Animator', 'From Beyond' and 'Castle Freak'. As well as some Full Moon movies like 'Puppet Master', 'Trancers II' and 'Robot Wars'. Really looking forward to seeing Zombie use her.
Dee Wallace - She has kept herself very busy over the years, but I will always associate her with he turns in notable 80's films like, 'Critters', 'Cujo', the hippie dippie 'E.T.' mother and 'The Howling' where she turned into that ridiculous werewolf at the end.
Billy Drago - Billy Fucking Drago. One of the DTV kings. His biggest role was the white suited assassin guy in 'The Untouchables', but I remember him from maybe a half dozen Chuck Norris movies. What an evil looking dude.
Richard Lynch - Another evil looking son of a bitch. This guy is pretty much always a bad guy in his zillion movie and TV credits. I picture his scarred face in 'Scarecrow' and 'The Sword and The Sorcerer'.
...AND two straight up 70's sitcom stars. Ernest Thomas and Christopher Knight.
Friggin 'Raj' and 'Peter Brady' himself. FTW!?
Zombie has also shared a number of behind the scenes production work (six tittied witches!) and some eerie location shots...
Obviously I love Zombie. Aside from having an awesome first name, he is talented, visionary and cool. I want to see him succeed. And more than that I want to see kick ass horror films. From a public perspective he has something to prove with this film. It's time to see if 'The Devil's Rejects' was a fluke. I do not think that it was and can't wait for this. Production began about a week ago and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a teaser trailer for this sometime soon.
I am actually spending Halloween in Salem itself this year, so I'm very much hoping they will be doing some filming during the spooky festivities.