Continuing his mucking around with classic horror films, Rob Zombie returns with the conclusion to his two-part Michael Myers gorefest. What Rob Zombie failed to realize, though, is that no one asked him to return. In fact, I think after he neatly wrapped up his first barely acceptable remake, horror fans would rather have seen Rob Zombie disappear than continue trashing arguably the most recognizable slasher film icon.
There's next to no reason to like this movie, beyond the fact that Rob Zombie knows how to make a horror movie look like a horror movie, and in a good way. But if you didn't enjoy Zombie's first attempt at bringing the silent killer back to the big screen, you certainly won't like it when Myers inexplicably returns after taking a .357 round in the dome from point blank range. Gone is any subtlety or mystery attributed to the once elusive killer, traded in for nothing more than a beard and a knife.
In one of the only things this film does right, we're dumped back into the story just minutes after a terrorized Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) takes down the hulking Myers (Tyler Mane). But in true Michael Myers fashion, he rises from the dead, takes the coroners down, and stalks off into the woods. After a shockingly obvious dream sequence, we're shuffled two years ahead, where we meet a nearly unrecognizable Laurie, who, for whatever reason, decided that hanging a giant image of Charles Manson over her bed and scrawling “In Charlie We Trust” on her wall would be helpful in dealing with her feelings about killing Michael. A complete 180 from her character in part one, the change is unwarranted, unnecessary, and wholly unbelievable. Falling into the same trap is the once helpful and caring Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who is now too preoccupied with selling books to realize what a huge douche he's become.
Even Michael Myers himself is changed. The iconic character from the 1978 original was at least somewhat recognizable in Zombie's first film, but now the only thing tying the two incarnations together is his seemingly indestructible Shatner mask. The beauty that is Michael Myers is his method. He is slow, calm, and calculating. Now all we see is an enormous man-beast swinging for the fences with his trusty knife, losing control of himself at every kill. Even his menacing silence has been compromised to make room for grunting and even (in the Unrated Director's Cut) an utterance of the word “DIE!”
Aside from the endless character issues, Halloween II holds two brass knuckles of metaphor and cursing and then beats you mercilessly with both of them for two hours. The film's “White Horse” theme wouldn't have been more belabored if each Blu-ray came with a life-sized Rob Zombie to hold you down and shove images of white horses down your throat. “DO YOU GET MY MEANING, AUDIENCE?! DO YOU!? ::PUNCH::” Myers' frequently sees his mother (played predictably by Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) in utterly wasteful dream sequences that look like nothing more than music video scenes, shot and edited just like you would think a Rob Zombie video would be.
As if Zombie doesn't have enough excuse to say the word “Fuck” on his own records, it seems that he's found a way to work it into just about every sentence in this meandering mess of a film. It's sort of like he thought we forgot the word existed and he wants to remind us of its glory. So he first stages a car wreck where one surviving character just repeats it for over a minute -- no exaggeration. That's followed up by hundreds of the most unnatural sounding “fucks” you'll ever hear in film, all spouted by Scout Taylor-Compton, who had to have broken some sort of record for most times using a word in a two-hour period. It's distracting to the point where you just want to shut the movie off.
The film's one shining star is Brad Douriff, who seems to be the only character who remains unchanged (thank God) by the two years in between events. He's doing his best, taking care of his own daughter as well as Laurie, whose foster parents were killed in part one. After the death of his daughter, he has a freak out, but he then pulls himself together and does his job like any good cop would do. He's the only thing keeping this movie grounded, and he does a pretty good job of it.
If you're thinking about buying this movie....don't. You're wasting your time, money, and space, even though these sleek Blu-ray cases fit pretty neatly on your shelves. Zombie should have quit while he was ahead after part one, but instead he has handed over a sequel that any horror fan should be embarrassed to have in their collection. I implore you, please pass on this one so maybe -- maybe -- Zombie will get the point that remaking old horror movies is not what he should be doing.
The only mildly interesting special feature included in this one-disk set is the feature commentary done by Rob Zombie. Even that is mediocre at best, mostly just a hard-rock dude talking slightly pretentiously about his gory movie. You're also graced with about 10-minutes of deleted and alternate scenes that were deleted with very good reason...they aren't good. Tossed onto the disk are a pile of bit-character audition tapes, test footage of Michael and his mother, some thoroughly unfunny stand-up routines, and a blooper reel that barely cracks a smile, with the exception of Malcolm McDowell, who seems to be having a pretty good time.
There's nothing worth watching in the feature or the bonus material, so do yourself a favor and forget that this movie was even made.