Not 100% sure how I feel about this--I've stated often that John Carpenter is probably my all-time favorite director, and "Halloween" is definitely among his best films, if not the best (and a universally hailed horror classic), but then "The Thing" is pretty hard to beat and feels the most personal. Of course, this undeserved 1982 box-office flop--now finally recognized as a masterpiece--is a remake of a 1950s classic, and upon its original release, many were outraged that the founding father of the then-reviled "slasher" genre would dare to mine the terrain of the great Howard Hawks (they probably forgot that Carpenter's second feature, "Assault On Precinct 13", was a thinly-veiled remake of "Rio Bravo", but oh well...).
So to bemoan Zombie's upcoming "re-imagining", especially without having seen it, seems more than a tad hypocritical, especially when I've also enjoyed such remakes as "Cat People", "The Fly", "The Blob", "Dawn Of The Dead", and last year's "The Hills Have Eyes". I'm not completely sold on Zombie as a genre auteur just yet, but I will say that he has an eye for macabre imagery and a fanboy's passion for the subject that's perhaps greater than his storytelling skills at this point (I'm one of the few who thought his debut "House Of 1000 Corpses" was a better film than the followup "The Devil's Rejects"--too many southern rock setpieces and protracted torture that became dull after the first hour).
A few stills and a poster comp have been released, and they're intriguing: Malcolm McDowell in the Donald Pleasance role, even sporting a goatee! The Shape's mask--reportedly---is closely based on the Shatner-inspired original. And there'll be lots of cameos for horror geeks from such vets as Dee Wallace Stone, Ken Foree, Brad Dourif, and Adrienne Barbeau. Like Carpenter's original, it's being shot in California (but I'm not sure if Pasadena is standing in for Haddonfield, Illinois. Hopefully, they can get pumpkins readily this time around--if not, there's always CG).
The film's due at the end of August this year (why not October, geniuses?). You can follow the production at Zombie's own myspace page here.