Rob Zombie on film reviews: “History has a way of making everything become beloved over time”
Rob Zombie is famous for doing his own thing. He is also famous for not caring much mind for reviews – not that he doesn’t appreciate them or the jobs reviewers do – it’s not a slight, but more, as he tells Exclaim.ca, “…history has a way of making everything become beloved over time. Sometimes what something is isn’t apparent at the moment.”
To read the interview
Rob Zombie on Criticism: “Reviews Are Mostly Bullshit”
By Ian Gormely
As both a musician and filmmaker, Rob Zombie has been dealt a lot of criticism over the years. But as he told Exclaim! in a recent interview, the singer-director says any reaction is a good reaction.”If everybody sort of agrees, ‘Meh, it’s okay,’ that would be very distressing,” he explains.The line is a common one amongst artists. Zombie says that “reviews are mostly bullshit,” but not for the reason you’d think. “That’s not a slag against whoever wrote it or whether it was a good review or a bad review.”
Rather, says Zombie, it’s that history can completely alter the popular critical narrative of albums and films. “History has a way of making everything become beloved over time,” he says. “Sometimes what something is isn’t apparent at the moment.”
It’s a phenomenon Zombie has seen amongst his own fans.
“I’ll hear, ‘Oh man, I love House of 1000 Corpses, but I hate the new movie,’ as if [Corpses] has been established as something to like. Nobody liked that movie when it came out. Everyone fucking hated it. Just like when somebody goes, ‘Oh, I don’t like your new stuff, ’cause I loved White Zombie.’ Yes, now you all love the records that everyone fucking hated back then.”
Zombie is quick to admit that’s he’s as guilty of this kind of revisionism as anybody, chalking it up to inexperience and the constant need to be pushed artistically, both as a creator of art and as a fan.
“I saw an interview with Woody Allen,” he explains, “and he was talking about the first time he saw 2001: A Space Odyssey and he hated it. He thought it was the worst thing he’d ever seen. But everyone loved it. So he went back and he watched it again and he said, ‘For the first time in my life I realized the director was ahead of me and I had to catch up to where the director was at.’”
Zombie is currently touring North America, including a stop at Heavy MTL on August 10-11. See all his current tour dates here.