She has portrayed reanimated corpses, seductive psychopaths and Michael Myers' mother, but Sheri Moon Zombie counts sleeping late and watching movies with her husband, musician and director Rob Zombie...
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A year has passed since Michael Myers escaped from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and embarked on a murderous rampage through the town of Haddonfield on Halloween night. With the anniversary of the tragedy approaching survivor Laurie Strode still traumatized after her climactic encounter with Michael is plagued by nightmares that seem to foreshadow his deadly return.
Laurie’s therapist and friends dismiss her anxiety as the inevitable by-product of the trauma she experienced insisting that Michael is dead while ignoring the unpleasant reality that his body was never found. And wouldn’t you know it – the crazy chick is on to something. Far from deceased Michael’s been lying low in the days since Laurie put an end to his grisly escapade quietly convalescing in the place where most folks suffering from multiple gunshot wounds go to recover: a dirty wood shack in the middle of a sparsely-populated rural area.
Not that he’s been alone. Bathed in angelic white garments and accompanied by a similarly alabaster horse (its significance is explained in the opening credits) Michael’s mother Deborah has been paying regular visits to her son from beyond the grave appearing in visions to provide guidance to her deranged offspring. According to his nutty imaginary mum Michael’s tortured psyche will never be at peace until he’s reunited with his baby sister Laurie. And so Michael returns to Haddonfield for a second attempt at a family reunion slicing to ribbons anyone stupid enough to cross his path.
WHO’S IN IT?
After swearing up and down that he’d never make a sequel to his 2007 Halloween reboot Rob Zombie is back in the director’s chair for Halloween II. Also returning are most of the cast members including Tyler Mane (Michael Myers) Scout Taylor-Compton (Laurie Strode) Brad Dourif (Sheriff Lee Brackett) Sheri Moon Zombie (Deborah Myers) Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Samuel Loomis) and Danielle Harris (Annie Brackett). Leading the newcomers is Margot Kidder (Superman Black Christmas) in the role of Laurie’s barely competent therapist.
Given greater freedom to pursue his own twisted vision Zombie departs further from the canon of the original franchise while still keeping the essential elements intact. Michael Myers is still a quiet guy who wears a scary mask and butchers people and Laurie Strode is still the primary object of his desire but apart from that Halloween II bears little resemblance to the 1981 follow-up to John Carpenter’s original Halloween.
The character of Loomis in particular is miles apart from the Donald Pleasance version – and far more interesting. Zombie’s Loomis is an ambitious media whore who cravenly cashes in on the tragic events of the previous film by penning a memoir of his relationship with Michael then mounting a nationwide book tour to promote it. As portrayed by an amusingly acerbic pompous McDowell he’s easily the most appealing part of the film.
The tone of Halloween II is very much in line with Zombie’s previous works: gritty and grisly more disturbing than scary more uncomfortable than suspenseful. Characters make lots of stupid decisions (why didn’t Laurie leave Haddonfield and move to a town where her friends and family members weren’t massacred by a psychopath?) most of which can be forgiven for the sake of horror.
Other decisions aren’t so easily excused. As he did with the 2007 film Zombie seeks to portray Michael as a multi-dimensional villain in Halloween II and not the bloodthirsty automaton of the franchise’s previous iteration. Admittedly it’s a significant challenge adding depth to a solitary character that essentially never speaks but Zombie’s solution – summoning Michael’s mom and the aforementioned white steed at various points in the story to give him his next bloody assignment – comes off as contrived at best laughable at worst.
Comic legend Weird Al Yankovic makes a surprisingly funny cameo as a guest on a talk show in which Loomis appears to pimp his book belittling the doctor with verbal jabs until he stomps off enraged. (Click here for Zombie's explanation of how Weird Al's cameo came about.)
This prequel-ish remake of John Carpenter’s Halloween finds a 10-year-old Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) looking like Dennis the Menace—but still acting like the Antichrist. Who could blame the kid? His older sister (Hanna Hall) makes fun of him when not ignoring him his alcoholic stepdad (William Forsythe) hurls food and profanity at him and the school bullies harass him endlessly. Young Michael’s only allies are his mom (Sheri Moon) and baby sister. Which explains why their lives are spared when Michael goes on a Halloween night killing spree. Fifteen years pass and Michael’s hatred of speaking and love of mask-wearing have reached an all-time high. When the guards at the instititution Michael has called home for the past decade and a half make the fatal mistake of trying to transport him to a new location—on his favorite night of the year no less—Michael busts out without a hitch. With his mom having committed suicide years ago Michael has but one person to pay a visit to: his now teenage sister (Scout Taylor-Compton) who has long since been adopted and not informed of her family tree. But with Michael’s longtime psychologist Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) hot on his trail it won’t be so easy to get to his baby sis. OK so maybe it'll be somewhat easy. The only members of the cast to turn in actual performances are Moon wife/frequent collaborator of Halloween writer-director Rob Zombie and McDowell. It’s not that the others can’t act but rather that they spend the movie screaming (Taylor-Compton) or hiding dialogue-less under a mask (Tyler Mane) or some other form of non-acting—which is admittedly neither here nor there since the same could be said about most slasher movies. Moon lends a certain humanity to an otherwise emotionless affair and it makes her stand out in more than one way but sadly her performance is rather short-lived. Elsewhere young actress Taylor-Compton certainly has nothing on Jamie Lee Curtis’ original Laurie Strode except for perhaps the decibels and amount of her screams. Filling in for Donald Pleasence McDowell wasn’t a bad casting choice to deliver cryptic if dubious dialogue but his performance is rarely more than funny—which could sum up most of the acting here. Such humor culminates with Danny Trejo’s tiny performance as a janitor who cheerily calls the grown-up Myers “Mikey”—even when being savagely murdered by him. Thought shock-rocker Rob Zombie would be the right man for the job of updating John Carpenter’s Halloween? You weren’t alone but alas it is only an update by the standards of today’s “horror” directors who mistake gore for fear factor. In the prologue featuring the young Myers the laughability of the young actor’s dialogue is only exceeded by how unscary his actions are. Blame Zombie’s screenplay which is often unfunny when it’s supposed to be funny—primarily during his trademark clichéd-white-trash-family scenes—and funny when it’s not supposed to be. In the second half at least the talking turns into screams and the pace picks up but it’s all for naught because the older Michael has become a superhuman monster instead of a troubled institutionalized human. The psychological scares have been completely drained from this remake as Zombie appears more intent on stylistically depicting the murders than setting them up; any shred of subtlety as a result is gone. Although maybe the director thought he fulfilled the psychological-scare quota when the psychologist’s life is put in grave danger. As Zombie’s Halloween limps on it becomes a sad commentary on the state of the genre: Elaborate throat-slittings and blood trajectories are no longer even flinch-inducing.
Rock star and director Rob Zombie picked up a Chainsaw Award for Best Movie for his horror flick The Devil's Rejects last night in Los Angeles.
The Killer Movie award was presented by Robert Englund, best known as A Nightmare on Elm Street villain Freddy Kruger, as part of the first televised Fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, which honor the best films and actors in the horror genre.
Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon, and actor Bill Moseley won the Relationship from Hell award for The Devil's Rejects.
Saw II also won two awards, for Best Butcher (Best Villain) and Looks That Kill (Best Make-Up).
The ceremony airs cable TV channel Fuse on Oct. 22 and will feature "black carpet" arrivals before the show.
Article Copyright Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Last we visited Ruggsville Texas some naive teens had fallen prey to the Firefly family's underground living-dead chamber only to be slaughtered in dreadfully diverse ways while attempting to escape. Now after finally catching wind of the Firefly's goings-on authorities led by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) ambush the corpse-crammed farmhouse but only manage to take Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) into custody. Just like cockroaches fleeing light second-generation Fireflys Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and his sister Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon) escape through an underground passageway--but not before warning their dad the carney-faced Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) the homicidal jig is up. Spaulding the owner of the Museum of Monsters and Madmen which doubles as a gas and fried chicken stop arranges to meet the kids at a backwater motel to plot their next move. The fugitive Firefly family continues to kill and pillage while on the lamb from Sheriff Wydell the self-proclaimed "Lord's arm of justice " who is intent on bringing the cruel clan to justice.
The most electrifying entity in Zombie's horror franchise is the crazed Captain Spaulding played in both flicks by veteran B-list actor Haig who ingeniously permeates his character's insanity with an iota of common sense. Underneath that mad PT Barnum face paint rests a man smart enough to run his own business and function within the norms of society. For that we gravitate towards him--and the hopes he will bring an end to slaughter before the sheriff has to. But it is Wydell played by Forsythe (City by the Sea) whom we end up rooting for if not by default even when the God-fearing Elvis-loving lawman turns vigilante. Motivated by grief after the Firefly's killed his brother Forsythe's Wydell is menacing yet unexpectedly empathetic. And while Moseley and Moon--reprising their roles as Otis and the psychotic Baby Firefly respectively--speak volumes here compared to House of 1 000 Corpses both junior Fireflys unfortunately fall victim to the films' zapped character growth.
Zombie demonstrates he knows how to scare and repulse moviegoers but House of 1 000 Corpses and its follow-up have yet to produce any memorable central characters. As evil antagonists the Firefly family--and only recurring characters in both horrors--need to be the folks you root for. Sure Baby Otis and Captain Spaulding are despicable but why not let your audience know what makes them tick? What's their back-story flaws and weaknesses? And why does Tiny (Matthew McGrory) look like that? With his '70s-style cinematography and intriguing storyline Zombie has any horror fan hooked--but even Jason and Michael Myers had pasts that formed their presents. Without adding intensity to the Firefly clan The Devil's Rejects is a one-dimensional tale of slaughter one in which you end of cheering for a Sheriff and religious zealot by default. There's no entertainment value in the torturous killings of the Firefly's victims either--including the traveling rodeo troop (lead by Priscilla Barnes better known as nurse Terri on Three's Company). If we don't identify the motive behind it even one as straightforward as insanity there's no point.
Made her TV debut as a nurse on Showtime's "Californication"
Made her acting debut in the music video for Rob Zombie's "Living Dead Girl"
Played a New England radio DJ in "The Lords of Salem"
Debuted her own clothing line, Total Skull
Portrayed Michael Myers' mother in "Halloween" and "Halloween II"
Made film debut in Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses"
Featured in Tobe Hooper's "Toolbox Murders"
Cast in the "House of 1000 Corpses" sequel "The Devil's Rejects"
She has portrayed reanimated corpses, seductive psychopaths and Michael Myers' mother, but Sheri Moon Zombie counts sleeping late and watching movies with her husband, musician and director Rob Zombie, as her idea of the perfect day. The California-born, Connecticut-raised actress, who legally changed her name after marrying the former White Zombie singer on October 31, 2002 (she swears it was not planned), initially dreamed of using her distinctly girlish voice to launch a career as a voice-over artist. But after a chance meeting with the dreadlocked singer before a show in New Haven, CT, Zombie decided to join them on tour and eventually starred in several music videos, starting with 1994's "Feed the Gods." After the band broke up in 1998, she joined Rob on his first solo tour and used her background in dance and design to choreograph routines and create costumes for his backup dancers. She portrayed a reanimated corpse in his "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"- inspired music video for "Living Dead Girl" (1999), which marked the beginning of their creative relationship; since then, all of her performances, aside from a brief role in Tobe Hooper's "Toolbox Murders" (2004) and a guest spot on Showtime's sex-addict drama "Californication" (2007- ), have been directed by her husband. She appeared in numerous other videos before making the transition to film with 2003's "House of 1,000 Corpses." The brutal horror-exploitation film, in which she portrayed the beautiful but deadly Vera-Ellen "Baby" Firefly, became a cult success and she reprised her role in 2005's equally gruesome sequel "The Devil's Rejects." The next several years saw Zombie expand on her ghoul-next-door appeal: she launched her own clothing line, Total Skull, in 2006, and portrayed Michael Myers' mother in the successful 2007 remake of "Halloween" and its 2009 sequel. Since appearing on "Californication" the multi-talented Zombie has fulfilled her voice-over dreams by portraying a superhero's sidekick in "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" (2009) and starred as a haunted radio DJ in "The Lords of Salem" (2012). She doesn't bite, but Sheri Moon Zombie has built her career on making you think she will.
Legally changed her name from Sheri Lyn Skurkis to Sheri Moon Zombie after eloping with longtime boyfriend Rob Zombie in 2002
Served as choreographer and costume designer on Rob Zombie's solo tours
Designs her own clothing line, Total Skull, which debuted in June 2006
Has a 12-foot polar bear prop from the original "The Addams Family" TV series in her living room
"I went to broadcasting school, before I met Rob. I wanted to do characters for animation, I wanted to do voice-overs. I was also sort of exploring maybe becoming a VJ or being some sort on-camera personality. But then the way things evolved with our relationship, we moved in together and he was on the road and I would go on the road with him." - from GirlsandCorpses.com, 2006
Started acting in White Zombie music videos; after they broke up, she starred in every one of Rob Zombie's videos, beginning with 1999's "Living Dead Girl"