Rob Zombie Praises Iconic Free Thriller Finding New Audiences

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Rob Zombie, 2005, (c) Seville Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Rob Zombie is well known for his gritty filmmaking aesthetic and penchant for violent visuals. Accordingly, it seems only natural that he’s a fan of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

A while back, the musician-turned-filmmaker spoke with the Rotten Tomatoes Blog and shared how the controversial picture made a massive impact on him at a tender age.

“I would say Taxi Driver. First time I saw Taxi Driver as a kid, it f—in’ blew my mind. I’ve always been a huge fan of movies about solitary, sort of loner people. I think that’s what I liked about horror movies as a kid, because the monsters were always portrayed that way. And Taxi Driver‘s obviously the ultimate movie about that. I don’t know. I’m picking very obvious movies that are genius, but they were new to me as a kid when I saw them, and they just made me go, “Oh my god, the genius of movies.” I love Taxi Driver so much; I’ve seen it so many times. It’s probably one of those movies where I could recite the whole movie straight, or I could at one point; I probably can’t any more. But when I moved to New York —

I lived in New York in the early 1980s — and I literally went to every location that was in Taxi Driver, and it was all still there: the porno theater, Variety photo place where Jodie Foster runs in front of Travis’ cab, the furnished rooms building where Harvey Keitel’s standing. I actually had a friend who lived in that building, so that was even more exciting. I used to be a maniac; I went everywhere. It was like my walking tour of Taxi Driver, New York. And again, I was like, “It’s Peter Boyle as the Wizard! This is the greatest movie ever made!” I remember seeing Peter Boyle at the Beverly Center once, and I freaked out. It’s like, “Who do you get excited to meet?” “Peter Boyle!””

If you’ve yet to experience Taxi Driver for yourself, you can find the flick streaming on The Roku Channel as of the publication of this post.

The setup is as follows: “Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting the streets nightly, growing increasingly detached from reality as he dreams of cleaning up the filthy city. When Travis meets pretty campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), he becomes obsessed with the idea of saving the world, first plotting to assassinate a presidential candidate, then directing his attentions toward rescuing 12-year-old prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).”

That’s all we’ve got for you for the time being. Stay tuned for more recommendations as we uncover them. And be sure to follow @DreadCentral on Twitter so you never miss an update.

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