Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) / Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

halloween5-1.jpg picture by sikomike
It's Hallowscream again in Haddonfield. You know what that means? The Boogeyman is back to raise some more Hell! Too bad this Hallowscream,  the pumpkin got smashed before it could even be carved.
   After being shot with about a hundred rounds of ammunition and falling into a mine shaft, Michael Myers slides down a water stream. He ends up collapsing at some old hermit's house out in the middle of bum fucked Egypt.  The old hermit for some fucking reason lets Michael sleep at his place for an entire year. Halloween Eve comes around, which causes Michael to wake up from his year coma and put on a shitty looking blank white mask. He kills the old hermit guy and heads to, you guessed it, Haddonfield to finish stalking his niece Jamie Lloyd. Jamie is now in a clinic for mentally disabled children. She hasn't spoken a word since she stabbed her foster mother with a pair of scissors the Halloween before and is now sensing and seeing what Michael sees.   Everything seems quiet and everyone involved with last year's Halloween encounter with Michael such as Rachel, Jamie, and Dr. Loomis are paranoid that Michael will return to finish what he started.  Michael returns, kills off Rachel, and proceeds to stalk Rachel's annoying as fuck best friend Tina and her three high school dumbass friends.  It is up to both Loomis, Sheriff Meeker, and Jamie to stop Michael for good. Meanwhile, a mysterious man has appeared in Haddonfield too that has the same mark on his wrist as Michael. Will Michael finally be stopped or will things take an unexpected turn for the worst for little Jamie Lloyd?
  In 1988, executive producer Moustapha Akkad brought Michael Myers back to Haddonfield in the franchise's fourth entry, HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS.  The film did so well at the box office and made the fans very happy to see Michael back as well as the awesome twist ending that gave everyone a nice surprise.  Fans were curious where Akkad and company would take the fifth installment with a great twist ending like that.  I'm sorry for spoiling the ending of HALLOWEEN 4 for any of you who haven't seen it, but since I'm reviewing the sequel to it then I can't skip over talking about what it was. HALLOWEEN 4 ended on a high note with Jamie Lloyd picking up a pair of scissors and stabbing her foster mother as she was about to give Jamie a bath. It ended with Jamie standing at the top of the stairs wearing her clown costume and holding up the bloody scissors as Loomis starts to scream, "NOOO!!!!!! NOOOO!!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!".     It was implied that when Jamie touched Michael's hand near the end, that his evil was passed on to her and that she would pick up possibly where he began at six years old back in 1963. Unfortunately for us Halloween fans, none of that happened.  Instead of working off that idea for the fifth film, Akkad rushed HALLOWEEN 5 into production before the screenplay was even completed.  Exactly a year later in 1989, one year after the release of HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS, HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS was released to the theater. Most fans left the theaters unhappy and majorly disappointed back in 1989.  HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS also didn't do that well at the box office.
I will say it now. I hate HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS.  Now, I wouldn't say that it is the worst of the franchise, but in my opinion, it is the second worst. HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION takes first place as being the absolute worst with HALLOWEEN II (2009) in third place and HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (theatrical cut) in fourth place.   Let's start out talking about the script. Wait, there's a script for this? Yes, someone actually wrote this. Oh, not someone, three someones wrote this film.  Michael Jacobs, Dominque  Othenin- Girard, and Shem Bitterman wrote this thing called HALLOWEEN 5.  I will give them some credit for not having Michael karate chopped by rapper Busta Rhymes, but that however does not excuse writing  the most giggly annoying and fucking unbearable swat named Tina.  Oh my God!  I would rather watch Spongebob Squarepants run around in his whitey tighties laughing like he just inhaled Helium than to watch this bitch on screen for one second!  While Tina is the worst part of the film for me, yes, there's other people and things that leave this toilet backed up and ready to overload into a fucking shit Fountain of Youth.  There's some annoying stuttering kid named Billy, who is probably related to Jake from FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING.  The only good part about him is when his stupidity gets him hit by a car.  We get two goofy cops that do nothing except act like idiots and get killed by Michael. If I wanted to see goofy cops acting like idiots in a horror film then I would simply watch THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT '72 thank you very much!
     We get introduced to Tina's boyfriend  and two of their friends, who I could really care less about.  All I can remember about them is that the one chick looked like Tara Reid dressed in a Devil costume. The only characters that are back from HALLOWEEN 4 are Rachel, Jamie, Dr. Loomis, Sheriff Meeker, and of course Michael.   Another thing that I absolutely hated aside from shitty new characters is that Rachel gets killed off. A character that I and the other Halloween fans came to love in HALLOWEEN 4 gets killed in the first like 10-15 minutes. Wow, what a big fuck you!  Oh well, the same thing happens with Jamie in the next installment and again with Laurie Strode in HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION.  If you are going to kill off characters, kill the supporting characters or the super annoying ones. NOT THE HEROINE OR HERO! That would have been like if they killed off Tommy Jarvis in one of the FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels.   That's just one thing I absolutely hate about many horror movie sequels is killing a character I have come to love and enjoy watching.  The only time that it didn't bother me was in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS because then we already had a new heroine (Kristen), but then she got killed off in the next film.  Only do this if you have set up a good new hero/heroine for the villain to battle or it serves good purpose to the story.
     Jamie is mute for a great portion of the film. I didn't really like that direction either even though I think I know the reason why. Michael went totally silent after killing Judith, so it is either to be similar to that case or that she was just in a bit of catatonic shock from what happened.  The Michael Myers mask looked like shit. Definitely the worst mask in the franchise. 
    The whole bit at the beginning with Michael sliding down the stream made me laugh because it looked so ridiculous.  I'm surprised since he fell into a mine shaft that he didn't try to find his buddies Harry Warden or Jason Voorhees for help.  Dr. Loomis seemed a bit more crazy than usual in this film. Probably because Donald Pleasence realized how much the writers and director suck ass.   I still find it funny that the old hermit dude at the beginning let Michael sleep in his house ALL YEAR LONG! How could he survive not eating or drinking anything for a full year? Oh yeah, I guess Human needs don't apply to Boogeymen.  The whole man in black part and the flag sign on the wrists of both the mystery guy and Michael were weird. We do discover what all of that means in the next installment though. 
   The special -FX were alright by KNB. I heard the film got butchered by the MPAA and had to cut some stuff out.
The music by Alan Howarth was pretty blah. Definitely the worst by him. I don't blame Howarth though, I blame the shitty director.
The direction by Dominque Othenin- Girard was horrendous. That's what you get when you get the hack director from OMEN IV: THE AWAKENING to direct your movie. I saw some interviews with this guy on the HALLOWEEN 25 YEARS OF TERROR documentary and he is such a hack and doesn't know shit about what makes a good horror film. I also heard how he treated special-FX artist Greg Nicotero on the set of making this film. Nicotero suggested an idea for a specific FX and this hack job told him, "What do you know? You're just the make up-FX guy."  You know what Dominque Othenin-Girard? FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! And...FUCK YOU!  I haven't worked in the actual film business, but have made short films. But, if I had some ass clown like this on my set, his ass would be fired and thrown to burn in the pits of Hell.
 The acting ranges. The actors returning such as Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, Ellie Cornell in a small return as Rachel, Beau Starr as Sheriff Meeker, and Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis were the best they could be considering they had a shitty script and director to work with. We wouldn't see Danielle Harris back in the Halloween franchise until 2007 with Rob Zombie's remake where Harris plays Annie Brackett. The new actors however were pretty terrible. Wendy Kaplan as Tina was annoying and too giggly. I'm not sure if it was the actress too or just the shitty director and script. I've never seen this actress act in anything else.  All of the other actors were just forgettable and annoying as Hell. I thought Don Shanks was "okay" as Michael Myers, but his mask looked like shit. I also HATED the fact that Michael actually cries at a point in this film. I'll take him wearing a dusty Santa Claus beard and screaming "DIE!" to Loomis before I would have him crying like a baby.  
Overall, HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS is a terrible movie. It may not be the absolute worst of this franchise, but like I mentioned before, it comes in second place in between HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION and HALLOWEEN II (2009). 
Wow, am I happy that's over!  Looks like Hell is about to take over Haddonfield and Michael's evil is finally unraveled in the next chapter, HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS.
0.5/4 STABS
halloween6poster.jpg picture by sikomike
Welcome back to Haddonfield. It seems that Michael is under the influence of Thorn and out to kill Jamie Lloyd's son and some Strodes who happen to be living in his home.  Halloween is the curse of Michael Myers!
 Ever since the Halloween of 1989, both Jamie Lloyd and Michael Myers have disappeared. Now, in 1995, it is revealed that Jamie Lloyd has been held prisoner by a Satanic cult known as Thorn. She is now about fifteen years old and gives birth to a baby boy. One of the nurses unties Jamie, hands her the baby, and helps her escape Thorn's secret hide away. Michael tracks Jamie down and brutally kills her, but she has hidden her son away in a safe place. The next day, a now adult Tommy Doyle who has been studying Michael Myers for years, finds Jamie's son and contacts a retired Dr. Loomis.  Tommy now lives across from the old Myers house, which is now fixed up and some relatives of Laurie Strode's foster parents are now living there consisting of Kara, her mother Debra, her abusive bastard of a father John, her brother Tim, and her eight year old son Danny. Thorn's leader has now chosen Danny to be the next unstoppable being in Thorn's legacy of evil since Michael is almost finished killing off the rest of his family to complete his destiny.  Will Tommy and Loomis be able to protect the Strode family and Jamie's baby from Michael and Thorn?
   In 1988, HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS brought the horror fans what they wanted, Michael Myers.   The film did so well with fans and at the box office. A year later in 1989, Moustapha Akkad released the awful HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS that destroyed any great possibility that HALLOWEEN 4 could have lead to.  After HALLOWEEN 5 failed at the box office and was poorly received by fans, Akkad and company struggled to figure out a way to apologize for their screw up back in '89.  It was a really tough time developing a sixth installment to continue where HALLOWEEN 5 left off.  Several different screenwriters were considered to write. Quentin Tarantino was actually in talks at one point and even wrote a first draft that was turned down.   It took about five years, but Akkad finally found a good screenplay written by a long time fan of the franchise named Daniel Farrands.  Farrands explained who the man in black was from HALLOWEEN 5, what happened to Jamie Lloyd, and ultimately, what happened to Michael Myers that turned him evil and made him unstoppable. Nobody had dared to go into detail with what happened to him, so this was a bold move on Farrands' part. 
      The screenplay by Daniel Farrands is actually pretty good if you watch the producer's cut of HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS.   Before I go any further, I must explain why there are two VERY different cuts of this movie.  Back when HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS wrapped filming, it was written for actor Donald Pleasence (Dr. Sam Loomis) to be in the next installment.  Right after completing additional dialogue for the film though, Donald Pleasence died. He was even sick in the making of this movie and you can tell by the way he looked and sounded that he was ill.   Since he died right after completing the film, the filmmakers felt that it would be too wrong to have it set up for the next film the way the film had originally been cut.  That is not a good excuse though. Hell, THE DARK KNIGHT set it up where Joker was originally planned to take part in BATMAN 3 and Chris Nolan didn't just change the film around just because Heath Ledger was no longer around.  So, that right there was a wrong move.  Then, the film was test screened for a bunch of fourteen year old boys, where some snobby fourteen year old boy told the filmmakers that the ending sucked. Wow, you are seriously going to take the kid's word for it and change up the ENTIRE fucking movie just to please one snobby movie goer? Fuck that! Let the little fucker complain! I make my films the way I vision them and would not let some kid tell me how to make my fucking movie.  It's one thing to hate something, but at least back up your answer with a logical reasoning.     So, the filmmakers took the kid's complaint to heart and made a sloppy edited mess that they actually released to theaters.
  When the internet age finally came around, bootleg copies of a producer's cut version of HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS were found on Ebay that people were buying left and right.  This producer's cut was actually how the film was originally intended to be seen that was both dark, cool, and made sense. What was released to theaters in 1995 was a confusing mess of a movie and disappointed many Halloween fans.   Since I've seen both versions, I will discuss both of them.
  Regardless of which version you watch, there is still two complaints I have for the film. The first was killing off Jamie Lloyd as well as recasting her.  The way she went out in the theatrical version was so fucked up! Even though I hate that she was killed off, I have to say that the producer's cut way she dies was more satisfying.   The second is the whole Thorn bullshit. I didn't need a reason behind Michael's evil. Although, we are at the sixth film now so I guess no explanation by this point would make the films become boring. 
  I will begin with discussing the theatrical cut that anybody can see.  This version leaves many many many questions left unanswered. Who is Jamie's baby's father? Why is Thorn holding Jamie prisoner?  Whatever happened to Dr. Loomis at the end? The ending in this version sucks big time.  Maybe this was the ending which that snobby kid was talking about because the producer's cut ending was fucking awesome and could have lead to an interesting story if Pleasence hadn't died after filming wrapped.  Also, there's a lot of quick cuts, lightening flashes, scream echoes, and electric guitar music that feels totally trippy and out of place.  Don't get me wrong, I like trippy sometimes, but when the film doesn't make sense in the end, I can't forgive the trippy look of the film.  I did find the scene where Michael mutilates a lot of doctors really trippy and kinda intense in how it was structured. Some of the film felt very nightmarish, which I do admit to liking a bit. The problem was that the narrative was totally out of place.  One of the kills looked really silly where a guy gets electrocuted to the point where his head actually explodes. 
     The producer's cut however provides answers for our desired questions and makes the narrative make sense, while still being dark and creepy.   The film felt kinda like if you mixed ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE OMEN into  a Halloween movie.  We find out who Jamie's baby's father is. Can we say serious incest?  We also have a way more satisfying conclusion to all of this madness. 
 The characters are actually pretty interesting. Kara Strode made for a pretty decent heroine in this film who just wants to protect her son.  Kara comes from a pretty dysfunctional family. Her mother is sweet and caring, yet her father verbally and physically abuses her. What a fucking prick this man was! We also have her brother Tim and his girlfriend. Tommy Doyle (the little boy from the original HALLOWEEN '78) returns to stop Michael alongside Dr. Loomis and another doctor, Dr. Terrence Wynn.  There's some radio talk show dick named  Barry Simms. Jamie Lloyd is back for like twenty minutes, but gets killed. And there's also the old lady who Tommy lives with named Mrs. Blankenship. 
The music by Alan Howarth and Paul Rabjohns was decent in the producer's cut, but pretty meh in the theatrical cut.
    The direction by Joe Chappelle is uneven in the theatrical cut, but not bad in the producer's cut.  Chappelle was never interested in the Halloween films anyways, he just wanted to get a three picture deal with Dimension Films.
The acting was actually not bad.  I liked Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode. She was cute, sympathetic, and was going through a hard time raising her son and dealing with her father. Paul Rudd (CLUELESS) was good as adult Tommy Doyle. Donald Pleasence was very good in his last portrayal of Dr. Sam Loomis and also his last movie period.  Mitch Ryan was good as Dr. Terrence Wynn. I liked Kim Darby as Debra Strode.  Bradford English was great at playing an abusive and evil bastard of a father as John Strode. I haven't hated a guy this much in the Halloween franchise except for Ronnie White in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN '07.  Keith Bogart was decent as Tim Strode and I liked Mariah O' Brien as his girlfriend Beth. Leo Geter was a great dick as radio talk show douche Barry Simms. Devin Gardner was really good as little Danny Strode. I loved Janice Knickerehm as Mrs. Blankenship. The best part is when she explains how Halloween came to be.  George P. Wilbur who played Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS returns and was great. I think he is the creepiest Michael since Nick Castle/Tony Moran and Dick Warlock.  Plus, the mask looked creepy as Hell in this film!  And then we have J.C. Brandy replacing Danielle Harris  as teenage Jamie Lloyd. Originally, Akkad wanted Danielle Harris back, but Danielle couldn't agree on anything with the director and hated the script and the fact that they were killing off the character that made her career as well as a character that everyone loved. As for J.C. Brandy, she was just okay. It's just weird to watch her play the character and not Danielle Harris. That's okay, Danielle Harris will return to the Halloween legacy in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN '07 and will be in Adam Green's HATCHET II (which I'm fucking dying to see dude!).
Overall, HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS can either be a bland or good film depending on which version you watch. Honestly, I recommend checking out the producer's cut if you can find it. It was on Ebay, but now it is even harder to find. The only reason I was able to see it was because a friend of mine made me a copy and mailed it to me.  I'm really hoping that Dimension Films smartens up and releases HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS on DVD/Bluray in the form of the producer's cut. Apparently they have been in talks about it, but that was five or six years ago! Release it already!
RIP Donald Pleasence!  The Halloween franchise will never be the same without you running around with a gun like a crazy person and your awesome monologues about evil. In memory of the great Donald Pleasence, I will quote his most famous line of dialogue as Dr. Samuel Loomis in the original classic that made all of this possible.
" I met this six year old child with this pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes. The Devil's eyes. I spent six years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I knew that what was behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply, Evil."
The evil night of Halloween has come to a close, but will be reborn on the twentieth anniversary. Until the next screaming, have a nice fright!!!! HEHEHEHEHAHAHAHA!!!


JennyB said...

"Shit fountain of youth" CLASSIC! I have to admit that I stopped watching the Halloween movies after number 5. I think that movie just set me over the edge and I felt like it wasn't going anywhere anymore. I did enjoy the first few movies though which is why I kept watching them up until number 5. Love you're reviews, keep them coming!

Fred [The Wolf] said...

HALLOWEEN 5 is the worst in my opinion. Yeah, RESURRECTION is fuckin' terrible, but at least the first 15 minutes of that movie is really good. But killing Rachel just to annoy people with Tina is just unforgivable. Anytime I see a stupid horror character, I have a Tina Scale for them. That's how bad that bitch is. And I agree with every point you made for that review. What a mess.

HALLOWEEN 6 is all about the Producer's Cut. You like the Theater Cut more than I did but it sucks either way. But the Producer's Cut is pretty bad ass, even if it does have major flaws. But at least it feels like a HALLOWEEN film more than the version that was released.

Great reviews. By the way, that friend who sent you that copy must be a really cool dude. ;)

Trick or Treat Pete said...

First I will say, great review of some not so great movies.

I wished H2O hadn't dismissed parts 4, 5, and 6 with absolutely no mention of Jaime, like those films didn't even exist in the Halloween franchise. By no means am I saying that 4, 5, and 6 are great films, but if you set up some things as part of the history of the character, don't go and make another film that totally disregards the previous work. Yes, H2O is FAR superior to 4, 5, and 6, come on, there are fans of those films, don't slap them in the face by just trying to "erase" three films in a franchise. I will now put my soapbox back in the mail to Wolfie, what, you thought he only ships movies? ;)
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

Maynard Morrissey said...

Halloween 5 - my guilty little pleasure.
I understand why people hate it so much (lame direction, terrible plot, silly characters...). Nevertheless, the barn scene and the laundry-chute-scene are undoubtedly 2 of the most suspenseful scenes from the 80s