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The Complete Review of the Halloween Film Franchise

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I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the entire Halloween franchise, and I really enjoyed it. And now, like OscarGold101 did that thread for movie reviews, I figured I'd review this franchse.



Halloween (1978)

d. John Carpenter

Under the blood-red lettering of the credits, a Halloween pumpkin lit by a candle within smiled (or leered) and pulsated with light, accompanied by the instantly-recognizable, erratic, oft-repeated musical score (also by writer/director John Carpenter) heard in the film's series.

As with many of the films, the setting was Halloween night, 1963, in Haddonfield, Illinois, and its opening four-minute sequence was striking. Six-year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin) wearing a clown costume was unmasked - after he had repeatedly stabbed to death his 17 year-old sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) with a butcher knife (# 1 death) following her upstairs love-making in their house with her boyfriend. The clown-costumed, insane boy stood there motionless on the front lawn, surrounded by shocked adults (his parents).

Subsequently, the disturbed, psychotic boy was institutionalized for the crime for 15 years in Smith's Grove, Illinois at the Warren County Sanitarium, observed by quirky psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) as a dangerous, isolated patient at the institution. When he was about to be transferred, Michael at age 21 (Tony Moran, also credited as "The Shape" played by Nick Castle, incorrectly identified in the end credits as 23) assaulted a nurse in the institution's station wagon by leaping onto it and then driving away. The doctor feared the worst - the escape of the personification of evil, as the orangish-red eyes of the tail lights receded: "He's gone from here. The evil is gone." En route to Haddonfield, he killed a driver and stole his truck (# 2 death) (off-screen), and absconded with Judith Myers' grave headstone ("He came home").

In the small midwestern town, the abandoned Myers' house was, of course, the notorious scene of the killing fifteen years earlier - still unsold, vacant and dilapidated. Smart, independent-minded young 17-year-old teenaged girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis in her feature film debut, revealed later in the series to be Michael's orphaned, adopted sister), was planning to babysit at the Doyle's house that Halloween night, where she listened and assented to the special requests of young Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews). The masked Michael stalked Laurie and her promiscuous girlfriends throughout the day, both outside her school and in the neighborhood before going on a killing spree.

In a chilling scene, Dr. Loomis waited upstairs in the Myers house with Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) for the reappearance of the evil presence: "I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no, uh, conscience, no understanding and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with this blind, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil...He's been here once tonight. I think he'll come back. I'm gonna wait for him."

One by one that evening, Michael Myers murdered: (1) sheriff's daughter and baby-sitter Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes) (by strangulation, and then by slitting her throat from the backseat of her car (# 3 death) after she had planned to forgo her babysitting duties for Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), and was preparing to leave the house (across the street from where Laurie was babysitting Tommy) and drive to her boyfriend Paul's place to make love); Tommy witnessed a Shape carrying Annie's corpse into the Wallace house after murdering her, thinking it was the Boogeyman; (2) Lynda's boyfriend Robert "Bob" Simms (John Michael Graham) (by strangulation and stabbing with a kitchen knife - pinning him into the wall (# 4 death) in the empty Wallace house where Annie had been babysitting), and (3) Lynda Van Der Klok (P. J. Soles) (by strangulation with a phone cord (# 5 death) while she was speaking to Laurie on the phone), with Michael wearing a white sheet with Bob's thick-rimmed glasses.

After receiving Lynda's strange phone call, Laurie ventured over to the Wallace house where she found Annie's body in bed with Judith's headstone, and also discovered the bodies of Bob and Lynda. Wielding a knife, Michael struck and wounded her on her left arm, sending her headfirst over the stair railing and down the staircase. Injured by the fall, Laurie was also trapped inside the locked house while struggling to get away. The killer attempted to get through a locked door to attack her - finally using his fist to break down the wooden barrier and unlock it. She broke the side door's window with her bare hand and escaped from the Wallace residence back to the Doyle house.

The visceral climax was the relentless stalking of a terrified, but resourceful and vigilant Laurie through the Doyle house. She fought back with a knitting needle (plunged into his neck), a metal coat hanger (stuck into his eye), and a knife (thrust into his torso) - but the white-masked Shape seemed indestructible. Michael's pursuit was accompanied by piercing music, quick-cut editing, and real shock and suspense. Camera angles were from the victim's point of view. She directed the two children to go down the stairs and run out to a neighbor's house to call the police, and their cries alerted Dr. Loomis. The psychiatrist rushed up the stairs and finally caught up with his prey, saving her from strangulation. The doctor fired six rounds, emptying his gun into the masked figure. The crazed killer fell from the second floor balcony and tumbled to the ground below. Bloodied and in near-shock, Laurie quizzically stated: "[it]...was the boogey-man," while Dr. Loomis confirmed: "As a matter of fact, it was.." But in the film's final moments, his body vanished into the night.

There was a final montage of locations in the film where Michael had been hiding or was present (and would probably still haunt), accompanied by his heavy breathing - the staircase and living room of the Doyle house, the Wallace house, and the Myers house. Haddonfield had not seen the end of this supernatural, horrifying creature - the embodiment of Evil. He would return on another Halloween night.

9.5/10



Halloween II (1981)

d. Rick Rosenthal

The second film film opened in Haddonfield, Illinois, on Halloween (October 31, 1978), to the tune of "Mr. Sandman" (sung by The Chordettes). The film reprised the last major scene of the original 1978 film, in which 17 year-old babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) sent two young children, Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards) and Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) away from the Doyle house to run to the neighbors and call the police. She was left to confront the masked 21 year-old killer Michael Myers (Tony Moran) by herself. [The credits listed Michael Myers' age as 23.] He attempted to strangle her, but she was able to pull the mask away from his face for a moment. Alerted by the children's screaming, psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's doctor for 15 years, came to Laurie's rescue and shot the hulking figure once, and then six more times (a total of seven times) - the crazed killer fell backwards from the second floor balcony and landed on the ground below. Bloodied and in near-shock, Laurie quizzically stated: "Was it the boogey-man?" while Dr. Loomis confirmed: "As a matter of fact, it was." But the body of the assailant, escaping sure death, vanished from the lawn into the night, leaving only an imprint on the grass and blood stains. Loomis told the next-door neighbor to call the police: "...he's still on the loose..." The familiar theme music then played as the credits were shown.

As a police car pulled up, from the POV of the killer watching from a shadowy distance, Dr. Loomis was heard exclaiming to Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers): "I shot him six times. I shot him in the heart...This guy, this man, he's not human." Radio reports announced that there were three bodies (all victims were teenagers) found in the upstairs bedroom of a Haddonfield house. The killer was a mental patient who had escaped the previous night from the Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium. Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) entered a home where an elderly couple named the Elrods lived (the husband was asleep in front of the television, playing Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968)) - and grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen of the gray-haired, pink bathrobe-wearing wife (Lucille Benson), who was preparing a sandwich. He left blood drippings on her cutting board. The worried young neighbor Alice (Anne Bruner), came out of her next-door house when she heard screams, and became the killer's first victim inside her living room when she was stabbed in the chest with the butcher knife and blood spurted onto her neck (# 1 death).

Meanwhile at the Doyle house, stab-wounded, bruised and shock-stricken Laurie Strode was taken on a stretcher by paramedics (ambulance driver Budd (Leo Rossi) and Jimmy (Lance Guest)) to the local Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. As they arrived, a bleeding boy (with a razor-blade embedded in his mouth) in a pirate's costume was led to the Emergency Room. Drunken Dr. Frederick Mixter (Ford Rainey) ordered Laurie sedated, although she protested. Dr. Loomis searched the neighborhood in Sheriff Brackett's patrol vehicle, as the skeptical sheriff argued: "You couldn't have shot him six times...I think you missed him...No man could take six slugs." The doctor barked back: "This isn't a man!" When they saw a possible suspect with a "Michael Myers" mask and a trick-or-treat bag, they chased after him. The fleeing figure was hit by the front of a speeding second police car driven by Deputy Gary Hunt (Hunter von Leer). The victim's body was incinerated when the car slammed it into a parked van, and the two cars caught fire (# 2 death). [The victim in the freak accident, although thought at first to possibly be Myers, was later identified as 17 year-old Bennett 'Ben' Tramer (Jack Verbois).] Loomis recommended that a forensic dentist check the teeth to verify if it was his long-time quarry. Sheriff Brackett was horrified to learn that his daughter Annie (Nancy Loomis) had been one of the three murdered teenagers. After having identified Annie’s body, the grief-stricken Brackett blamed Loomis and went home to his wife, leaving Hunt in charge.

The killer inadvertently heard a radio report, from a loud boom box carried by a teenager in the downtown area, that Laurie had been taken to the Haddonfield Hospital, and he proceeded there on foot. The hospital's night watchman/security guard Mr. Garrett (Cliff Emmich), distracted by a magazine and the movie Dementia playing on a TV, failed to notice Michael Myers enter the hospital on his surveillance video camera. Nurse Karen Bailey (Pamela Susan Shoop) arrived late for her night-shift on the ward, and was reprimanded by supervising Nurse Mrs. Virginia Alves (Gloria Gifford). In Laurie's hospital room, Jimmy (who had taken an interest in Laurie) told the semi-sedated patient about Michael Myers (he was "that little kid" who had infamously murdered his own sister - with a butcher knife in the upstairs bedroom - at the Myers home 15 years earlier, in 1963 on Halloween night "his anniversary"). She learned that Myers had escaped and was targeting her - and she asked: "Why me?"

While Garrett was outside checking the disconnected phone system, he was clobbered on the top of his head with a claw hammer (# 3 death) in the hospital's store room (where he had found numerous open locks). In another part of town, the Myers house was pummeled by rocks and stones from an angry mob. The house was empty ("He just isn't there"), and a sweep through town had revealed nothing. Dr. Loomis described Myers' reappearance to Deputy Hunt: "He came back...He waited with extraordinary patience. There was a force inside him biding its time." He had been an immobile, waiting, and quiet "ideal patient" at the Sanitarium, and the unprepared staff was unaware of what he was really becoming.

Buxom Nurse Karen agreed to make out with lecherous ambulance driver/paramedic Budd in the therapy room's hydrotherapy whirlpool tub ("It's hot in here") before the two met their predictable fate after sex. After Myers turned up the temperature controls outside the room, Budd was strangled (with a cord) and killed (# 4 death) by the brutal killer while checking the thermostat gauge outside the room (without her knowledge), just before the nude nurse also succumbed by having her face repeatedly dunked and scalded to death in the 130 degree water (# 5 death). A close-up of her blistered face ended the scene.

Meanwhile as she slept, Laurie was experiencing flashback dreams about her childhood, in which her adoptive mother Mrs. Strode (Pamela McMyler) told her: "I'm not your mother." As a young girl (Nichole Drucker), she had a glimpse of her young brother Michael (Adam Gunn) sitting in an institution.

On the other side of town, Dr. Loomis and the Haddonfield police investigated a break-in at the local elementary school, where they found a butcher knife stuck in a desk (and through the body of one of the stick-figure children in the family drawing - Loomis remarked: "Sister"). They also discovered the word Samhain scrawled in bloody capital letters on the chalkboard. Loomis explained the Celtic word: "It's a Celtic word. "Samhain." It means the Lord of the Dead. The end of summer. The Festival of Samhain. October 31st." Dr. Loomis was called aside by a colleague, his assistant Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) from the Sanitarium, and told that Dr. Rogers from the Sanitarium and the governor had ordered him away from Haddonfield, but Loomis refused to return to Smith's Grove. Loomis had no choice - he was to be escorted by a Marshal (John Zenda) waiting in a car outside.

When Laurie was found unresponsive (due to a reaction to her medication) in her hospital room bed by Jimmy, Nurse Janet Marshall (Ana Alicia) hurriedly ran to physician Dr. Mixter's office to summon him. In his dark inner office in front of an aquarium, she found Dr. Mixter dead (in a revolving chair reminiscent of the end of Psycho (1960)) with a syringe stabbed into his eyeball (# 6 death, off-screen). As Janet backed up in stunned shock, Myers grabbed her from behind and inserted a hypodermic syringe into her temple - she collapsed to the floor (# 7 death). When there was no immediate emergency help forthcoming, Jimmy rushed to the Ladies Lounge to locate Nurse Mrs. Alves, but couldn't find her or Budd. The Shape continued to pursue and stalk Laurie. In her room, he stabbed at her bed with a scalpel, but found he was only stabbing at pillows. Laurie had wisely left her room and limped to another room.

Blonde nurse Jill Franco (Tawny Moyer) also couldn't locate Mr. Garrett or Laurie -- and joined with Jimmy to find out where everyone had disappeared. In one of the hospital's operating rooms, Jimmy found Mrs. Alves strapped to an operating table and stabbed in the arm with an IV syringe (# 8 death, off-screen) - she was drained of her blood. When he turned to leave the room, he slipped and fell on the wet bloody floor and was knocked unconscious.

When Nurse Franco kept looking for others and couldn't find anyone, she fled to her car to alert authorities. But she found that her car had been sabotaged (it wouldn't start, it leaked oil and had a flat tire) and she was unable to drive away, so she raced back into the hospital. In the corridor, she spotted Laurie (again on the move but limping badly), but was stabbed in the back with a scalpel (# 9 death). Myers held her up by the scalpel stuck into her spine, lifting her off her feet into the air (her shoes dropped to the floor), while Laurie watched the horrific murder. Laurie then whimpered and fled down another corridor, down some stairs, and into a basement furnace room, where she saw Garrett's body strung up. As Michael slashed at her, she crawled through an upper window into another storage room, escaped in a freight elevator to the ground floor, and eluded him by running outdoors. She cowered in the front seat of a parked vehicle in the parking lot.

On their way out of town in the Marshal's car, Loomis told Nurse Marion Chambers more background about the word Samhain - a Druid ceremony of ritualistic elimination and sacrifice: "In order to appease the gods, the Druid priests held fire rituals. Prisoners of war, criminals, the insane, animals were burned alive in baskets. By observing the way they died, the Druids believed they could see omens of the future. Two thousand years later, we've come no further. Samhain isn't evil spirits. It isn't goblins, ghosts or witches. It's the unconscious mind. We're all afraid of the dark inside ourselves." She then told Loomis the film's major twist - about a secret sealed Myers file which revealed that Laurie Strode was actually Myers's sister - confirming Laurie's flashback dreams. "She was born two years before he was committed. Two years after, his parents died and she was adopted by the Strodes. They requested that the records be sealed in order to protect the family." Loomis was fearful of Myers' intentions in Haddonfield: he was there to kill his second sister. He ordered the Marshal, at gunpoint (after firing one warning shot), to drive to the Haddonfield Hospital in order to attempt to save Laurie.

Laurie realized she was in Jimmy's car when he returned, but after he couldn't start it, he passed out. She crawled from the car on the concrete as the Marshal's car pulled up, but was unable to scream loud enough to attract their attention. She screamed for help at the front door - with Myers in slow pursuit, and was let in. The Shape walked directly through the glass door, prompting Loomis to fire five shots [he emptied his gun] into the figure. As the Marshal peered over at the 'dead' corpse, Myers murdered the Marshal by slitting his throat with a scalpel (# 10 death). He then pursued Dr. Loomis and Laurie, and cornered them in an operating room, where he broke down the door and stabbed and mortally wounded Loomis in the stomach with a scalpel, when the doctor's gun clicked empty.

Laurie briefly stopped the killer's approach to her by calling him by name: "Michael?" With a second gun, Laurie shot the unstoppable, seemingly-indestructible homicidal killer in each of his eyes with the last two remaining bullets - causing the killer to weep and bleed red tears down the front of his mask. The blinded killer slashed around wildly as both Loomis and Laurie released oxygen and ether gases from tanks in the room and Loomis ignited the fumes with his cigarette lighter ("It's time, Michael"), causing a self-sacrificing explosion as Laurie escaped. Covered in flames, Michael struggled toward Laurie before finally collapsing in the corridor, as his mask slowly melted from his burning face. But was he conclusively dead? [Both Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis miraculously survived, and reappeared at the start of Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).]

In the film's conclusion the next overcast morning (November 1), Laurie was wheeled to an ambulance for transfer to another hospital, as she replayed in her mind the burning of Michael's mask - to the tune of "Mr. Sandman." Was the nightmare over?

10/10



Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

d. Tommy Lee Wallace

This third film in the series was the only one in the franchise not directly related to the other films, but instead focused on witchcraft, the power of corporate advertising, and a crazed factory owner rather than a psychopathic killer. Producer John Carpenter conceived of this film as the first in an anthology of stand-alone Halloween season-related horror films, although the plan failed.

After the credits, the film opened in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, in October, Saturday the 23rd, about one week before Halloween. At nighttime, a novelty shop owner, later identified as middle-aged toy salesman Harry Grimbridge (Al Berry), ran on foot from a pursuing car's headlights into a deserted car parts and wrecking lot, where he was pinned on the ground by a mysterious man wearing a gray business suit and shiny black shoes (later identified as a Silver Shamrock android henchman). Grimbridge released a parked car that rolled toward them, crushing the man between two cars (# 1 death, android).

ONE HOUR LATER, during a fierce thunderstorm, the scene shifted to a gas station, where the attendant Walter Jones (Essex Smith) was watching TV. A British commentator reported on a previous theft, nine months earlier, of the 5-ton Bluestone from Stonehenge - "believed to represent the 19-year cycle of the moon." An advertisement also played for Silver Shamrock Novelties -- (to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down"): "Eight more days to Halloween/ Halloween/ Halloween/ Eight more days to Halloween/ Silver Shamrock. (repeated)" The announcer added: "Yes, kids, you, too can own one of the big Halloween three. That's right, three horrific masks to chose from. They're fun, they're frightening, and they glow in the dark." [The film's title, Halloween III - was seemingly justified by the fact of the three types of Halloween masks!] Harry Grumbridge stumbled into the station, clutching an orange jack-o-lantern Silver Shamrock mask, and fell to the floor, warning: "They're coming." Jones drove Grimbridge to the hospital in a tow truck.

At almost 8 pm in another part of town, alcoholic father of two Dr. Daniel "Dan" Challis (Tom Atkins) arrived home late to his ex-wife Linda (Nancy Kyes), with presents of plain Halloween masks for his two children. They were disappointed, and told him how their mother had already bought them scarier latex Silver Shamrock masks - the skeletal skull and the green-faced witch varieties. He was immediately summoned back to the hospital, where he treated Grimbridge, who was cryptically ranting on a stretcher: "They're going to kill us. All of us." The crazed patient was treated with a dosage of Thorazine, and placed in hospital room 13. Soon after, another business-suited man with black gloves gouged out his eyes with two fingers and gruesomely pulled his skull apart (# 2 death). The henchman methodically wiped the blood off on a curtain and returned to his vehicle outside the hospital. There, he strangely committed suicide by dousing himself with gasoline and setting himself on fire (# 3 death, android), causing his car to explode.

SUNDAY the 24th, Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin) identified her father's body in his hospital room, and was told the case was under investigation. WEDNESDAY, the 27th, Teddy (Wendy Wessberg) a friend of Dr. Challis' in the Coroner's Office, told him that the well-dressed businessman had super arm strength to have been able to pull apart Grimbridge's skull. FRIDAY, the 29th, Dr. Challis was at a bar, where a TV broadcast was advertising the airing of the "immortal classic" Halloween (1978) on Halloween night, followed by a "big giveaway" at 9:00 pm, sponsored by Silver Shamrock Novelties (the jingle played again, now "Two more days to Halloween..."). Ellie Grimbridge located Dr. Challis there, and they decided to work together to discover why her father had died. They visited his closed-down toy store in Sierra Madre, that had been struggling financially against a new mall. Ellie had researched her father's appointment book, and surmised that he had run into trouble after October 20th, when he was to pick up more Halloween masks in the small town of Santa Mira, California (an inspired connection to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)), the location of a large Irish community, and the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory. After WWII, in the rural town of Santa Mira, wealthy Irishman Conal Cochran had invigorated the town by establishing the toy factory - the largest manufacturer and purveyor of Halloween masks in the world. They were watched suspiciously by various bystanders and shopowners (and a TV surveillance camera) as they drove into the community - Dr. Challis commented: "Company town."

They decided their plan would be to pretend to be husband/wife mask-buyers, and they would share a room in the town's Rose of Shannon Motel as they went about their investigation. At Rafferty's gas station next to the motel, (full service gas was $1.32/gallon), managed by Mr. Rafferty (Michael Currie), they rented a room. Challis saw the guest entry register book at the front desk, showing that Ellie's father had checked into the same hotel on October 20th. As Conal Cochran slowly drove by in a chauffeured vehicle, Mr. Rafferty called him a "true genius." As they checked in, other guests of the motel arrived in a Winnebago - the Kupfer family from San Diego: husband Buddy (Ralph Strait), wife Betty (Jadeen Barbor), and red-haired rambunctious son "Little" Buddy (Bradley Schacter). At the same time, a disgruntled toy shop owner (on Union Square in San Francisco) named Marge Guttman (Garn Stephens) also drove in, unhappy about having to stay overnight due to "screwed up" toy orders from the "damn factory" that she was forced to handle personally.

That evening, a loudspeaker system in the town announced a 6:00 pm curfew, and all Santa Mira residents were instructed to clear the streets and remain indoors. As Challis returned to his motel room, he was confronted by a drunken, disgruntled homeless townsperson named Starker (Jon Terry), who warned him about Cochran's spying and rumors swirling about the factory, and bad-mouthed the factory owner. He divulged how he was planning to use Molotov cocktails to burn the factory down: "Be the last Halloween for them." Later in his shack, two android business-suited men ripped his head off his neck (# 4 death). Teddy reported by phone to Dr. Challis that they had accidentally been looking at "plastic and metal shavings" (part of the car), rather than the correct body parts, because of mixed-up envelopes. (The next day, she also reported to Dr. Challis that she believed someone had tampered with the evidence, since there were no bone fragments or teeth: "I've got nothing here to indicate there was ever a body at all. Just ashes and car parts.")

While Dr. Challis and Ellie were making love in their room, Marge Guttman was taking a closer look at one of the poorly-made mask pieces - a trademarked Silver Shamrock button with an embedded computer chip that had fallen off one of the masks. As she poked at the back of it with a bobby-pin, it emitted a lethal laser beam that blasted her in the face, leaving her disfigured and dead as a creepy insect emerged from her mouth (# 5 death). In the middle of the night, a white van (and other white vehicles) with white-garbed attendants removed Marge's body from her motel room. Mr. Conal Cochran's chauffeured vehicle drove up and he assured everyone of Marge's "small accident" and promised the "very best possible treatment" at the "marvelous" emergency facilities at the factory. However, he was whispered the word "Misfire" as he departed.

SATURDAY, the 30th. At the Silver Shamrock factory office, Ellie and Dr. Challis were told that Mr. Grimbridge picked up and signed for his order on the 21st, and then drove away in his green station wagon. As they were about to leave, the Kupfer family arrived and Buddy Kupfer was personally greeted by Mr. Cochran as the salesman who had sold more Shamrock masks than anyone else in the country. Ellie and Dr. Challis were assured that Mrs. Guttman had been flown for treatment to San Francisco, and that Ellie's replacement order would be at no charge. The two groups were given a factory tour, and shown how latex was heated and poured into the mask molds, then trimmed, painted, and packaged for shipment. They also were led into a museum of Cochran's other toys - Kupfer called Cochran "the all-time genius of the practical joke. He invented sticky toilet paper...the dead dwarf gag, the soft chain saw." Cochran bragged about his final inspection of quality (involving 'very dangerous" volatile chemicals), his seal of approval, and his trade secrets. Dr. Challis was suspicious of business-suited guards standing around the facility: "They look an awful lot like the man who killed your father." Inside an open garage on the grounds, Ellie spotted her father's car, but was prevented by guards from getting any closer.

Back at the motel that evening with only one more day to Halloween, as Ellie and Dr. Challis prepared to leave, he couldn't reach anyone by phone outside of the town. When he returned to their room, he found that she was missing - kidnapped by business-suited men in a white Silver Shamrock vehicle. Five android business-men stood outside his door, forcing him to flee through the bathroom window and break into the nearby factory to locate her. To his surprise, he decapitated a knitting grandmother robot - later identified by Cochran as a "rare piece. German. Made in Munich, 1785." In the shipping room, he fought hand-to-hand against another business-suited android (Dick Warlock) - when he punched at the man's mid-section, his hand entered the android's gooey wired innards, and the robotic assassin spewed yellowish blood from his mouth as he was 'deactivated' (# 6 death, android). Dr. Challis was then captured by other androids - all created by the crazed Cochran (the "witch" of the film's title), who was using the company as a front for his evil cult. He was looking forward to the next day, Halloween, calling it a "very busy day."

SUNDAY, the 31st - HALLOWEEN. Cochran led Dr.Challis to the FINAL PROCESSING area, as he described how he had made the androids - "simple to produce," "another form of mask-making," and "loyal and obedient unlike most human beings." He described his factory as combining "advanced and ancient technology." In a large room where a circle of computers and white-coated technicians sat, a large fragment of the the 5-ton Bluestone stolen from Stonehenge was being chipped and hammered away: "From an ancient, sacrificial circle. Stonehenge. (chuckling) We had a time getting it here. You wouldn't believe how we did it. (laughs) It has a power in it. A force."

Dr. Challis was compelled to watch a video demonstration of Cochran's sinister plan for Halloween night involving the Kupfer family in a simulated living room (Test Room A). After they were seated in the windowless, locked metal room, they viewed the Silver Shamrock television commercial that was to air that night (Halloween) throughout the country: (Announcer) "It's time. It's time. Time for the big giveaway. Halloween has come. All you lucky kids with Silver Shamrock masks, gather 'round your TV set. Put on your masks and watch. All witches, all skeletons, all Jack-O-Lanterns. Gather 'round and watch. Watch the magic pumpkin. Watch..." As both the pumpkin head on TV and the trademark button on "Little" Buddy's jack-o-lantern mask blinked on and off, the young boy suddenly clutched his head. When the trademark chip activated (constructed with a piece of the ancient Stonehenge monolith), it activated a lethal laser beam, caused severe brain and head damage to "Little" Buddy, and transformed his head into crawling insects and swarming snakes under the mask as he died (# 7 death). Both Buddy's mother and father were the next to die, attacked and swarmed by venomous snakes (# 8 and # 9 death).

Cochran's plan was to air his commercial, advertised as the "big giveaway," at 9:00 pm Halloween night throughout the country, during a "Horror-a-thon" showing. "Lucky kids" throughout the country were purchasing Silver Shamrock masks (with the embedded computer chip) and wearing them for trick-or-treating, before returning home to watch the TV spot. In the coroner's office at the morgue, after discovering something other than a car part in the charred remains of the automobile, Teddy was phoning the sheriff when she was murdered by one of the black-gloved Silver Shamrock androids - she was stabbed in the head (through her ear) with a power drill (# 10 death).

7:30 pm. Back at the Silver Shamrock factory, Dr. Challis was bound in a cell with a television, and forced to watch the Horror-a-thon. The demented practical joker Cochran further explained how his plan was to brutally sacrifice children to the pagan gods: "I do love a good joke. And this is the best ever. A joke on the children...It was the start of the year in our old Celtic lands and we'd be waiting in our houses of wattles and clay. The barriers would be down, you see, between the real and the unreal. And the dead might be looking in to sit by our fires of turf. Halloween. The festival of Samhain. The last great one took place 3,000 years ago, when the hills ran red with the blood of animals and children...It was part of our world, our craft." He then described his macabre practice of sacrificial witchcraft: "To us, it was a way of controlling our environment. It's not so different now. It's time again. In the end, we don't decide these things, you know. The planets do. They're in alignment, and it's time again. The world's going to change tonight, Doctor. I'm glad you'll be able to watch it. And... happy Halloween." Cochran left the room, after placing a skeletal latex mask on Dr. Challis' head.

Dr. Challis kicked his feet through the television set, escaped from his straps, and found a way out of the cell through a small vented passageway, at about 8:11 pm. He emerged on the roof, phoned ex-wife Linda to warn her to get rid of the masks (although she ignored his rambling incomprehensible pleas), and located Ellie in another cell. Together, they returned to the factory's main computer control room containing the Stonehenge rock. Punching buttons on the control panel, he prematurely played the 9 pm commercial - and destroyed nine of Cochran's androids (in a shower of falling and activated, exploding computer chips that he dumped on the technicians) (# 11-19 deaths, androids). Cochran politely applauded Dr. Challis as he watched the Stonehenge monolith glow and the circle of computers magically discharge bluish-white light energy. Cochran's body was disintegrated and vaporized by the discharged laser beam (# 20 death). In a chain reaction, the rock exploded, the chips in the packing boxes detonated, and the masks caught fire. After they fled from the burning factory and drove away at 8:48 pm, Dr. Challis was attacked by cloned android "Ellie" and caused their car to run off the road. He killed her by separating her head from her body with a tire iron grabbed from his trunk (# 21 death, android). Although beheaded, her amputated arm still kept trying to strangle him.

The film ended with a downbeat conclusion at the filling station that opened the film, as Dr. Challis attempted to contact TV stations to remove the commercial at the "magic hour." He was able to persuade all but a third channel from airing it - as he screamed vainly: "Please stop it. Stop it now. Turn it off! Stop it! Stop it!" [Did the writers forget that if the show aired at 9 pm in California, it had already aired in the other three eastward time zones?]

3/10



Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

d. Dwight H. Little

OCTOBER 30, 1988. The fourth film opened with the credits viewed with the fall harvest in a rural farm area, of mostly Halloween-related imagery (pumpkins, skull/ghost/skeletal decorations, pitchforks, scarecrows, bare trees, etc.). On a rainy and stormy night, a Smith Grove ambulance pulled up at the high security Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, for the pickup/transfer of a patient to Smith's Grove Sanitarium. The security guard James (Raymond O'Connor) allowed entry to the two attendants and noted: "You never get used to the faces, never...Jesus ain't got nothin' to do with this place. Yeah, this is where society dumps its worst nightmares." He added that their patient, Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur), was a notorious homicidal maniac responsible for a murderous killing spree in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois ten years earlier: "A decade ago, Halloween night, he murdered sixteen people, maybe more, trying to get to his sister. He nearly got her too. But his doctor, of all people, shot him six times. Then he set him on fire. Both of them nearly burned to death. Yeah, I'll be glad to see this one gone. Yes, indeed-y. Welcome to hell." The supervising Dr. Hoffman (Michael Pataki) mentioned that the patient's doctor, Dr. Sam Loomis, wasn't there, but personally, he was "happy" to see the problematic patient taken away (unfortunately to his old home for a new reign of terror).

The bandaged-faced and sedated patient was supervised by a male (David Jensen) and female attendant (Nancy Borgenicht) in the back of the vehicle, as two paramedics sat in the front cab. Although in a coma, Myers became conscious when he heard the two Smith's Grove attendants discussing his nearest living relative, a young niece in his home town. Suddenly, Myers drove his thumb into the bloodied forehead of the male attendant after bashing his head repeatedly against an ambulance cabinet (# 1 death), and then killed the female attendant (# 2 death, off-screen).

In Haddonfield, young eight year-old niece Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), Laurie Strode's (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter, was having trouble sleeping at 4 am - experiencing nightmares of a threatening figure in her room in the days before Halloween. She had been adopted by the Carruthers family for eleven months, and was close to her consoling teenaged foster sister Rachel Carruthers (Ellie Cornell), but didn't feel like a real sister. Grief-stricken Jamie treasured a shoebox with a picture of her mother Laurie at 17 years of age, who had recently died in a car accident. Her major traumatizing hallucination was the sudden appearance of masked killer Michael Myers in her room, threatening her with a scalpel.

HADDONFIELD, ILLINOIS. OCTOBER 31, 1988. HALLOWEEN. Some costumed school children raced to their school bus, excitedly anticipating a night of trick-or-treating. However, Rachel's plan to go on a date with her boyfriend Brady (Sasha Jenson) had to be postponed, when she was, at the last minute, asked by her parents to assume baby-sitting duties for Jamie on Halloween evening. When Jamie overheard that Rachel was upset over the changed plans, she expressed hurt feelings of rejection. Feeling sympathetic to Jamie, Rachel begrudgingly accepted the baby-sitting job, and proposed that they have ice cream at the Dairy Queen after-school.

On Halloween morning, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) was speaking to Dr. Hoffman in his office. Loomis had a disfigured and scarred face (and body) from the life-threatening fire (in Halloween II (1981)) - he wore black gloves and was forced to use a cane. He was furious at Dr. Hoffman for not being notified about Michael Myers' transfer the night before: "You let them take it out of here...We are talking about evil on two legs." Loomis reminded Hoffman that it was Halloween: "I don't want anyone to have to live through that night again." A phone call interrupted their conversation -- something about an accident. Loomis and Hoffman drove to the location of the accident - the carnage area was marked by flares and yellow police tape. The Smith Grove ambulance had run off the road and overturned in shallow water near a bridge. In addition to the two deceased attendants, the two paramedics were also presumed dead (# 3-4 deaths, off-screen). Loomis intoned that his patient had survived: "He's gone. He was here but he's gone." He told the investigating troopers: "You're talking about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago." Loomis proceeded onto Haddonfield, a four-hour drive away.

In Penney's service station garage on the way to Haddonfield, a greasy mechanic working under a car was impaled in his stomach with a metal rod (# 5 death) by the still-bandaged Michael Myers. From a POV shot inside the garage, Loomis was observed as he pulled up and filled his gas tank. He found the chained-up, gagged, and dead corpse of the mechanic inside the shop. And in the attached diner restaurant, Loomis also came upon the dead body of a waitress (Kelly Lookinland) (# 6 death, off-screen) behind the counter, more evidence of Michael's rampage. He saw Michael standing immobile in the kitchen, and as he prepared his gun, Loomis asked: "Why now? You waited ten years. I knew this day would come. Don't go to Haddonfield. You want another victim, take me. But leave those people in peace. Please, Michael." He fired a few stray shots, but the figure disappeared, and Myers then crashed through the garage's main door and drove off in a massive tow truck while setting the dispensing pumps and Loomis' car on fire. The wires on a nearby telephone pole were burned, cutting off communications so that Loomis couldn't call ahead and warn the Haddonfield citizens.

At school, Jamie was mercilessly teased and taunted by young classmates about not having a costume, for having an uncle called the "boogey-man," and for having a dead mother: "Jamie's mommy's a mummy...Jamie's an orphan!" After school, Jamie was picked up by Rachel's friend Lindsey (Leslie L. Rohland) [Laurie's babysitting charge from the 1978 classic film], and Jamie decided to buy a trick-or-treat costume at the Vincent Drug Discount Mart (where Rachel's boyfriend Brady was an employee) before getting ice-cream. [One of the masks on display was a "Michael Myers" mask - grabbed by a disembodied hand.] Jamie chose a red and white clown costume, and when standing in front of a mirror, had a momentary vision of herself as young six year-old Michael Myers in his same clown costume from the night he murdered his older sister (in Halloween (1978)). She also experienced a real-life view of the "nightmare man" - Myers (wearing the mask) standing behind her. When she backed up, the mirror ominously shattered.

Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis was hitch-hiking to Haddonfield, still 119 miles away, and finally found a ride in a run-down old pickup with whisky-swigging, religious fanatic, and itinerant preacher Rev. Jackson P. Sayer (Carmen Filpi) who in his wild rantings to his fellow "pilgrim" spoke of the "apocalypse, end of the world, Armageddon. It's always got a face and a name. I've been huntin' the bastard for 30 years, give or take. Come close a time or two. Too damn close! You can't kill damnation, Mister. It don't die like a man dies!"

On Halloween night, Rachel and Jamie (in her clown costume) were spied upon as they eagerly left to go trick-or-treating. Michael entered the Carruthers house, climbed to the upstairs, and overturned the contents of Jamie's shoe box (including a picture of his sister Laurie, a picture of himself as a boy in a clown costume, and a picture of his niece). He could now identify his own niece. [Before leaving, he killed the family dog Sundae.]

In Haddonfield's police station, Dr. Loomis learned that Sheriff Brackett had retired in 1981, and that the town's new Sheriff was Ben Meeker (Beau Starr). He notified them that Michael Myers had escaped from Ridgemont and had come to Haddonfield, and that Laurie Strode's daughter Jamie Lloyd was "in mortal danger." He convincingly warned that between there and Ridgemont, he had already come upon six bodies in Myers' wake, and "he's here to kill that little girl and anybody who gets in his way." Loomis recommended immediately finding the girl and keeping her in safe custody from Michael's wrath.

Jamie and Rachel were followed by Myers as they went door-to-door for candy. At the Meeker home, Rachel was shocked to see that the sheriff's sexy blonde daughter Kelly Meeker (Kathleen Kinmont), another employee at the Discount Mart, was keeping company (in a T-shirt and panties) with her own unfaithful boyfriend Brady after their cancelled date. A TV news bulletin from Sheriff Meeker notified residents of Haddonfield of a curfew - everyone was to clear the streets and businesses were ordered to close. The local redneck bar owner Earl Ford (Gene Ross) called the Sheriff's office to confirm, but there was no answer at the station.

Meanwhile, Rachel lost track of Jamie during their door-to-door outing when she wandered off, and she panicked. A technician named Bucky (Harlow Marks) was at the town's power station, where he lost his life when the masked Myers threw him into an electrical transformer and he was electrocuted (# 7 death) in a shower of sparks. His death caused an electrical blackout throughout Haddonfield. The darkened streets were deserted as Rachel searched for Jamie, fearing that she was being followed by the Shape. Sheriff Meeker and Dr. Loomis finally found the two girls wandering around. The two adults were spooked by seeing three figures wearing "Michael Myers" masks - until they realized the prank. But as they drove the two girls to the police station, the real Michael Myers watched them silently from the street. After leaving the two girls unattended in the car!, they entered the ransacked station, where they discovered the ripped apart, mutilated body of Deputy Pierce (Michael Flynn) (# 8 death, off-screen) who was missing a hand. [There may have been other bodies there, but they were not clearly visible.] Dr. Loomis restated his belief that Myers was evil, and not human. Then outside, Loomis told a group of shotgun-toting, concerned beer-drinkers and patrons from the local bar led by owner Earl Ford (including Big Al (Michael Rudd), Orrin (Eric Hart), and Unger (Walt Logan Field)): "It was Michael Myers. He's come home to kill." The vengeful, frightened group drove off in their trucks, acting as a vigilante lynch mob, with Earl vowing to kill Myers: "We're gonna fry his ass." After shooting multiple rounds at an unseen suspect in some bushes, Earl, Big Al, Orrin, and Unger found that they had accidentally killed one of their friends, Ted Hollister (# 9 death).

In front of a roaring fire in the Meeker house, the cheating boyfriend Brady made out with buxom and slutty Kelly, but their romantic liaison was abruptly interrupted by the arrival of her father. As they hurriedly dressed to avoid being caught, Dr. Loomis, the two girls, and Sheriff Meeker entered the house. Deputy Logan (George Sullivan) also drove into the driveway behind them (unwittingly carrying Myers as a passenger in his backseat). Brady was given a shot-gun to protect the girls (and warned by strict Sheriff Meeker to stay away from his daughter) as he went to secure the attic, and Deputy Logan and Kelly barricaded the lower part of the house for protection. Without phones or power, Sheriff Meeker communicated via short-wave radio in the basement, and sent a distress call to state police trooper headquarters for backup, mentioning "there's a killer loose in the streets." Loomis left for the Carruthers house, predicting that Myers would go there, and Sheriff Meeker left to check out the Ted Hollister murder ("I got a town full of beer bellies running around in the dark with shotguns! Who's gonna be next?"). Kelly all but admitted her indiscretion to Rachel after stealing her boyfriend: "I've got a right to do what's best for me." Rachel replied: "Don't you mean what you do best?" Kelly then followed up with how she could entice any man with sex: "Wise up to what men want, Rachel. Or Brady won't be the last man you lose to another woman," prompting Rachel to throw coffee on Kelly's T-shirt. Deputy Logan remained in a rocking chair guarding the front door with a shot-gun.

Kelly discovered Deputy Logan's mangled and bloodied body on the living room couch (# 10 death, off-screen) with blood trickling from his mouth - Myers had taken his place in the rocking chair with his shotgun. Keeping with the tradition of sex=death in the Halloween franchise, Myers impaled Kelly through the chest/stomach with the phallic-shaped shotgun, pinned her to the wall (# 11 death), and left her hanging there. Shortly later, Brady fought valiantly against Myers, until his head and neck were crushed, snapped and broken by the bare-handed killer (# 12 death). After all of Jamie's and Rachel's protectors were either gone or dead, the two girls escaped out onto the roof with Michael in relentless pursuit in a dangerous chase across the slippery tiles. Rachel lowered Jamie to safety on the ground via a loose cable tied to her waist, but fell off the roof when she dodged to avoid being slashed by Michael's butcher knife - she appeared dead but actually survived. Jamie ran off screaming for help - and found herself in Dr. Loomis' arms. They went for refuge to the elementary schoolhouse where they broke in, with Myers still following. Dr. Loomis was thrown through a window, as Jamie fled down a corridor and found only locked doors. She tumbled down stairs and found herself helpless as Michael approached to murder her - but Rachel sprayed the killer with a fire extinguisher, and they were able to escape together.

Outside the school, the group of four patrolling, vigilante citizens heard the school's siren, and picked up the two girls in their pickup truck. They decided to leave Michael Myers and the town's troubles to the state police. Earl Ford drove them out of Haddonfield, as they passed a caravan of state police heading to town. However, Myers had inexplicably hung onto the back of their truck, and crawled up to the open truck bed to assault the three hillbillies. He first knifed Orrin in the back (# 13 death), and then knifed Big Al in the stomach (# 14 death), and pushed both bodies off the moving truck. Unger was then heaved off the moving vehicle (# 15 death) - all three deaths were unnoticed by the passengers in the cab! Then, Earl had his neck bloodily ripped open (# 16 death) by Michael as he reached down from the top of the cab through the driver's side window. Rachel was left to steer the swerving vehicle after she had tossed Earl's body away from the truck. With her maneuverings and an abrupt braking, Michael was thrown off the top of the cab, and she deliberately attempted to run him down. His body was sent flying through the air into a fence. Sheriff Meeker and the state troopers arrived at the scene, as Jamie was walking to the seemingly-lifeless corpse where she touched the burned/scarred hand of her uncle's body. Revived, the Shape suddenly gripped his knife and sat up, forcing the troopers to open fire as he rose up. Michael was relentlessly shot dozens of times by state police before he fell down into the entrance of an abandoned, collapsing mine shaft.

Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Meeker brought the two girls back to the Carruthers home after the horrific ordeal - and Loomis was assured that Myers was dead and the nightmare was over: "Michael Myers is in hell, buried, where he belongs." Upstairs, Mrs. Darlene Carruthers (Karen Alston), Jamie's foster mother, was preparing a hot bath for Jamie. The film ended with a plot twist - through touch, psychically-linked Jamie was trance-possessed by Michael's murderous and evil instincts, and stabbed Mrs. Carruthers (# 17 death ? - unknown) - seen through Jamie's mask eye-holes POV. Dr. Loomis responded to screams, witnessing Jamie wearing her clown mask and costume and standing with upraised bloody scissors at the top of the stairs, similar to the image of young Michael in the opening of the first film twenty-five years earlier, when he killed his older sister Judith. Screaming denials ("No, no, no!"), Dr. Loomis was prevented from shooting Jamie by Meeker's intervention.

8.5/10

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Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

d. Dominique Othenin-Girard


The fifth film recapped the conclusion of Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) in its opening, after the credits. With abrupt maneuverings and the sharp braking of a pickup truck driven by Rachel Carruthers (Ellie Cornell), Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) was thrown off the top of the cab. She deliberately attempted to run him down, and hiis body was sent flying through the air into a fence. Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) and state troopers arrived at the scene, as Jamie Lloyd/Carruthers (Danielle Harris), in her clown costume, was walking to the seemingly-lifeless corpse, where she touched the burned/scarred hand of her uncle's body. Revived, the Shape suddenly gripped his knife and sat up, forcing the troopers to open fire as he rose up. Michael was relentlessly shot dozens of times by state police before he fell down into the entrance of an abandoned, collapsing mine shaft.

The killer survived the long fall and a dynamite blast as he crawled out a side tunnel and then floated downstream in a rushing river. Later, he stumbled into a river-side shack inhabited by a local mountain man/hermit (Harper Roisman), and collapsed onto the wooden floor.

HALLOWEEN EVE. One Year Later. [1989] CHILDREN'S CLINIC, Haddonfield, Illinois. During a thunder and lightning storm, nine year-old Jamie was undergoing monitoring-testing as she tossed and turned. In the mental health clinic, she woke up screaming (although her cries were muted) as she recalled the final nightmarish scene of the previous film, in which she wore her clown costume (with mask) and stabbed her step-mother Darlene Carruthers (Karen Alston) as a bath was being prepared for her. She still retained a telepathic, psychically-possessed link between herself and her uncle Michael, after touching his hand, and their movements mirrored each other. The traumatized girl experienced frightening visions and a seizure-like presence as she wrote on a chalkboard: "He's coming for me." Michael Myers (Donald L. Shanks) awoke from a year-long coma at the same moment, donned his mask, and murdered the mountain man (by stabbing him several times - after breaking his neck?) from behind (# 1 death). Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) interrupted the girl's emergency treatment to open her trachea, asserting that she would stabilize.

The recuperating, mute Jamie was visited in her clinic room by her foster sister Rachel Carruthers, her ebullient friend Tina Williams (Wendy Kaplan), and Dr. Loomis. A rock thrown through her window contained a note: "THE EVIL CHILD MUST DIE!" Dr. Loomis feared that the whole series of events, at Halloween-time, might happen again - the inhabitants of the town were irrationally scared. As Rachel returned to her red-brick Haddonfield home with the Carruthers' new Doberman Pinscher dog Max, the masked killer watched her from nearby bushes. In her art class, Jamie sensed a premonition of death (believing Max was in danger), as Rachel was being stalked at her house - followed voyeuristically by the camera (and by Myers?). Dr. Loomis phoned Rachel, interrupting her taking a shower and getting ready for the weekend party. Nude and wrapped in only a towel, Rachel fled from her house when ordered by Dr. Loomis to vacate immediately. Afterwards, police found no evidence of foul play and Max returned safely. Later however, as Rachel dressed in her upstairs bedroom, Myers again appeared in her closet as she dressed. In another room, after Rachel found a framed picture of her foster sister Jamie with cracked glass, she was suddenly stabbed in the chest/shoulder with a pair of scissors wielded by Michael (# 2 death). This violent death again caused shaking and convulsions throughout Jamie's body.

In the police department, the crazed Dr. Loomis recalled the emotionless killer of the previous Halloween with Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr): "You never saw his eyes. You never saw that nothing, no expression, blank... My memory goes back twelve years to the night when I offered...(he removed his black glove to show his disfigured, scarred, fire-burned hand) Look at that. I prayed that evil would burn in Hell, but in my heart, I knew that Hell would not have him." They were summoned to the local cemetery. Party girl Tina arrived at the Carruthers home (where there was no evidence of Rachel), looking forward to a weekend Halloween party (while Rachel's parents were away) with her blonde friend Samantha Thomas (Tamara Glynn), and with their respective boyfriends: car enthusiast Mikey (Jonathan Chapin) and Food Mart store-clerk Spitz (Matthew Walker). Although Michael was in the house spying on them, nothing happened, although he soon turned up outside the Childrens Clinic as a gardener. A terrorized Jamie thought she was being stalked by Myers as she fled through the clinic's corridors, laundry room, and basement's furnace room, although it was only the clinic's real gardener (Jack North)

Dr. Loomis badgered Jamie - begging her to help him find Michael - he asserted frantically: "We both know he's alive. But you know where he is! Why, why are you protecting him?...You can't hide from him. He can always get to you...Today in the cemetery, somebody dug up a coffin - it was a coffin of a nine-year-old girl. What do you think he's going to do with that! Huh? You're nine years old, aren't you, Jamie?...Tears won't get you anywhere. Help me to find him. We'll find him together. There's a reason why he has this power over you. Do you ever wonder what it is?"

A Chicago-bound bus arrived in Haddonfield, where an unidentified, black-dressed, trench-coated figure with silver steel-tipped boots disembarked. Dr. Loomis took his gun into the Myers home in town - it was completely in disrepair and overgrown with weeds. He called out: "Michael" as he roamed through the dusty, vacant rooms: "Have you come home, Michael? I know what you want from her." The mysterious stranger with boots (and a tattooed rune on his wrist, similar to the one on Michael's wrist) was also in the house.

After loading his trunk with three cases of stolen beer from Spitz' food store for their planned Tower Farm Halloween party later that night, Michael Myers scratched Mikey's freshly-waxed and polished convertible with a garden claw implement. When he challenged the masked killer ("OK asshole, you wanna play? Trick or treat"), Mikey was grabbed by the throat and stabbed in the forehead with the three-pronged claw tool (# 3 death), before being dragged away. A costume pageant was being planned at the Childrens Clinic - Jamie dressed as a pink princess with a tiara, and one of her young friends, Billy Hill (Jeffrey Landman), was dressed as a pirate. During the pageant, Jamie fainted and convulsed again - because of the impending danger to Tina.

In front of the Carruthers house where the black-garbed stranger stood, Tina - costumed as a sexy room service maid, was picked up by the masked Michael driving deceased Mikey's car. He was wearing her present - a grotesque, bulbous-nosed mask. She flirtatiously told him: "I just love barbaric men" and "I can't resist your new look." She wasn't aware that Mikey was dead, and called him a "psycho-boyfriend" when he screeched to a halt in the middle of the street, to stop for cigarettes at a gas station convenience store. Stuttering out a few words, Jamie was able to warn Dr. Loomis about Tina's location (identified as Bill's gas station at 5th and Main, known for selling giant cookies), and police were radioed to intercept and protect her there, as Michael (with his own mask) drove away. When Tina was reunited with Jamie at the clinic, the young girl was able to speak, and expressed fears that Tina was going to be the next victim of the "boogeyman." Two state deputy police officers, Deputy Nick Ross (Frank Como) and Deputy Tom Farrah (David Ursin), who were ordered to follow Tina, drove her to the Tower Farm party - unknowingly leading Michael Myers to her location. Seen intermittently and intercut into the next few scenes, Jamie and Billy ran on foot to the farm house, to warn Tina about her life being in grave danger.

At the Tower Farm, Tina, Samantha, and practical joker Spitz played a prank on the two idiotic officers - the two females pretended to be assaulted by a knife-wielding masked 'Michael Myers" (Spitz in costume). In the farm's barn adjacent to the farm house, the trio ran after some kittens (Tina: "I'm coming to get you"). When Tina returned to the house, Spitz and Samantha prepared to make love (he produced a handy condom) among some straw bales. [The puritanical morality of the film series necessitated their deaths.] Spitz was impaled with a pitchfork stabbed into the middle of his back (# 4 death), splattering blood onto Samantha's breasts underneath him. And then Samantha's body was sliced with a curved scythe (# 5 death). Outside, the two deputies, Ross and Farrah, innocently assuming that Spitz was still wearing the 'Michael Myers' mask, were both stabbed multiple times with a pitchfork in their squad car (# 6-7 deaths, off-screen). Afterwards, Tina, who went looking for her missing friends in the barn, called out: "You guys, I don't hear any noise. Are you sure you’re doing it right? You guys wanna come skinny dipping? Maybe you guys are already naked?" The bloodied bodies of her two friends rolled onto her, and as she fled screaming to the house, she saw the two dead patrol officers in their vehicle. When the two children arrived at the farm, they and Tina were chased by Myers driving Mikey's stolen vehicle through a crop of Christmas trees, until he crashed the car into a tree and appeared dead. However, Tina was the ultimate victim when Myers was resurrected and brutally knifed her in the chest with a butcher knife (# 8 death), as she defended Jamie.

Sheriff Meeker and multiple police cars arrived on the scene, as Dr. Loomis aided the two young children. Loomis asked Jamie in the ambulance: "Now are you willing to help me?" and she agreed to help in his quest to kill the evil Myers. Loomis spoke facing into the woods that surrounded the crime scene, luring Michael back to his old house in town - with Jamie as bait: "Michael? It will destroy you too, one day, Michael? This rage which drives you. You think if you kill them all, it will go away. It won't! You have to fight it in the place where it's strongest, where it all began. If you want to get rid of this rage, Michael, go home, GO HOME! Go to your house! I shall be there waiting for you! You will find her waiting for you!"

Jamie sat conspicuously in view, in front of the second-story window in the large Victorian-style Myers house protected by Deputy Charlie Bloch (Troy Evans), planted there while other officers and Dr. Loomis surrounded the home or guarded from the inside. The massive operation was circumvented when a distress call from the clinic diverted most of the police force to that location. Dr. Loomis predicted: "Now you'll come, won't you, Michael?" Outside the house, Deputy Eddy Grey's (Fenton Quinn) parked police car was rammed from behind, and his face was repeatedly smashed against the steering wheel (# 9 death) - his death cries was heard on Deputy Bloch's walkie-talkie. At gunpoint, Dr. Loomis coerced Deputy Bloch to remain in the house and proceed with the original plan. Loomis was excitedly expectant: "You've come back to us, Michael." He then turned and spoke to the menacing masked figure in front of him: "I know why you've come back, Michael. Because the little girl, the little girl can stop the rage inside. She knows how to do it, Michael. If you let her, she can stop the rage. The rage inside. No, she's not up there, Michael. She's down here in the middle of the old house..Your house, Michael. Your house. Don't you remember how much better you used to be? Let me take you, let me take you to her. She'll take your rage away." When Loomis reached for Myers' knife, he was slashed across his chest, his head was pushed through a window, and he was thrown through a stair railing.

Deputy Bloch attempted to escape with a rope ladder extended from the second floor window, as Michael burst through the door. He emptied his gun into Myers with ten shots, with no visible effect, and then was hanged in one of the rope ladder nooses (# 10 death) outside the window, as Jamie fled to another room. Sheriff Meeker supervised as the bodies of Nurse Patsey (Betty Carvalho) and Dr. Max Hart (Max Robinson) were taken out on stretchers (# 11-12 deaths, off-screen) at the Childrens Clinic. [There may have been more bodies in the clinic, but they were not seen or mentioned.] Jamie's screams echoed in the laundry chute as she dropped to the basement, and then valiantly struggled to climb away from Myers' frenzied stabbing knife through the metal. She managed to emerge from the chute on the next floor up, and then found herself in the candle-lit attic of the Myers house (littered with the displayed bodies of victims, including the dog Max, Mikey, and Rachel). As the killer approached, she laid in a coffin (the one that Michael had earlier dug up in the cemetery) ready to accept death. As he raised his sacrificial knife, she called out: "Uncle! Boogeyman." She pointed at her eye, and requested that he remove his mask so that she could see his eyes: "Let me see." Michael paused, then removed his mask. She responded: "You're just like me" - watching as a single tear streaked down his face. When she reached to wipe it away from his cheek, "Let me," he reacted wildly and continued his raging pursuit. She ran down the stairs, directly into the arms of Dr. Loomis, who cried out: "You want her. Here she is...A little girl. Come and get her." He led Myers into a trap in the living room, using Jamie as the prize. A heavy metal chain net was dropped from the ceiling on Myers. Dr. Loomis fired four tranquilizer darts into the seized madman, and then beat him unconscious with a wooden plank to further subdue him, as he cried out: "Die, die Michael."

Myers was taken into police custody and placed temporarily in the Haddonfield Police Department's jail, for future transport to a maximum-security facility by the US National Guard, where Meeker claimed "he'll stay until the day he dies." Jamie added: "He'll never die." In a patrol car outside, as Jamie awaited transportation back to the clinic, an explosion rocked the jail. The black-garbed stranger with silver steel-tipped boots had entered the police department, and murdered numerous police officers with a machine gun, including Sheriff Meeker (# 13 death) and seven other officers (# 14-20, all off-screen). In the aftermath, Jamie walked through the carnage all around, and looked at Michael's empty cell with the exploded, flaming bars bent open. She sobbed and screamed: "No, No!"

[A sequel was required to reveal the identity of the mysterious stranger or Man in Black with a briefcase or doctor's bag - he was Dr. Terence Wynn (aka Nurse Wynn), the former administrator of Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium, and an ex-colleague of Dr. Loomis. He was also the leader of a Druid-like cult.]

3/10



Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

d. Joe Chappelle

The sixth film in the series opened with a woman pleading, gasping, and screaming: "Uncle Michael, please don't hurt me," as she was wheeled on a stretcher down a long underground corridor by masked physicians. [The location was eventually revealed to be the basement area of Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium.] She was hallucinating that her crazed, psycho serial-killer uncle Michael Myers/The Shape (George P. Wilbur) was terrorizing her with a large butcher knife. The trench-coated Man in Black (Mitchell Ryan) from the previous film (Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)) was also visible. The 15 year-old niece of Myers, Jamie Lloyd/Carruthers (J. C. Brandy), was laid on her back, with her arms and legs tied, surrounded by a candle-lit altar with burning torches during a mysterious ceremony of Satanic cultists. She then was seen in labor delivering a male baby, that was immediately handed to the Man in Black - she cursed him as her baby was taken away.

(voice-over, during the credits, later identified as Tommy Doyle) "When Michael Myers was six years old, he stabbed his sister to death. For years, he was locked up in Smith's Grove Sanitarium, but he escaped. And suddenly, Halloween became another word for mayhem! One by one, he killed his entire family, until his nine-year-old niece, Jamie Lloyd, was the only one left alive. Six years ago, Halloween night, Michael and Jamie vanished. Many people believed them dead, but I think that someone hid them away. Someone who keeps Michael, protects him, tries to control him. And if there's one thing I know, you can't control evil. You can lock it up, you can burn it and bury it and pray that it dies, but it never will. It just rests awhile. You can lock your doors and say your prayers at night, but the evil's out there waiting. And maybe, just maybe, it's closer than you think!"

Since the previous film, The Man in Black, over the previous six years, had kidnapped and cared for both Michael Myers and Jamie, during which time she was impregnated (by Michael?). On Halloween Eve in 1995, she delivered a male baby (the last in the Myers' lineage or blood line), marked on its stomach in blood with a rune symbol, and used on the altar in a ritual. That night, Jamie was rescued with her newborn by Nurse Mary (Susan Swift) and aided in an escape to save her baby - Jamie feared that she wouldn't be allowed to keep the baby. When Mary left her at the exit, masked Michael Myers grabbed her by the throat, choked her, picked her up, and impaled the back of her skull into a protruding sharp metal spike high on the wall (# 1 death). With Michael in pursuit, Jamie fled to a nearby road where she took the driver's seat of a vacated truck. The angry, drunken driver yelled at her: "What the hell are you doing in my truck?" and then had his neck violently twisted around and snapped (# 2 death). She drove off in the stolen truck into the rainy, thundery night.

In Haddonfield, Illinois, the old Myers home (at 45 Lampkin Lane) had been sold, by Strode Realty, to the Strode family. The young boy Danny Strode (Devin Gardner), who slept in Michael Myers' bedroom, was experiencing nightmares of a knife-wielding Voiceman ("He says things, bad things"), and was comforted by his single mother Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), Laurie Strode's cousin. The broadcast of a WKNB radio show called Back Talk, hosted by shock-jock Barry Simms (Leo Geter), was airing a special Halloween edition of its show on Halloween Eve. Simms announced that their next night's show would be broadcast live from Haddonfield at the Halloween Harvest Fair, where Halloween had been banned since 1989, "when infamous serial killer Michael Myers and his niece, Jamie Lloyd, and about a dozen cops were killed in an explosion." [This was an obvious falsehood - Jamie did not perish in the explosion, and neither did Myers.] A female caller to the show professed her love for Myers: "He's so untamed, so uninhibited. He's everything I've ever wanted in a man...I just want Michael. I wanna know what's behind that mask." Living directly across the street from the Strode house on the second floor of a boarding house, grown-up Tommy Doyle (Paul Stephen Rudd) was using a camera telephoto lens to spy on the Strodes.

25 year-old Tommy phoned the talk-radio show, explaining how he saw Michael Myers when he was eight years old. [In the first film 17 years earlier in 1978, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Jamie's mother, was babysitting young Tommy the night when the adult Michael first struck.] He considered himself one of the lucky ones: "I survived." Tommy also asserted: "Michael's work isn't done in Haddonfield. And soon, very soon, he'll come home to kill again. But this time, I'll be ready." He seemed obsessed about the Myers legacy ever since he was a boy. Another crackpot caller theory was put forward, that Myers didn't die in the police station explosion, but was abducted by the CIA from his cell, and then everyone was killed to cover their tracks: "They wanted the ultimate assassin...He took out eight agents when they had him at Langley. They couldn't control him so they packed him up in a rocket and shipped him off to space."

The "just very-much retired" Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's psychiatrist, was also listening to the show in his isolated country home. He was joined by Dr. Terence Wynn (Mitchell Ryan), an old friend and colleague, for a drink. Wynn stressed that he had chosen Loomis to return to Smith's Grove Sanitarium as the new administrator (now that he was relinquishing his position), insisting it was "no prank." Loomis refused, claiming he had buried the "ghosts" in a manuscript.

Jamie drove up to the local bus depot, as she listened to the broadcast on the PA system inside the darkened and empty terminal (a sign at the desk read "Back in 20"). Another female caller, from Haddonfield Junior College, spoke about a planned Halloween rally (and the radio broadcast) on the campus to revitalize the town after six years of banned celebrations. From a depot pay phone, Jamie called the 1-800-YOU-SUCK number to the radio station, and as Loomis and Tommy listened, they heard Jamie weeping and warning of Myers' imminent return: "They're coming. They're coming...Michael. Michael Myers." She asked for help, mentioning Dr. Loomis by name, but was regarded as only a wacko. Jamie's 'uncle' relentlessly pursued her into the bus depot's bathroom, outside to her truck, and then followed her in a stolen van. After running her off the road near an old barn in the Haddonfield area where she crashed the truck into a pile of pumpkins, he followed her into the barn, grabbed her by the neck, and impaled her stomach through the spikes of a corn thresher. He pushed her further onto the spikes, as she gurgled and choked to death before his eyes. She muttered her final words to him: "You can't have the baby, Michael," before he activated the thresher's controls, causing the thresher to rip Jamie's insides apart (# 3 death). Only the baby's blanket was found in the truck.

The next day, HALLOWEEN, in HADDONFIELD, the film introduced all the members of the troubled and dysfunctional Strode family, including struggling single mother and red-haired college student Kara Strode and her six year-old son Danny, who had both returned to live with her parents in the household, after being away for five years. Kara's parents included a caring mother Debra (Kim Darby), and an extremely abusive father John (Bradford English), who called Danny a "bastard" boy - he believed she had brought bad luck to the household. Also there was Kara's teenaged brother Tim (Keith Bogart), Danny's uncle, who was dating girlfriend Beth (Maria O'Brien). Beth lived across the hall from Tommy Strode in the boarding house across the street from the Strode house. Hard-of-hearing, elderly Mrs. Minnie Blankenship (Janice Knickrehm) managed the boarding house.

At the Smith's Grove Sanitarium, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Loomis learned that Jamie Lloyd's body had been discovered near Haddonfield. The rune symbol or mark, tattooed on Michael Myers' wrist, and on the stomach of Jamie's baby, was seen at the crime scene painted (or burned) in black on bales of hay. Dr. Loomis interpreted: "It's his mark...He's come home."

Meanwhile, Tommy Strode listened intently to his reel-to-reel tape recording of Jamie's radio interview, and figured out the call came from the bus depot. Blood droppings from the pay-phone booth led to the downstairs restroom, where he found Jamie's baby crying in a wooden cabinet - he took the infant with him. The imaginative, young Danny Strode had drawn a prophetic picture of the Strodes: Mommy, Uncle Tim, Grandma and Grandpa, all with bloody knives sticking into them, as they stood next to a black object labeled "THORN." In the emergency room of Haddonfield hospital, Tommy was carrying Jamie's baby when he spoke to Dr. Loomis and introduced himself, and corrected his misconception about Jamie being the last of Myers' bloodline, now that Michael had come home ("No, Dr. Loomis, she's not the last"). Loomis was told about the Strodes, now living in the Myers old house. Tommy took the baby into his care for protective safe-keeping from harm, and named it Steven.

When Debra was in the Strode home struggling with a malfunctioning washing machine in the basement, she suspected someone else was in the house, but it was only Dr. Loomis who claimed he wanted to help the family. He warned her of the violent force inside serial killer Myers that contaminated his soul: "It was pure evil," and that he would return to his childhood home that was "sacred to him...with all his memories here." Loomis' tale terrified Debra with his rantings about the haunted house and all the terrible things that had happened there - and she understood the reason why her husband's brother couldn't sell the house and why they were living there. As she expressed her fears to her husband on the phone and then prepared to vacate, Myers stalked her, and then hacked her up in the backyard with an axe (# 4 death), decapitating her (?) and splattering blood onto her freshly-hung laundry on the clothesline.

Suspecting that the entire Strode family was in danger from "him" (Myers sent on a murderous quest by the Druid cult), Tommy befriended Danny, and led him and Kara back to his boarding house room for safety, although she thought he was crazy. She became more convinced of his sincerity when she saw the evidence of years of his collected newspaper clippings about Myers and the murders. He explained about the runes symbols and the meaning of Thorn: "Runes are a kind of early alphabet that originated about 500 B.C. They were symbols carved out of stone or pieces of wood used in pagan rituals to portend future events and invoke magic. Among the ancient Druids, Thorn represented a demon that spread sickness, brought death to hundreds of thousands of people. According to Celtic legend, one child from each tribe was chosen to be inflicted with the curse of Thorn, to offer the blood sacrifices of its next of kin on the night of Samhain [Halloween]. The sacrifice of one family meant sparing the lives of the entire tribe." Tommy felt that might be the contaminating force or reason that compelled Michael Myers, marked with Thorn, to commit evil - the method behind his madness.

He continued, explaining how Michael was seeking the baby, his next of kin (the spawn of Michael?), for a blood sacrifice (to save the tribe), and why he kept reappearing year after year - especially when the stars were aligned into a Thorn symbol: "The Druids were also great mathematicians and astronomers, but the Thorn symbol is actually a constellation of stars that appears from time to time on Halloween night. Whenever it appears, he appears. Coincidence? I think that's why these people, whoever they are, are after Jamie's baby. To make it Michael's final sacrifice." Tommy left to seek out Dr. Loomis, warning Kara never to return to her house.

In the boarding house parlor where she was watching the classic film on television The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Mrs. Blankenship explained the origins of celebrating Halloween to Danny: "A long, long time ago, it was a night of great power when the days grew short and the spirits of the dead returned to their homes to warm themselves by the fireside. All across the land, huge bonfires were lit. Oh, there was a marvelous celebration. People danced and they played games, and they dressed up in costumes, hoping to ward off the evil spirits, especially the boogeyman." Then, she told Kara that her son could also hear the "voice" - "just like the other boy that lived in that house." She revealed that she was babysitting in 1963, 32 years earlier, when little Mikey Myers lived across the street, and he heard a voice the night that he murdered his sister: "It told him to kill his family." She was implying that Danny, who could also hear a voice, was the next "child" to be cursed with Thorn, if Michael succeeded in killing his entire family.

When John Strode returned home, he found everyone gone. Suddenly, the lights inexplicably extinguished, and he laughingly pondered: "It must be the boogeyman." In the basement, as he investigated the cause of the power outage and the loud, chugging and leaking washing machine (how could it run without electricity?), he found a bloody sheet inside. When he turned, Myers murdered him by stabbing him in the stomach with a butcher knife, lifting him up, and pinning him against the fuse box, where he was electrocuted (# 5 death) - his face fried and then exploded.

At the Halloween Harvest Fair, Beth was interviewed by DJ Barry Simms in front of the crowd, asserting: "We will no longer let the powers that be control our minds. For years, Halloween has represented everything that's wrong with Haddonfield. But Michael Myers is long gone. There is no Boogeyman." Tim was surprised to learn that he lived in the notorious Myers house, once occupied by the "most brutal mass murderer in history." As a publicity stunt, Simms promised to move the shock-fest show to the Myers house: "Ten minutes in that house and I'll have every fruitcake medium in the country calling in, trying to channel the spirit of that pussy, Michael Myers." In his vehicle as Simms prepared to drive to the Myers house, he was knifed in the chest from behind (# 6 death). [Later, his half-naked body was wrapped in lights and strung up in a tree - his dripping blood was misinterpreted by a child as red rain.] Beth and Tim found themselves alone in Myers house when Barry didn't show - she spooked him by recreating the night of the initial murder. They kissed in the darkened house and then proceeded to make love in Kara's bed while surrounded by candles. After showering and then standing in front of a foggy mirror, Tim's throat was slit with a butcher knife (# 7 death), and Beth was stabbed multiple times in the back (# 8 death), as the horrified Kara (who had vainly tried to warn her by phone) watched from across the street as Michael committed the murder. Hearing the "voice," Danny was drawn to the Myers house, where Kara found the two bloody corpses under the bed covers. Kara (defending herself with a fireplace poker) and Danny were both confronted by Myers, but escaped unharmed back to the boarding house - where they met up with Loomis and Tommy.

The film's biggest reveal was in the next scene in the boarding house parlor -- Dr. Wynn showed himself to be the "Man in Black," with Druid sect followers, including Mrs. Blankenship, who together stole Jamie's baby, Steven. To flee, Kara jumped through the second story window onto the lawn below. In the next fade-in, Loomis and Tommy stood where Kara had fallen (and had disappeared), asking each other why they were alive and drugged by cult members. Soon after, Kara awoke unphased (!) in a locked room in the maximum security ward within Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium, now dressed in white garb. Before driving there for the final climactic showdown, Dr. Loomis solemnly told Tommy: "It's his game, and I know where he wants to play it."

In his office at the Sanitarium, Dr. Wynn told Loomis about the "pure, uncorrupted, ancient" power of evil, claiming he was at "the dawn of a new age" with Jamie's baby - his group was presumably looking to sacrifice the baby, and then find a new avatar to spread their seeds of murder. He even asked Loomis to "join" his effort, before knocking him unconscious. Meanwhile, Tommy searched for Kara and the two children, and found Michael prowling the hallways too, having already knifed one of the Sanitarium patients in the stomach (# 9 death). The lunatic dying mental patient spooked him: "He walks amongst us, brother. He's come back and he's very angry. How does it feel to be damned?" before dropping dead.

Tommy released the imprisoned Kara from her room, and they fled together as Myers stalked them. From an adjacent room, they observed an experimental, breakthrough genetic engineering splicing procedure about to take place in an operating room, performed on the two children by Dr. Wynn and his Thorn cult followers (now dressed in surgical gowns). Michael grabbed a large surgical machete from an operating table in the hallway and interrupted the procedure - he slaughtered at least four nurses and doctors with the machete (# 10-13 deaths) in a bloody massacre, including the murder of Dr. Wynn (# 14 death, questionable?). Tommy (carrying the baby), Kara, and Danny fled from Myers, as did another doctor whose skull bones were crushed and head was smashed and ripped off against metal gate bars (# 15 death). Presumably, Michael was getting even for the many years he was subjected to evil in the mental hospital. While hiding in a side room from Michael's pursuit, Kara noticed a lab where DNA experimentation was being performed on preserved baby fetuses. [Were the cult members trying to isolate Michael’s evil on a genetic level?] With the baby wrapped in his arms, Tommy came out into the open and told the masked killer: "Mike. You've won. (he chuckled, then walked forward) He's yours." As he handed over the baby, he stabbed a cluster of large hypodermic needles (filled with corrosive chemicals or tranquilizers) into Michael's neck, and injected him, but there was no effect. Kara then beat Myers repeatedly with a large leaden pipe, although he grabbed her neck and began strangling her. He stopped when Danny (with the baby in his arms) cried out: "Leave her alone." As Myers approached menacingly toward Danny, Tommy stuck another hypodermic into Myers' neck, and viciously bashed him again with the pipe - leaving him 'dead' on the floor.

Dr. Loomis aided Kara's, Danny's, and the baby's escape in an elevator, and Tommy joined them. But when they were ready to drive away in a red Jeep, Dr. Loomis claimed: "No, I-I have a little business to attend to here." Inside the building, the camera panned down to the lab's concrete floor, where only Michael's mask and the hypodermic needle were visible. A man was heard screaming (off-screen) - Dr. Loomis' ungodly final scream? Was the curse of Thorn passed onto Dr. Loomis so that he was forced to protect Michael until he could finish his sacrificial killings?

Wind whistled around the Myers house - causing a jack-o-lantern's candle on the porch to flicker and extinguish - cutting to black. The next screen read: "In Memory Of DONALD PLEASENCE" before the closing credits.

7.5/10



Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later (1998)

d. Steve Miner

The seventh film in the series came exactly 20 years after the original film - although it was intended as a sequel to the second film Halloween II (1981). It basically assumed that Halloween films 4-6 had never taken place and mostly ignored their contents. The question was, what had Michael Myers been doing for the previous 20 years, and why was his body "never found" although it was incinerated at the end of the second film.

The pre-credits sequence, beginning with the accompanying tune "Mr. Sandman" (Halloween II (1981) ended with the same song) opened in LANGDON, ILLINOIS on OCTOBER 29, 1998 (20 years after the original film). Nurse-attired Miss Marion Whittington/Chambers (Nancy Stephens) drove up to her home (at 4946 Cypress Pond Road), where she was shocked to see it had been burglarized (or vandalized). [She was Dr. Sam Loomis' (Donald Pleasence) live-in nurse and associate, although Loomis had died a few years earlier.] Next door, she alerted some neighboring teenaged boys, and after one of them, ice-hockey attired Jimmy Howell (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), called the police, he went back to her house alone to check it for intruders, with his hockey stick for protection. When he found nothing, other than a ransacked home office and bottles of beer (to steal) from the refrigerator, Miss Whittington was given an all-clear signal to return. Now dark outside, she discovered the power was out, but searched with a flashlight in her office, where there was an empty file folder labeled "LAURIE STRODE."

The masked killer Michael Myers (Chris Durand) was in the house behind her. Sensing trouble and a presence, she raced back next door. In the living room with the TV airing Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), she found Jimmy murdered in an easy-chair - his face was diagonally stabbed from forehead to chin with the blade of an ice skate (# 1 death, off-screen) stuck into his face. The second teenaged boy, Tony Allegre (Branden Williams) was also discovered dead, standing up at a side door with a knife in his back (# 2 death, off-screen), and he fell on top of her. Myers stalked after her as she valiantly fought him off with a fireplace iron poker. She broke a window with the poker, and screamed at the police, who had just arrived: "He's not dead," but wasn't heard. Myers murdered Miss Whittington by slitting her throat with a butcher knife (# 3 death). Police were entering her home as she was being murdered only a few feet away. Myers drove off in the neighbor's car as the two cops noticed the broken neighbor's window, jokingly calling the dual B & E "the Daily Double."

The next day, Halloween Eve, two detectives (Detective Fitzsimmons (Beau Billingslea) and Detective Matt Sampson (Matt Winston)) investigated the three gruesome killings, finding evidence that Loomis (who had spent his life "tracking down that Halloween guy who butchered all those kids up in Haddonfield...they never found his body...that was like 20 years ago") was obsessed with Michael Myers. Newspaper clippings from the Haddonfield News lined two walls of his bedroom ("CHILDREN FOUND BRUTALLY MURDERED ON HALLOWEEN") as well as other sketches, pictures of murder victims, and articles. They notified Haddonfield to warn of Myers' possible threat. The camera panned over the bulletin board contents as the credits were played. Other headlines, filling in the back history of Myers, read: "Local Boy, Age 6, Kills Sister With Knife," "Child Murderer Sent to State Hospital," "Dr. Sam Loomis - Past Obsession?", "Laurie Strode Sole Survivor of October Mass Murders," "Babysitter Killer on the Loose," "Headstone Stolen From Area Cemetery," "Child Murderer Escapes Mental Hospital," "Is Michael Myers Still Alive?", "Survivor of Halloween Murders Killed in Auto Accident." In voice-over, Loomis (voice of Tom Kane) narrated: "I met him 15 years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding, even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and the blackest eyes - the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."

The next scene was introduced with the camera tracking through school corridors into a classroom, where a nameplate read: "HEAD MISTRESS Keri Tate." At 12 midnight, signaling the arrival of Halloween on October 31st, Laurie Strode/Miss Keri Tate (Jamie Lee Curtis), now assuming the name 'Keri Tate', was still haunted by her teenage years, as she struggled to recover and overcome her life experiences after Michael Myers attempted to kill her 20 years earlier in Haddonfield, Illinois [she had been identified as the killer's sister]. She woke up screaming (appropriate for "Scream Queen" Jamie Lee Curtis) - bringing her 17 year-old son John Tate (Josh Hartnett, in his film debut) to her bed-side. She was attempting to live a normal life (but under the pretense of an assumed false identity to escape her past), while she was heavily medicated and experiencing frightening nightmares and paranoid visions of Michael appearing everywhere - she saw the killer in her dreams, in window reflections, and in her mind.

A graduate of the class of 1978 in Haddonfield, she had relocated to Northern California, where she became successful as the headmistress of the secluded private prep boarding school (behind wrought-iron gates) called Hillcrest Academy, in Summer Glen, although separated from her husband (an "abusive, chain-smoking, methadone addict"). At 37 years of age, she lived on campus with her student-son. It was OCTOBER 31st, HALLOWEEN. When John asked permission to go on the annual school camping trip to Yosemite during Halloween weekend with the other students, his over-protective, overly-cautious single mother was unwilling to allow him. He was frustrated by her denial and confronted her: "your overprotection and paranoia is inhibiting my growth process...I need a little more open air. I've earned it." When John's girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams) was also forced to remain on campus due to problems with her financial payments, their two friends - sex-obsessed Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd) and Sarah (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) also planned to remain behind (with made-up excuses - a late history report, and a 102 degree fever) to hold their own private Halloween party on the almost-deserted campus (Charlie: "We could have a roaming orgy").

On HIGHWAY 139 in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, a mother named Claudia (Larisa Miller) and her young daughter Casey (Emmalee Thompson) pulled into an empty rest area for a bathroom stop. They walked by Myers' vehicle that he had been driven from Illinois, with a flat right front tire. [Myers must have driven non-stop from Illinois to N. California, leaving the evening of the 29th, and already there on October 31st.] Forced to use the men's room, Claudia was spooked when her handbag (with her car keys) was grabbed and she saw a masked figure through the toilet's door. Outside, the strewn contents of her handbag led to her car - now driven off and stolen by Myers.

At the school, Miss Tate was involved in a semi-discreet affair with her love interest suitor, the school's guidance counselor Will Brennan (Adam Arkin), who claimed he was "attracted" to her issues and problems. Other staff members included Laurie's busy-body secretary Norma Watson (Janet Leigh), and the school's security guard Ronny (LL Cool J), an aspiring writer of semi-erotic novels. [In her first lines of dialogue, Norma spoke about the clogged drains in the girls' shower room, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her role in Psycho (1960)!] John convinced Ronny to let him leave the locked and gated grounds during lunchtime, with Charlie, to go to town to get a gift for his girlfriend. At the same time, Miss Tate was having a 1 pm lunch date with Will in a downtown restaurant. She opened up, describing her fears of losing her son ("I think he's finally tired of my bulls--t"), while Will expressed his loving support ("I love you just the way you are") and believed that she could recover from her problems and her mysterious "back story." She claimed that she had tried everything to heal: "Twelve steps, uh, self-help, group therapy, shrinks, meditation - everything."

When he left for the men's room, she revealed that she was a functioning alcoholic when she gulped down her first glass of Chardonnay while hurriedly ordering a second one from a startled waiter. The two boys were caught wandering in downtown (after Charlie had shop-lifted a bottle of wine for their party) by John's enraged mother, and reprimanded. John assertively shouted back at his mother that she must responsibly move on from her haunted past: "Michael Myers is dead...It's over...We should try to get on with some attempt at a happy existence...I can't take it anymore." He reminded his mother of the 20 years that had passed: "You told me yourself you watched him burn...20 years. Don't you think he would have shown up by now? What's he waitin' for, huh?" The stolen vehicle followed them back to the gated campus entrance, where Ronny was scolded for letting the boys leave the grounds.

Before the school buses departed at 4:15 pm, Miss Tate taught an English literature class on Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Molly noticed the masked figure lurking and staring at her from outside the classroom behind a locked door-entrance, before prophetically responding to a question about the book and fate: "I think that Victor should have confronted the monster sooner. He's completely responsible for Elizabeth's death. He was so paralyzed by fear that he never did anything. It took death for the guy to get a clue." She also explained why Victor finally confronted the monster when he "had reached a point in his life where he had nothing left to lose. I mean, the monster saw to that by killing off everybody that he loved. It was about redemption. It was his fate." Miss Tate was awakened from deep thought about the response when the bell rang. At the end of class, John's mother surprised him by permitting him to attend the camping trip, although he had already decided to remain behind with his friends for their planned Halloween party. As she watched the buses leave, she spoke to Secretary Norma - who startled her: "It's Halloween. I guess everyone's entitled to one good scare." Acting maternally, Norma advised Miss Tate, making reference to the troubles that they have shared: "I don't like to see you like this. I've seen you like this before, and, we've all had bad things happen to us. The trick is to concentrate on today!" [She drove off in the car from Psycho (1960) - the 1958 Ford that she drove into the Bates Motel, with its license plate NFB 418, signifying Norman F. Bates, where she also became a terror victim.]

Later that evening, Ronny was distracted at the gate by the arrival of Myers' stolen vehicle parked at the gate, and as he turned off the car's engine, the killer slipped onto the grounds behind him. The phone lines were cut, and he suspected something was amiss. On his rounds throughout the school, Will checked on Molly and Sarah (watching Scream 2 (1997) on TV as Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was told on the phone: "Do you want to die tonight, Cici?"), and then joined Miss Tate for company in her home, to carve a jack-o-lantern together. The four teenagers snuck away and gathered left-over food from the school's kitchen for their candle-lit dinner party. Charlie left to find a corkscrew to open the stolen wine bottle.

In a moment of complete self-revelation, Miss Tate told Will the "truth" about her past history, as they kissed each other (although at first he thought she was joking): "I'm not who you think I am...My name's not Keri Tate...Laurie Strode...I changed my name when I went into hiding...My brother killed my sister when she was 17...With a really big, sharp kitchen knife...They locked him up for a long time, but he got out and he came after me, but I got away. But he killed a lot of my friends. It happened - on Halloween (in unison). You've heard the story." Finally, he recognized her ghastly, infamous tale of Michael Myers from 20 years earlier. She explained more about how Laurie Strode "faked her death and now she's the headmistress of a very posh, secluded private school in northern California...hoping and praying every year that her brother won't find her." After sitting for 15 years in the sanitarium, one rainy night, Myers murderously decided "to go trick-or-treating" when she was seventeen years old in 1978 (Michael's sister Judith was also 17 when she was murdered in 1963!). Suddenly, Laurie feared for the life of her own 17 year-old son John, and tried to call Yosemite to talk to him, but her phone was dead. Then she discovered her son's camping gear in the closet, realizing he hadn't taken the trip. She grabbed a hand-gun from under her pillow in her bedroom, telling Will she was going to find John. At her door, Ronny told her that there was a "strange car" parked at the gate, but there were no signs of trespassing.

Sarah found Charlie searching for a corkscrew in the kitchen, without any luck. He took the dumb-waiter to the next floor up, where Michael Myers confronted him and slit his throat with a newly-found corkscrew (# 4 death, off-screen) - after some suspense when the corkscrew dropped into the garbage disposal. When Sarah followed after him, she found his bloodied corpse in the dumb-waiter. Myers chased after her and slashed her in the right thigh as she fled into the dumb-waiter up to another floor. As she was climbing out, Myers cut the conveyor's rope, causing her leg to be crushed by the dropped dumb-waiter door. He then approached, held her neck to the floor with his foot, and stabbed her multiple times in the back with the butcher knife (# 5 death). When John and Molly went looking for their friends, they found a blood trail on the floor ("This is a sick joke") and Sarah's body hanging from a light fixture in the pantry. They fled for their lives after a glimpse of the killer. Myers stabbed John in the leg - although Molly fended him off as they both ran to a locked gate outside his mother's residence. The two were cornered, trapped and threatened by Myers' slashing knife between the locked gate and the doorway, until Laurie and Will opened the door behind them. Laurie came face-to-face, momentarily, with her own evil nemesis, through the door's round window. As she grabbed for her hand-gun, Myers disappeared.

The two teenagers were barricaded and locked in one of the rooms, as Will and Laurie searched for Myers in her hallways. Will fired five shots at a shadowy figure, accidentally shooting Ronny in the head [he was not seriously injured - the bullet just grazed his head]. As they panicked, Myers appeared and stabbed Will to death in the back (# 6 death) - holding him up by the knife-point as his body trembled. Laurie was pursued, and defended herself by bashing Myers in the head with a fire-extinguisher, before running outside with the two teens to her vehicle. At the school's front gate, she left them to "drive down the street to the Becker's," a mile down the road, where they were to call the police and an ambulance, while she returned (after breaking the gate mechanism with a rock) to the school to battle Myers herself. She grabbed an emergency fire axe, and challenged Michael by calling out his name several times as she stalked him! Laurie wounded him with the axe, while her arms were slashed. With his butcher knife, he stalked her under table-clothed tables in the school's dining room, until she impaled him with a wooden California flag pole. He pursued her into the kitchen, where she heaved knives at him, and then stabbed him repeatedly in the chest, sending the unstoppable killer off a balcony into a dining room table below. He appeared to be dead after the fall (as in the first film Halloween (1978)) - but to make sure, she decided to stab him more times, although Ronny prevented her.

The police arrived at the school, where Ronny's and Laurie's wounds were bandaged, as the stretcher carrying Myers in a body bag was loaded into a coroner's vehicle. Wielding a gun, Laurie drove off at high speed in the coroner's vehicle, and steered down the winding mountain road, as Myers reanimated and resurrected himself inside the body bag behind her. When he emerged, she slammed on the brakes, propelling him through the windshield and onto the ground. Then, she crashed the van into his body, and steered the van off a cliffside. In the accident, the van tumbled over and over, and Myers found himself helplessly pinned between the vehicle and a tree. Although thrown from the vehicle, Laurie recovered and saw Michael entreating her with an outstretched hand. Seeming to pity him, she touched her fingertips to his, but then decapitated him with one swing of the large fire axe (# 7 death), as the familiar Halloween music played and sirens approached.

[Note: In the next installment of the series, it was discovered that she had beheaded the wrong person - she had decapitated an innocent Summer Glen paramedic (with a crushed larynx, rendering him conveniently mute) with whom Michael had switched clothing.]

8/10

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Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

d. Rick Rosenthal


The eighth film opened with the voice-over of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) speaking about a 'death tunnel'. As the camera tracked along a sanitarium hallway, she talked about a door at the end of the corridor, to either "heaven or hell." The camera continued into the round window in the doorway, where a Raggedy Ann doll sat on her room's pillow and she sat nearby, staring off and looking heavily sedated. In 2001, she was a patient, in lockdown, at the Grace Andersen Sanitarium, a psychiatric care facility in California, where she had a reputation as the sister of notorious serial killer Michael Myers.

A nurse on duty described, as the film flashbacked to the concluding events of the previous film - three years earlier on Halloween in 1998, when she had shockingly decapitated a man. It was "twenty years after the first murders" when Michael finally found his sister at the school where she worked, and attempted to murder her. During the confusion, an innocent Summer Glen paramedic had discovered the 'dead' body of Myers in the school's dining hall. The man was attacked, and his larynx was grabbed and crushed (rendering him conveniently mute with inoperable vocal chords) - and Michael switched clothing with him. When the 'Michael Myers' mask was removed from the decapitated head, it was discovered that Laurie had beheaded the "wrong person" - instead of Myers, she had beheaded the paramedic, a father of three. (This death was counted in the previous film.) [Myers was unseen in the three years between the previous film Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) set on Halloween night in 1998, and the present year of 2001.]

Appearing in a vegetative state, Laurie was suffering from "extreme dissociative disorder" and had been mute for years. Doctors considered the guilt-ridden patient a suicide threat (she was often discovered on the hospital's roof poised to kill herself). After two nurses gave the haunted-looking Laurie her medications and left her locked room, Laurie (faking illness) removed the pills from her mouth and stuffed them (along with many others) into the insides of her rag-doll. As she looked out her window, she saw Michael Myers (Brad Loree), with whitish mask and workman's jumpsuit, standing and looking back at her from a grassy area.

A sanitarium security officer named Willie (Dan Joffre), checking on an open outdoor chain-fence gate, was spooked by a clown-masked patient named Harold (Gus Lynch), known for posing as notorious serial killers (this time, he was John Wayne Gacy). Willie brought Harold to his room, but then another guard named Franklin (Brent Chapman) noticed a similar figure on a surveillance monitor roaming in the basement's corridor. The two guards went to check out the situation, and as Willie paused at a snack machine, Michael Myers decapitated Franklin (# 1 death, off-screen) in the laundry room. Willie heard a scream, and then a thumping noise when he investigated - and then discovered Franklin's bloody head wrapped in sheets and revolving in an institutional laundry machine. Behind Willie, Michael lowered himself from the ceiling, and as Willie stepped backwards, he tripped over Franklin's beheaded body (in a pool of blood) on the floor, and then had his throat slit with a butcher knife (# 2 death).

Michael passed by patient Harold's room (where he was studying up on Ted Bundy in a Detective magazine), and approached Laurie's room with his bloody knife. He burst through her door and saw the shape of someone in bed, but she had planned her revenge. Laurie struck him from behind with a floor lamp, raced down the hallway, and ascended stairs to the rooftop. There, after he methodically followed her, her robe was left at the edge of the building - had she committed suicide? From behind, she confronted him: "Hello, Michael," grabbed his left leg in a rope-snare trap, and flipped him upside down on a crane device. As he dangled there in mid-air over the side, he dropped his knife, as she told him: "I knew you'd come for me sooner or later. What took ya so long? (She grabbed his knife) You failed, Michael. You want to know why? Because I'm not afraid of you. But what about you? Are you afraid of me? Are you afraid to die, Michael?" After partially cutting the rope to drop him to his death, she decided to make sure it was actually him ("I just have to be sure") - and as she reached over to rip off his mask, he grabbed her arm. When the frayed rope broke and dropped him, he pulled her over the side of the building with him, while stabbing her in the back. He hung by one arm from the edge as she grasped onto his clothing. Intimately close to him, she kissed his mask mouth-lips and growled her final words: "I'll see you in Hell" after which she fell backwards to her death (in slow-motion) (# 3 death) through the trees and onto the ground far below.

During his exit from the institution, Michael gave Harold his butcher knife - as a memento of his status as a famous serial killer. In voice-over, Harold recounted Michael's history - [a flawed account]: "Michael Myers. Born October 19, 1957. Killed his older sister October 31st, 1963. Killed three high school students, October 31st, 1978. [Halloween (1978)] Also killed three nurses and a paramedic, same night. [Halloween II (1981) - actually, Michael killed 9 people that same night: a neighbor, a security guard, a paramedic, a doctor, four nurses, and a Marshal] Was believed to be dead, then killed four students, Hillcrest Academy, 1998. [Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later (1998) - actually, Michael killed only two students at the Academy, plus a guidance counselor] Has been missing, unheard of, last three years. (Laughs) Now he's back."

The next scene was set at Haddonfield (Illinois) University, where Dr. Mixter (director Rick Rosenthal) was lecturing in a classroom about famous psychologist Carl Jung, who said that in everyone, there "lurks a dark malevolent figure - a kind of boogeyman if you will." One attentive, smart female student, Sara Moyer (Bianca Kajlich) was shown twirling her hair, and answered his question about "the shadow." Narcissistic bleach-blond Jen (Katee Sackhoff) told her friend Sara and university cafeteria worker Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas), that all three of them had been selected as "chosen few" cast members of the Dangertainment team, to "explore the deep dark recesses of the human psyche." Sarah was reluctant, although aspiring network TV broadcaster Jen was excited about the publicity and the paid scholarship. Weird fellow classmate Aron (Haig Sutherland) warned them not to participate: "That's the house where it all started. He walked its hallways, hid in its closets, dreamed in its bedrooms, helped his mother in the kitchen, watched TV in the living room with his Dad, played in his sister's bedroom. Then one day, he picked up a knife and he never put it down again."

On Halloween eve October 30th, the six selected students attended a meeting at the 2400 Court Motel, where they met fast-talking, trashy reality-show media promoter (and kung-fu aficionado) Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and his girlfriend/business partner Nora Winston (Tyra Banks), representing the Dangertainment.com website. The twenty-somethings were to "explore America's worst nightmare" on Halloween night, and "to enter the birthplace of evil in its purest form - the childhood home of our most brutal mass murderer, Michael Myers." During a live Internet broadcast, students were to spend a MTV-like Real World night in Myers' childhood home.

Other participants, introduced on-camera, included Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas) - who was intrigued by the Myers' legend, red-headed, intense "critical studies" major Donna (Daisy McCrackin) - who wanted to see how Myers embodied the "politics of violence", and horny goth music major Jim Morgan (Luke Kirby) - who asserted that Myers was "the great white shark of our unconscious" and the "dark-eyed child of our spirits." He added that everyone shared Myers' murderous impulses: "Get to know him, baby. he's you." Aspiring chef Rudy speculated that Myers was a serial killer because of poor nutrition: "Never underestimate the effect of a poor diet. Too much protein, not enough zinc. Next thing you know, you're cutting up bodies in the bathtub. I mean, look at Hitler. He was a vegetarian. The brother was seriously malnourished." Sara was asked why ordinary people would turn to murder and evil deeds, and replied that upbringing was a key factor. She was so scared and "freaked out" by the show that she wished to drop out because she felt unlike the other wannabees, but Harris encouraged her to remain: "You are the real deal." He stressed how her feelings were legitimate: "Being scared is good. Fear is good. Fear motivates. Fear gives you the feeling of being alive."

On Halloween day, in preparation for the live Internet show, the students were given a clip-on mini-camera to wear above one ear, through which Web viewers would be given inter-active clickable images (via split-screen), with choice about which student (or camera) to follow. Freddie suggested that they act "very interesting" so that it would be "worth the while of the viewers." Donna commented: "Cameras are so phallic." Jim replied: "Is that good or bad?" and she responded: "It depends who's watching." During the day at the boarded-up Myers house in a state of disrepair, Spielberg-aspiring, Long Beach State graduate and cameraman Charley Albans (Brad Sihvon) was positioning DV cameras everywhere. Suddenly, the serial killer grabbed the tripod leg of his camera and spiked Charley through the neck (# 4 death) [a death reminiscent of Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960)].

The students were to search for clues in the house, "discovering the secrets of Michael Myers" - to find "answers" about why Michael "went" bad, and to mainly look around. Just before the event officially began, Freddie promoted the realism of the show, captured by a state-of-the-art surveillance system: "Absolutely everything you see is real. There's no actors. None of the components or contents in the house have been messed with, mixed up, diluted, or tampered with in any shape, form or fashion whatsoever." He also stressed to the group about the locked doorways: "No one will be allowed to leave until the show is over." The Internet-aired show was enhanced with split-images, often jerky, fuzzy and blurry pictures of their POV movements. During their early explorations, over-sexed Jim crudely asked: "You know, Donna, you got great legs. What time do they open?" She flipped him the finger, and he quipped: "That'd be 1:00 o'clock?" Rudy found giant-sized butcher knives in a kitchen drawer, and Sara discovered baby Mikey's white high chair with leather restraints in a small closet. (It was one of several phony props placed for added effect, contrary to Freddie's assertions.)

The broadcast was enjoyed by costumed college students at a Halloween party, attended by Sara's under-aged cyber-geek friend Myles Barton (Ryan Merriman) (screen-name Deckard), and his blonde friend Scott (Billy Kay), who were dressed as the Samuel L. Jackson/John Travolta characters from Pulp Fiction (1994). Deckard had promised Sara that he would support her during her ordeal ("exploring the house of a mass murderer, live") via a hand-held technology PDA gadget (wireless Palm Pilot) and e-mail. During the party, he began watching the live event on a wide-screen TV screen hooked up to a computer.

As darkness fell, the group lit candles in the dining room, and searched in the house with flashlights. Jen and Bill came across older sister Judith's room (where Michael at age 6 had killed her in Halloween (1978)). Jen used a hairbrush (another prop?) at a cob-web covered dressing table, while Bill added his own commentary: "Poor little Judith, helpless, brushing her hair, young and naked." He gleefully proposed that she flash his camera with her nude breasts: "One flash, and you could light up a thousand computer screens. Launch your whole career." Intrigued, she rolled up her shirt above her black lacy bra, but then chickened out. (Myers spied on the two of them from closeby.) Donna explored in the shadowy basement with Jim, as she theorized that Myers' killing spree was based upon "impulse control disorder" and an uncontrollable rage: "Kind of like a klepto or a nympho or a pyro."

Screams were heard from upstairs and Jen temporarily disappeared, but it was a false-alarm prank. As Bill looked at his mirror reflection, Myers smashed through the opposite side of the mirror and stabbed him with a butcher knife in the head (# 5 death), and his camera POV became all-static. In the upstairs master bedroom where Jen noted that Michael was conceived, Sara rummaged around in the closet and was spooked by a white Michael Myers mask-head on a mannequin. Rudy found a marked-up coloring book, another suspicious object, and he suspected that it was another prop: "It's too easy. Why is all this stuff still here?" Meanwhile, Jim (with Donna) opened up a large, round trap door on the basement floor with a massive key, revealing a ladder down to a crumbling, underground room. Jim asked: "You think they kept him down here?", while Donna asked about a weird chain harness attached to the wall, speculating that the room was a "sadistic playpen." Because there were no surveillance cameras there, she assertively suggested removing their mini-cameras and making out. They were quickly all over each other, groping and kissing, and Donna was soon topless - seen in a fuzzy image from one of the cameras tossed to the floor. But then as they fell down onto the dusty floor, the ancient wall crumbled above them, unleashing skeletons onto them. Donna became hysterical: "All his victims. It's a mass grave," although it was soon revealed that this was only another fake prop - Jim read a label on a detached arm: "Made in ('f--king') Taiwan."

To complicate matters, two Michael Myers appeared in the dining room - Freddie (masquerading as the killer) was stalked by the REAL Myers, and turned to scold him, thinking it was Charley: "I ain't payin' you to be Michael Myers! I'm playin' Michael Myers! If them kids come around and see us dressed up in the same s--t, you're gonna ruin the whole effect, God damn it! What the hell is wrong with you?...Take your ass in the back of the garage with Nora! That's your job! Go back there with Nora and help her ass out!...Go on, skoot! Skedaddle! Get the f--k out of Dodge!" Finally, Myers responded and walked away.

As Donna investigated the collapsed basement wall further without Jim, she found a passageway to a brick-walled, rat-infested area with a bed, where Myers was actually living and sleeping, and living off rats as food, although she remarked: "Nice prop." Resting on the bed was Laurie Strode's Raggedy-Ann doll, with two nails impaled into its eyes. The college students at the party relished the abrupt appearance of Myers as he stalked Donna, believing it was all theatrics. But she was realistically screaming: "Somebody help...This isn't funny anymore." She was grabbed, thrust backward into a bent metal spike on a broken gate - and the impaling spike emerged from her chest (# 6 death). Spectator Scott at the party responded: "That was so fake," but Deckard believed otherwise. In another area of the upstairs, Jen was bong-smoking with Rudy, while Sara got a view of the killer in the living room ("Michael's here" she screamed), but Rudy didn't believe her. When 'Myers' did emerge, Jim clobbered him on the head, causing Freddie (in a Myers' costume) to be upset: "Relax, man. I'm only tryin' to give America a good show." Jim glared at the producer for setting them up: "So you set us all up at our f--king expense, huh?" Freddie responded that faked reality shows were what viewers actually wanted: "America don't like reality, first of all. Second of all, they think the s--t is boring...They want a little razzle-dazzle, a little pizazz, a little thrill in their life." He begged them not to mess up the remainder of the show, fearing a reduction of his (and their) financial rewards for participating.

When Rudy and Sara decided to leave the show, Jen opened the attic trap door - and as it opened, a body dropped down, head first. It was the bloodied body of Bill hanging upside down, and her screams at the grisly sight brought them back. Jim quipped: "She must be going for the first Internet Emmy." They thought she was crying 'wolf' - but after Myers appeared behind her and cleanly beheaded her with a brutal swing of his butcher knife (# 7 death), and her head toppled down the stairs to their feet, they feared otherwise. Her mini-cam landed a few inches away from her head, pointed back at her own open but dead eyes. The party spectators were entertained by the broadcast, however: "How'd they do that?" and someone answered: "It's all digital effects." Deckard, however, immediately dialed 911 to report an emergency ("It's not a hoax"). Myers grabbed Jim's head between his bare hands and crushed the bones in his skull until his neck snapped (# 8 death). As Sara fled upstairs, Rudy valiantly fought off Myers in the kitchen, striking him with a wooden rolling pin, throwing fennel into his eyes, and grabbing a knife in each hand to slash at him. But the super-strong Myers pinned and suspended Rudy's body on the kitchen door with three butcher knives (# 9 death). The party audience cheered, but soon realized that the deaths weren't faked.

Sara began communicating with Deckard through one of the net-cams mounted in the corner of a room, pleading for help. She also began using her PDA, to receive survival advice from him, updates on Michael's location in the house, and safe directions for flight, as he followed her progress on the live broadcast. She climbed through a second-floor window out onto the roof, but when it was too high to jump, she re-entered the house through the attic window - where she was shocked to see cameraman Charley's corpse. When Myers was seen in his old bedroom, Sara received the message: "GO NOW!" and she carefully crawled over Bill hanging on the trap-door ladder to escape from the attic. From the darkness, Freddie grabbed her, covered her mouth, and whispered in anguish: "My God. Everybody's dead," and suggested they leave the house immediately. Their way to the stairs was blocked when Myers stepped into view and began wrestling against both Freddie (using kung-fu kicks) and Sara (attempting to choke Myers with an electronic cable). When Freddie kicked Myers through a second-story window, the killer was suspended in mid-air and dangled there by the cord wrapped tightly around his neck. He twitched and then stopped moving.

As they moved to the front door, Freddie apologized to Sara for putting her life in danger, not knowing that Myers had been living under the house for many years. Sara's next message from Deckard read: "He's still alive." He had cut the cable choking him, and was still "in the house." Myers stabbed Freddie twice in the shoulder, as Sara fled through the kitchen (where she noticed Rudy's corpse), into the basement, and then into Myers' hideout (where she glimpsed Donna's corpse). She climbed up another ladder into the garage/tool shed (the location of the show's control room console, with monitors and a mixing panel), closed off the passageway with an overturned, gas-leaking lawn mower, and then slipped on a large puddle of blood on the floor. Looking up, she noticed that Nora was hanging from the ceiling in a cable noose and impaled with a butcher knife (# 10 death, off-screen), dangling over her own pool of blood. Sara then burst out of her hiding place and attacked the ever-resilient, pursuing Myers with a chain-saw. She accidentally severed the electronic cables, and sparked an explosion and electrical fire, further fueled by old paint cans. Freddie saved Sara from Myers' threatening butcher knife, prefaced by a greeting: "Trick or treat, motherf--ker," and thrust a high-power generator plug at Myers' crotch. The power surge electrocuted him - further intensified by the pool of blood he was standing in. As the voltage coursed through his stiffened body, sizzling and crackling sounds were heard. Michael's body slumped, but was still held up by cables - his arms spread in a crucifix pose, as flames roared around him.

Approaching sirens were heard from police and fire engine vehicles. Near the burned-down, charred shed, the survivors' injuries were treated by medical personnel. Sara received another message: "You're Alive!" On a news broadcast, Sara thanked Deckard for saving her life. Freddie asserted that he didn't want any more cameras: "Dangertainment is off the air." He lectured the news crew that was clamoring around Sara for an interview: "Michael Myers is not a sound bite, a spin-off, a tie-in, some kind of celebrity scandal. Michael Myers is a killer shark in baggy-ass overalls that gets his kicks off of killing everything and everyone that he comes across. That's all. We're done dancing for these cameras." After Myers' body was placed in a body bag, Sara insisted on seeing the corpse's face. As they both glanced down, Freddie commented: "You're looking a little crispy over there, Mikey. Like some chicken-fried motherf--ker. Well, may he never, ever rest in peace."

At the morgue, a nervous coroner (Ananda Thorson) approached "celebrity" Michael Myers' body bag to examine his burned face. She unzipped the bag, noting the melted mask on his burned face. As she started to remove the mask, his eyes suddenly popped open, as the screen cut to black and the film ended. [Michael is alive, which leaves the original franchise open for more sequels]

5/10



Halloween (2007)

d. Rob Zombie

(based upon unrated Director's Cut, although some notes included about the shorter theatrical version)

This was the ninth film in the series - a nasty remake (or updated re-imagining) of the original 1978 film - with the first half or two-thirds a prequel, and the final half or third a fairly faithful remake and reshooting of the original.

The film opened with a preface title card: "The darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to break free from the abyss and move silently among us." -- Dr. Samuel Loomis.

HADDONFIELD, ILLINOIS, OCTOBER 31. The film began with the back-story of the Michael Myers family - a foul-mouthed, white-trash group in Haddonfield, Illinois, including rough, mean, lazy, lecherous and drunken stepfather Ronnie White (William Forsythe) who was unemployed and claimed disability due to a cast on his leg, his beleaguered mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) who was an aging stripper at the Rabbit in Red Lounge in town, his slutty and nymphomaniacal sister Judith Myers (Hanna R. Hall), his infant sister Boo/Laurie, and the disturbed and deranged boy himself. The 10 year-old tormented Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) mostly kept to himself in his upstairs room to avoid the constant fighting, where he wore a clown mask, and played with (and killed) his pet rat Elvis with a penknife. Ronnie accused the boy of being a "queer" ("He's gonna grow up, end up cutting his dick and balls off and changing his name to Michelle"). At school, Michael was mercilessly teased about his family by the local school bully Wesley Rhoades (Daryl Sabara), criticized for having a trashy sister who allegedly was caught selling blowjobs in the bathroom, and mocked for the occupation of his stripper mother ("Think she'd suck my dick for a quarter and let me suck her tits?").

Michael was repeatedly disciplined at school, and his mother was called in to meet with Principal Chambers (Richard Lynch) over his behavioral difficulties. He was also to be treated by bearded, grizzled child psychologist Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). Loomis recommended that the child have a psychiatric evaluation. It appeared that Michael retaliated by killing animals (evidence of abuse included a dead cat found in a plastic bag in his backpack, and there were Polaroids he had taken of other mutilated animal carcasses): "the thrill of hurting or causing pain to smaller creatures, it's often an early warning sign...for much deeper and bigger problems. He's a very disturbed young man." Loomis proposed a series of tests and evaluations, as Michael snuck away from the office, and then wearing his clown mask and using a large tree limb, bludgeoned a pleading Wesley to death (# 1 death) as he walked home through a wooded area.

Halloween evening, as the Myers family was watching TV (The Thing (From Another World) (1951)), Ronnie called Michael "psycho boy" and "cat killer" - a "real bad-ass motherf--ker killer." Michael's selfish older sister Judith wouldn't take him trick-or-treating, and he sat outside his house watching other kids having fun - the soundtrack played the tune "Love Hurts" (sung by Nazareth) as his mother stripped in the local bar/lounge for clients. Judith chose instead to have sex with her long-haired boyfriend Steven Haley (Adam Weisman) in her bedroom - who insisted that he wear a 'Michael Myers'-like mask during intercourse. Michael sought savage revenge with a series of horrific and vicious murders - he first butchered his sleeping stepfather (watching White Zombie (1932)) - slitting his throat with a large kitchen knife after duct-taping him to his chair (# 2 death) and gagging him; he then brutally and repeatedly clobbered Steve in the head with an aluminum baseball bat as he sat in the kitchen (# 3 death) preparing a sandwich after having sex; in his sister's upstairs bedroom, Michael donned Steve's grayish, featureless 'Myers' mask before creepily stroking his sister's leg and then stabbing her in the stomach with the same butcher knife - and continuing to stab and slash at her over a dozen times as she bloodily stumbled and crawled down the hallway (# 4 death). He killed everyone except his mother (who was at work) and his infant sister, whom he afterwards kissed and greeted: "Happy Halloween, Boo." When Deborah returned from work, she found Michael sitting on the home's front steps, cradling Boo.

The bodies were discovered in the home and wheeled away, as a reporter described the brutal and horrific murders ("more horrific than anything Hollywood could imagine") - "Manson-like in its viciousness", with a 10 year-old boy held in custody. [In the original Halloween (1978) film, Michael was only 6 years old when he killed his sister Judith - and she was the only murder victim.]

SMITH'S GROVE - ELEVEN MONTHS LATER. A reporter described how Michael Myers was transferred to Smith's Grove Sanitarium after being found guilty of first-degree murder during an eleven-month trial ("one of the lengthiest and most expensive trials in the state's history"). Dr. Loomis was appointed by the judge to "oversee" Michael's care while incarcerated at Smith's Grove. Loomis audio-taped sessions with the young Michael, asking him to recall the night of the killing, but he recalled nothing: "I didn't do that." Loomis concluded there was nothing "visually abnormal with this angelic young boy, but one must remember not to be fooled by his calm, unassuming facade." Loomis reported that Michael became obsessed with "the construction of these primitive masks" made of papier-mache and only during weekly visits from his mother did he show any hint of his boyhood. Michael claimed he liked to make and wear masks: "it hides my face...it hides my ugliness." Over time, Michael's "normal moments" became increasingly fewer and fewer - Loomis believed the masks created "a mental sanctuary" in which Michael hid within himself and from himself. During one session, Michael screamed to be let out of the sanitarium so he could return home, and he continued "a downward slide into this hellish abyss." He was "on the verge of completely shutting down" and becoming unresponsive to Loomis. During treatment over time, Loomis further reported that his psychopathic patient was becoming a "ghost - a mere shape of a human being. There's nothing left here now" - he had been mute for almost two weeks.

In the sanitarium's dining room, Nurse Wynn (Sybil Danning) insultingly commented on a picture of Michael with his sister Boo: "Cute baby. Couldn't be related to you," and found herself stabbed in the throat with a fork (# 5 death). In despair over her violence-prone son that night, while watching home movies of her family, Deborah suicidally shot herself with a handgun (# 6 death, off-screen).

FIFTEEN YEARS LATER. Two sanitarium staff members, about-to-retire ex-con Ismael Cruz (Danny Trejo) and smart-mouthed Jack Kendall moved the hulking, 6' 8" tall, long-haired patient Michael (Tyler Mane) from his cell, now with hand-made masks covering the walls, to speak to his psychiatrist. After fifteen years of mute silence, an exasperated Dr. Loomis told Michael that he had become his "best friend," but after having done everything he could, he was giving up the case ("I have to move on. I'm sorry"). He began to give tours and lectures on his book: "The Devil's Eyes - The Story of Michael Myers" - "These eyes will deceive you. They will destroy you. They will take from you your innocence, your pride, and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I see. Behind these eyes one finds only blackness, the absence of light. These are the eyes of a psychopath. Michael was created by a perfect alignment of interior and exterior factors gone violently wrong - a perfect storm, if you will. Thus creating a psychopath that knows no boundaries and has no boundaries."

(October 30) Two graveyard shift sanitarium workers Noel Kluggs (Lew Temple) and cousin Jack Kendall forcibly dragged a new catatonic female patient into Mikey's cell, where they both (first Noel, and then Jack) proceeded to mercilessly abuse and rape her on his bed in the killer's presence. Taunting him, they wore Mikey's masks and accused him of being a "faggot," until he angrily arose from his chair, bashed Noel's head against the cell wall (# 7 death) and then bashed Kendall's head against the corridor wall (# 8 death).


(Theatrical Version vs. Unrated Version: Noel and his cousin, who both raped a female patient in Michael's cell, indirectly facilitated Michael's escape in the unrated version, while four uniformed guards were killed in the theatrical version while Michael was being officially transferred.

Additional four death scenes in the theatrical version only:

In chains, Michael was being led along a hallway by three uniformed guards for transfer to a maximum security prison. After a channel-gate was opened, and a second gate was being opened by Larry, Michael broke free from his chains and killed two of the guards, who were in the channel-gate. When fourth guard Patty ran into the channel-gate with a pump-gun and shot at him, he grabbed the third guard as a shield. Then, Myers attacked the woman, ripped out her throat and dragged her along the hallway.

Guard Zach Garrett (Bill Moseley): bludgeoned with chains by Michael Myers
Guard Larry Redgrave (Tom Towles): head bashed against a wall multiple times by Michael Myers
African-American Guard Stan Payne (Steve Boyles): accidentally shot in the stomach with a shotgun by Patty Frost
Guard Patty Frost (Leslie Easterbrook): throat ripped out by Michael Myers)

When Ismael Cruz arrived for work that evening, he found that Myers had gone on a brutal murder spree: Nurse Gloria was lethally injured in the office with her throat ripped out (# 9 death, off-screen, presumably died later), and he found two other guards bloodied on the floor of the corridor (# 10 - 11 deaths, off-screen). [Were these two of the guards that were killed in the theatrical version? Probably not.] Showing no compassion for his befriending Ismael, who cried out: "I was good to you, Mikey!", the janitor/guard was semi-drowned in a sink (seen from a POV in the reddening bloodied water), and then killed when a television was dropped on his head (# 12 death). Loomis received a distressed phone call from Dr. Koplenson (Clint Howard) at the sanitarium: "Michael's out...It's a f--kin' massacre." (After being a "comatose kitty for 15 years," he emerged as a psychopathic, homicidal killer.)

In a restroom at a truck stop car wash, an impatient Michael kept knocking on the toilet stall door of trucker Big Joe Grizzly (Ken Foree) as he sat on the toilet to pleasure himself while looking at explicit nude pictures in a Swank men's magazine. Grizzly realized: "What we got here is a failure to communicate" (quoted from Cool Hand Luke (1967)), and pulled out his knife ("I've got something for ya") and threatened to cut off Michael's mask, but after a struggle was himself stabbed twice in the stomach (# 13 death). The brutal killer switched clothes with Grizzly, and proceeded to Haddonfield.

HADDONFIELD, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 31. The Strode house included adoptive parents: real estate agent Mr. Mason Strode (Pat Skipper) and his wife Cynthia Strode (Dee Wallace), and their 17 year-old high-school senior Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), a frequent baby-sitter for neighbor boy Tommy Doyle (Skyler Gisondo). [Laurie was the orphaned sister of Michael Myers.] 26 year-old mute homicidal maniac Myers had returned to his boyhood home in 1978, to further terrorize its inhabitants. In the dilapidated, overgrown, and run-down house, he broke through rotten floorboards to retrieve his butcher knife and the 'Myers' mask. As Laurie delivered an envelope to the old Myers' house, being sold by her father and Strode Realty, Tommy warned: "That's the devil's house. The boogey man lives in there." Laurie's girlfriends included foul-mouthed, slutty and conceited cheerleader Lynda Van Der Klok (Kristina Klebe) and sheriff's daughter Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris, who played pre-pubescent kid Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 (1988) and Halloween 5 (1989)). Laurie was beginning to be stalked by Myers, who appeared outside on the street - looking up at her inside Haddonfield High School, and then abruptly vanished. Again, he appeared on the street as the trio walked along, as Annie surmised: "Probably just some pervert cruising school poontang." Laurie was followed further as she walked home, revealing the location of her house to Myers.

Michael was pursued in town by Dr. Loomis who had been notified of the escape and feared that the mindless killer was on the loose to come back and kill - targeting Haddonfield, 100 miles from Smith's Grove Sanitarium. In Haddonfield's cemetery, the caretaker Chester Chesterfield (Sid Haig) spoke to Loomis about Myers' mother Deborah, who "blew her f--king head off" when criticized as "Satan's mother." Her half-a-ton headstone had been vandalized from the grave site and replaced with a mutilated dead coyote on a cross of sticks, angering the graveskeeper. Shortly after, at a local gunshop, Loomis bought a .357 Magnum, when it was recommended by the storekeeper Derek Allen (Micky Dolenz, one of the original Monkees) ("If you want to blow its f--kin' head off, this is what you want..What are ya huntin'?"). Later, Sheriff Lee Brackett (Brad Dourif) wasn't entirely convinced by Loomis that the desecration was nothing more than a Halloween prank, and certainly it wasn't proof that Myers had returned (Loomis: "Evil is here. It's walking amongst us...We're dealing with a soulless killing machine driven by pure animal instinct"). Brackett accused Loomis of writing books to earn "blood money" -- "I think you have created quite the masterpiece of a monster off the blood of this town, because monsters sell books." Loomis described Myers as a person with "nothing inside. There was something missing, a void. There was no conscience, no reason, even a rudimentary sense of life or death, right or wrong...He's come back for his baby sister."

TRICK OR TREAT. In the run-down and vacant Myers house (where Michael appeared on the second floor balcony), Lynda was there to party and have sex with her boyfriend Bob Simms (Nick Mennell) in sleeping bags. After intercourse next to a jack-o-lantern, Bob went downstairs and outside to his van to get beer from his cooler. When he returned, Myers repeatedly stabbed him and pinned him against a wall (# 14 death). Listening to Don't Fear the Reaper on her radio, Lynda mistakenly thought that Bob had returned, although it was Michael wearing a white sheet and Bob's black glasses. She tantalizingly asked: "See anything you like" as she revealed her breasts to him. And as she stood before him completely nude and opened a beer can, Myers brutally strangled her from behind and then carried off her body (# 15 death).

After Annie drove Laurie away for her babysitting duties, Michael's next two victims were the Strodes at their own home. He slashed at Mason's throat and face on the front porch (# 16 death), and then snapped Cynthia's neck (# 17 death) inside the house as she held onto a framed picture of her daughter and screamed: "You leave my baby alone." While babysitting Tommy, Laurie was asked: "Is the boogeyman real?" She teased him, responding that the boogeyman liked to eat little boys. (Later, Laurie told boogeyman-obsessed Tommy that it was all "nonsense".) In order to be with her boyfriend, Annie was planning to skip her babysitting duties with Lindsey Wallace (Jenny Gregg Stewart) (by dropping her off with Laurie in the Doyle house for safe-keeping), while she had sex with her boyfriend Paul Freedman (Max Van Ville). Myers was already in the Wallace house, watching TV (The Thing (From Another World) (1951) again) behind Lindsey without her knowledge. When Annie returned to the Wallace house with blonde hunk Paul, Michael came upon the couple while they were having sexual intercourse on the couch ("It's so f--king warm") - Michael interrupted them and attacked them, grabbing Paul by the neck and pulling him off - and then killing him by knifing him in the stomach, and later hanging him from a rope near the stairs (and placing a pumpkin on his head) (# 18 death). Myers then chased and assaulted a half-naked, screaming Annie throughout the house.

As Sheriff Brackett drove Loomis to the Strode house, he admitted what he had done 17 years earlier - the night of the Myers woman's suicide (Deborah), he took the "beautiful innocent baby" (Laurie Myers), drove her to another town, and dropped her off at the nearest emergency room - omitting everything from his official report. Three months later, he found out that Mason Strode had adopted the baby. They were alerted to a 911 call placed by Laurie Strode and proceeded to the Wallace home, about 10 minutes away (see next). After walking Lindsey home, Laurie found blood-splattered Annie bleeding to death at the foot of the stairs, and ordered Lindsey to run and call the police. As Laurie also called 911 from the Wallace home (at 1987 Winchester Drive), her brother Michael reappeared behind the front door and began to pursue her. Limping, she fled from the house and ran to the Doyle house, screaming: "Help, please!" As Michael crashed through the front door, Laurie and the two children hid in the upstairs Doyle bathroom, and were saved when two police officers arrived on the scene. However, as Laurie unlocked the door for Officer Lowery (Paul Kampf), Myers knifed him in the back (# 19 death), and Deputy Charles (Richmond Arquette), who shot at Myers, was knifed in the chest (# 20 death).

When Sheriff Brackett was diverted to the Wallace home, and his siren approached, Michael forcibly grabbed Laurie (who fell unconscious), kidnapped her, and carried her away to the Myers home. When an ambulance arrived to treat Annie, Dr. Loomis learned from the two children that the "boogeyman" had taken Laurie away, presumably to the Myers house. There, Michael had set up a shrine where he placed Lynda's naked body at the foot of the Myers concrete headstone he had stolen from the graveyard. When Laurie asked him: "Who are you? What do you want?", he presented her with a childhood photo (he knew she was his sister, but she didn't recognize the picture or understand). He then removed his mask for her, and although she claimed: "I want to help you," she stabbed him in the chest with his own butcher knife, crying out: "You motherf--ker!" As Laurie was screaming for help and trying to get out of the locked house, Myers revived, removed the knife stuck in his chest, replaced his mask, and grabbed for her. She evaded him, but fell into an empty swimming pool and was trapped at the deep end. The film culminated with a face-off between Dr. Loomis, Michael, and Laurie. Loomis arrived, calling out: "Michael, Stop! Michael, it's me, Samuel" and then fired three shots point-blank from his .357 Magnum at the evil monster. Myers fell into a pile of leaves and appeared dead.

As in the original film, Laurie asked Loomis in a squad car: "Was that the Boogey Man?" and he responded: "As a matter of fact, I do believe it was." Michael revived, suddenly smashed the passenger's side window, and snatched Laurie again. Loomis ran after Michael, claiming: "It's not her fault...It's my fault. I failed you." Myers let go of Laurie, crushed Dr. Loomis' head with his hands until he was unconscious, dragged Loomis' body inside the house, and then went after Laurie again, stalking her with his butcher knife. After a long cat-and-mouse pursuit and struggle during which she hid in disintegrating rotting rafters as he destroyed the ceiling looking for her, they both tumbled off the second-story balcony of the Myers house when he charged at her, and she ended up on top of his immobile body. She spit on his mask, then finally shot him in the face with Loomis' gun at point-blank range (after the gun clicked empty three times) just as he gripped her wrist.

As sirens approached, the image dissolved from her bloody, open-mouthed screaming into her own crying baby mouth - as an upset infant sister in the arms of her 10 year-old brother Michael, in one of the family's home movies.

8/10

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Halloween II (2009)

d. Rob Zombie

(based upon the director's cut)

The tenth film opened with a title card providing the meaning of a WHITE HORSE in one's dreams, excerpted from The Subconscious Psychosis of Dreams: "linked to instinct, purity, and the drive of the physical body to release powerful and emotional forces, like rage with ensuing chaos and destruction."

FLASHBACK -- In a brief flashback, loving mother Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie) visited her incarcerated young son Michael Myers (Chase Wright Vanek) at Smith's Grove Sanitarium in Warren County. She gave him a present of a white horse statuette, that reminded him of his previous night's "really good dream," in which his mother was dressed in white like a beautiful ghost, and walking down a white sanitarium hallway leading a big white horse. In the dream, she told him that he was going to be brought back home. Deborah told Michael that he couldn't come home just yet, but the horse would help to be a reminder of her.

FIFTEEN YEARS LATER --

[Note: At the end of the previous Rob Zombie-directed film, Halloween (2007), Laurie Strode (Scout-Taylor Compton) shot Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) in the face with psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis' (Malcolm McDowell) gun at point-blank range (after the gun clicked empty three times) just as he gripped her wrist.]

Now, a bloodied and shocked Laurie Strode (carrying the gun in her hand) stumbled down a deserted, rain-slick road in Haddonfield, Illinois, where she was picked up by Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif). Although she was mistaken, she said: "I killed him. The man. I climbed in the wall, I fell. I killed him." Screaming and panic-stricken, she was wheeled into the hospital's emergency room as she cried out: "Where am I?...Am I gonna die?" She was surgically treated for gunshot wounds, multiple bruises and lacerations.

Meanwhile, at the Myers house, surviving Dr. Loomis was treated by paramedics for severe head injuries after being attacked by Michael, and placed in an ambulance for transport. Photographers took photos of Michael's lifeless, presumed dead body, and then the heavy corpse was loaded into Coroner Hook's (Dayton Callie) van, requiring six people to lift him. A second body was loaded into a separate ambulance - the naked, almost-dead Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris), and she was taken to the same hospital for surgical treatment. Sheriff Brackett warned Hook: "I'd say that there's nothing obvious about anything that happened here tonight. Not a goddamn thing." As the coroner's van drove away to the morgue, the coroner's assistant Gary Scott (Richard Brake) mentioned being tempted about having necrophiliac sex with the female victim -- "She still looked good to me. Nice little titties hanging out." The van collided with a dairy cow in the roadway - the coroner was killed by the crash's impact (# 1 death) and the assistant was seriously injured. A masked Michael broke free, emerged from the van's back door, and with a broken shard of glass crudely sawed through the neck of the hapless assistant Scott and beheaded him (# 2 death). He walked down the road toward a vision of his mother dressed in a white gown, holding the reins of a white horse.

[DREAM SEQUENCE] - Later that night in the hospital, Laurie woke up, made her way down the hallway, and discovered her friend Annie in intensive care, still unconscious and recuperating with three massive stitch marks across her face. As Laurie struggled to return to her room, she suffered a dizzy spell, and then the attending Nurse Octavia Daniels (Octavia Spencer) appeared - bleeding and dying from a stab wound in her chest. Michael Myers was stalking after her with a large butcher knife. He viciously stabbed the Nurse almost a dozen times (# 3 death, in dream), leaving the knife sticking out of her head, as Laurie escaped down a stairwell. She came upon blood-splattered walls and another of Michael's victims among the medical staff (# 4 death, in dream). Pursued by Michael, Laurie fled to a lower level and emerged in an underground storage warehouse, and tumbled into a container of corpses. She struggled to another exit and climbed another set of stairs to a large vacant outdoor parking area surrounded by chain-link fencing. Scrambling in the pouring rain, she attempted to find shelter in a security-guard gatehouse as Michael followed after her brandishing a large axe. [Throughout the entire extended sequence, the melancholic "Nights in White Satin" performed by The Moody Blues was viewed on TV screens.] The brutal masked killer murdered night watchman Buddy (Richard Riehle) with an axe swing into his back (# 5 death, in dream), when he returned to his post and attempted to rescue Laurie. She watched helplessly as Michael tore through the windows and walls of the gatehouse with the powerful axe -- and suddenly awoke from her nightmare as he swung the axe down to murder her. She was haunted by terrible, recurring dreams of her earlier ordeal as a victim.

OCTOBER 29TH, TWO YEARS LATER - [In the theatrical version, the jump was only one year]

In her bedroom decorated with an Alice Cooper poster, Laurie abruptly awoke with her television on, broadcasting Romero's classic horror film Night of the Living Dead. She tried to convince herself in front of her mirror, with a sign reading 'WAKE THE F__K UP': "Come on. He's dead. He's f--king dead." Laurie was living in the country outside of Haddonfield with the Brackett family: Sheriff Brackett and his daughter Annie, who had fully recovered. She was still an angry and traumatized young lady, undergoing therapy for her post-traumatic syndrome condition, although Annie encouraged her: "One day at a time, babe."

During a therapy session, Laurie's therapist Barbara Collier (Margot Kidder) was unsurprised about her worsening situation: "It's Halloween, and Halloween is a big trigger point for you, isn't it?" Laurie stated emphatically: "I know Michael Myers is dead. I shot him in the f--king head!" However, because the authorities never found Michael's body, the therapist believed that Laurie was experiencing difficulty finding closure and was still recovering: "He's objectively dead, but he's living in your mind and he's living in your heart and your emotions. So that's the reality that we have to heal you from." Laurie described her relationship with Annie as "not good" - calling her scarred face "a constant reminder" of the rampage, which she blamed on herself. Laurie confessed to having uncontrollable rage, but couldn't finish her thought. Hanging on the therapist's wall was a Rorschach ink-blot image, of two white horses (backed up to each other) rearing up. Laurie said she simply saw a white horse when asked to interpret it.

To exploit the sensationalist 'Michael Myers' saga as a bookwriter, pompous and self-important Dr. Samuel Loomis arrived in a stretch limousine at a hotel, for a promotional press event with journalists to engender publicity, and had a confrontative chat with his female agent Miss Nancy McDonald (Mary Birdsong) after arriving late. His lecture began with video of young Michael being told that his mother had committed suicide, although the boy was in "complete denial." Loomis' book The Devil Walks Among Us, was due out in stores on Halloween Day. He spoke about how he became Michael's "surrogate father," after Michael had directed his "first sexual impulses" toward his mother, and his "first murderous hatred" against his father. During a question/answer period, Loomis denied feeling responsible for the deaths of at least 15 victims: "I was very nearly a victim myself. I'm not a psychic Sherlock Holmes playing Superman." Further questions asked if Michael was still alive, or if he would kill again, and Loomis angrily and forcefully answered: "Michael Myers is f--king dead. Now, do you brain-dead gossip mongers want me to spell it out for you? D-E-A-D." (Intercut with his answer was Michael's trek back to Haddonfield. During his return journey, Michael had more visions of Deborah's white ethereal ghost, who spoke to him in a barn (as an adult, and as a younger ghostly version of himself wearing a clown costume): "Halloween is coming. You have to get ready. We are counting on you to bring us home this year." To reunite his dysfunctional family, Michael promised his mother: "I won't let you down.")

At the same time, Laurie drove to her place of work, Uncle Meat's Java Hole bookstore/cafe run by ex-hippie Uncle Meat (Howard Hesseman), where she confirmed she was going to attend the Phantom Jam costume party for Halloween with her Goth/punk-rocker friends Harley David (Angela Trimbur) and blonde co-worker Mya Rockwell (Brea Grant).

During Michael's trek by foot, he was confronted by three white-trash hillbillies (two males and one female - a daughter of the driver) in a pickup truck (decorated on the grill with mounted deer antlers), for being a drifter who was stealing from them. When one of them called the mute giant Michael "7-foot of f--k-tard" and they beat him with a baseball bat ("a professional ass-whupping"), Michael collapsed to the ground. But then he slowly rose up in their headlights, donned his mask and with his butcher knife, brutally retaliated -- he slashed the neck of one man and then repeatedly stabbed him (# 6 death), and also stabbed the other male in the stomach and impaled him on the antlers (# 7 death). He then dragged the female from the truck and delivered multiple stab wounds to her (# 8 death), before murdering their dog Ivan, gutting the pet, and eating the bloody innards. Juxtaposed with the brutal murder scene was a pizza-eating dinner at the Brackett home, where the Sheriff gave a tribute to forgotten classic actor Lee Marvin and then acted out an endorsement of non-vegetarian meat-eating: "We, all of us, have a little bit of caveman in us." As Laurie ate, she became sickened and puked in the toilet.

Michael's hallucinations and visions of his dead mother's spirit continued to haunt him, and triggered violent impulses. He envisioned a strange Halloween-feast with pumpkin-headed participants at a banquet table, with his younger sister Boo (aka Laurie Strode) laid out in front of them. Young Michael (in his clown outfit) asked his mother: "Can we be a family again?" She replied: "Not yet." In her bedroom (under a Charles Manson poster), Laurie again awoke from a nightmare - one that mirrored Michael's.

OCTOBER 30TH -

Crossing a field, Michael entered the outskirts of Haddonfield. Dr. Loomis was using the Myers house as a backdrop for an interview with attractive TV reporter Holly West (Catherine Dyer). His agent Miss McDonald questioned his lack of taste, to which he replied that it was only business: "I'm selling the sizzle, not the steak." She cautioned: "It's just gonna add fuel to the lynch mob fire." He countered: "Besides, bad taste is the petrol that drives the American dream."

[DREAM SEQUENCE] - As Laurie sleepily sat in her bathroom while waiting for shower water to heat, she imagined herself acting out a murder - she saw herself in a clown costume reach for duct tape and a large butcher knife, which she used to tape Annie to an armchair, and then slit her throat (# 9 death, in dream). Her possessed, convulsing body screamed out: "Die, you f--king bitch!" before she finally woke up to reality.

At the park in the Haddonfield town square, a Frankenstein-costumed man (Daniel Roebuck) (named Big Lou, later revealed to be the owner of a local strip club) asked kids: "You guys like Frankenstein?" During her next therapy session, Laurie described the "crazy attack" that she had experienced, and demanded prescription medication for her increased anxiety: "I'm not strong enough, and I'm tired of pretending that I am." Acting insanely, she called her therapist a "crazy bitch" and stormed out. Watching TV that evening, Sheriff Brackett viewed the taped TV interview of Dr. Loomis speaking about Michael Myers - calling him "the mysterious legend of evil." Myers was a real bogeyman to Loomis, who described how "startling facts" came to light following his last encounter with Michael, such as the loss of Michael's body during transport. He ended the interview with the ominous quote: "Freaks will always find their way home." Drinking beer which she called her new "best friend" in her bedroom, Laurie had an intense argument with Annie - although both girls had their lives trashed, Annie felt like Laurie was putting on a new "act" with her increasingly outrageous behavior.

The Rabbit in Red strip club, managed by Big Lou, was made "world famous" as the "home of Deborah Myers, the mother of Michael Myers - 'The Butcher of Haddonfield'." With Misty Dawn (Sylvia Jefferies), one of his dancers seated on his lap, Big Lou ordered strung-out employee Howard Boggs (Jeffrey Daniel Phillips) to take out the trash. Near the dumpster, Howard was confronted by Michael - he challenged the hulking Myers to "hit the bricks, Dorothy" (a reference to The Wizard of Oz (1939)), and then called him a "filthy, dirty hippie." Myers punched Howard to the ground and then repeatedly stomped and flattened his face, crushing his skull (# 10 death). [Inside the club, Howard was strung up by the neck with a string of colored lights.] Michael saw his white-garbed mother standing on the bar, provoking him to further violence and blood-letting: "We're done waiting. Only a river of blood can bring us back together. It's up to you." At midnight as it technically turned to Halloween, Big Lou (in his Frankenstein mask) was preparing for intercourse with his naked stripper Misty: "You're my bride of Frankenstein...I'm gonna give you my jolly green giant." [He parodied the Monster's short phrases from the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein, albeit sexually: "Titties good. Ass good."] Michael appeared in the back room where he assaulted gun-wielding Big Lou - he snapped the proprietor's right arm and then threw him against the wall in the hallway to break his skull (# 11 death). He grabbed Misty as she fled by the hair and smashed her face into a mirror until she dropped dead (# 12 death). The "OPEN" sign on the outside building was turned off, replaced by a "CLOSED" sign.

OCTOBER 31ST -

As Sheriff Brackett read one part of Loomis' recently-released book, he was angered by what he read. On a downtown street, Laurie walked by a storefront advertising Loomis' book, with the subtitle: "The True Story of America's Most Notorious Serial Killer" - He was born to kill. With his mother next to him, a bearded, unmasked Michael stood in front of a roadside billboard advertising the new book, as a long line formed in town to purchase the new publication. She urged Michael to go after Dr. Loomis: "He's still out there. Rich and famous. All because of our pain." While Loomis signed books, one of the customers Kyle Van Der Klok (Robert Curtis Brown) identified himself as the father of Lynda, one of Michael's victims. [She was murdered in the first Halloween (1978) film, portrayed by actress P.J. Soles. Her death was reprised in the Zombie-directed Halloween (2007), portrayed by actress Kristina Klebe.] He accused Loomis of complicity in the death: "Your monster killed her...He butchered her...I'm gonna get you, Loomis" - and he drew an unloaded weapon on the author. Security guards hauled him away. Later, Loomis' agent prophetically told him that she was of the personal opinion that the book crossed quite a few lines: "These are people's lives you're toying with. There's gonna be serious repercussions."

When Laurie read in the book that her real identity was Michael's long-lost sister, named Angel Myers, she was freaked out by knowledge of the connection and drove off in a rage. To protect his own daughter, Sheriff Brackett ordered his Deputy Andy Neale (Greg Travis) to take his shotgun to his own house and sit guard over Annie. Laurie visited her friends Mya and Harley and attempted to describe her confused state of mind: "I'm not me...I'm Angel Myers, Michael Myers' sister," pointing to excerpts and pictures in the Loomis book about her "f--ked up life" to prove her point.

Loomis was interviewed on the TV talk show The Newman Hour by host David Newman (Chris Hardwick), while seated next to another guest Weird Al Yankovic (as Himself). Newman brought up the fact that Loomis had been accused of "profiteering off the misery of others." Loomis took "great issue" with that statement, and afterwards expressed how he felt humiliated by the interviewer's questions. In town, Michael came upon one young trick-or-treater named Mark (Matthew Lintz), who asked: "Are you a giant? Can we be friends?" (a reference to the film The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)). Laurie insisted that her friends join her to "go party" and get drunk - and they attended the Phantom Jam costume party, where the stage band, Captain Clegg (Jesse Dayton) and the Night Creatures (including bare-breasted dancers) sang "Terror Train" (a reference to the film Terror Train (1980), starring Halloween's scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis). Laurie was costumed as a domestic maid, while Harley impersonated a Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) character ("I'm a chick who's dressing up as a dude who wants to be a chick"), and Mya was dressed in a sparkling gold ringmaster's costume. Sexually-aggressive Harley was escorted by a werewolf-looking guy named Wolfie (Matt Bush) (a reference to The Wolfman (1941)) to his "Shaggin' Wagon" van, but before having sex as he urinated against a tree, he was slashed by Michael from behind (# 13 death). The famed serial killer then crashed into the back door window of the van and strangled Harley (# 14 death). Meanwhile in his hotel room, Loomis was disgusted as he watched the earlier taped broadcast of his TV interview, in which he was told that he had a "self-inflated ego and never-ending quest for fame and fortune." Al Yankovic asked jokingly if Loomis' book was talking about actor Mike Myers as the film character Austin Powers. Loomis sighed: "It's over."

Back at the carnivalesque Phantom Jam stage show, Laurie suffered another hallucination of her mother Deborah and her young brother Michael. She asked: "What do you want from me?" Her mother replied: "It's almost time to come home, Angel." Laurie thought she was grabbed from behind by the hulking adult Michael, but she was brought back to reality by Mya, who dragged her away from the party and insisted that they return home. While Deputy Neale stepped off the porch and took a smoke break outside the Brackett home, he was garrotted from behind and his neck was broken by Michael (# 15 death). Inside, Annie prepared to take a shower in her bathroom, where Michael confronted, chased, and repeatedly stabbed her, leaving her for dead. Laurie was driven home by Mya, and on her front porch yelled out: "Hey, world! Guess what. I'm Michael Myers' sister. I'm so fucked!" When they went upstairs, as in the conclusion of the previous film, Laurie found Annie's nearly-dead, bloodied body. As Mya raced to call 911 on a downstairs phone, Michael attacked and killed her by repeatedly stabbing her in the chest (# 16 death). Sheriff Brackett was informed of the 911 call coming from his home, as Annie succumbed on the floor of the bathroom in Laurie's arms (#17 death), who was vainly pleading: "You gotta stay with me...Don't leave me, baby."

Laurie fled from the house on foot, with Michael in pursuit. A large force of police cars arrived at the Brackett home, with the Sheriff in the lead. He discovered the naked corpse of his dead daughter and broke down, screaming: "No!" - remembering her as a young girl from home videos. Laurie raced through woods to Eagle Road, where she flagged down a passing motorist, but after she was helped into the passenger seat, the driver was grabbed by Michael and smashed head-first into the windshield (# 18 death) - and then he tipped and flipped the car over with Laurie still in it. When the car caught fire, the hulking giant Michael carried the unconscious Laurie to a nearby barricaded shack where he had been camping - verified by an eyewitness's report. As Laurie was restrained by the younger Michael, she saw another vision of Deborah -- and was ordered to repeat: "I love you, Mommy." The shack was surrounded by police and a helicopter, as Laurie desperately screamed for help, and Michael was commanded to surrender. After being alerted to the breaking WPKW-TV news story of the hostage crisis and police standoff, and a resurrected Michael Myers, Dr. Loomis hurried to the scene.

After being punched in the face by Sheriff Brackett for the danger he had put Laurie in, and for his "greedy f--king book," Loomis (against orders) approached the shack to possibly "draw him out" and persuade Michael to release Laurie. Inside, he told Michael: "She needs to come with me." He informed Laurie that she was only imagining behind held down by the younger Michael ("It's all in your mind") - as Deborah instructed the older Michael: "We are ready. It is time, Michael. Take us home." Holding onto Dr. Loomis, Michael crashed through the side of the shack, cast off his mask, and yelled: "Die!" before stabbing Loomis in the chest (# 19 death). Michael was repeatedly shot by police gun-fire, and dropped to his knees (# 20 death). Still experiencing a vision of Deborah and the young Michael, Laurie stepped through the hole in the building's wall and walked over to Michael's body, took the butcher knife from his right hand, and stood over Dr. Loomis. Suddenly, Laurie was shot by trigger-happy police, and as she fell backwards, the image freeze-framed. To the sound of the tune "Love Hurts" on the soundtrack (performed by Nan Vernon), a helicopter's floodlight captured the scene of three bodies lying on the ground: Laurie, Michael, and Dr. Loomis.

In the epilogue, as the camera zoomed in to a close-up of Laurie's face (assuming that she had survived the gunshots), the scene transitioned to a white corridor in a psychiatric institution. As the camera slowly tracked forward to the end of the long hallway, demented patient Laurie was sitting alone on the end of her bed in her room. In closeup as she slowly looked up, she smiled an evil grin at an hallucinatory vision of Deborah leading a white horse toward her, as the film went black. [Had the entire film been Laurie's dream?]

[Note: In the shorter theatrical version, Michael grabbed Loomis in the shack and began repeatedly slashing his face and stabbing him in the chest (# 19 death). Stepping in front of a window while holding Loomis's body, Michael was shot twice by Sheriff Brackett and fell onto the spikes of some farming equipment (# 20 death). Apparently released of the visions, Laurie walked over and told Michael that she loved him, but then in a frenzy stabbed him repeatedly in the chest and in the head. The shack door opened and Laurie walked out, wearing Michael's mask. As she pulled the mask off, the scene transitioned (as in the Director's Cut) to Laurie sitting in isolation in a psychiatric ward, grinning at a vision of Deborah dressed in white who stood with a white horse at the end of her room.]

Sepia-toned stills of crime scene photographs of Michael's murdered victims were interspersed within the credits.

9/10



Plans are underway for an 11th film, Halloween (working title) (2013) directed by Michael Bay. I can't wait to see it (hope its not terrible; because of Michael Bay).

In my opinion, a really enjoyable franchise.


Posts: 17
Country: United States (us)
Yeah, I heard Michael Bay was rebooting Halloween. I hope the rumors aren't true though. :nono:

I too enjoyed this franchise. And great review! A little long, but great Dr. Sleep! :thumbup:

Janina User avatar
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A good read! :)
I haven't watched all of them because I prefer the Nightmare and Friday series. But the first two Halloween movies were great and I am interested in watching the two newest ones.
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No, I won't add more body shapes, band shirts or sports trikots. Really.

Dogzilla User avatar
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Country: United Kingdom (uk)

Holy fuck that's a long review. To be honest, I've never seen any of the Halloween movies. :drop: But y'know what, someday this year I'm gonna get round to seeing one. :]
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Credit to Jabels for signature...


Posts: 33
Country: United States (us)
Great review. :) Say, I got a question I wanna ask: Does this happen to be you as well?

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Posts: 17
Country: United States (us)
Holy crap Dr Sleep, you did Hannibal Lecter as well? Awesome


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