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srf nz
09-05-2009, 08:45 PM
We all know the old argument about whether certain things in life (like homosexuality or drug addiction) come about as a result of nature, or from their upbringing ("nurture").

Well, I've just thought of something comparing RZH and the original film. In a way, this is like a response from Zombie. Whereas Carpenter's Myers was simply pure and unadulterated evil, with no explanation, Zombie's Myers is clearly a result of his terrible upbringing (and his "worthless material of a pale nature" family).

Just thought this was an interesting little thought I had about Halloween, and figured I'd share it with you guys. Personally I prefer the simple and unexplainable evil that Carpenter's Myers represented.

So which Michael Myers character/backstory do you prefer (NOT which movie or actor)? The pure and simple evil ("Nature"), or the victim of his surroundings ("Nurture")?

Superman
09-05-2009, 09:01 PM
Nature

mcilroga
09-05-2009, 09:02 PM
Nature by far.

storyteller
09-05-2009, 09:03 PM
Nature. I have no patience for 'I had a horrible life, die sister, die' Michael Myers

Femanizer
09-05-2009, 09:03 PM
Nurture

The Source
09-05-2009, 09:14 PM
Nature!

srf nz
09-05-2009, 09:41 PM
Jeez guys such lengthy responses! :p

I actually don't mind the Myers "nurture" aspect in RZH. It's a frightening thought to think that things like this actually DO happen (obviously minus the whole folklore/boogeyman business) to some kids who have a terrible upbringing. Things like that do happen.

I prefer the mystery of nature though. That Myers is simply evil in and of itself, like a force or element.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 01:56 AM
Actually, Myers in Zombie's films is a product of both. As are real life serial killers. Loomis describes it as a "perfect storm" in RZH. Myers was born different. He's lacking in empathy. Sociopaths are born, not made. But born sociopaths are not born killers. They require a trigger. And if they are triggered by, say, a shitty upbringing, abuse, etc., and they do kill someone, they feel no guilt...no emotion about it whatsoever. Except that they like the control. When they have no control in their early lives, sociopaths will go to any lengths to obtain as much control as possible later in life. And for the sociopathic killer, that means holding life and death in the palm of his hand...the ultimate control.

So yeah, long rant made simple: Myers in the Zombie films is a sociopathic killer, which means he's a combination of nature and nurture. He's not just one or the other. Also, in addition to being a sociopath, he's clearly psychotic, since he's having actual visual and auditory hallucinations. And most psychosis is genetic (which is certainly strongly hinted at in Zombie's H2), so there's an extra dose of nature, as well. Zombie's version of Myers definitely has a lot more going on than just a lousy childhood.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 02:11 AM
I always liked the concept that Michael Myers in John’s film was basically like one of the elder gods who has escaped from his long imprisonment and made his way into the world to possess the body of a small child. I never pictured him as human. Only its form.

I cannot find my copy of Danse Macabre so I’m going to try and repeat what Stephen King wrote from memory.
The elder gods are shut out from our world and their greatest desire is to find a way back in.

Neither nature or nurture

Danny Strode
09-06-2009, 06:08 AM
Nature for this one here. :wave:

I didn't really care for the fact that Michael needed an explaination as to why he killed. To add the environment that was explained it all for the audience within the first minutes.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 09:36 AM
I always liked the concept that Michael Myers in Johns film was basically like one of the elder gods who has escaped from his long imprisonment and made his way into the world to possess the body of a small child. I never pictured him as human. Only its form.

I cannot find my copy of Danse Macabre so Im going to try and repeat what Stephen King wrote from memory.
The elder gods are shut out from our world and their greatest desire is to find a way back in.

Neither nature or nurture

Eh, King (and about a million other writers) stole the "Elder Gods" shit from H.P. Lovecraft.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 09:48 AM
Eh, King (and about a million other writers) stole the "Elder Gods" shit from H.P. Lovecraft.

I figured that but I'm not as much of a lovecraft fan as you.I was going to leave a footnote asking you if that concept was Lovecraftian but decided against it. Glad you picked up on it.

still to me it is the most apropos explanation for Michael and I can imagine. I just like the idea of the demon spewed up from hell.

I'm always one of those it figured Michael was supernatural for lack of a better term.


"Elder Gods" shit :bigeyes:

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 01:52 PM
I figured that but I'm not as much of a lovecraft fan as you.I was going to leave a footnote asking you if that concept was Lovecraftian but decided against it. Glad you picked up on it.

still to me it is the most apropos explanation for Michael and I can imagine. I just like the idea of the demon spewed up from hell.

I'm always one of those it figured Michael was supernatural for lack of a better term.

Yeah, Lovecraft built a whole universe of Elder Gods, banished from the earth for practicing black magic. But they're only banished, not dead...they lie in wait for eons for the stars to align so that they can invade our world again. His mythos has been co-opted by numerous writers, including King, over the decades. King definitely tips his hat to Lovecraft in works like IT, so it's a respectful homage...but since I think Lovecraft is severely underrated and King severely overrated, I always feel a compelled to give credit where due in these instances.



:bigeyes:

Hey, I'm the Lovecraft fan...I can be as casual as I like when defining his mythos. :p

HankDoodle
09-06-2009, 05:42 PM
Nature most definitely. It's simply not scary when RZ used cliched and stereotypically dysfunctional family life to explain why Michael is evil. It is much more frightening for there to be no explanation other than that he is simply a bad seed, and you can't do anything to prevent people like that.

Nibbz
09-06-2009, 06:11 PM
I like the Nature backstory more, but I feel the nurture backstory was executed better by Rob Zombie and that makes me like his films more.

But I will agree with people and say that it IS scarier when he kills, just because he wants to.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 08:34 PM
Well its kind of the difference between the generation of filmmakers who saw monsters as monsters such as like William Peter Blatty did in The Exorcist. Who needs a reason why the demon Pazuzu is evil or why Bruce the shark must eat people or why the Alien or The Thing do what they do. The younger audiences enjoy having an explanation for everything. Not surprising seeing that they have been Oprahized and Donohueized. Given the opportunity I might play to that audience myself.
Everybody wants to blame it on mommy. Myself included.

Not saying its bad. Just pointing out the difference.

It was good enough for me to know that Dr. Lektor was a monster without knowing why. But I thought Harris handled it pretty well. At least up to Hannibal. Never read Hannibal Rising.

I wonder if Rob is going to give The Blob a dysfunctional upbringing.

I had a bad childhood therefore I must absorb human beings.

When it comes to fictionalized serial killers I havent seen any portrayal more realistic than Michael Rooker in Henry :Portrait of a Serial Killer explaining his childhood to Becky at the kitchen table. And also Charleze Theron as Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

I know that they are both based on real-life killers, Henry very loosely, but they are still films and not documentaries.

Personally I thought that Michael Rooker at the kitchen table in that one sequence was better than the entire childhood sequence in RZH. They both attempted to explain how a serial killer comes into being but I think McNaughton handled it much better in that short sequence.

I think Rob wanted us to sympathize with young Michael and later on older Michael and I did. But I never really sympathized with any of his victims. Not even Laurie. So it just wasnt that scary for me. I like being put in the place of the victim. Thats what frightens me. Even when Michael starts killing people when he gets older its like his victims basically deserve it for being such shitheels. His victims werent sympathetic at all for the most part. Thats something John really attempted to do.. When you see the characters as human beings you will sympathize for them. When you see the world through the eyes in a particular character, if it is done well, you will feel what they feel.
John had us see the world through the eyes of the victims. Rob had us see the the world through the eyes of the killer. A quite different experience.

With RZH we see the world through Michael as victim and Michael as killer and also the girls as victims also. That can be quite confusing and disorient.

From the book John Carpenter. The Prince of Darkness

From the chapter on Halloween. pg 103

If I put you into the point of view of the killer, if I make you feel what he feels when he kills people, youre going to be very depressed at the end of the movie. You are going to say, what did I watch that movie for? Thats ugly. I dont want that. But if I put someone innocent in the point of view-and deal with it somehow-you are only going to heighten the suspense. And thats all you are going to do because you know that the camera is watching, that we are part of the watching and that by the act of watching something is going to happen to these innocent people. Thats a suspense technique. Thats all it is-I hope.


I like the Nature backstory more, but I feel the nurture backstory was executed better by Rob Zombie and that makes me like his films more.

But I will agree with people and say that it IS scarier when he kills, just because he wants to.

I think it kills. Not for any reason. It just kills.
With real serial killers I believe they kill as a survival technique.
They don't do it because they want to, they do it because they have to or need to. In some cases they truly enjoy it. may be more than some. Depends on the killer.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 08:47 PM
Well it’s kind of the difference between the generation of filmmakers who saw monsters as monsters such as like William Peter Blatty did in The Exorcist.

The devil is a reason, too, you know.

A superstitious Dark Ages reason, but a reason, nonetheless.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 09:10 PM
The devil is a reason, too, you know.

A superstitious Dark Ages reason, but a reason, nonetheless.

Maybe so but we really don’t need an exclamation about why the devil did what he did. I mean it’s not like he had a bad childhood or… wait hold on.. never mind. I forgot. Father issues for good old Lucifer.

Still Blatty’s book starts off with a quote by psychiatrist discussing about how certain things are inexplicable such as the Vietcong hammering nails into the foreheads of Christians and asking how you can help people like that. I wasn’t exactly sure who he was referring to helping..

Later on in one of the high paragraphs near the end of the book Father Karras asks Father Merrin(his faith now reignited) why things such as Regan’s possession do happen. Merrin’s reply is that it is something to test our faith. Not to test the child but to test the faith of those around the child. It is basically a Christian allegory.

Yeah I know I’m pretty long-winded tonight.

Anyway the devil is an explanation but it’s not really an explanation for evil. Or the existence of evil.

So why do good things happen to bad people? you can find cause going back to the beginning of time I suppose.

PS love the signature. Had to take it to a translator to find out what it said. 12 to go. I thought it was 13 or 11. I thought he said an odd number.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 09:31 PM
The devil is absolutely an explanation for the existence of evil. In my opinion, the biggest cop-out explanation ever, because it allows people to blame something inhuman for perfectly human evils. There is no fucking devil. Except for you, and me, and about 6.5 billion others.

Doesn't stop The Exorcist from being fucking great, though. Which I think is the point. As long as I consider a movie or novel to be good, I don't really give a shit. Hannibal Rising was a shitty novel...not because it explained Lecter's backstory, but because it was short, hastily written, done due to the persistent badgering of Thomas Harris by Dino De Laurentiis, and absolutely lacked Harris's flair for turning compelling phrases. It's nothing but an expanded version of Harris's script treatment...and that's why it sucks.

Sure, I was bummed about the fact that Myers was robbed of his vague, enigmatic "Shape" quality...the first time I watched the Carpenter/Rosenthal H2. haha But I got over that a long time ago, because it was the only way to enjoy any of the subsequent films. At this point, it doesn't matter to me if Myers is a sociopath or "pure evil." The only difference between one and the other is that I don't believe "pure evil" actually exists. It's a fairy tale. And that's fine. Fairy tales are generally pretty good horror stories.

But if there is to be an explanation, I'll take sociopathy over "cursed by pseudo-Druids and kills due to a phony constellation."

DoomsdayFAN
09-06-2009, 09:35 PM
Nature is better, IMO.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 10:03 PM
Yeah. But if you go deeper than that why is the Devil evil.
The Devil can be the source of all human evil but what in fact is the source of the Devil's evil.
Now I'm getting into Tolkien territory which is more Christian allegory.

Do we have a Tolkien thread?

we do now.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 10:10 PM
The devil is evil because of pride, according to Christianity.

According to me, he's evil so that people can blame an imaginary being for bad things that people do.

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 10:36 PM
you're right. I forgot. that is the big one.
Thanks for bringing me back to earth.

TheShape'78
09-06-2009, 10:54 PM
Without the devil, god has no purpose or authority. Think about it.

[edit] This post has no relevance to this thread. None at all.

-mitch-

brianandrews
09-06-2009, 10:58 PM
:bigeyes: Damnit. now my head hurts.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-06-2009, 11:10 PM
Despite theologians' attempts to draw together scattered references to "Lucifer," the "serpent," the "Prince of Tyre," etc., and attribute those personages to the Satan of the New Testament, there really was no Satan in the Old Testament. "Lucifer" was a reference to King Belshazzar of Babylon, who considered himself God of the Earth. The "Prince of Tyre" was...well, the actual Prince of Tyre. And the serpent was...that's right, a snake. A talking snake, mind you...but a snake, nonetheless. Nothing in the Bible suggests otherwise...only the ideas of various theologians (particularly Origen and Tertullian, with some help from Jerome) who, confused by the lack of a Satan in the Old Testament, sought to find him there...and by reading way too much into the text and overthinking, and sometimes even inventing metaphors, they managed to insert him there.

In the Old Testament, God himself routinely did evil things to people, and even more routinely contemplated doing evil things. The Bible even uses the word "evil" in reference to some of these acts (and contemplated acts) of God. The Jewish God was quite the prick...so when he was co-opted by the Christians, they tried to make him into less of a villain (maybe having a kid mellowed him out), and foisted all the "evil" onto a shiny new villain called Satan. Neat, huh?

srf nz
09-06-2009, 11:36 PM
Despite theologians' attempts to draw together scattered references to "Lucifer," the "serpent," the "Prince of Tyre," etc., and attribute those personages to the Satan of the New Testament, there really was no Satan in the Old Testament. "Lucifer" was a reference to King Belshazzar of Babylon, who considered himself God of the Earth. The "Prince of Tyre" was...well, the actual Prince of Tyre. And the serpent was...that's right, a snake. A talking snake, mind you...but a snake, nonetheless. Nothing in the Bible suggests otherwise...only the ideas of various theologians (particularly Origen and Tertullian, with some help from Jerome) who, confused by the lack of a Satan in the Old Testament, sought to find him there...and by reading way too much into the text and overthinking, and sometimes even inventing metaphors, they managed to insert him there.

In the Old Testament, God himself routinely did evil things to people, and even more routinely contemplated doing evil things. The Bible even uses the word "evil" in reference to some of these acts (and contemplated acts) of God. The Jewish God was quite the prick...so when he was co-opted by the Christians, they tried to make him into less of a villain (maybe having a kid mellowed him out), and foisted all the "evil" onto a shiny new villain called Satan. Neat, huh?

And this is why I came back after 4-5 years EOTL. I remembered just how god damn much I love reading your posts. You've got to be one of the most intelligent and informative people I've ever encountered.

Thanks for the history lesson. :bow:

spindrift68
09-08-2009, 09:51 PM
Nature, but the other does work.

Diamond Wings
09-11-2009, 07:03 AM
Nature for this one here. :wave:

I didn't really care for the fact that Michael needed an explaination as to why he killed. To add the environment that was explained it all for the audience within the first minutes.

Agreed to a 't'.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-11-2009, 11:42 AM
Well, Carpenter screwed us too...by giving us this killer with no discernible motive, just killing for the sake of killing, then revealing in the sequel - through a highly implausible plot twist and downright ridiculous flashback - that Myers had a very CONCRETE motive. And then, of course, the sequels went on to pile more and more motive onto the character, eventually giving a full and complete explanation that had to do with runes and constellations. That's basically what happens, I guess, when people make shit up as they go along. haha

Michael Voorhees
09-11-2009, 07:10 PM
Haha, very true. When something is being made up as you go along, you may likely go with whatever you think sounds good, and I'm speaking from experience. As for the thread, I could go for either as long as it makes sense.

tripprivers
09-13-2009, 10:54 AM
Actually, Myers in Zombie's films is a product of both. As are real life serial killers. Loomis describes it as a "perfect storm" in RZH. Myers was born different. He's lacking in empathy. Sociopaths are born, not made. But born sociopaths are not born killers. They require a trigger. And if they are triggered by, say, a shitty upbringing, abuse, etc., and they do kill someone, they feel no guilt...no emotion about it whatsoever. Except that they like the control. When they have no control in their early lives, sociopaths will go to any lengths to obtain as much control as possible later in life. And for the sociopathic killer, that means holding life and death in the palm of his hand...the ultimate control.

So yeah, long rant made simple: Myers in the Zombie films is a sociopathic killer, which means he's a combination of nature and nurture. He's not just one or the other. Also, in addition to being a sociopath, he's clearly psychotic, since he's having actual visual and auditory hallucinations. And most psychosis is genetic (which is certainly strongly hinted at in Zombie's H2), so there's an extra dose of nature, as well. Zombie's version of Myers definitely has a lot more going on than just a lousy childhood.

That was actually one of my biggest positives of Zombie's remake....Dr. Loomis' description of Michael as a perfect storm. In a way it reminds me of science and cancer/disease biology and pharmacogenomics and the 'two-hit' hypothesis of cancer initiation.

Slasher Fan
09-13-2009, 05:29 PM
Nature. Alot scarier than becoming evil thru a lousy family life.

Scarface
09-13-2009, 05:32 PM
Not knowing the reason behind why Michael snaps and starts killing is way scarier than finding out he got yelled at a lot as a kid.

Michael Voorhees
09-13-2009, 06:47 PM
Nature. Alot scarier than becoming evil thru a lousy family life.

I guess I'm partial to the nurture thing because I've been through a lot of shit as a kid. Aside from the shitty family & murdering, a lot of what happened to Michael early on is identical to me.

Slasher Fan
09-13-2009, 06:53 PM
I guess I'm partial to the nurture thing because I've been through a lot of shit as a kid. Aside from the shitty family & murdering, a lot of what happened to Michael early on is identical to me.

I'm sorry to hear that, man.

z0mbiej0e
09-13-2009, 06:56 PM
Nature

Scarface
09-13-2009, 07:04 PM
Well, I've too been subject to what most would call a shitty childhood, much like Michael in RZH. However, I just don't think it's that scary when watching it in a movie, simply because I've been there, and have turned out differently. I know that a lot of real life serial killers have had similar childhoods, but I don't want to see Michael fall into that same mold. I want his motives and past to remain mysterious. I want to make up my own reasoning behind his madness. It makes the character much more terrifying.

Slasher Fan
09-13-2009, 07:05 PM
The unknown is alot scarier.

Michael Voorhees
09-13-2009, 07:08 PM
I'm sorry to hear that, man.

Thanks, and most of that happened in middle school, which is where I went through a lot of shit like him. It toughened me up, but at the same time I'm still a pretty sensitive person on the inside, so it affects me on some level.

The difference is I haven't went around slaughtering people. :p But concerning the topic I can go with either tbh, depending on how it's done.

srf nz
09-13-2009, 07:57 PM
The unknown is alot scarier.

Exactly.

One of the things that I think makes the original so great is that they don't delve into Michael's past outside of the opening scene. We never get a chance to empathize with him, so we never truly see him as human. He's like a legend that you hear as a child; "Brush your teeth kids or Mikey Myers will getcha!"

Slasher Fan
09-14-2009, 11:02 AM
The difference is I haven't went around slaughtering people. :p .

I'm very relieved to hear that ;)


Exactly.

One of the things that I think makes the original so great is that they don't delve into Michael's past outside of the opening scene. We never get a chance to empathize with him, so we never truly see him as human. He's like a legend that you hear as a child; "Brush your teeth kids or Mikey Myers will getcha!"

That's a great way of putting it. Especially since Michael was compared to the bogeyman.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-14-2009, 09:50 PM
Well, I've too been subject to what most would call a shitty childhood, much like Michael in RZH. However, I just don't think it's that scary when watching it in a movie, simply because I've been there, and have turned out differently.

Ergo, his shitty childhood didn't make him a cold-blooded killer. If it did, everyone with a similar upbringing would end up the same way.

How is it possible that people don't get this? :p

Michael Voorhees
09-14-2009, 10:01 PM
He was going to kill no matter what, he had already been killing animals when it first started, and it didn't seem like anything new to him, so I'm sure he had been doing it for a long time, and killing animals is the first step to becoming a serial killer. That was the point Zombie was getting across.

Scarface
09-14-2009, 10:11 PM
Ergo, his shitty childhood didn't make him a cold-blooded killer. If it did, everyone with a similar upbringing would end up the same way.

How is it possible that people don't get this? :p

No, I totally get it. I just think if they were going to show his childhood, and have him be a killer no matter what his upbringing, they could have picked something more interesting. I think it could have been scarier if they showed him growing up in a loving and caring family, then suddenly snapping and killing them.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-14-2009, 10:17 PM
No, I totally get it. I just think if they were going to show his childhood, and have him be a killer no matter what his upbringing, they could have picked something more interesting. I think it could have been scarier if they showed him growing up in a loving and caring family, then suddenly snapping and killing them.

How many people in the audience would even be able to relate to a loving and caring family? haha Seriously, though, I liked the contrast between the Myers family in the beginning of RZH, and the Strodes in the latter half. And the fact that Myers kills all of them. Because he doesn't give a shit if they're nice people or not.

Michael Voorhees
09-14-2009, 10:24 PM
I can relate to a more good family, to an extent. Like every family, we have our problems, or have had our problems, but we all get along. I think that there are a lot more broken families than civilized one, and it was an interesting parallel to see how much better Laurie had it than Michael.

Scarface
09-14-2009, 10:26 PM
Well, I didn't mean they had to be a perfect family. Just not as repulsive and unlikeable.

EvilOnTwoLegs
09-14-2009, 10:40 PM
Like I said, I appreciated the contrast. With Michael's home life being what it was, and exploring that in the opening scenes, it gained immediate favor for Laurie's adoptive parents. The fact that the Strodes were a nice, stable, happy family would have been a lot easier to take for granted were it not for what we see in the first half of the film. As it is, we have a greater appreciation for what an ideal family they are, and their deaths are more effective as a result. Especially when you think of the hell it will put Laurie through.

srf nz
09-14-2009, 10:55 PM
Ergo, his shitty childhood didn't make him a cold-blooded killer. If it did, everyone with a similar upbringing would end up the same way.

How is it possible that people don't get this? :p

Hush, stop ruining my incredible thread :p