Our reviews of The Halloween Collection (published October 31st, 2011) and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers / Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (Blu-ray) (published May 27th, 2011) are also available.
Tonight, the evil has returned…and it needs a new scriptwriter.
Is there any other horror franchise that has done a downward spiral as depressingly as the Halloween series? John Carpenter's original Halloween was excellent, and Halloween II wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. Then we got Halloween III: Season Of The Witch and the fans cried foul. After that the sequels had all the entertainment value of midget pornography. It was six years after Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers when Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers was released. No matter, as time had not been kind to the series. Donald Pleasence gives his final screen performance in Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, and I am sure that wherever he is, angels are laughing at him for it. Part six of the Halloween legacy lands with a "thump" on DVD from Dimension Home Video.
Facts of the Case
Man oh man…this was a long film. And it was only 88 minutes long. Here goes nothing (literally)…
So, if you'll recall the end of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Michael was sprung from jail by the man in black (no, not Folsom Prison and definitely not Johnny Cash). Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers starts six yeas after this event. Apparently, Michael has been controlled by some Druids who live in a deep, dank basement filled with candles and lots of chanting. Michael's final living relative, Jamie, has just had a baby and she's trying to keep it away from Uncle Mike 'cause he wants to poke it with large pointy things. The Druids need Michael for…
You know, can we just pause here and take stock? Do you remember the original Halloween? Remember how great it was? It was simple, scary and original. Am I the only one that thinks it's sad that they are using Druids as an explanation for Michael Myers? It feels like that game where you sit in a circle and start a story, and each person has to continue it as you go around the circle, and there was always one bonehead who screwed it up, and then the story veered off into some bizarre and stupid place. This, my friends, is what happened with the Halloween series.
Anyways, Michael is being controlled by the Druids, and Jaime has her baby, and…blah, blah, blah. Dr. Loomis (Pleasence, looking like he'd rather be chugging sour milk than acting in this film) breezes back into town yammering on about Myers, and how he must be stopped. Soon horny teenagers get involved in the act and they start meeting the sharp end of a knife one by one. It all comes to a head in a laboratory where the Druids are apparently doing some cloning experiments, as there are fetuses floating in glowing green tanks.
Dear Lord, can you believe someone actually read this script and felt this sequel was filmable? Longtime Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad should have his eyelids cut off with nail clippers for having churned out this turkey.
Okay, so, there are baby clones in green tanks, and Michael is…ah shit, you'll just have to watch it for yourself. Even by my low standards this movie sucks hamster balls.
I've peered into the toilet after a bean burrito bowel movement and seen more interesting things than I did in Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for gratuitous sequels to horror films from the '80s. I love the Friday The 13th series, even though each movie is the same as the one previous with a different cast and crew. Even the Nightmare On Elm Street series has its redeeming qualities. But wow…Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers hasn't got an interesting bone in its very thin body.
First let's start with the good. This time around they finally got Michael Meyer's mask right. For the curiosity seekers, this is a Captain Kirk mask that John Carpenter sprayed with white paint. In the last few films (especially Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers) the mask looked terrible. Even in the superior Halloween H20 the mask looked very different from Carpenter's original vision. I'm happy to report that Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers finally gets it right.
Well, that's about it. Moving onto the video and audio specs, Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen non-anamorphic and looks fine, though nothing spectacular. There tends to be a bit of edge enhancement and much color bleeding. Blacks are solid though often soft. For such a poor movie the transfer is acceptable.
Audio includes a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix and, like the video portion, is passable. Bass is very deep and some background sound is used effectively. The mix is on par with this type of film, though stops short of well done. A remix of Dolby 5.1 would have been preferred, but I wasn't expecting a miracle, and guess what? I didn't get one.
Supplements include a few sneak peeks at some other Dimension films, including the Scream box set, as well as the next Halloween sequel, Halloween H20. Nothing else is included, and I'm thinking this may be a blessing in disguise.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
What the hell is going on in this film? Cloning experiments? Druids? Talk about writing yourself into a corner. All this film needed was a deranged clown, six tornados and a fleet of yellow submarines to finish off its implausibility and bizarreness. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm pretty sure that John Carpenter never, EVER meant for his original formula to go the places these filmmakers have taken it.
Let's start with the performances. No one in this film shows a spark of charismatic quality, much less any halfhearted attempts at believable characterization. Donald Pleasence looks as if he's to the breaking point of exhaustion. In previous Halloween sequels, when Dr. Loomis was warning onlookers about Meyer's maniacal behavior, it sounded like "DEAR GOD, run for your life! You're all in imminent danger!" This time around it sounds more like "Crap, I am pooped. There's a madman on the loose, wake me if he shows, I'm takin' a nap." What a poor way of ending his career. The ending eludes to the fact that he may not have been well enough to finish his scenes.
And let's talk about that ending. If anyone, and I mean anyone, has any idea what happened, please let me know. Being the Good Samaritan that I am, I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't seen it (though that's the equivalent of saying I won't tell you you're eating pig snouts until after you've digested them). No wonder why the makers of Halloween H20 decided to scrap the ending of this film and go a completely different route. Cripes, what a downer.
Finally, there is the fact that…that…think I'm gonna be sick. Let's just end this quick and painlessly.
Okay class, let's review what we've learned today:
'80s horror films + cheap plot twists (i.e., Druids, cloning, et cetera) = disaster.
Guilty as charged, and the writer of this mess should be stuck in a burlap bag and beaten with a large whiffle bat.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Dimension Films
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