Cory Hope, Arts and Entertainment Editor Ω
Rob Zombie’s Halloween vs. Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead.
Before I start this Holiday Movie Showdown, I would like to explain why I chose these two movies.
Brain Dead is the director’s cut of Dead Alive, Peter Jackson’s third film after Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles.
I recommend these films to anyone who isn’t my mom.
Your mom, fine.
I have a reputation to uphold at home however, which might be tainted if I were to tell her to watch these (or the two up for review for that matter), seeing as she is a woman who considers ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ to be one of the high points of all cinema ever.
Brain Dead is often hailed as the goriest movie of all time by websites like 365horrormovie.com.
I chose this cinematic masterpiece instead of John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween because Carpenter’s version features a 20-year-old Jamie Lee Curtis topless.
Any film that has to contend with that is almost always going to be bringing the proverbial knife to the gunfight.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween is a reboot to a classic horror film, bringing one of the scariest villains ever to grace the background of the screen back to the stage.
Both the mask that Michael Meyers wears and the score of the movie as he stalks his prey are iconic within the genre of horror films.
Brain Dead on the other hand is a refreshing take on the genre of everybody’s favourite villains, zombies.
The beauty of zombies is that they are no longer human, and therefore can be dispatched by any means necessary without any sympathy being felt towards them.
Let’s talk special effects for a moment.
Rob Zombie took the slasher film to new heights with Halloween, with the knife-wielding Michael Meyers making short work of promiscuous teens as we all expect him to.
Special effects have come a long way since 1978, and the full-contact nature of Meyers’ preferred sport is no longer implied as it was when the original came out.
He is still however just wielding a knife for the most part.
Brain Dead is quite exceptional when it comes to special effects, although Jackson treats much of it with a light-hearted nature (if that doesn’t seem too much of a contradiction for a movie that is known for splatter).
It was made to be a splatter-comedy, which Jackson successfully pulls off with enthusiasm and special effects ranging from the claymation rat-monkey, whose bite begins the whole ridiculous adventure, to gallons and gallons of foamy pink blood that causes humans and zombies alike to fall over each other in a gore-filled slapstick that has yet to be topped.
A quick word on body counts.
The body count of Halloween is irrelevant.
Not because people don’t get killed, but because there is a scene in Brain Dead in which the hero of the story straps a lawnmower to his chest and runs through a room full of the invading zombie hoard again and again.
Jackson pulled no punches during this scene, which was virtually redacted for the cinematic release. Get the director’s cut.
Looking back at my comparisons for this holiday season, I suppose I really should have gone with the original Halloween, and let the Jamie Lee factor play its course.
It would have made this a more fair fight.
I’m not about to suggest that Rob Zombie’s Halloween isn’t worth checking out, but my recommendation for you this year is going to have to be Brain Dead.
I know I wasn’t keeping a proper score this time around, but I’ll just make something up.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead 527.