When last we left our masked homicidal maniac, Michael Myers may have transferred some of his murderous essence into his young niece who then stabbed her mom… we think… maybe… it’s kind of ambiguous.
But before we get going, the same warning from last week applies:
Ready? Take a deep breath because here comes some bullshit.
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1989
DIRECTOR: Dominique Othenin-Girard
WRITERS: Dominique Othenin-Girard, Michael Jacobs and Shem Bitterman
STARRING: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris
RUNNING TIME: 96 Minutes
DISTRIBUTOR: Galaxy International Pictures
One wonders why Haddonfield just doesn’t outlaw Halloween?
I’m not sure that would stop Myers but at least you wouldn’t have so many people running around the streets.
We begin with the last moments of part 4, Myers falls into the well and the cops throw dynamite down in an effort to blow the murdering dickhole up.
Unfortunately, he makes it out and ends up at a Hobo camp. Or should I say Hobo’s mansion? It’s a dirt shack but has separate rooms and area for his bird. It’s roughly the same size as my house. Myers tried to strangle him but falls into a coma due to wounds and plot.
One year later, Jaime is now in a mental institute (for stabbing her step mom) and mute (due to her psychic connection with her Uncle Mikey). Meanwhile, the Hobo has taken care of Myers during his coma as opposed to selling him off or eating him. Which I’m sure he regrets as Michael repays the old coot by murdering him. We also get a close up of a weird rune like tattoo on Myers’ wrist.
Right off the bat, we see the downgrade in the series. Everything is painted out in very broad strokes. Rachel tells Jaime that she’ll return in two days only to be murdered by Myers. Everyone questions Loomis despite the fact he has now been right about Myers for three films and despite the fact that these same people all believed him one year ago. Fuck, they even use stupid cartoon sound effects for two goofy cops.
Everything decent that I gave part 4 credit for is washed away into 80’s slasher mediocrity within minutes.
It’s not even shot well.
In a scene where Tina thinks she sees someone in her house window, the classic “Now he’s here, now he’s not” moment, when Myers suddenly disappears… he doesn’t, you can see the actor walking out of the shot. Maybe it’s just the clarity of blu ray doing this old film a little bit of harm but why was the actor in the second shot in the first place? To be honest, there are a couple of edits that are very clear to see in this particular transfer.
The kills themselves aren’t very original and seem like a cheap rip off of earlier Friday the 13th scenes. The scenery is starting to get kind of boring at this point. The dedication to continuity in terms of Haddonfield is cool and all but the Myers place is pretty much same old same old.
We also have the arrival of a mysterious man in silver toed cowboy boots that has the exact same rune tattoo as Myers. The rune also appears painted in the basement of Myers home. So you’d figure this would be of some significance.
The rest of the film is just basically a cat and mouse game of trying to catch Myers before he murders everyone. The cops, Loomis and Jaime set a trap at the old Myers place.. and then abandon it once the kids looney bin is attacked by Myers. Loomis gets stabbed leaving Jaime to fend for herself. We learn that despite Myers being able to outrun adults, cars, dogs, etc, he can not outrun children.
Loomis returns in the nick of time with a trap worthy of Scooby Doo.
Seriously, he pulls a rope and a metal net drops on Myers.
What – The – Fuck?
Loomis then tranqs Myers and beats him with a 2×4. The cops arrive and throw Myers in the clink WITH HIS MASK ON and tell everyone within ear shot they are going to transport him to a maximum security prison where he will spend the rest of his life.
You know, without a trial or anything…cause small town cops can do that.
The man with the silver toed boots arrives and shoots every cop in the station (in what I imagine was a crap homage to the original Terminator) and then he (or possibly Myers) bends solid steel which is then somehow set on fire and he escapes into the night.
Redeeming qualities? There is a scene where Myers fucks with one of his victims by scratching his car with a garden claw. Veteran character actor Troy Evans makes an appearance.
That’s about it.
The sub-plot of the man with the silver toed boots was sort of interesting but it doesn’t end up going anywhere (at least in this film).
I dread watching the next installment. To be fair reading about the film and hearing from a now adult Danielle Harris talking about a lack of safety on set and how she was nearly ran over by a car, that was interesting. This film, not so much.
Rating: Might be okay if I were completely hammered
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1995
DIRECTOR: Joe Chappelle
WRITER: Daniel Farrands
STARRING: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd
RUNNING TIME: 88 Minutes
DISTRIBUTOR: Dimension Films and Buena Vista Distribution
After the last film, Myers and Jaime (now played by J.C. Brandy) disappeared. Six years later, we see Jaime, pregnant, being rushed to a makeshift delivery room by some weird cult guys. A baby is delivered and put in a a mystic circle of some sort (by a man in black who may or may not be the same man in black from the last episode), and a rune is painted on the poor kid. The same rune that was tattooed on Myers. But I guess the evil cult nurse isn’t so evil as she helps Jaime and the baby escape. The nurse is then brutally murdered by Myers.
Loomis is now retired and apparently rather happy about it living in a woodland cottage and not tracking down a masked marauder every Halloween. But his friend, Dr. Wynn (Mitchell Ryan best known as Greg’s dad on Dharma and Greg), is trying to drag him back in. There’s a boy who has visions of murder and a very yummy mummy named (wait for it) Kara Strode (related to Laurie’s adopted parents) being spied upon by a now grown up Tommy Doyle (who Laurie babysat in the very first film) played by a young Paul Rudd.
Oh and the house is the old Myers homestead.
Imagine that conversation?
“Why is this place so cheap?”
“Well, every Halloween, a guy in a white mask and mechanic overalls comes here and murders a good chunk of the town, especially occupants of this place. Beyond that, he also tends to cause severe property damage. But it’s been a few years so we’re sure that won’t happen again.”
“How many times?”
“Three or four… I think”
“Well, that is kind of scary but goddamn is the interest rate low!”
So I’ll give the writers that. They went after the entire Halloween cannon up until this point. They tried for plot points from every film with the exception of three and did their best to tie them all together.
Jaime calls into a talk radio show for help but just gets mocked. Myers tracks her down to a bus shelter. She tries to escape but ditches the baby ahead of time. Myers murders Jaime with some sort of farm instrument that I have no idea what it would be used for other then killing people. Tommy hits the buss station several hours later and discovers the crying baby in the washroom.
Apparently a poorly maintained washroom as no one, including cleaning staff, picked up on it.
A lot of this film is the same old same old from the past installments except we now have an explanation for Myers murdering everyone during the Halloween season. Remember that rune tattoo? Well apparently Myers was selected by a cult to bare the Curse of Thorn. A curse that goes back to the Celtic days of yore where they picked a kid to have the curse and he’d go on to murder his kin in order to save the rest of the clan from demons and disease.
As it turns out, Dr Wynn is the “man in black” from the part 5 and part of the cult that keeps getting Myers out on Halloween to do his murdering so… someone gets to live… they’re a little fuzzy on those details. But once again, despite this being kind of silly, it sort of makes sense. Getting past the idea of why this curse makes Myers the unstoppable killing machine he is and overlooking the fact that he murders more than just his family, it at least gives us a credible reason of why this maniac is on the loose every Halloween when he should be tranquillized to the gills and locked in the basement covered in chains and placed in a box.
The film ends with Myers murdering most of the cult (I guess he doesn’t like the fact they use him to save… themselves… I guess?) and chasing Tommy and Kara who sucker him in with promise of the baby only to stab him with Draino and beat the fuck out of him with a pipe. Tommy, Kara and the kids go on the run while Loomis stays behind to get murdered? Honestly, we just see the Myers mask on the floor and hear Loomis screaming (According to my research, Pleasance had passed away by the time re-shoots for the ending had occurred so I guess this was how they wrote off the character for good).
While this is not nearly as good as one or two, I think it’s on par with part 4 if not better. The direction seems a little more solid (the director is Joe Chappelle, who would go on to be a director and producer on The Wire) than the past two installments and while the script isn’t great, it at least tried to be something a little different while trying to keep cannon. It’s a ridiculous cannon, but they obviously sat down and said “Look, this series has now gotten retarded but I think I have a way of actually making it make sense” and you’ve got to admire that. The production values took a step up. Like the Michael Myers mask for instance. In the past three installments, it didn’t look like it fit right. Like it was just a cheap mask. In part 6, they give it a little more definition and spent some time on proper molds and such as it looks pretty good. Having seen a number of the other slasher movies from this time period (Jason Goes To Hell, Freddy’s Dead), I can honestly say this was one of the better ones in those series.
Rating: Not Bad With A Couple Of Beers
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
NEXT WEEK: I wrap up my look at the Halloween franchise with reviews of H20 and Halloween Resurrection. One of them isn’t terrible, the other is one of the worst films ever made. Stay tuned.