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Movie Review: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Dimension, 1995)
Directed by Joe Chappelle
Written by Daniel Farrands

Five years had passed, four Halloweens, and Michael Myers was nowhere to be found on the big screen, not even a whimper of a sequel on the horizon, but around the middle of 1994 things started to heat up. Dimension Films took over the Halloween franchise and kicked a sequel into high gear. Would they be continuing the story that was left hanging from the last film? Would they go with John Carpenter’s idea to put Michael Myers in space? Or how about the rumored meetings with Quentin Tarantino on a story idea he had; would that be the direction they would go?

In the end, they decided to skip over Carpenter and Tarantino’s ideas, although the Carpenter plot line gets to be a joke in a radio broadcast early on in the movie. They hire a screenplay writer, Daniel Farrands, whose sole credit at this stage in his career was writing a film called Rave, Dancing to a Different Beat, to continue the storyline left off in the last film. Then, in typical Dimension fashion, as we would soon learn, they cut the shit out of the film and re-edited it till it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Way to go, guys.

This is the first time I have watched it since I saw it in the theater, with one exception that I will explain later. It makes me sad that at the age of 19 I was actually looking forward to this film. Of course I didn’t know what type of studio Dimension was at the time, it was a fairly new company to branch off of Miramax, which was becoming the most credible film company on the market. I didn’t foresee the long line of Hellraiser and Wishmaster sequels that would be thrust on the unwilling public. All I knew was that after a six-year wait, I would finally get to see who the hell that dude was wearing the steel toed boots in Halloween 5, and find out what the hell he wanted with Michael Myers.

The film opens up with a teenage Jamie Lloyd (J.C. Brandy) giving birth to a child with a group of people in robes standing around her. They then try to take the baby from her, but Michael shows up out of the blue and starts killing everybody, so Jamie snatches the baby and takes off. She’s pretty damn agile for just giving birth, but that’s the least of this film’s issues, trust me.

She eventually gets caught by Michael and killed, rather gruesomely I might add, but not before she can stash the baby away. Before she dies she calls a radio station that is talking about Michael in hopes that Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is listening, and guess what, he is. A grown up Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), the boy Laurie Strode was babysitting in the first film, is also listening in, and figures out from her voice that it’s Jamie Lloyd and not some joke. So, the next day, Tommy ventures to the bus station that he somehow figures Jamie must have been at, and finds the baby.

Meanwhile, we find out that Haddonfield will be celebrating Halloween for the first time in six years. We also learn relatives of the Strode’s are living in the Myers’ house. So, Michael journeys back to Haddonfield to kill some more folks and hopefully find the child, while Dr. Loomis and Tommy team up to try and save everyone.

Dr. Loomis eventually discovers the mystery behind the steel-toed boot guy and the dudes in robes, and boy is it a confusing pile of shit. Michael carries the tattoo of “The Thorn,” which we saw for a split second in the last film. “The Thorn” is an ancient druid symbol for a demon that kills its family and a bunch of other people for the hell of it apparently. “The Thorn” is also seen in a constellation that only appears on Halloweens when one of these films has been made, I assume. And guess what? In 1995, it’s up in the sky. So, Michael has to kill some more to satisfy his Celtic culture, or some such bullshit.

It’s easy to talk about how once you start giving motives to a famous movie serial killer, all of the interest and fear is completely gone. But what Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers lets out of the bag is in a whole new category by itself. To call this storyline ridiculous is being way too nice; this might be the most preposterously confusing film to ever grace the screen. The Stonehenge plot line in Halloween III almost seems logical after watching this film.

Dimension’s cutting habits make the film even worse than it should be, but there are die hard fans out there that will tell you about a “Producer’s Cut” that exists, and it makes everything seem okay. They are lying their asses off to you.

I saw this cut a few years ago when it was available online. It might still be, I didn’t check, so Google your hearts out if you’re curious. The best thing that this cut has over the theatrical release is that there is a lot more Loomis in it. There is more explanation that makes the story seem more sensible. However, it’s such a lame ass story to begin with, that I kind of enjoyed not knowing more. Also, the ending in this edition is so much worse than the final cut.

In the film that we saw in the theater and on DVD, Tommy basically traps Michael and beats the shit out of him. It’s nothing special, but it’s fine. In the infamous “Producer’s Cut” Tommy throws rocks in front of Michael, which in turn stops Michael dead in his tracks. Tommy then turns to Dr. Loomis and says something along the lines of: “It worked, Dr. Loomis, the runes stopped him.” Then, the tattoo of the thorn disappears and moves over to the arm of Dr. Loomis. After this happens, Michael walks away with the hat, overcoat, and steel-toed boots on. And how is this any better?

Speaking of the man in the overcoat and steel-toed boots, you do learn his identity. And for those of you with pure morbid curiosity, I won’t give it away. However, I will tell you that it is a character from the original film, or I should say one scene from the original film. It would have been better if they had just made this a brand new character, because there is no reason in the world for you to understand why it is this guy.

I’ve already mentioned Dimension making the film even more confusing than it needed to be, but let me elaborate because it’s way too much fun not to. There is a child in the film, Danny (Devin Gardner), who seems to be of interest to the Cult, but as soon as they have the baby, his plotline gets lost in the muck. They also once again introduce a psychic connection storyline, and dismiss it almost as quickly. My favorite bit is when they actually edit in a scene from Hellraiser: Bloodline. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, friends.

With the exception of some decent kill sequences, and seeing Paul Rudd in his first film (Although, Clueless actually came out a couple of months prior to this, but he shot this first), there isn’t anything worth mentioning here. Pleasance is fine, but it is so unfortunate that this would be the last role we would ever see him in since he died during the shoot. I guess it’s fitting, in an extremely morbid way, he died while shooting his most famous role, but this is a terrible film to be your last. He might even have Raul Julia beat; he died shortly after making Street Fighter. I really don’t want to ever have to make that decision, though, but readers, feel free to discuss.

The best I can say for this film is that it didn’t even end up being the worst sequel. And after watching this again, the Doc finds that an amazing feat, indeed.

Follows: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Next: Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later


Sam Loomis

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