Iconic musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie is a divisive figure in horror who, despite mixed reception, has generated a cult-like following in his own right. With an illustrious career of over two decades, he is known for his violent, gruesome and unsettling films that have deranged and brutal criminals rather than supernatural or occult disturbances.
Besides being popular for heavy metal music, Zombie’s famous cult horror films include House of 1000 Corpses, Firefly trilogy, The Devil’s Reject, 3 From Hell as well as the legendary remakes of Halloween and Halloween II.
Zombie is a self-proclaimed horror fan and has spoken to Creepy Catalog about his childhood desire to be a musician and filmmaker. He said that the 1930s were his favourite period for horror films since they were “demented and sick”.
“Sometimes you watch them and go, ‘Wow, they get away with a lot.’ Then, of course, the codes [Hays Code of 1934] came in, and it ruined the party. When you watch movies from the 1940s, they seem so tame and so dry, but everything from the ’30s is just amazing,” he said.
However, a true fan of horror, Zombie named horror films from every decade that left a profound impact on him. He named Danny Boyle’s 2002 zombie classic 28 Days Later to be one of his most favourite horror films.
Talking about how it was one of the best and “fresh” zombie films since the days of George Romero, he spoke of how Boyle came “along with a fresh take on it” in contrast to how others were “sort of retreading what Geroge Romero was doing.”
Watching Boyle’s film, he realised how the zombie flicks were boxed in a “stagnant genre”, something that Boyle helped shatter.
Appreciating Boyle for resuscitating the genre and viewing it through a different lens altogether, Zombie said, “I thought it was great. I like the fact that — I don’t know how much credit [Danny Boyle] gets for it — but, the zombiemania that’s going on with everyone, no one could really figure out what to do with zombie movies.”
In the film, chimps infected with the rage virus get freed from their cages by unsuspecting animal rights activists, sending the world into pandemonium. When Jim, a London bike courier, wakes up from his month-long coma, he finds the city alienated and ravaged.
Filled with zombified humans, Jim finds himself grouping with a group of survivors, and they embark on a tumultuous journey to struggle for survival amidst seemingly indefatigable obstacles.
Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Alex Palmer and more, the film is a scathing political allegory disguised as a zombie flick.
Boyle is phenomenal in his direction and creates layered characters and well-thought-out dialogues that hint at humanism in the wake of inevitable apocalyptic doom.
Watch 28 Days Later on Netflix UK and Ireland now.