HALLOWEEN 4 AND HALLOWEEN 5: A DOUBLE DOSE OF SLASHER-HORROR FILM REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS. (1988) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY JOHN CARPENTER AND DEBRA HILL.
DIRECTED BY DWIGHT H. LITTLE.
STARRING DONALD PLEASENCE, DANIELLE HARRIS, GEORGE P. WILBUR, BEAU STARR AND ELLIE CORNELL.
HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS. (1989) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY JOHN CARPENTER AND DEBRA HILL.
DIRECTED BY DOMINIQUE OTHENIN-GIRARD.
STARRING DONALD PLEASENCE, DANIELLE HARRIS, ELLIE CORNELL, BEAU STARR, WENDY KAPLAN AND DON SHANKS.
Ooooooh, I do love a nice bit of HALLOWEEN at Halloween, or in fact on any night of the year. Pure undiluted slasher-horror cinema was surely born in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties, with marvellous franchises like this one and FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET kicking and screaming their way into our world through the tight but accommodating birth canal of VHS and Beta-Max, haha.
I’ve chosen to review these two films together because HALLOWEEN 5 is a direct continuation of its predecessor. You might remember that the superb horror series took a break from the silent but deadly serial murderer Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN 3 (an excellent horror film in its own right if you can stop bemoaning the absence of Mikey for five f***ing minutes…!), but Michael is back with a bang in instalments 4 and 5 and, trust me, he’s literally never been deadlier…
Michael escapes from state custody while he’s en route to another sanatorium and, as usual, where does he make a beeline for? Why, Haddonfield, Illinois, of course, the place where ten years ago he slaughtered a bunch of people, including family members, and created a role for himself (in perpetuity, mind you) as that town’s very own boogeyman.
As in: ‘If’n y’all don’t eat yo’ vegetables, Michael Myers gonna git y’all and carve y’all up into little pieces…!’ Or words to that effect, anyway. A killer who wears a white mask, never speaks a single solitary word but possesses the strength to kill other grown men with his bare hands in a variety of colourful and unusual ways is surely a mighty effective boogeyman, we must admit.
Anyway, this time Michael’s off to Haddonfield to kill his niece Jamie Lloyd, beautifully played by Danielle Harris. She’s the daughter of Michael’s (apparently) deceased sister Laurie Strode, aka the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis from HALLOWEENs 1 and 2, making her Mikey’s niece.
And why does he want to kill his adorably pretty little niece? Well, for no reason other than that she’s family, and Michael always seems to make a point of murdering his kith-and-kin. Silly Michael. He just can’t seem to work out the connection between having a family and being happy. Still, if he could, he wouldn’t be our stabby boy, would he, the murderous little dickens…? Aw, bless his expressionless white mask and natty boiler suit. He’s our boy for sure.
There are certain things standing between the impassive-faced Michael and his goal. In HALLOWEEN 4, the pretty blonde Rachel Carruthers is Jamie’s doting new step-sister and she ain’t gonna let no non-talking, knife-wielding serial killer hurt her precious little sis.
Well, not unless that serial killer kills Rachel, that is, which would appear to be his aim, but Rachel and Jamie have the protection of the town sheriff and his slutty daughter Kelly, whose pert backside the sheriff should surely have paddled when he so nearly caught her making out with Rachel’s boyfriend Brady. If ever a young lady needed a good walloping, Kelly Meeker surely fits that bill…!
In HALLOWEEN 5, which by the way ends with a wicked twist, Jamie is protected by Rachel’s best friend Tina, a super-annoying young lady who actually shares a car journey with the masked serial killer without knowing it.
He’s wearing a really freaky borrowed Halloween mask and looks utterly terrifying but Tina just starts laying into him straightaway about ‘his’ (she thinks he’s her boyfriend Mike, aka ‘the Fonz…!’) supposed shortcomings as a significant other.
It’s actually really surprising that he doesn’t twist her curly, fluffy little head right off her shoulders for bitching at him non-stop about nothing. Dressed like Cyndi Lauper in the ‘GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN’ music video, she’s bubbly, full of life and chat and as irritating as a rash in your private area, but her heart’s in the right place. As long as Michael doesn’t get his gigantic paws on it, that is…
Dr. Loomis is in both films too, with the lovely cuddly old Donald Pleasence reprising his role as Michael’s psychiatrist from the earlier movies, the one man who realises possibly the full extent of Michael’s terrible capability for doing harm to people.
All burned in the face and hands from a previous confrontation with the Silent One, he bends over backwards to try to save the folks of Haddonfield, and in particular little Jamie, from another deadly encounter with Michael.
Of course, he meets with the usual resistance, scepticism and even incompetence along the way but, once the body count starts climbing, people suddenly all start singing from the same hymn-sheet…
Even so, the poor doc’s pretty battered and exhausted, and his lovely old trademark ‘COLUMBO-‘ style overcoat in shocking need of dry-cleaning, by the time the story rolls to a close in the very place where it began, the old Myers place which has gone to rack and ruin in a few short years. The town obviously didn’t take the best care of its very own murder-house…
The violence is extreme and frequent in both films and the character of Michael Myers has great fun killing people in ever-more gruesome and grisly ways. Both these movies are terrific fun and I wouldn’t consider them inferior to the earlier ones at all, although it would have been nice if Jamie Lee Curtis had been in them too, then we would have had a full complement of HALLOWEEN past pupils, as it were.
I’ll just end by boasting (I mean saying…!) that I saw John Carpenter and his band perform his famous movie soundtracks live in Dublin’s Vicar Street in October of this year. He was one sexy mutha, all dressed in black with his silver hair tied back in a ponytail, and when he played the theme tune to HALLOWEEN, the whole place went wild. Best night of my life so far. Long live HALLOWEEN, John Carpenter and Michael Myers, a magnificent triple threat by anyone’s standards.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
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