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Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Birthday: 12 January 1965, Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA
Birth Name: Robert Bartleh Cummings
Height: 178 cm

Robert Bartleh Cummings, more famously known as Rob Zombie, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 12, 1965. He is the oldest son of Louise and Robert Cummings, and has a younger brother, Mic ...Show more

Rob Zombie
[on being asked if Halloween II (2009) is a remake of Halloween II (1981)] The answer is no. This mo Show more [on being asked if Halloween II (2009) is a remake of Halloween II (1981)] The answer is no. This movie has nothing to do with the movie that came out back in 1981. The only thing slightly the same is my film has a brief hospital scene at the top of the film and even that is 100% different. These are all new characters and all new situations. This is not a remake of a sequel, this is the continuing story of the Halloween (2007) I started. So hopefully that clears up that confusion. Hide
[when interviewed by MTV on his remake of Halloween (1978)] Well I didn't want it to be, "You know, Show more [when interviewed by MTV on his remake of Halloween (1978)] Well I didn't want it to be, "You know, [Michael Myers] just happened to rob a hardware store and steal that mask". What if they didn't have that mask? What would he steal, a Jimmy Carter mask? Or an Elmo mask, if that was the only one available at the hardware store? And when did he rob the hardware store? In broad daylight? And the alarm is still ringing? I mean, where is everybody? Those little things bothered me with [the original movie]. Thank God Loomis stopped to make that call exactly at that phone booth where he dropped the car off and found the Rabbit in Red matchbook. Those kind of coincidences always kind of bothered me. So I'm trying to make things make a little more sense [with Halloween (2007)]. Hide
I'm not a big fan of the thought that you can become a star by winning a contest. I'm sort of old-fa Show more I'm not a big fan of the thought that you can become a star by winning a contest. I'm sort of old-fashioned. I think people need to get out there and they need to work and they need to do their music because they love it. If they become successful, then great, and if they are not, whatever. That's the way the chips may fall. I just get disgusted watching people crying that it should have been them, that they're a star, that they're special. You know what? Fuck you! Hide
I love the Universal stuff 'cause a lot of it is 69, 70 minutes. Get to the point, boom, body out of Show more I love the Universal stuff 'cause a lot of it is 69, 70 minutes. Get to the point, boom, body out of the grave, let's build a monster! After 90 minutes, I get a little squirrely in the feet. Especially if you're seeing simple things, like I don't want a two and a half hour superhero movie. Cut out an hour of that. I guess some people feel like they get their money's worth if it's longer, and it seems more epic, but I never felt like more is more in that sense. I like things to be concise. I was on a plane the other day and was watching The Thrill Killers (1964), which was a completely cheap, nothing movie. Like why was I more entertained by this more than a blockbuster movie? One day of catering on The Dark Knight (2008) cost more than this movie. I've always liked really simple premises, like The Sadist (1963). Hide
[on directing older actors] I think that they get tired of being treated like they don't matter, or Show more [on directing older actors] I think that they get tired of being treated like they don't matter, or getting treated like, "Oh, you're not 25 anymore; you're useless. Stand in the background; you know, your best days are over." I mean, young actors are fine if that's what you need, but you can be older and still be awesome. Hide
I really just do what I like. I don't understand what the general public likes sometimes. I really just do what I like. I don't understand what the general public likes sometimes.
I'd just be obsessed with a movie. I'd need more. So we'd make Super-8s at home. It's funny I should Show more I'd just be obsessed with a movie. I'd need more. So we'd make Super-8s at home. It's funny I should remake Halloween (1978), because one of the movies I made as a kid in high school was a sequel to [John Carpenter's] Escape from New York (1981). Later, you know, I moved to New York to go to school, got kicked out, and worked as a bike messenger and on Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986), and then started a band. Making movies seemed like, "How do you do that? I don't even have money to eat. I'm not gonna make movies." It's great now for kids, make some goofy movie, stick it on YouTube, and you're a hero. Back then, it was like: "Man, I can't wait till I can save enough money to develop the film." Hide
[on 31 (2016)'s production process] The casting process was fun, and I liked bringing back people I' Show more [on 31 (2016)'s production process] The casting process was fun, and I liked bringing back people I've worked with at times because the shooting schedule is the shortest schedule I ever had, by far. It was twenty days, and twenty days to make a movie is psychotic because you've got to nail it. There was a lot of pressure on everybody to get as much as we can on the first take and everything had to be awesome so we don't fall behind schedule. So I knew I needed to bring in enough actors that I had worked with; I couldn't have many actors I've never worked with and expect it not to be a catastrophe. So there were a lot of familiar faces and people who came into the fold.I have a large group of actors I can pull from now, which is nice because, for instance, when we were casting Father Murder, I knew I needed someone instantly recognizable who could carry the dialogue. I did some auditions and found some great people, but they weren't people you would recognize by face, and they needed to be someone you'd embrace once they come on screen. So that's when I thought, "Let's just call Malcolm [Malcolm McDowell] and see if he's available for two days to come down and shoot." That gave us an extra kick and gave us a bit more time in our limited schedule. But the shooting was really psychotic, and there's one scene in '31' in particular where there's a two different fights happening simultaneously with chainsaws which was very complicated to shoot. We had one day to shoot it, and I've talked to people who worked on movies where comparable scenes had weeks to shoot something like that, like sword fights that took six weeks to shoot. We had eight fucking hours, and that's including special effects and stunt doubles and doing it all carefully and safely. It wasn't the smartest idea on my part.The limited schedule is why I had to make some of the characters more cerebral in stalking and killing. We had to thinking about what was possible to make happen and anything where we could go, "Who gives a shit?," had to go. When you have an hour and a half to shoot all these characters battling away, it's insanity but I will get it done. Strangely enough, we didn't suffer from time constraints; we just became really good at shooting fast. Once you don't have time to fuck around, you don't have time to second guess yourself, and if there is a problem, you have to solve it instantly. We actually didn't have a ton of deleted scenes on '31' because so much was cut in the planning stage. When I can't afford to lose two days on a twenty day schedule, I'm not going to spend time shooting stuff I'll never use. The script was purposefully really tight, whereas with previous films, there's been entire subplots cut out. Hide
[on the inspiration for 31 (2016)] I had read this fact - I'm not even sure if the fact's true; I do Show more [on the inspiration for 31 (2016)] I had read this fact - I'm not even sure if the fact's true; I don't even care because it inspired the movie - about how many people disappear every October 31st, and I felt like, well, where do they all go? Do they ever get found? And that was really what inspired the movie. Hide
[on the Laurie Strode character in Halloween II (2009)] It doesn't sound like a slasher movie, it so Show more [on the Laurie Strode character in Halloween II (2009)] It doesn't sound like a slasher movie, it sounds like a pretty interesting human drama to have this character wake up, most of the people around her are dead, her whole life is destroyed, and she just has to start dealing with it. Hide
[on rushing Halloween II (2009) into production] That's the problem making a movie called Halloween: Show more [on rushing Halloween II (2009) into production] That's the problem making a movie called Halloween: If you come out Nov. 1 or after, nobody cares. If it was called anything else, I'd be fine. Hide
[on why he thinks clowns scare people so much] I guess because it's so simple. Even when I was doing Show more [on why he thinks clowns scare people so much] I guess because it's so simple. Even when I was doing this movie [31 (2016)] - people just have a thing with clowns. I don't know why. I mean, I like them, I don't find them funny, but I find them interesting. But I guess because of that makeup - you know, take some grease paint, it doesn't take a lot of effects, it doesn't take an elaborate costume. Put a little bit of makeup on your face and it totally transforms the person. In fact that's why, with Richard Brake's character, I kept his makeup so simple. Because even I was amazed at how little makeup you could put on somebody and totally lose their features, and I didn't want to lose his features, because they're pretty striking. But if I put this crazy Bozo makeup on him, it'd be like, well now I can't even tell what his face is doing. And even a movie like It (1990), the original one, who the fuck could tell that's Tim Curry? It's amazing how much it can transform someone's face. Hide
I remember, especially like when I was in high school, going to see like Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Show more I remember, especially like when I was in high school, going to see like Dawn of the Dead (1978) and it was like mayhem in the theater and you could barely even watch the movie. It was so fun. Hide
[on killing off the lead characters in The Devil's Rejects (2005)] That was always the ending and ev Show more [on killing off the lead characters in The Devil's Rejects (2005)] That was always the ending and every actor had a complaint about that. I wanted to do it because it seems like nobody makes a movie anymore without a sequel set up. Lions Gate was like "The franchise... It's gone." But you know, that's the problem. I feel like there's never a definitive ending anymore. Every movie ends with the possibility of another one and it drives me crazy. I feel like, "Why did I just invest two hours? It didn't even end." Hide
Freaks (1932) is phenomenal. I love Tod Browning, and there's so many great films he's made. If ever Show more Freaks (1932) is phenomenal. I love Tod Browning, and there's so many great films he's made. If ever there was a biopic, I would want to do it. He's responsible for so many classics, especially in the silent era, and I'm a big fan of silent films. Especially Lon Chaney and all the great ones are by Tod Browning. I love all those movies too, because they're so short and impactful. Movies now, and this might sound stupid, but they're so fucking long and dragged out. Every time I see a movie now I'm always like, "Boy, I would've loved this movie if it ended 20 minutes earlier." So over it right now. Hide
I met John Carpenter when he was making Escape from L.A. (1996). I see him every once in a while. I met John Carpenter when he was making Escape from L.A. (1996). I see him every once in a while.
[on how low budgets affect the script process in filmmaking] I struggled with The Lords of Salem (20 Show more [on how low budgets affect the script process in filmmaking] I struggled with The Lords of Salem (2012), but by making that film, in dealing with that short amount of time, I knew how to better deal with 31 (2016). I would write my usual way, but when going through it again, you realize you have too many characters, or there are too many situations going on. That's when you cut, cut, cut and make the script more precise. Knowing from my past experience how shooting days were going to go, I could find what the script could be. While we were shooting, I kept on thinking how crazy everything was. There's a lot of action in the film. Like, how am I going to do a double chainsaw fight sequence in one day? It's so easy to write it down, but when it comes to actually doing it, you realize how much struggle it is. The fight scenes were easily the most time-consuming thing on this movie. They didn't have time to be consumed. Hide
[on his favorite The Twilight Zone (1959) episode] I'm always drawn to the episodes which take place Show more [on his favorite The Twilight Zone (1959) episode] I'm always drawn to the episodes which take place in one location and are claustrophobic. The Twilight Zone: Five Characters in Search of an Exit (1961) almost looks like a [Federico Fellini] movie. As you watch it, it's like: How are they going to resolve this in half an hour? I find it amazing that they get you so involved like in a feature film. I like that for 29 minutes and 59 seconds of the episode, the audience has no idea what's going on. The vibe of it is so unlike the way TV is now. Hide
[acknowledging House of 1000 Corpses (2003)'s cult following] Now, a decade later, it's become a pre Show more [acknowledging House of 1000 Corpses (2003)'s cult following] Now, a decade later, it's become a pretty loved movie among people. It's great that we have this big celebration. I love seeing Sid Haig and the other actors get such great attention from it. The funny thing is, ten years becomes a long time. I'll meet someone who's eighteen years old, and that's always been a film that they've loved. It's funny that the film's been around that long to be like that for some people. Hide
[on lending his voice to Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)] I've known director James Gunn for ten year Show more [on lending his voice to Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)] I've known director James Gunn for ten years, and I did a voice in his early film Slither (2006), and then I did a voice in Super (2010). So now I did one in 'Guardians', too, to just keep that process rolling. Hide
I like movies where you can come back and re-watch them and admire the cinematography 25 years later Show more I like movies where you can come back and re-watch them and admire the cinematography 25 years later. Hide
'70s horror is almost like '70s punk rock, in a way: It existed, it happened, most people were not t Show more '70s horror is almost like '70s punk rock, in a way: It existed, it happened, most people were not there for it, but for the people who were, it was just special. Now these films are so famous, but at the time, when you'd go see these movies, you were seeing them in these shit theaters in the middle of nowhere. I never like to use the term "grindhouse," but I was lucky enough to live in New York City in the early '80s and go to 42nd Street to see movies like Cannibal Holocaust (1980) or Cannibal ferox (1981). And it was a crazy thing. I mean, you felt like you were going to get killed just being in the theater. They were filled with junkies and prostitutes - it wasn't really like going to the movies, because it was 42nd Street. It was dangerous and weird and you always saw people get into fights and get stabbed. It was crazy! The movies and the surroundings became one and the same, almost. And most people didn't know about these movies. They weren't popular at the time. There was something special about them. There was just a vibe; they were movies being made for such a select audience that most people didn't know about. And I was fine with that. That's what I liked about it. They were so different, so outside the mainstream. If you could even find one other person in your high school who had even heard of these movies back then, it would be a miracle. Now, with the Internet, everybody knows everything, nothing's special, everything's on Blu-ray, you can watch it whenever. Hide
[on Låt den rätte komma in (2008)] Yeah, I only saw the original but not the remake [Let Show more [on Låt den rätte komma in (2008)] Yeah, I only saw the original but not the remake [Let Me In (2010)]. The original was fantastic, and I heard the remake was pretty great too. I think the thing I like so much about foreign horror films is it just creates so much of a different atmosphere. You get so used to American films with American actors set in America. There's not so much mystery. But having the film set in Sweden, just the people and the way they look and the architecture and the snow and the darkness, it just brings the whole thing together. That's why I think Americans respect foreign films so much more. The whole vibe is so different. Scaring people is difficult and it's easier when you have an approach they're unfamiliar with. Hide
[on the horror movies 2016 had to offer] I really enjoyed The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015), Show more [on the horror movies 2016 had to offer] I really enjoyed The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015), I thought that was really good. I like movies like that, that was cool. The Neon Demon (2016) was cool, I always like that guy's [Nicolas Winding Refn] movies. I've been watching Stranger Things (2016), you know, that's pretty cool. Feels like, you know, such a throwback, the kids seem like, right out of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) or The Goonies (1985) or something, it's great. Hide
I don't know that I have a fascination with witches per se - well, maybe I just have a fascination w Show more I don't know that I have a fascination with witches per se - well, maybe I just have a fascination with everything that's weird. Hide
[on directing Malcolm McDowell and Meg Foster in 31 (2016)] This is actually the fourth time Malcolm Show more [on directing Malcolm McDowell and Meg Foster in 31 (2016)] This is actually the fourth time Malcolm and I have worked together. He's a great guy, and he really helped me out of a bind on this one. For the role he plays, I needed somebody really iconic. It's not a big role, but when that character appears, it needs to be very memorable, and Malcolm came in at the last minute and nailed it. And Meg is super-cool. This is the second time we've worked together, and she's just a sweetheart. Hide
Without really analyzing it, I grew up in Massachusetts, so the Salem witch trials were always somet Show more Without really analyzing it, I grew up in Massachusetts, so the Salem witch trials were always something that I was around. The average kindergartner probably doesn't know about it, except that in Massachusetts, you do, because they'll take you on field trips to see reenactments and stuff. Hide
Growing up, I had the weird fantasy list: I wanted to be Alice Cooper, Steven Spielberg, and Stan Le Show more Growing up, I had the weird fantasy list: I wanted to be Alice Cooper, Steven Spielberg, and Stan Lee. You have to have almost psychotic drive, because you're going to have years of failure. Hide
I think so much about everything. I'm obsessive. I think so much about everything. I'm obsessive.
[on why he sets most of his movies in the 1970s] I think it's the best time period. It's special to Show more [on why he sets most of his movies in the 1970s] I think it's the best time period. It's special to me because I was a teenager back then. It's when I discovered music, TV, and film. It will always be my favorite, 'cause I love how people look and how things are more primitive. The one thing that makes it difficult about shooting period pieces is that it's more expensive. You can't just go out and do anything. That's why with The Lords of Salem (2012) I gave it a '70s vibe but it wasn't in the '70s. If it was, I couldn't have shot it the way we did. We would have to remove every wrong car, change out all the clocks and lamp posts to give it an authenticity, which we didn't have the money to do. Hide
[on Halloween (2007)] Some people say the stupid phrase, "Oh, you killed the franchise." No, I resta Show more [on Halloween (2007)] Some people say the stupid phrase, "Oh, you killed the franchise." No, I restarted the franchise. The franchise was already dead, and they hadn't made a film for so long. So I made one, walked away, they tried to get another one going again, so I came back and made another one. And it's been five years since my last one [Halloween II (2009)], and they're still having trouble. You might not have liked what I did, but if anything, I brought the franchise back to life because it was just laying there. It pumped the life back into it, whether you liked it or not is a different argument. Hide
[on returning to the Halloween franchise to direct Halloween II (2009)] When I finished Halloween (2 Show more [on returning to the Halloween franchise to direct Halloween II (2009)] When I finished Halloween (2007) I was so fucking burnt out that the thought of doing another seemed totally insane to me at the time. I was done. But after a year and a half break I started to think that maybe another one wasn't such a bad idea. I love the characters and felt that I had only just scratched the surface of what could be done with them. The basic story was out of the way and now the series could go anywhere. Seeing the aftermath of Michael's rampage through the eyes of Laurie and Loomis was very exciting to me. So I came back and now we have a movie. Never say never. Hide
[2014, on House of 1000 Corpses (2003)] The first film [I directed], which people seems to love, is Show more [2014, on House of 1000 Corpses (2003)] The first film [I directed], which people seems to love, is just a calamitous mess. Well, when it came out it seemed like everyone hated it. Now everyone acts like it's beloved in some way. All I see is flaw, upon flaw, upon flaw...upon flaw. Hide
[on remakes] You just can't win. If it's too similar to the original, everybody wonders what the poi Show more [on remakes] You just can't win. If it's too similar to the original, everybody wonders what the point was, but if it's too different, everybody complains that it's... too different! I found especially with Halloween II (2009) that everyone talked about what it wasn't and not what it was: 'you can't do that with Michael Myers; you can't do that with Loomis...' It's like people have a set of rules in their minds about how these things should function, and you can't work like that. Hide
[on why "The Crow 2037: A New Age of Gods and Monsters" was canceled] They [the studio] couldn't mak Show more [on why "The Crow 2037: A New Age of Gods and Monsters" was canceled] They [the studio] couldn't make up their minds about anything. There was a character in the movie who I said I would ideally like to be played by Bob Hoskins. They said OK, then came back and said, "How about Natasha Henstridge"? I left before they suggested I cast a horse in the role. Hide
[on directing and working for film studios] They hire you and suddenly they don't trust you. And you Show more [on directing and working for film studios] They hire you and suddenly they don't trust you. And you say, "Well, why did you hire me?" and they say, "We can't tell you." Hide
It would be so cool to do something like, I don't know, "The Return of Frankenstein" but you do it s Show more It would be so cool to do something like, I don't know, "The Return of Frankenstein" but you do it so that the monster looks like it did in all the original Universal films. That would be so cool to go back and make a totally classic horror movie. Don't jazz it all up like Van Helsing (2004), but make something really classic. I think people would go for it. Hide
I always thought I played Michael Myers more like he was Frankenstein. Because you know, all those m Show more I always thought I played Michael Myers more like he was Frankenstein. Because you know, all those monsters always had a sympathetic edge to them. There was always some sort of misunderstanding going on, or they were thrown into a world that they didn't understand, and what they did was horrible but they just didn't get it. Hide
[2002, on remakes] I feel it's the worst thing any filmmaker can do. I actually got a call from my a Show more [2002, on remakes] I feel it's the worst thing any filmmaker can do. I actually got a call from my agent and they asked me if I wanted to be involved in a remake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). I said, "No fucking way!" Those movies are perfect. You're only going to make yourself look like an asshole by remaking them. Go remake something that's a piece of shit and make it good. Hide
I love The Shining (1980). I mean, I love Stanley Kubrick so any time he tackles a genre like scienc Show more I love The Shining (1980). I mean, I love Stanley Kubrick so any time he tackles a genre like science fiction with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) or A Clockwork Orange (1971), it's brilliant. And so is 'The Shining'. It's considered an actual classic and I don't think anyone would argue with that, but when it came out everyone trashed it! All of his movies are like that though, they all had terrible reviews. It's weird. Hide
With The Lords of Salem (2012), I toyed with it for a long time, because I could have made it more t Show more With The Lords of Salem (2012), I toyed with it for a long time, because I could have made it more tonally like [31 (2016)] by the way the cameras moved, the way I lit it, the way I did things. Then I thought its story seemed like it wanted to be like an Italian art movie: slow, the camera's not moving a lot, the takes are drawn out, it's more about the mood it's creating, not the story it's telling, where the whole movie feels like a dream. That's what I always feel like when watching a [Dario Argento] film: "I don't even know if this makes sense, it seems like a weird dream I had." Like Suspiria (1977) or something. With '31', it seemed like time to go back to something more grounded in a gritty sort of in-your-face reality. So tonally and style-wise, they're totally different. Hide
It's so odd how people judge things, so I've stopped trying to figure it out! The one thing I've not Show more It's so odd how people judge things, so I've stopped trying to figure it out! The one thing I've noticed is that as time goes on, is that nobody likes anything when it's new. As soon as it's old, it gets this weird, established gloss to it: "Oh, it's a classic!" Really? I mean, same thing with my band, White Zombie, all the reviews for all the records were horrible! Like, "Worst Band Ever"-type reviews. Now that's all the classic stuff. When I first started, everything I did was pale compared to that. Now everything I do now is pale to the early stuff...and it's always like as long as it's old, it's good. They hate it now, in six months they love it, in ten years it's a classic, so who gives a shit? Hide
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