Misfit Monday: Rob Zombie

I have to admit, this posting is somewhat self-serving. Why? Because Mr. Zombie MUST make the movies for the I Zombie trilogy. If you’re unsure or don’t believe me, read them and you’ll draw the same conclusion. But even beyond that, RZ needs to be highlighted here on my little fabulous and horrific webhome because I find him to be the single greatest director of the horror genre of our time. That’s right, I said it and I’ll say it again. With only a handful of films under his belt, Zombie has proved he can outdo anyone in creep, scare, and downright fear.

To most, Rob Zombie is a musician of such great tunes as Dragula, More Human Than Human, The Lords of Salem, and Super Charger Heaven. He was the front man for White Zombie and then embarked on his solo career. His music pounds the senses and threatens the sanity. But that’s not what I want to focus on.

Born Robert Bartleh Cummings in Haverhill, Massachusetts, he was the first of two sons and raised Southern Baptist.

After a long-time music career (which, thankfully, continues to this day) Zombie finally made his mark on the big screen with the film House of a Thousand Corpses.

And that was one hell of a mark.

The film took a theme that had been done and done and done, and twisted almost beyond recognition. Starring his sexy wife, Sherry Moon Zombie, as a member of the psychotic Firefly family (no relation to the ship captained by Nathan Fillion). The brilliance of this film is not so much in the writing or the acting (though both deserve much praise), but in the direction. The ebb and flow of the film is insane…always keeping the viewer unsafe, unsure.

But although I do love House of a Thousand Corpses, it wasn’t until Zombie remade the first two Halloween films that he showed his true brilliance as a horror auteur. It’s a rare occasion that a director can take a true classic film and improve it. That is exactly what Zombie did — he made Halloween I and II better. He made them deeper, more frightening, more visceral, more believable.

When a director can take the implausible and make it plausible, that director has something you can’t learn, you can’t teach. That directory has an instinct for the art, a true understanding of what can make the human psyche unravel and melt. Zombie has this in spades and uses it to bring a dirty realism to horror that other directors can’t muster.

But why is this misfit the perfect choice for the I Zombie trilogy? Simple — I want the viewer to believe my stories aren’t just possible, but probable. And Zombie is one of the few directors alive that can truly embody the heart and mind of chaos. Rob Zombie can scare you, make you hide your head in ways few directors can. He handles the truth with a brutal blow and won’t give up until you say “mercy”. That is what the I Zombie trilogy is.

As far as being a misfit? Seriously…do you even doubt, with a single iota of gray matter, that Rob Zombie doesn’t deserve the title “Misfit”? He would not only be proud to sport the title, he’d probably chew up and swallow the crown and then kick the presenter in the junk to prove how bad ass he is. And then he’d sing us a lively, metal rendition of “My Way” and then spray us all with squirt gun filled with menstrual blood. Now THAT is a Misfit!

Oh, Mr. Zombie — call me any time. We need to chat about when you’re going to start pre-production of I Zombie I!