I thought I’d make it thru the entire series, but really three were at my dosage for the day. Still have H20, Resurrection, and End. I will get back to those, obviously everything up thru Nightmare Before Christmas time is still Halloween.
- **Halloween I-II: Previously.
- **Halloween III: Season of the Witch: Even more previously.
Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers (1988): “Jesus ain’t got nothin’ to do with this place. This is where society dumps its worst nightmares. (continues recapping 1-2) Welcome to Hell!” Thanks, strangely informative security guard Jones. Mikey yet again breaks out of the asylum during a transfer on a stormy night, after a decade of sedation and doing nothing, he can punch a hole in a man’s skull with his thumb. Laurie (JLC having better things to do) offscreen has a daughter Jamie (not Lee Curtis) and then dies. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is back and having a great time! Despite the “burn” latex on his face & hands.
So most of the film is split as in 2 with Loomis pursuing Mikey, and Mikey pursuing a little moppet; she’s cute but utterly ineffectual. Mob of grade-school bullies taunt her with “Jamie’s an orphan!”; real bastard kids are more creatively evil. I do like the blatant horror tropes, flashbacks of Laurie to little Mikey, the psychopomp, crazy old preacher who talks about hunting apocalypse. New cop is surprisingly competent and ready to help, without a lot of “oh no I don’t believe you”. Town drunks & rednecks instantly form a posse/angry mob. But then Mikey’s able to massacre multiple locations & critical infrastructure without any planning. I must say, the “guy cheats on girl so they must both die” bit, the new girl is much much hotter than Jamie’s stepsister.
Best kill: The cheating girl. The setup is an offscreen kill but you think for a second Mikey’s gonna shoot… nope! The rest are pretty lame.
And the chilling finale, looping back to the first film!
Like the first film, they shot it during spring, and here it’s even more obvious, green lawns & Utah shrubbery instead of Midwest autumn leaves. Utterly implausible location/time. Soundtrack is lame, lite muzak imitation of Carpenter’s score without the overwhelming electronic noise, but not played often, just stingers. Maybe the scariest thing in this film was, my overhead light started flickering & went out during the dark house sequence. Woo-eee-ooo.
★★☆☆☆ Adds nothing to the world.
- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989): Recap of previous film, then a hobo in a shack with a parrot finds Mikey. Sir, Haddonfield, IL would be way too cold for a parrot to survive. Jamie is now a loonie after trying to murder her mom under Mikey’s psychic control, and sees his visions… But she can’t speak! Later this is dropped with no explanation. Loomis is histrionic, but has a moment of trying to talk to Mikey, with typical results.
Right off, this is gonna be a struggle. There’s comic horn beeping when the cops (one is Troy Evans, more recently “Barrel” in Bosch) are in the scene. Kill off the recurring characters (stepparents are never seen, stepsister dies in minutes, “Tina” takes her place), bring in some bimbos too dumb to be valley girls on coke, imitation Fonzie, another dumb child for Jamie to sacrifice to Mikey.
Mikey is here played by a smaller actor (Don Shanks) in football pads, and he looks pathetic in shots where you can see him clearly. The same actor plays the “Man in Black” with really sweet boots that cost half the budget, but he does nothing.
The murder altar here is super out of character, more like something Jason would do. There’s an impossible touching moment and unburned face.
Other than a few very short stingers, I don’t even recall hearing music.
★☆☆☆☆ May be the least interesting slasher flick in history.
- Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995): Well this is a train wreck, but trying to build a cosmology instead of the random crap of the last movie. Most of a decade was wasted trying to get a script, Tarantino and others passed it around. I’m shocked anything gets made by Hollywood. I’m watching the standard version, there’s also a “Producer’s Cut” with a lot more magic conspiracy stuff? Hrmn.
Crazy Jamie is now 15 (but played by 20-year-old J.C. Brandy), held prisoner, impregnated, gives birth to a baby; by the Thorn Cult, the Men in Black seen previously with the ᚦ (thorn rune) on everything. Hot librarian Kara (Marianne Hagan), her son Danny being turned into another Mikey by the cult, and bad parents/victims now live in the old Strode house. Bad choices! Laurie’s old babysitting brat Tommy (Paul Stephen Rudd) is now an online Mikey conspiracy theorist. Loomis (very old Donald Pleasence with no more burn latex) lives alone in the woods because that’s a good idea. But soon Jamie manages to get the band back together by prank-calling the only radio station anyone listens to.
You know what I love about Haddonfield? Their commitment to Halloween, street parties and screaming at the handful of helpless cops, even tho every few years there’s a giant bloody massacre. These people love to party. They love the sacrifice and tradition.
One perfect shot: Creepy landlady telling little Danny about Samhain, then Kara about babysitting little Mikey Myers… lightning flashes… and you can see Mikey standing outside thru the window. Good job!
A few of the kills are very gruesome, maybe even too much so, just gore & splatter bags exploding. Others are completely G-rated. Kara gets strangled and has no finger marks on her neck, often there’s just a splash of blood, sometimes there’s no blood on weapons. Mikey rarely poses the corpses, but a couple times they’re set as traps/funhouse props, like the good old days.
Lot of running around Smith’s Grove asylum, now a combination hospital/prison/medieval bedlam, and being played with by the Men in Black. Remember you don’t have to outrun Mikey, you just have to outrun the slower person he’s going to kill. Party members in the asylum come and go, they really don’t know how to keep together.
Again barely has any music, except stingers, and a short piece when Mikey’s stalking. Alan Howarth from Halloween II did a soundtrack, which was largely cut in editing, and there’s a few hillbilly rock songs.
In Memory of DONALD PLEASENCE
★★★½☆ Very flawed, half-assed, confused movie, covered in the viscera of a better movie that could’ve been. But watchable. This has been the high point of today, for sure.