Most people hear the name Rob Zombie and think of the long-haired spooktacular metalhead that has been making music for over a decade. He went from the frontman of White Zombie to doing his thing on his own without losing any ground and gave us hits such as “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, and his latest “Sick Bubblegum” from his latest album Hellbilly Deluxe 2. But those of us in the rock and metal scene know that there is more to Zombie than music; that being directing.
Monday night Zombie made his TV directorial debut with CSI: Miami on CBS. Truth be told, the average viewer watching Monday night’s episode would have thought that Zombie only directed the opening scene because it was an over the top party with a band performing Zombie’s song “Virgin Witch”. And the rest of the episode, to the average viewer, was your typical episode. Chock full of close-ups as they tried to get a confession from the suspect and effects galore in the scientific investigation scenes.
But you see this was not his first dip into the directing pool. Prior to this Zombie has directed 4 full-length movies, 1 animated movie, and the music video “Dreamer” for metal legend Ozzy Osbourne seen here.
The first thing that you can note as a mark of Zombie’s touch as a director is in the murder scene which opens the episode. He had an old black and white silent vampire movie running on a screen in the background. To someone not knowing his work this is no big deal, but to those who know his style know that this was to help create the right mood. It added a “creepy” factor to the scene that made the attempted rape followed by murder and in a way lowered the shock value because subconsciously you were ready for it.
He then threw his touch into the cast by bringing in William Forsythe from The Devil’s Rejects to play an LAPD Captain who had screwed up a past case in order to try to do the right thing. A perfect choice considering Forsythe’s character in The Devil’s Rejects, Sheriff John Quincey Wydell, had a similar role. A cop trying SO hard to do the right thing that he took the wrong turn and got burned in the end. In addition to that he brought in Malcolm McDowell who played Dr. Loomis in his version of Halloween to play a lawyer who would do anything to win a case and become known. This was perfect casting because both the lawyer and Dr. Loomis are characters that are egotistical bastards and require a strong person in order to come across right. McDowell’s look and ability for making a sarcastic remark sound factual made him the right choice for the role.
So some may say big deal that Zombie directed CSI: Miami, it was just another episode. To them I say watch more carefully. For you see he found his own ways of putting his touch into a show that’s formulaic in the way scenes are shot. And that my friends shows true talent as a director.