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Why Rob Zombie Didn't Care What John Carpenter Thought of His Halloween Remake
Rob Zombie had a good reason for avoiding John Carpenter's input during his Halloween remake days.
Remaking an iconic film is a tremendous challenge in and of itself. Audiences want one thing from those kinds of films, critics want another, and of course the filmmakers daring enough to tackle such remakes want to leave their own stamp on something that's still recognizable to pop culture at large. It's a very tough needle to thread, and for Rob Zombie, that meant steering clear of the opinions of his horror forebears.
Since it's October, you might be revisiting the long-running Halloween franchise over the next couple of weeks, including both John Carpenter's original classic and Rob Zombie's two films set in their own remake continuity, released in the late 2000s to a mixed reception. As you look back, possibly comparing both versions of Michael Myers' original story, you might also be wondering how much Carpenter was in on whatever Zombie was doing, if at all.
Well, according to Zombie, Carpenter had pretty much no input on the way he made his films, and that's exactly the way he wanted it.
"I kept being asked, ‘Hey, should we show this to Carpenter or so and so from the original and see what they think?’ And my response was just, ‘What the f*** do I care?’" Zombie recalled in an interview with SFX back in 2018. "When I get asked what my advice is in this business I tell people to just focus on what they want to do because if you start worrying about what other people think you are screwed [laughs]. I am oblivious to all that. I love Halloween and I wanted to do my own thing with it. Whether people like my Halloween or don’t like it is irrelevant to me. At least it has my own personal stamp on there.”
Whether you like his version or not, Zombie definitely succeeded in making Halloween his own over the course of two gritty, brutal movies that dig deeper into the psyches of both Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. As for Carpenter, he was never much of a fan of what Zombie was doing, feeling that it removed some of the mystery inherent in his and Debra Hill's original story.
"I thought that he took away the mystique of the story by explaining too much about [Michael Myers]," Carpenter said back in 2010, according to The Guardian. "I don’t care about that. He’s supposed to be a force of nature. He’s supposed to be almost supernatural. And he was too big. It wasn’t normal.”