Welcome to HorrorFest 2009.
My absolute favorite thing about Rob Zombie?
On his IMDb page, under "alternate names," he actually has a fake middle name. Robert Wolfgang Zombie. That is endlessly funny.
Rob Zombie as a filmmaker embodies many of the things that I think are endemic of fandom at large right now, both in his work and in the reaction that work seems to elicit, both positive and negative. As a result, I think it's silly for any critic to dismiss Zombie out-of-hand, just as I think it's silly for anyone to proclaim him one of the greats, or even argue that the work he's done so far is across-the-board significant.
I didn't review "Halloween 2" when it opened because, frankly, I wasn't invited to see it before it opened. Fair enough. I paid. And at the time, I didn't know if I'd even bother writing about it, but since 'tis the season, I thought I'd take a look at the state of Zombie's career in general as one of the HorrorFest entries.
I haven't spent a ton of time writing about Rob Zombie as a filmmaker so far, but on those occasions I have, I think it's been fair, different from film to film. I liked "House Of 1000 Corpses" and thought it was an effective piece of side-of-the-road porno-funhouse fluff. I thought "The Devil's Rejects" was better. Not genius, but solid, upsetting, and it seemed to indicate that he was growing from film to film. I was interested to see what sort of original stuff he had planned.
And then it's like he chickened out.