Rob Zombie, Wes Craven, George A. Romero, John Carpenter…All film makers who like put their name before the title. Whilst for fans this gives an indication of what they’re in for, does it mean it’s a good film?
I’ll start with Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween”, Despite only releasing 2 films (Which where both critically slammed) Rob was given the job of director, producer and writer of the rebooting of our beloved franchise. Now Zombie has a HUGE following when it comes to music so it was no surprise that his first 2 films were loved by his fans, my point is would they have been successful enough to put him in a position he was given for “Halloween” if his name wasn’t on it?
It’s the same with Wes Craven, who nowadays, despite his early success, isn’t the Horror hero he used to be.
He will always be remembered for giving us Freddy, and other great films such as “The Serpent And The Rainbow”, “The Hills Have Eyes”, “The Last House On The Left” and more.
He made a name for himself with the aforementioned films but in recent years he’s become known for making under-par horrors and people claiming its time for him to bow out. There used to be a time when, if you saw Craven’s name on the cover, you’d snap it up. Now it’s a 50/50.
Another man who loves his name on the cover is George A. Romero, The legendary zombie movie maker known for his “Dead” series.
He is still a man who is well loved by Horror fans. but there is talk behind his back that he also needs to bow down, with remaking his entire dead trilogy and adding new installments it seems he’s a man who knows what he wants but with replacing practical effects with CGI alot of fans felt betrayed and he’s now in the same position as Craven.
The man who loves his own name on the cover more than any of the above is John Carpenter, the Man who brought us “Halloween”, “The Thing”, “The Fog”, “Christine” and more.
Now John is another beloved figure in the Horror world, but with failures such as “The Ward” (His first film in over 4 years), His remake of “The Fog”, “Ghost Of Mars” and more he is now looked on as the man who brought us Michael Myers instead of his latest work (Again like Craven).
My point is, is that 3 out of 4 of these people are living on past glories and are not known as the innovators they once were, now known for playing it safe instead of trying to push boundaries as they once did. Yes they are all old now (Carpenter – 63, Romero – 71, Craven – 72) and maybe the fans are right, maybe it is time to step down, but film-makings in their blood and I’ll carry on supporting them.
Now…Rob Zombie. Yes it’s true the “Halloween” franchise did hurt his career (“H2” was the kicker) but if you go back too his first 2 films (“House Of 1000 Corpses” & “The Devils Rejects”) he WAS pushing boundaries, moving the horror genre forward whilst maintaining that classic feel without tarnishing it. Zombie maybe nearing 50, but he’s got fresh ideas and originality, which no-one can argue, is what’s needed right now. If only they’re where more like him around.
So to answer the question: Yes a name can make a film, it can make it a box office success BUT it doesn’t guarantee a good film and as stated it can bring down someones career.