Halloween 5

HW51

Only one year ago, Jaime Lloyd barely survived being murdered by her uncle Michael Myers and was only saved by a barrage of gun fire. After being repeatedly shot, his body was washed downstream to be recuperated by a hermit, but after lying dormant for a year’s time he’s ready to begin his murderous ways yet again.

I’m beginning to think Michael Myers is less of a serial killer and more a misguided superhero. He’s already been shot six times in the chest and sent flying out a second story window in the first flick, shot through both eyes before being blown up in the second film, and just one film prior the man took more shots than Jenna Jameson at a Bukake festival and yet here he is still rampaging across the Illinois countryside like a redneck with too much moonshine. He’s got super strength (look at how easily he crushes a man’s skull), he’s invulnerable (as seen by his bullet absorbing powers), and he takes out the dregs of society (we know them as teenagers). That’s not a human, that’s a superhuman. I’m sorry, I forgot comics don’t call them superhuman anymore, that’s just too fantastical for fantasy worlds where people get superpowers from radiation and dress up in ridiculous outfits to fight other assholes dressed up in just as ridiculous outfits. They call them metahumans now because that just sounds way more scientific. By the way, we’re no longer called zombies, that’s just too fantastical, we’re now metadead.

We begin our fifth installment of the Halloween franchise at the end of the last with the few surviving members of Haddonfield’s police force, some state troopers, and a few pissed off rednecks trying to turn Michael Myers’ body into Swiss cheese. Myers falls into a deep well and the cops throw a grenade into the hole behind him hoping to turn whatever is left of the killer’s body into a bloody smear. Before they can do so, Myers finds a small tunnel at the bottom of the well and crawls through to a connected a river. He floats down this river to an old hermit’s house where he finally collapses. One year later, and we find young Jamie in a children’s home after attempting to kill her foster mother. I’m not sure why she hasn’t been put into a psychiatric facility but apparently it takes a lot more than attempted murder to be sent there. She begins having violent seizures and suddenly we see through Michael Myers’ eyes as he begins to get up after a year lying in the hermit’s bed (my lazy as hell dog is more active than Michael Myers). It appears that the two share a psychic connection that allows Jamie to see through her uncle’s eyes whenever the psychopath murders. She watches as Myers gets up, puts his iconic mask back on, and murders the old hermit. The next day Loomis and Jamie’s foster sister Rachel try to console the poor girl but due to Jaime losing the ability to speak, she is unable to explain why she is so upset. When Rachel heads home to get ready for a Halloween party things only get worse for Jamie as she is forced to watch as Myers lies in wait and murders Rachel when the woman returns home. Loomis begins to suspect that something might be amiss and has never quite believed that Myers was truly destroyed one year ago. He tries to convince the sheriff that Michael has come back again but the sheriff doesn’t want to believe him, hoping against hope that the killer is truly dead, but as bodies begin to once again pile up he has no choice but to believe Loomis. The two get together with young Jamie and set a trap for Myers, using the girl as bait, and while Michael Myers makes his way to finish off his family line, Loomis intends to end his killing spree one way or another.

HW56

HW58{They look so cute as childhood murderers}

{Young Jamie above, young Michael below}

The Halloween series sadly continues to fall from grace into absurdity with this installment, and I say that with a heavy heart. Thankfully its fall is a slow descent instead of complete freefall. There are some good things about this film and there are bad things about this film. They seem to balance themself out to the point that this film isn’t terrible but it’s definitely kept from being good either. Many of the things both right and wrong come from various plot elements.

HW52{Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence work perfectly with each though}

The psychic connection between Michael and Jamie is the first thing that screwed with the film. It is never really explained and seemed to be just thrown in there for the hell of it. They began hinting about it in the first flick and they had it come out full blown in this one with Jamie seeing what Myers saw…at least for the first half of the movie. After it lost its dramatic effect, the psychic sight just ceases to happen anymore. Michael is still killing people but Jamie no longer sees it. Whatever connection they had is just gone and never brought up again. Wanted to know what that connection was all about? Sucks for you. It doesn’t ever make any sense and the film makers don’t even bother to try and explain it. You could say that the series is all about things that don’t need a reason, after all, it’s not like they ever gave Michael a reason as to why he killed. The thing is that by this film they start giving a reason for Michael’s actions. If they can ruin Michael Myers by explaining why he kills (something they’ll do extensively in Part 6) then they can sure as hell explain the psychic connection between him and his niece.

HW50{Even Loomis is annoyed at not having an answer}

They also start throwing in some humorous bits that seem entirely out of place. In a film series like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street where the cheesiness is just common place, it’s to be expected and you don’t mind at all, in some cases it even adds to the film, but the Halloween series has always been serious. There hasn’t been any real cheese added to the series but all of a sudden by Part 5 they’re adding it in. I think the best example are two bumbling cops who are the butt of the film’s jokes and who are even introduced via clown music, they just had no place in the movie and they aren’t the only cheesy, over the top character stereotypes to make appearances. To make matters worse the film sticks to its serious tone for the most part only to have these “funny” bits thrown in all of a sudden. It didn’t work out too well.

HW54{It’s almost like they wanted a serial killer to be funny}

Thankfully Part 5 has a few saving graces and they would have been mostly impossible without the expert talents of returning actors Donald Pleasence and Danielle Harris. I say mostly because there was one story element that had nothing to do with those two but still made you yell out “FINALLY!” In the beginning of the film no one wants to listen to Loomis, something they’ve been doing the entire series. He’s been right on more than one occasion but they still ignore him each time he tries to warn them, but in this one it doesn’t take nearly as much to get them to work with the doctor. They even do a great job at coming up with an idea to trap Michael that I think actual cops would have used. It might have actually worked too had Myers not attacked the children’s home first. It was nice to see the police finally listen to Loomis for once but that part of the story was only one of three things I liked about Part 5.

HW53{The guy that’s willing to get this close to Myers might just be the person who knows the most about him}

The second thing I really liked was how Pleasence portrays Loomis in this one. After years of chasing Michael Myers, the doctor has slowly begun to lose his sanity. It’s not quite that he’s crazy just that Myers has become a complete and total obsession for him to the exclusion of all else. The only thing he cares about is stopping his former patient once and for all. It’s his idea to use Jamie as bait and even when the cops have to leave to head over to the children’s home, Loomis forces the cop protecting Jamie to take the young girl back upstairs and remain as bait for Myers. He knows that this could get the young girl killed and that there is no protection if things go wrong but such is his obsession that he doesn’t care as long as it leads to an end to Michael Myers. Donald Pleasence plays the character so well that it is easy to believe in Loomis’ obsession and his unwavering desire to stop the killer. You can even sympathize with him to a certain extent.

HW55{You can see how far past sane Loomis has gone, and Pleasence plays it great}

The last thing I liked about this film was a scene that occurred right after Loomis forces Jamie to stay in the house when most of the cops leave. Jamie is hiding in a coffin when Michael comes in to take her life. Jamie doesn’t fight it, she just seems to accept her fate. Before Michael murder stabs her, Jamie wants to see his face so the killer obliges her and takes the mask off. Jamie tells him that they are the same and this produces a single tear (you see just a small part of his face during the shot), but when Jamie goes to touch his face Michael flies into a rage and begins stabbing at the air. I know a lot of people don’t like this shot because it gives him too much humanity and takes away from his soulless character, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think it shows that there is just a small shriveled up bit of his humanity, just the tiny speck he had as a small boy that Jaime is only able to bring out because she reminds that small part of what it used to be, but in the end that tiny little speck simply isn’t enough to overcome the evil of what Michael has become. It shows how much of a soulless creature he has truly become by adding that little bit of humanity hidden deep down inside that nothing can ever restore. I loved that scene and thought it added so much to Michael’s character. The only compliant I had was that when they showed his face it looked pretty good for being burnt the hell out of.

HW59HW57{It really is a touching scene}

As you can tell, this isn’t going to be a whole lot better than the last movie. It’s got its good and bad points. The acting of the main characters is good (including newcomer Wendy Foxworth as Rachel’s friend Tina) but the minor players are awful, the effects aren’t really any different in quality and there are still far, far, far too many unknown deaths where you don’t see the kill only the body, but the film does still have a few moments where it shines. If you’re going to watch it I suggest watching Part 4 first and then waiting a week before watching Part 5. If you insist on watching both in one night, watch with alcohol, lots, and lots of alcohol.

 

The Undead Review

 

Michael Myers’ Kill Count:

Unknown: 9 (17 series total)

Pitchfork: 1

Scythe: 1

Hung: 1

Small Rake: 1

Stabbed: 1 (7 Series Total)

Myers’ Total Kills This Film: 14

Myers’ Total Kills: 44

 

Directed By: Dominique Othenin-Girard (Night Angel, Omen 4: The Awakening)

Starring: Donald Pleasence (Halloween: 1,2,4, Prince of Darkness), Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, The Last Boy Scout), Ellie Cornell (Dead and Deader, Halloween 4), Wendy Foxworth (Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys, The Mischievous Case of Cordelia Botkin), and Stuntman Don Shanks as Michael Myers (3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer)

Released By: Magnum Pictures Inc., Trancas International, and Galaxy International (DVD Release by Anchor Bay)

Release Type: Theatrical

Release Year: 1989

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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