Halloween, Horror, Slasher

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

0 Comments 23 October 2011

halloween 6

Studio: Echo Bridge Entertainment

Theatrical Release: September 29, 1995

Blu Ray Release: May 10, 2011

R

Review by James Klein

With Halloween coming around the corner, it seems fitting for a Halloween review. The sixth entry in the Halloween series is the often forgotten Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and also the final film to star Donald Pleasance as the crazed Dr. Sam Loomis. While Halloween 4 and 5 are more well known and has its fans, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is the series dark horse and often criticized as being a mess of a film. While I can’t completely deny that, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers should be given a second chance for those that didn’t care for it the first time.

Many years has passed since Halloween 5’s cliffhanger ending where Jamie Lloyd was kidnapped and Michael was broken out of jail by some cloaked figure. The film starts off with some strange druid cult that holds Jamie in some underground hospital as she gives birth to a baby boy. The baby is about to be sacrificed but thankfully a kindly nurse helps Jamie escape with her child as Michael Myers closes in on her. Jamie races to a train station and hides her baby from Michael and lures him away from it until Jamie is finally killed at the hands of her uncle Mike. Dr. Loomis, who is now retired, hears about Jamie’s death and is called back in to search for Michael. Loomis returns to Haddonfield to find Michael, putting a stop to the masked killer once and for all.

In Haddonfield, Tommy Doyle from the original Halloween (now played by Paul Rudd in his feature film debut) is now a weird, obsessed man who wants nothing more than to find Michael Myers. He finds Jamie’s baby and gets Loomis involved  with helping him protect the child. On top of that, Tommy tries to help Kara Strode (a relative to Laurie Strode from the first two films) who now lives in the old Myers house with her mother and stepfather by keeping her safe and away from Michael. But Kara’s son Danny is hearing voices just like how Michael did when he was his age with a possibility in following in his foot steps.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is the most ambitious sequel in the series and I have to respect the fact that after six years between parts 5 and 6, the writers tried to create an interesting and different story with what was established at the end of part 5 but by still keeping the characters involved in the story. Bringing in the character of Tommy Doyle was a good idea and luckily a decent actor like Paul Rudd was able to play him just right. I enjoyed the fact that the writers tried to bring together the story of the cloaked black figure and the actual curse of the Myers family. This also felt like a real Halloween film as characters discuss the history of Samhain and why we celebrate Halloween. This was never talked about in any of the other films and these small aspects help the sixth Halloween film in being more than just a slasher film (although gore fans and boob freaks will be happy with the kills and nudity in this entry).

However, Halloween 6 isn’t without its problems. Donald Pleasance died while filming the movie so the film makers had to re-do certain sequences to finish the film. It’s fairly obvious when Loomis suddenly disappears for most of the third act. Also, thanks to studio mendling, the film was re-edited and shortened, thus making it at times incoherent. For example,  Michael is at his home and then in the next sequence he’s in the back of a van, killing a shock jock D.J. for no real reason and then he’s back at his house again in just a matter of minutes. Smith’s Grove’s sanitarium is conducting weird experiments with baby fetuses that is never fleshed out. Who fathered Jamie’s baby and why is she killed off within the first 10 minutes of the film when she was the star in the past two films? The whole explanation in the Myers family curse is also confusing and half assed. So do I blame the writers for not doing another draft or two of their screenplay or is it  Dimension films who butchered the film before release (answer: both! There is a work print of Halloween 6 floating around online that does clear up some of the questions but not all of them. If you can get your hands on a copy, it is almost a completely different film)?

EchoBridgedoes a fine job on the picture as the blu ray looks good. Once again, they released the film in a 1:78 ratio when it was shot in 1:85. Why does EchoBridgecontinue to do this?  The sound is also not very good and comes out in just the front channels of my speakers. Not special features either, not even a trailer. This release was obviously thrown together which is a shame but yet fitting given that this is the much hated sequel in the Halloween series (well, maybe Halloween: Resurrection holds that crown which it should).

I ask all Halloween fans and fans of the series to give this entry another shot. Sure, the film is not perfect and doesn’t hold a candle to the first two films of the series but it’s still worth a look and does have some decent moments. It’s time to lift the curse off this sequel.

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