October Horror: Halloween Marathon 5 – ‘Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers’ (1989) + ‘Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers’ (1995)

halloween-5Arriving just a year after Halloween 4, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers initially appears to be taking the same route Halloween 2 did in picking up from right where the previous film ended. This notion is quickly dropped though, and is really just an excuse to explain how Myers survived the mine shaft explosion we last saw him in.

He’s revealed to have snuck out the other end (yawn) where he collapsed into a river then was later rescued by a hermit. After lying comatose for a year, he awakens to return to Haddonfield and wreak havoc once more.

There isn’t a great deal to say about Halloween 5 really, other than that it is easily the worst entry in this series so far. For the most part it’s a sub-pedestrian slasher movie that quickly becomes very boring. It certainly doesn’t help that the teenagers this time around are the most annoying bunch so far, though they do now boast some amusingly goofy eighties fashion choices. You will care not one bit when they are inevitably killed, though admittedly an early pitchfork plus scythe double murder in a barn is probably the movie’s highlight.

While I highly doubt it is intentional on the part of the filmmakers, Halloween 5 did at least spark one mildly interesting thought. I started to feel a bit sorry for Donald Pleasance still having to play the role by this point, but Dr Loomis pops up once more. He appears to have become more and more insane over the course of these movies and by this stage he’s almost beyond the pale. I wonder if this is the result of him – a man of science – having all these experiences that are not just horrific, but essentially concrete proof to him that the supernatural exists. Here we get another element of that as Jamie (who’s now mute and in a psychiatric ward) has some kind of telepathic link with her homicidal uncle.

As I said, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a flat-out bad movie, not just a generic slasher. There’s very little to recommend here at all and I’m not all that surprised that it ultimately underperformed.

halloween 6It would be another six-year break for the franchise following Halloween 5, with the eventual release of the numeral-free Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers occurring in September of 1995. The sixth Halloween film  certainly has a slightly different feel to it than its predecessors, much more resembling the slicker tone of now-dated nineties horror movies than eighties slashers.

One thing I always enjoy about re-visiting nineties teen movies is how you tend to encounter then-unknown cast members who would go on to achieve much greater fame. It was to my delight then, that following a unusual opening sequence involving ominous voice-over to some bizarre cult ritual featuring a baby, I saw the credit that this film was “starring and introducing” one Paul Stephen Rudd.

This is not the likeable goofball Paul Rudd we’ve all come to know and love now though, he’s actually playing something of a creepy weirdo type here. He’s also supposed to be the grown-up version of the kid Laurie Strode babysat in the original Halloween.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is notorious for having somewhat of a troubled production history resulting in there being multiple versions of it existing. It’s not hard to envision that being the case watching this now; the film is a complete mess. The plot is a hard-to-decipher hodgepodge of cult elements, with Rudd theorising that Myers may have some Druid-type curse affecting him, more standard slasher troupes and appeals to continuity via convoluted references to the series history. It never really gets much out of the Rudd being a character who witnessed attacks by Myers as a child.

Apparently the longer ‘Producer’s cut’ of Halloween 6 is reckoned by many to be a superior version of this film. While I can imagine that a better cut of this exists, there isn’t much here to inspire me to seek that out.

Other than Halloween franchise completion, the only real reasons to check out Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers now would be to see the final screen appearance of film dedicatee Donald Pleasance as Dr Loomis, who’s now retired and appears to have regained some sanity (and dignity) and lost his facial scars, and to see an early turn from Paul Rudd.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers – 1.5/5

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers – 2/5

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