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The Independent Critic

Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie
Rob Zombie
Rated R
101 Mins.
Dimension/Weinstein Co.

 "Halloween 2" Review 
Fans of hardcore gore, I like to call them Rob Zombie fans, are likely to be happier with "Halloween 2" than Zombie's first journey into the world of Michael Myers.

While Zombie's "Halloween" certain had its moments of extreme violence and gore, it was a surprisingly mature and character-based horror flick that unexpectedly pleased critics and moviegoers alike.

It's doubtful that "Halloween 2" will have the same success with critics, being that Zombie has lessened the backstory and returned to his more traditional fare of white trash psychodrama mixed with gratuitous gore and extreme violence.

Zombie has noted in interviews promoting "Halloween 2" that he had no intention of making a second film, but that he couldn't, when it came down to it, stand the thought of someone else messing with characters that now felt like his own.

Okay, Rob. First of all, you didn't create these characters. They are not yours. I realize you've put your own special little stamp on them, but they are not yours.

Secondly, what the heck was he thinking anyway?

This 10th film to use the "Halloween" moniker and 9th to feature Myers, "Halloween 2" may very well be the worst film of the bunch, a film so ridiculously acted, poorly written and pathetically directed that it's hard to believe that Zombie could say with a straight face that he felt anything at all for these characters or the "Halloween" films.

There are any number of reasons why "Halloween 2" is a pathetic abomination, but worst of all it simply takes all the care and respect and reverence that Zombie showed in his remake of the original and does a complete flip. "Halloween 2," with the exception of featuring the same characters, bears almost no resemblance to the "Halloween" series and appears to be nothing more than a framework into which Zombie can toss in his trailer trash stereotypes, metaphysical ramblings and unresolved mommy issues.

Tyler Mane returns as Michael Myers, though he appears to be a slightly heavier and hairier version, an appearance that gives Myers an even more menacing look. Okay, actually, it gives him more of a dirty look. Dirty's kind of menacing, right?

Then, there's Scout Taylor-Compton, who's back as Laurie Strode and, given the chance to stretch her acting muscles, fails miserably with a performance that is so abysmally shriekish that it's almost possible to understand why Myers would go after her and it's hard not to wonder if listening to her voice as a child actually sent him over the edge.

Supporting performances by Malcolm McDowell, back and even more over the top as Dr. Loomis, and Sheri Moon Zombie, as Michael's ghastly/ghostly mother, aren't much more than cartoon sketches.

Being a Zombie film, "Halloween 2" throws in an abundance of cultural eccentricities and cameo appearances ranging from the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, who's actually a breath of fresh air here, to Howard Hesseman and even Margot Kidder.

While the film's production budget is modest at $15 million, almost guaranteeing a quick profitability, the production quality still falls short mostly owing to Zombie's unimaginative direction and woefully inadequate camera work. To add insult to injury, the landmark score is heard only at film's end.

While Zombie's "Halloween" certainly wasn't brilliant cinema, it was a refreshingly original take on "Halloween" and easily Zombie's best film to date. "Halloween 2" is a huge step backward in terms of both Zombie's writing and directing and, despite the knowledge that "Halloween 3" is already in production with a different director, it's entirely possible that this may be the film that truly kills Michael Myers.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic