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September 04, 2007 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-04

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10A - Tuesday, September 4, 2007

a

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Trading plot
for gore
Zombie's clever take on a classic
still really bloody
By PAUL TASSI need to know the real Michael. And
Daily Film Editor to do so we embark on a 45-minute
intro that involves young Michael
"Halloween" is unquestion- (an exceptionally creepy Daeg
ably Rob Zombie's best movie. Faerch) beating bullies with logs,
This might be significant praise if stabbing step-dads with knives
his other movies ("House of 1000 and clubbing boyfriends with bats.
Corpses," "The . We get it; he's messed up. Really
Devil's Rejects") messed up.
weren'tso aggres- k -i All this character development
sively awful, but is necessary because Michael is the
that's the best I Halloween protagonist in this version, rather
got. than the Jamie Lee Curtis baby-
In his latest At Quality16 sitter (a role filled this time by an
sadistic exer- and Showcase emo-glasses-wearing Scout Tay-
cise, Zombie nips MGM/Dimension lor-Compton, who only shows up
and tucks John in the film's second half). And after
Carpenter's 1978 the endless "Halloween" history
classic, reshaping lesson, old Mike finally heads home
it for a modern horror audience. for some sweet, uh, revenge? Well,
Unfortunately, his tool of choice he was kind of the killer in the first
isn't a scalpel - it's a chainsaw. In place. No camp counselors let him
the original film, there were only a drowninalakelike Jason; noneigh-
few minutes on the violent child- bors burned him alive like Freddy.
hood of Michael Myers. For Zom- His mom's boyfriend is kind of
bie, that wasn't nearly enough. We mean, I guess. Whatever his dubi-

M.I.A.
From page 1B
was originally produced by the
Wilcannia Mob for a community
project for the Shopfront The-
atre for Young People in Sydney,
Australia, and first heard on Dip-
lo's Mad Decent Radio Vol. One.
Spooky spectres of children step
in for a few bars apiece, repeating
childlike couplets whose inno-
cence belies the tone. The dreari-
ness of it is nearly an unbearable
weight, and the amateurish qual-
ity ofethe production next to apop
gem like "Paper Planes" is the
sort of profound statement only a
more mature M.I.A. could make.
It's not all bleak for Ms. Arul-
pragasm. Lead single "Boyz" is
a triumphant ode to ... boys. It's
silly and repetitive, but it grooves
and provides a bit of levity in
between anthems. Songs like
"Boyz," "Jimmy" and the Timba-
land-produced "Come Around"
lend credence to the notion that
the best way to avoid getting
preachy is to pause and laugh at
yourself once and awhile. Get
people to smile and dance and
fuck to your revolution and even
the most difficult reality becomes
easier to swallow.
In 20 years when the next
generation of hipsters walk into
Wazoo and ask for a recommen-
dation, the staff will still tell
them that the only M.I.A. album
they need is the first. They'll be
right about the fact that Arular
was a cultural touchstone, but
for those who listen a little closer,
Kala is the real revelation.

ous motivation, the film descends
into a never-ending parade of kill-
ings of characters to whom we've
only just been introduced, most of
them young men and women with
no shirts and, unnecessarily, their
parents.
The film is a case study of Rob
Zombie's unnatural infatuation
with gore. This movie is violent.
The original "Halloween" fea-

tured four deaths, and maybe a few
pints of dark red goo. In Zombie's
reworking,however,thebodycount
rises to at least 18 (I lost track) and
there's enough blood to fill alake.
This inevitable change (although
really, 18 kills is tame for Zombie)
represents a larger issue that hor-
ror is facing these days with the
advent of the "Saw" and "Hostel"
franchises: more blood, less sus-

pense. The original was all about
tension. If someone dies onscreen
every five minutes, it's not scary,
it's just gory. If tension is allowed
to build, gore is not only unneces-
sary but actually a distraction. It's
sad to see that modern horror has
forgotten everything that inspired
it in the first place. There is no
truer example than Zombie's "Hal-
loween."

IT BEGINS.
Mass meeting. Thursday. 8 p.m. 420 Maynard St.

i

FILM IN BRIEF
Nouveau-loser
comedy rides on
"The Ten"
At the State Theater
THINKFilm
Despite promising previews
that fed on the recent popular-
ity of Paul Rudd ("Knocked Up")
and a cast to compete with "Paris
j'taime," the comedic vignettes
that comprise "The Ten" quickly
spiral into a nonsensical, forget-
table quagmire.
As Rudd's Jeff Reigert intro-
duces short stories based on

They're watching any possible credibility
each of the 10 commandments,
the comedy erratically bounces

Washtenaw nepyencent 'Bib(e Church
┬žatheredunto the name of the LordJesus Christfor
docrine,fr((ows{p, brea ing of bread, andyrayers

- Personalized Travel Advice
" Specially Priced Student Airfare
"-Trips & Accommodations _
. dTravel Insurance
- Discount ID Cards
- International Rail Passes T RAVE L
- Online Visa Applications THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE'
- Foreign Currency Exchange
- International Cell Phones
- Student Travel Loans
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walk out of the room.
from poop humor to social sat-
ire to tasteless and tactless jokes
revolving around a prisoner's
choice over who he "doesn't not
want to rape" him. Then there's
a Spanish-speaking narrator get-
ting stuck on the word "vagina,"
Winona Ryder ridding a wood-
en dummy's wood, a cartoon
rhino taking shits that sprout
flowers and Michael Ian Black
("Wet Hot American Summer")
quoting Shakespeare while the
soundtrack provides the sounds
of a man being sodomized.
What's the point? The final
musical number suggests the
movie's all about love. Instead,
"The Ten" comes across as a
poorly conceived and odiously
executed "Wet Hot" reunion
bash featuring fiercely bad writ-
ing and awkward innuendos.
ELIE ZWIEBEL

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