New York, NY: For forty years Charles M. Schulz’s Halloween classic, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, has warmed our hearts and triggered our angst about stereotypical white-bread America. Every Halloween week this classic cartoon plays on prime time to bring us back to the days when trick or treating was fun, costumes were easy, and there was always that one kid that nobody respected. For a shorter span, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure has been doing the same thing to a lesser extent and with less harassment by civil rights activists, unless you count PETA and it’s counterpart PETCA.
This year marks a change in these cartoons’ smooth ratings as musician/director/actor/chef/guy on the couch Rob Zombie is rumored to be releasing remade and re-dubbed versions of both of these cartoons.
“After the success I had with the remake of John Carpenter’s Halloween by making Michael Myers into a devil-worshipping professional wrestler, I thought I should inject my talents into re-visualizing other classic Halloween films,” Rob Zombie stated.
To make It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown into a more intelligent film, Mr. Zombie re-created the Peanuts gang into a witchcraft practicing cult, led by Lucy dressed in a revealing witch outfit much like Elvira’s. Peppermint Pattie and Marcie were cast like most jokes have cast them, as lesbian vampires. Schroeder led the musical score, played by Marilyn Manson. Charlie Brown, of course, was changed from a miserable jester into a gimp, although he kept his multiple-holed ghost costume to keep some of the original’s charm alive. The last scene where Charlie Brown dons a hockey mask and murders the rest of the group with a chainsaw brings about the moral point of how children shouldn’t pick on the dumb kid: classic Rob Zombie.
The real story lies with Linus and Sally, who spend the night in the pumpkin patch waiting for The Great Pumpkin. The twist is that the Great Pumpkin possesses Sally, who ends up torturing and killing Linus with a box-cutter and releasing the demon of The Great Pumpkin unto the rest of the world, bringing about the apocalypse, complete with an anti-christ that looks like the man himself, Rob Zombie, complete with cowboy hat.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is less straight forward. It plays as a dream sequence with heavy metal music in the background, giving it the feel of a David Lynch movie mixed with a music video. The story follows Garfield after he had eaten a mushroom pizza before bed, ignorant of the fact that his master, John Arbuckle, had replaced the mushrooms with their psychedelic cousins. The hallucinations that ensue include pirate ghosts trick-or-treating with children looking like pint-sized versions of the band White Zombie, Odie becoming a gothic gigolo, and John’s head exploding, reminiscent of scenes from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
The cartoons will come as a DVD box set, including a bonus music CD of Rob Zombie covering such Halloween classics as Thriller, The Monster Mash, and The Fresh Prince’s Nightmare on My Street.