Rob Zombie's H2 (HALLOWEEN) picks up at the exact moment that 2007's box-office smash, HALLOWEEN stopped and follows the aftermath of Michael Myers's (Tyler Mane) murderous rampage through the eyes of heroine Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor Compton).
Evil has a new destiny. Michael Myers is back in this terrifying sequel to Rob Zombie's visionary re-imagining of Halloween which grossed almost $80 million worldwide. It is that time of year again, and Michael Myers has returned home to sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois to take care of some unfinished family business. Unleashing a trail of terror that only horror master Zombie can, Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past. But the town's got an unlikely new hero, if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the unstoppable.
Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN was a resounding success upon its release in 2007, grossing eighty million dollars at the box-office. Horror fans embraced Zombie's updated, relentless take on the classic story of Michael Myers. Nevertheless, the writer-director was reticent to "complete" the vision he began in the first film. "When I finished the first HALLOWEEN, I was burnt out, exhausted, and never wanted to hear the words 'Michael Myers' again," Zombie says. "But I feel that way after I finish anything that's exhausting."
Zombie relinquished the responsibility, but ultimately his affection for the characters made him rethink his decision. "I started getting possessive about it. That's when it became something I wanted to do. It was my Michael Myers, and my Laurie Strode, and my world. I didn't want someone else taking charge of it."
Inspired and ready to return to the scene of the crime, Zombie begins his story where the first film ends. "HALLOWEEN II picks up with the last moments of HALLOWEEN and then jumps in right from there," Zombie explains. "You could cut it together into one four-hour epic."
Producer Malek Akkad, who began his long history with the franchise as an associate producer on HALLOWEEN 6, heralds Zombie's return. "He's such a passionate filmmaker,"
Akkad muses. "He has a unique vision in everything he does, whether in his music, his writing, or his directing. He leaves that mark on everything."
Part of that "mark" included a scarier, more intense, more shocking HALLOWEEN II.
"Rob envisioned a very gritty, realistic look," Akkad says. "It's different from anything else. This one has a very realistic, gritty feel."
In taking HALLOWEEN II in a new direction, Zombie departs from the existing mythology of the earlier HALLOWEEN films. He examines the tragedy the characters faced in HALLOWEEN and builds his story without any guidelines or constraints. "On this one, he's really exploring his own voice and the characters more in his own way. It's exciting," Akkad enthuses.
"It's more character driven," Malcolm McDowell, who reprises his role as Dr. Loomis, agrees. "I like the idea of young Michael and of his mother coming back, and his weird sort of psychosis. I think it's a great improvement because you can't do the slasher thing every time."
Tyler Mane, who returns as the film's villain, was eager to see Zombie top the thrills of the first film. Mane believes Zombie delivered and exceeded his expectations: "It is very intense. The kills are picked up a notch. They're all gritty, dirty kills."
Mane warns: "Michael Myers is back, bigger and badder than ever."
When writing HALLOWEEN II, Zombie found that his story evolved from his examination of Laurie Strode's fractured state of mind. Zombie argues that the character was at her most engaging and complex at the end of HALLOWEEN, when she was "messed up, covered in blood and holding a gun." That image proved to be Zombie's inspiration for HALLOWEEN II, in which he desired to make Strode an active, complex protagonist, not just a "girl being chased." Zombie used his main character's diminishing control over her sanity as an opportunity to ratchet up the tension.
"She's a damaged person," producer Andy Gould says. "She's traumatized, and her arc takes her into her own sense of madness."
"There's something magically evil and insidious that's happening to her," Brad Dourif, who again plays Sheriff Brackett, adds. "It's inexplicable. She is slowly coming apart, becoming unglued."
Despite the challenges that lay ahead, Scout Taylor-Compton was eager to travel to Georgia to reprise the role of Laurie. "We're like a big family," she says of Zombie, the producers and the cast. "It's good to know that when you start a new project you already know everybody. We all goof around and have fun."
As with Laurie Strode, Zombie departed from earlier incarnations of Michael Myers to take the scares to a new level. In much of HALLOWEEN II, Myers relinquishes his trademark mask. This choice resulted largely from Zombie's desire to capitalize on Mane's expressive, silently terrifying (and previously concealed) performance. "Tyler has such an intense face. When he would put the mask on, I'd think, 'Now I'm just looking at a mask.' This time, he doesn't wear the mask a lot because his face is more intense."
Zombie's creativity in re-imagining the world of Michael Myers extends to Sheri Moon Zombie's improbable return as Deborah Myers. "When I wrapped the first HALLOWEEN, I was dead. I thought, 'There's no way I'm coming back.'"
In his effort to expand on his original, Zombie found a way to add a frightening supernatural element to HALLOWEEN II. Deborah Myers exists in the mind of her conflicted homicidal son, adding a previously unseen dimension to the character. "I think it's really cool how Rob wrote it. You see Deborah through Michael Myers's mind, and it's really creepy."
Not all of the consequences of Michael Myers's rampage are dire: Malcolm McDowell's Dr. Loomis finds a way to capitalize off of the tragedy. "Dr. Loomis is a fabulous part,"
McDowell says. "We explore a whole different side of Loomis. He's a total egomaniac. I'm not running after Michael Myers. That's the sheriff's job in this one. I'm on a book tour and I've made all this money out of this tragedy. It's a delicious part to play."
He found the re-imagining of Loomis to be very contemporary and cynical of the pop-doctors who are driven by questionable motives. "It just seems to be such a great area, to gently pull the legs of doctors who tend to be god-like figures. We always believe everything they say and do, and often they make terrible mistakes."
For Loomis, horror manifests itself differently. Michael Myers's legacy catches up with Loomis. Zombie explains: "This horrible event happens and he finds a way to cash in big time.
He's running around in his fancy hotels and limousines. Inside, he's empty and rotten, but he's trying to make up for it with money."
"It all comes crashing down," Zombie adds.
The unifying trait that connects these characters is that they've experienced a nightmare from which they cannot escape. "They're all survivors of a horrible tragedy, and I wanted to play it realistically how they would all deal with it. Everybody deals with these events differently,"
Rounding out the cast in smaller roles are horror veteran Margot Kidder (Brian De Palma's SISTERS and Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS), Howard Hesseman, Brea Grant, and Danielle Harris, who appeared in HALLOWEEN 4 and HALLOWEEN 5 prior to joining Zombie for HALLOWEEN.
Special effects makeup artist Wayne Toth, who collaborated with Zombie on HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS and HALLOWEEN, returns as an integral contributor to the film's scariest, darkest moments. He notes a shift in the approach to making the scares as visceral as possible: "It's grittier and a little more realistic. Sometimes in horror films these days, or even in the past, things get campy and over-the-top. We tried a voyeuristic approach."
"It's a lot of work, but it's a step further than what we did in the last film," Toth adds.
Tyler Mane (Michael Myers): Tyler Mane is currently starring in Rob Zombie's H2, the highly anticipated sequel to his HALLOWEEN remake, for Dimension, playing the famous villain Michael Myers. This demanding role takes Tyler deep into the psyche of a murderer, with Rob Zombie allowing him to bring layers and complexity to the genre.
Also in post-production is Tyler's comedic turn as a stoic, but warm-hearted blacksmith in the western, GUNLESS, starring Paul Gross.
Tyler has also started his own production company, Mane Entertainment, which is currently in development on a horror/thriller, PENANCE LANE. In it, Tyler will play a recently released convict who takes a job as a handyman in a dilapidated, old house on Penance Lane. But soon, we realize that there is much more going on with the handyman and the house than you see at first glance, and people are disappearing into its depths.
Tyler is also known for his memorable role as 'Sabretooth' in Bryan Singer's X-MEN (2000). His other credits include such blockbuster feature films as TROY, DEVIL'S REJECTS, SCORPION KING, JOE DIRT and BLACK MASK II.
He has also co-starred in the the epic 2005 mini-series HERCULES for HBO/Hallmark and the Creature Feature, HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER produced by Lou Arkoff and Stan Winston for Cinemax. He has also appeared on such television shows as V.I. P., MONK, SON OF THE BEACH, PARTY OF FIVE and MY BOYS.
Tyler Mane grew up in Saskatoon, Canada. "As an 8 year-old tall, skinny kid who was always picked on, I enrolled in martial arts to defend himself," says Tyler now. For the next 10 years, he immersed himself in karate, kung fu, tae Kwan do and judo. At 18, he briefly played semi-pro football, but his childhood dream of becoming a professional wrestler called to him.
From 1986-1999, Tyler wrestled professionally throughout the world-- including South Africa, Germany, Austria, England, Japan, Mexico and Yugoslavia to name a few. He wrestled for the WCW and the UWF as the mad, mean "Big Sky" with tag team partner Kevin Nash as the evil "Nitron."
At the same time, Tyler Mane began working to fulfill his other dream-- acting. He studied with acting coaches and attended acting workshops whenever possible, and he continues to study and hone his craft to this day.
"The transition from professional wrestler to actor was a pretty natural one," says Mane, who in reality stands 6'8". "Wrestling is performed on the hardest stage in the world--the four sided kind--where you can't hide anything. It's all out there for the world to see. As a wrestler, you create a character in the ring. It's a totally different persona which translates directly in acting for stage or screen."
Tyler's first stage opportunity was in the 1992 San Diego production of TURBO TANZI.
Though he played the character of a wrestler, it was a great introduction to classical acting that he would then parlay into his film roles.
During his spare time, Tyler enjoys staying in shape and doing charity work. He says, "I believe that it's important to be an example and give back to the community. It's great to get out there and meet the kids you're helping." His favorite organizations include The West Wing Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, The Heart Foundation, Lili Claire and many others.
Tyler is married and lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.
Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Samuel Loomis): Malcolm McDowell is arguably among the most dynamic and inventive of world-class actors, yet also one capable of immense charm, humor and poignancy. McDowell has created a gallery of iconographic characters since catapulting to the screen as Mick Travis, the rebellious upperclassman in Lindsay Anderson's prize-winning sensation "If..." His place in movie history was subsequently secured when Stanley Kubrick finally found the actor he was searching for to play the gleefully amoral Alex in "A Clockwork Orange," when McDowell himself conceived the idea for Mick Travis' further adventures in Anderson's Candide-like masterpiece, "O Lucky Man!" and when he wooed Mary Steenburgen and defeated Jack the Ripper as the romantically inquisitive H.G. Wells in "Time After Time."
Those legendary roles are among the ones that have endured with legions of filmgoers while new adherents have been won over by his tyrannical Soran (who destroys Capt. Kirk) in "Star Trek: Generations"; his Machiavellian Mr. Roarke in "Fantasy Island" and his comically pompous professor Steve Pynchon in the critically hailed CBS television series, "Pearl," starring opposite Rhea Perlman.
For his motion picture work, the American Cinemateque honored him with a retrospective in June 2001, highlighted by showings of his electrifying performances in two major works. The first is Paul McGuigan's "Gangster No. 1," in which McDowell and Paul Bettany portray the consumed, driven title character and which affords McDowell the chance to create a character both on screen and through nuanced voice-over. The second is Russian director Karen Chakhnazarov's acclaimed and rarely seen "Assassin of the Tsar," which Vincent Canby called "a remarkable mystical and psychological exploration of the murder of the Romanov family." About McDowell's performance as the conflicted Yurovsky, the man who carried out the crime, The New York Times said, "Not since reaching his mature years has McDowell given such a fine, strong, crafty performance. It is acted with immense skill." McDowell's distinctive motion picture characterizations include: Richard Lester's "Royal Flash," Paul Schrader's "Cat People," Rachel Talalay's "Tank Girl," Joseph Losey's "Figures in a Landscape," Bryan Forbes' "The Raging Moon" and the Chaplinesque studio boss in Blake Edwards' "Sunset."
His film credits are further highlighted by his compellingly sinister "Caligula"; the brilliant literary editor Maxwell Perkins in Martin Ritt's "Cross Creek"; his cameo in Robert Altman's "The Player"; and his final incarnation of Mick Travis in "Britannia Hospital," the third film in Anderson's trilogy marking the disintegration of British culture.
McDowell's film work also includes Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, In Good Company, I Spy, Robert Altman's "The Company"; Robert Downey Sr.'s "Hugo Pool" with Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr. and Cathy Moriarty; Just Visiting, "Mr. Magoo, Hugh Hudson's "My Life So Far," Blue Thunder, Neil Marshall's Doomsday in 2007, and the voice of villain, Dr. Calico, in Disney's 2008 box office hit, Bolt.
On television, McDowell continue's making recurring appearance as Terence on the hit HBO series, Entourage, and as Linderman on NBC's Heroes.
Rob Zombie (Writer-Director-Producer): An auteur filmmaker and music artist with shrewd insight and creative vision, ROB ZOMBIE challenges audiences as he stretches the boundaries of both film and music.
In 2007, Zombie's bold re-imagining of John Carpenter's smash cult horror film HALLOWEEN (Dimension) premiered at number one at the box office breaking all Labor Day Weekend records, and has now grossed 80 million dollars worldwide. Zombie's next feature film will pick up where that success left off; Halloween 2, another much anticipated Dimension film, is slated for release August 28th, 2009.
In 2005, Zombie assaulted the film world with the critically-acclaimed, macabre and twisted masterpiece THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (Lions Gate), the follow-up to his already cult classic HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (Lions Gate 2004). Zombie has also wrapped a raunchy, R-rated, animated film entitled THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, to be released in later 2009. In addition, Zombie's work appears as a trailer for a faux film called WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE S.S. for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's GRINDHOUSE.
Zombie is also an accomplished recording artist, being one of Geffen Records' top selling and longest running artist and selling over 15 million albums worldwide. He is the most prolific Geffen Artist when it comes to Gold and Platinum discs. This is affirmed by the fact that he has
repeatedly sold out national tours.
Zombie is also a prolific music video director in his own right having directed over twenty-five high-profile music videos. In 1995 Zombie won an MTV Music Video Award for "More Human Than Human," becoming the first self-directed artist to win such an award.
Zombie has also directed numerous music videos for other artists besides himself, his band White Zombie, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and other distinguished artists including Ozzy Osbourne.
THE ART OF REMAKES