Happy Sunday, fiends! It’s September 1st, so you can officially start putting up your Halloween decorations, unless you’re like us and leave most of the house decorated year-round! What are we watching this weekend, kids? I’ve been revisiting Rob Zombie’s two Halloween films, for reasons, and I’m sitting down with a screener of Riot Girls later today. I’m not going to go off on a tangent about Zombie’s films, because I’ve already got a lengthy piece on the way. I will say I still like them both, but I really think Rob needs to work with another writer to punch up his dialogue and a really good editor that has no fondness for him. I also caught up with 2014’s Excision, which was so great, I can’t believe I slept on it for five years! With Traci Lords and John Waters in the cast, incredible dream sequences, and lots of moments of inappropriate laughing, this movie was really great.
Todd Phillips’ Joker, which opens October 4th, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert DeNiro, received an eight-minute long standing ovation at its premiere this week. Meanwhile, debate rages amongst fans excited for the movie (who haven’t seen it) and people who hate the film (who also haven’t seen it). I’d just like to say to both parties, shut the fuck up. You’re ruining my timeline with your nonsense! Here’s what we know: the movie is based on NO existing Batman or Joker story, is set in its own little corner of the multiverse unconnected to any other film, and seems to be heavily influenced by both Taxi Driver and King of Comedy by Martin Scorsese, who is the film’s producer. Some are bemoaning the idea that this will be some Fight Club, edge lord, fanfic that empathizes with Phoenix’s Joker.
Let me offer a counter to that idea. Just because the film is from the Joker’s perspective doesn’t automatically mean we will have to empathize with him, even if he is a pitiable character. Remember, both Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer and Taxi Driver are from the villain’s perspective and we don’t/can’t empathize with either of them, because they are monsters. What makes both of those films so powerful is the fact that there is no protagonist coming to rescue the people in their sights. At worst, I think the Joker might wind up walking away at the end of the film leaving a lot of people confused about where they should stand with him. But so did Taxi Driver. Travis Bickle was a racist sociopath who accidentally became a hero, because he turned over the right rock by tripping over it on his way to do something fucked up. I guess what I’m getting at is we need to stop reviewing movies we haven’t seen yet. None of ya’ll are psychic and you’re mostly a group of noisy cats screeching for attention. Your time could be better spent elsewhere.
In casting news, Kyle Richards, the original Lindsay Wallace from John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween, will reprise her role for 2020’s Halloween Kills, joining Anthony Michael Hall who will portray Tommy Doyle (not sure why the original Tommy won’t be back, and it wouldn’t make much sense to bring back Paul Rudd, who portrayed Tommy in Part 6).