Posts tagged with "Michael Myers"

Halloween (2018) – A Crimson Screen Collectibles Film Review

by

Westley Smith

There is a lot to unpack in David Gordon Green’s Halloween, making it stand out from being just another run-of-the-mill sequel to the John Carpenter classic. From a strong story, to the deep character development of Laurie Strode, to the suspense and brutal kills, and the relentlessness of an absolutely terrifying Michael Myers, Halloween (2018) may be the most faithful to the original than any of the other sequels in that it hits on one key point and drives it home: Michael Myers is purely and simply…evil.

By erasing the sequels, including 1981s Halloween 2, Green and co-writer Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley started with a fresh slate, bringing the shape back to what made him scary forty years ago. In the original film, there was no motive for Michael’s decision to kill his sister, Judith Myers, and then go on a killing spree on Halloween Night fifteen years later; he just did. It wasn’t until Halloween 2 that we found out he and Laurie were brother and sister. Stripping the brother and sister angle away allowed Michael to return to his purest form of evil.

Picking up forty years after the events of the first film, Michael Myers is being held in a sanitarium, when two journalists come to meet with him, hoping to get him to speak to them about why he went on a murder spree in 1978. When unresponsive to their questions, his iconic mask is shown to him as motivation, unleashing the dormant evil inside.

Green pays homage to Carpenter’s film in feel and tone, but makes Halloween (2018) his own while at the same time not totally distancing themselves from the other sequels either.

The opening credits, which are exactly like the 1978 film but with a twist: this time the Jack O’ Lantern is flat and begins to reform as the updated Halloween Theme plays, setting the tone that Michael is coming back. For keen viewers of the franchise, there are elements from almost every Halloween sequel peppered throughout the film: the garage killing from Halloween 4. The knife steeling from Halloween 2. The bathroom scene from Halloween: H20 or Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot.

Even though Green and CO. throw these scenes in their movie, they don’t feel like a rehashing of material, but honor them in a way that feels fresh and updated, also as a wink to the audience that they too have seen all these films in the series and they’re not trying to totally do away

with them

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Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the role that started her career and plays Laurie as a completely broken woman, whose traumatic encounter with Michael left her mentally scarred and unable to function like a normal person for the last forty years. She has become a survivalist, locking herself away in her home, complete with a safe room loaded with guns.

Curtis as Laurie Strode is a more broken character than what she was in Halloween: H20. Where in H20 Laurie had somewhat moved on, changed her name, moved to another state, when finally her past caught up with her and she was forced to face it. Here Laurie is consumed, even at the expense of her family, with making sure Michael Myers stays behind bars, but secretly prays that Michael gets loose and comes after her – so she can kill him once and for all.

Green keeps the tension of the film tight for almost the entire one hour and forty-five minute runtime, only letting a few moments of comic relief in to break that tension, allowing a deep sense of foreboding dread to build until the final showdown between Laurie and Michael.

John Carpenter’s score (along with his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies) may be the best score of Carpenter’s career. With the re-tooling of the original Halloween theme and cues, giving the score a more metal/rock vibe helps set Halloween’s (2018) tone apart from its predecessor and lets the audience know it’s going to be a more intense ride.

While Halloween (2018) has sufficient amount of subtext to please older fans of the series, with callbacks and homages to the original series, there is also enough innovative material to make it feel fresh and scary to a whole new generation of fans.

9 of out 10 Stars

Living Dead Dolls Presents: Michael Myers from Halloween

You can’t kill the boogeyman!

Straight out of the 1978 John Carpenter film ‘Halloween’, The Living Dead Dolls present Michael Myers. “The Shape”, as he’s referenced in the film, has become one of the most recognizable icons of modern horror.

Nothing but darkness pierces through the all-new face sculpt of Michael’s expressionless white mask. Featuring rooted hair and presented in his film-accurate blue coveralls, the terror of Haddonfield comes equipped with his signature kitchen knife accessory.

The Living Dead Dolls Presents Michael Myers stands 10” tall and features 5 points of articulation.

He is packaged in a die-cut window box, perfect for display and containing the pure evil within.

Order yours here: https://shop.thecrimsonscreencollectibles.com/collections/mezco-figures/products/michael-myers-living-dead-dolls

Halloween Returns with the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

By

Frank Ford

With Halloween 6: The Producer’s Cut finally getting its own Blu-Ray release it should make hardcore fans happy to finally have this lost version of the film in HD.

Previously the only way one could get their hands on a copy was to buy a bootleg DVD off the internet.  Let’s face the facts here, the bootlegs were not great.  They were hard to see, grainy, the sound was terrible, making one feel as if they were watching something filmed off a movie screen in the late 90s when pirated VHS were flooding the streets.

The only other way, until now, to get your hands on a Blu-Ray HD copy of Halloween 6: The Producer’s Cut was to shell out eighty-some dollars for the 10 disc Halloween Collection, or over one-hundred dollars for the 15 disc Deluxe Edition; both contained the Producer’s Cut of the film.  This was a rip-off in my opinion; Anchor Bay has been milking every last cent from the Halloween series for years, sometimes putting out crap copies like the Blu-Ray editions of Halloween 4 & 5 with limited special features (less than what their DVD editions had) and with a twenty dollar price tag.  Though one could argue that they were Blu-Ray HD, but I still find the price outrageous!

But this week brings the solo copy of Halloween 6: The Producer’s Cut, and I must say that I was impressed with how the film looks and sounds.  The 1080p Letterbox HD transfer is crisp, vivacious, and clear, really giving one the impression that the film takes place during Halloween.  The sound is great in 5.1 DTS-HD and helps give the film the mood and feel The Producer’s Cut needs to tell its story.  The one down side to owning the disc is that there are no special features on it, which would have been a lot of fun to have.  That being said, the film is still a must own for any true Halloween fan.

Now that I have some of the technical issues out of the way, it brings me to the part of my review about The Producer’s Cut of the film.   But before I dive into the movie, I want to bring anyone who doesn’t know the story behind The Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6 up to date.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was written by Daniel Farrands, a die-hard Halloween fan who had the ugly task of trying to figure out who the man in black was in Halloween 5 and what that symbol tattooed on Michael Myers’ wrist meant.  What he did in his script was admirable; setting out to explain Michael Myers and the mythology around Halloween, a huge task while trying to tie all the films together.

Everyone liked Farrands’ idea and the script, including the producers and director, Joe Chappelle.

So they set out to make that film – somewhat.

Dimension sees the movie and lets a test audience see how the film’s playing, as is the model for a studio film.  The test audience does not like the movie, and Dimension wants to do re-shoots because they fear the film isn’t working in its current state.  They want more energy, more MTV-style music and editing, and more brutal killings in hopes to cash-in on the kids of the era going to see the movie – you have to remember this was the mid-90s, and underage kids getting in to see R-rated movies wasn’t really a big deal, unlike nowadays in our overly worried, PC world.

The re-shoots were ordered and over a third of the film was re-shot and edited.  The cult angle of the film was almost completely dropped, cutting a lot of Dr. Loomis’ and Dr. Wynn’s scenes in the process as well as changing major plot points in the film.  But there was a HUGE problem now.  Donald Pleasence (Dr. Sam Loomis) had passed away and they had to come up with a way to save the film and the more ambiguous ending was worked into the movie.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers came out on September 26 1995.  Though it had the biggest opening in franchise history to date, it was still a critical failure.

I will try to sum up the differences in the two versions of the film like this –

Theatrical version of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers:  chaotic, incoherent, mean, nasty, flashy, and fun.

Producer’s Cut version of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers: story driven, more in-line with John Carpenter’s Halloween tone and feel, a thinking man’s Halloween.

To really compare the two is hard, as they are vastly different movies to one another.

I have always liked the theatrical version of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.   After Halloween 5, which is my least favorite, I found the new take on this movie refreshing and the flashy psychedelic cuts and music gave the film a breath of fresh air.  It was fast moving, yet very suspenseful at the same time.  To this day I still like the film, even though it has plot holes you can drive a dump truck through, and things are not fully fleshed out nor understood about the cult and Michael’s connection to them or Thorn in the theatrical version.

The Producer’s Cut solves a lot of these questions and gives backstory to Michael’s relation to the cult, Thorn, (the tattoo on Michael’s wrist) and why he’s unstoppable and wants to kill his entire family – starting with his sister Judith back in 1963.   The Producer’s Cut is very story driven, gone are all the flashy cuts, the gorier scenes (the exploding head, Jamie’s impalement) the whine of the guitar strings, and the fast pacing.  What we get is a fully enriched story that not only gives more insight to Michael and his actions, but dives into the mythology of Halloween itself – some of this is touched upon in the theatrical version of the film but it is just glossed over to quicken the pacing and get to the next suspense, action or kill scene.

The major difference in the two films is the aspect of the cult.  In the theatrical version of the movie, the cult is almost like a side note; you are never given a reason why the cult is in the movie or their agenda.  In the Producer’s Cut you find out how big of a role they played in Michael’s actions over the past four movies.

Sadly, dropping this aspect from the theatrical version of the film lost a lot of Donald Pleasence’s wonderful last performance.  He is truly astounding in this movie and has a lot of screen time.  In the theatrical cut of the movie, it’s almost like Loomis was a guest character – he has very little screen time and when he shows up in scenes they seem almost out of place.  Whereas in the Producer’s Cut, there is a reason for why he’s there – this is notable when Tommy runs into him at the hospital; in the theatrical cut it makes no sense that Loomis would be in the hospital the same time as Tommy.

Still the Producer’s Cut isn’t without its flaws.  As I’ve come to understand this was a working print of the film (first watchable cut) and when it was delivered to Dimension, the executives were told that work still needed to be done with the editing and some scenes needed to be tightened and fixed.  These flaws can be seen in the Producer’s Cut.  There are a few scenes that feel unfinished or out of place in the context of the film, and some plot details are still not fully fleshed out in this cut and leave you scratching your head in wonderment.

Do I think this version of Halloween would have made fans happier had they went with it for the theatrical release at the time?

No.

I believe had they released The Producer’s Cut of the film, people would still have been upset with the outcome.  The hardcore fans may (I use ‘may’ very loosely) have liked it, but I seriously doubt that.  The pacing and tone of the movie are far too slow for the average horror movie watcher, and anyone coming into the series at this point would be wondering what the hell is going on?  For a horror movie, and especially a horror movie in 1995, there is way too much story, making you feel like you are watching Rosemary’s Baby or The Omen than a Halloween movie.

Had they been able to combine both the theatrical cut and The Producer’s Cut of the movie (and I’d love to see someone tackle this) into one coherent piece, we would have gotten one of, if not the best, Halloween sequels to date, and it could have really saved the franchise at that point.

All-in-all Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers: The Producer’s Cut is a really good, story-driven horror film that relies heavily on mood and tone, rather than flashy cuts and gore like its theatrical counterpart.  I highly recommend seeing it if you have not.  And even if you have seen one of the bootleg versions, I suggest picking up a copy on Blu-Ray and watch the film as it was meant to be seen.

8 out of 10