Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Week: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Greetings and hello to Day 1 of Halloween Week. As previously mentioned but heck I am not above a recap, I will not be tackling Halloween 3: Season of the Witch due to its lack of involvement with the original series. That being said let us journey ten years after the first massacre with Michael Myers and Doctor Sam Loomis's last confrontation ending in an explosion of compressed oxygen and fire. Leaving Doctor Loomis scarred from the burns and Michael a vegetable. What threat could Myers represent now? This is Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

Look what this franchise is doing to me!!

With Michael inert and kept alive intravenously at Richmond Mental Institute, he is being transferred to Smith's Grove, when he is awaken from listening to the guards and transfer crew exposition about Myers being an uncle but his sister Laurie Strode dying in a car accident. Stirring from his bonds he dispatches his pickup crew and kills the driver causing the ambulance to flip and crash. Michael (stuntman George P. Wilbur of Die Hard, The Silence of the Lambs, Casino and Spider-Man) after 10 years of being bed ridden just must have sauntered on out and heads for the nearest gas station. Having heard this predicament, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence of Dracula, Escape from New York, A Breed Apart, Django 2, Prince of Darkness and Halloween 5) head to the area and tracks Michael down at the gas station finding more than a few corpses, he pleads with Michael to take his life instead of haunting Haddonfield yet again. Michael leaves Dr. Loomis in a burning building he narrowly escapes from, his car totaled he needs a lift for the showdown in Haddonfield.

Don't think the mask is set right.

Michael's niece, Jamie (Dannelle Harris of Halloween 5, Marked for Death, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Roseanne, Halloween, Hatchet II and Hatchet III) has terrifying dreams about a man in a jumpsuit and mask for no real explained reason but it does frighten her. Her foster parents are attempting their best to raise her but they still cannot connect with her. Halloween night and they are heading out to socialize leaving their daughter Rachel (Ellie Cornell of Married to the Mob, Halloween 5, Free Enterprise, House of the Dead, The Specials, All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos and Dead Calling) who has to put off her date with her boyfriend Brady (Sasha Jenson of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dazed and Confused, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Grind) who as a teenage boy gets pissed and grumbly. Naturally he needs consoling and that of course can only be found in the arms and breasts of the slightly easy Sheriff's daughter Kelly (Kathleen Kinmont of Winners Take All, Nightforce, Rush Week, Midnight, Bride of Re-Animator and Renegade) but enough about whiny pansy boy and jiggly girl!

Loomis makes it to the Sheriff's office demanding to speak to Sheriff Brackett, which Loomis is informed he retired early 8 years ago after losing his daughter to Michael's bloody mayhem and Sheriff Beeker (Beau Starr of Relentless, Halloween 5, True Blue, Speed, Due South and The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery) tells him he is in no mood for that kind of dredging. Loomis is adamant about 6 bodies thus far and God only knows how many to follow. Meeker takes Loomis at his word in spite of Myers has been out of the slashing game for 10 years.

Will Meeker, his men and Loomis be able to put a stop to Myers before his body count goes double if not triple digit? Do they have a contingency plan? Is Jamie in grave danger?

Okay now just a few comments to make on the movie. Aside from 3 schlock straight-to-video features, director Dwight H. Little (The Phantom of the Opera, Marked for Death, Rapid Fire, Millennium, The Practice, Prison Break, Nikita and Bones) was tackling an existing franchise of which had to be a bit nerve wracking but created a fairly eerie opening sequence giving a vibe of Halloween itself and all the harvest content around it.

Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Drive Me Crazy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Melissa & Joey) auditioned for the role of Jamie but to no fault of her own was deemed not the right girl with... ear drum rupturing screams. The original script called for the explosion sequence of the second movie and was going to show Loomis on fire but thrown from the overall ordeal but it was decided (Budget!!) that they did not want any connection to the predecessor films... the ones that this film is based on. Moving on the girl Lindsey who drove Rachel and Jamie to the discount mart was to be revealed as Lindsey Wallace from Halloween 1, making her a babysitter and was going to have a much larger role but again the dreaded budget monster appeared.

John Carpenter wrote a treatment for the film giving it a more ghastly psychological approach to the film on what impact the previous two films had on the town of Haddonfield and its inhabitants but the producers were more for the typical slasher fanfare and Carpenter walked away from the movie making this the first film of the series that had no participation from him at all. Can't blame him. Again not a bad movie but so much was left up in the air for fans to postulate rather than have seen.  

Brady's Krav Maga lesson goes horribly wrong.