Music News

Rob Zombie Gives Halloween A Makeover

Rob Zombie made the leap from stage to screen in 2003 with his surreal debut House of 1,000 Corpses. Two years later, he released a sequel to that film called The Devil's Rejects. And this week, his lifelong passion for horror movies culminates in a remake of the 1978 classic Halloween. We asked Zombie about working on Halloween and how directing movies compares to making music.

Westword: You're a notorious fan of horror, but how does Halloween rank in your life?

Rob Zombie: One of the questions I always get is, "What are your top five horror movies?" I always say Halloween. I always loved it and thought it was one of the best horror movies, so, yeah, it's special to me.

Can you think of any other musician who made the jump from the studio and stage to directing a mainstream motion picture?

No, I can't think of anybody. But even like ten years ago, I was the first artist on MTV to win an award for directing his own video. It's because it's a weird job. I think a lot of musicians become actors; it seems like a logical decision, since they're both performing. But directing's such a different thing. I think some people think they might want to do it, but the reality of what it is is not something they want to do. It's an insane amount of work, and it's not glamorous. It's not like you're walking around in your riding pants with a monocle, shouting into a microphone. You have to put yourself behind everybody else, pushing everybody else in front of you.

That sounds like the antithesis of everything that being a rock star is about.

Absolutely. I just think that what attracts people to rock music is so different from what attracts people to directing. The two fields are so different.

What made directing the right move for you?

I think because I was so odd in the other field, too. I mean, I've never been the typical anything, even when I was doing music — then and now — and everybody's main concern seemed to be how fucked up they could get. I was just never like that. I was about the creative process and creating things, creating the albums and the artwork and the stage shows and the T-shirts. It was the process that got me jazzed up, not how much I could destroy myself.

This is your third feature movie released in four years. Would you say that these days you're a filmmaker who moonlights as a musician, or are you still a musician who just happens to moonlight as a filmmaker?

At this point, I think it's kind of fifty-fifty. When I was doing Halloween, it was 100 percent Halloween. Now it's done, so I'll go back on tour. For me, being a musician is now less about the workload part of it. It's about relaxing, whereas filmmaking is much more intense. The focus has to be more intense, but going on tour and making music, well, that's easy.

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Cole Haddon