I was a little bit nervous to approach Thomas S. Flowers to write for Dreadful Reviews. Like, the dude is a paid author, he served in the U.S. Army and he is a father. I can't imagine a more busy (and fascinating) life, so I was ecstatic when he excidedly agreed -- and not only that, he chose an extremely controversial movie too! Throughout the article you'll definitely get to know Thomas S. Flowers' personality, with a sprinkle of his sense of humour and more than enough knowledge on the subject matter to delightfully fill you with everything you want to know regarding Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers! - Channy Dreadful
There are eight total Halloween movies, ten if you count what Rob Zombie did. Some do; some don’t. I didn’t mind his remake of the original Halloween, but the sequel was kinda trippy and took a few screenings to get over the whole white horse imagery. However, a part of the issue Zombie had with long time fans of the Halloween series was the abandonment of the mythos of The Shape, also known as Michael Myers. In John Carpenter’s vision, little Mikey was never really a real human being at all, but an entity, a Shape, if you will. What Zombie did was give that mythological boogieman a human face. Now, in some regards, that works, because set in reality the monsters are always ordinary people, but in the case of Michael Myers, giving him a human face negates the mystique of the supernatural. And after rising from what seemed like certain death, on seven different occasions (Halloween III does not count on our list here as Michael Myers was not actually in the movie.)
Our goal is to talk about Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers, but first perhaps for those readers who are not familiar with the subject, or for those who haven’t seen these movies for a while, let’s give a quick summary of the precursors. Each of these movies is connected, strangely at times, but getting to Part V, we have to wade through the others.
Halloween (1978). The original John Carpenter masterpiece opens on a cold Halloween night in 1963 as a six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murderers his older sister, Judith. He’s locked away in a mental institution becoming nothing more than a catatonic mute for 15 years. On October 30, 1978, now 21-year-old Myers escapes and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. There, he begins stalking Laurie Strode and soon dispatches many of her friends along the way. Laurie survives with the help of Michael’s former psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis. The movie concludes with a screen shot of Myer’s being gunned down by Loomis, Laurie asking if Mikey was the boogieman, and Loomis giving us that famous line, “As a matter of fact, it was,” and the next we see an empty lawn where Myers’s body had fallen.
Halloween II (1981). What’s really awesome about Part II is that it picks up directly at the end of the first movie, carrying over the same vibe and tone and musical score as the first. Watching both movies back to back is probably one of my favorite things to do during October. It is actually quite amazing how they pulled it off given the three-year separation between the two films and with Carpenter handing over directorial responsibilities to Rick Rosenthal. Anyhow, the story goes that after being gunned down by Loomis and falling and disappearing from the lawn, The Shape tracks Laurie to a local hospital where she is being treated for her wounds. Mikey makes quick work of the staff and security in one of the best sequels ever made until hero Dr. Sam Loomis arrives and saves the day. Seeing how guns don’t work on The Shape they have to go for broke. Laurie uses a gun Loomis gave her to shoot out Myers’s eyes and then Loomis immolates both himself and Myers in a gulf of oxygen gas glory. The movie ends with Laurie weeping in an ambulance. And we assume both Loomis and Myers are dead.
Halloween IV (1988). Yeah. Yeah. We skipped Halloween III. Not a horrible movie, on the contrary, Halloween III has enjoyed a rather large cult following. But for prosperity sake, we have to skip over it because it actually has nothing to do with the chronological story of one Michael Myers. In Part IV, we’re told that apparently, Mikey didn’t die at all, he was comatose. The film opens as the slumbering Shape is being transferred from one hospital to another, a more secure one you’d hope. Well, you know how these things go. Myer’s wakes up from his ten year nap and dispatches the EMS guys, but as a special twist, not before they discuss amongst each other that Myer’s has a surviving relative, a niece, Jamie Lloyd, the supposed daughter of Laurie Strode (don’t ask, I don’t know) and guess what, she lives in a foster home in Haddonfield. Michael does what he does best, which isn’t very nice (sue me, Wolverine) and begins laying waste to those surrounding Jamie. But his plans of murdering the young eight-year-old are interrupted by also surviving Dr. Sam Loomis. At this point, Loomis is nearly nothing more than a burn-scarred raving loon, but he retains still some of his charm from the first two movies. Loomis and police track down Myers and gun him down. Jamie approaches the fallen Myers and touches his hand. The Shape awakens and is gunned down again, falling into a mine shaft. As a twist, just when we think the movie is over, as Jamie’s foster mom takes her home the young Myers “overwhelmed by Michael’s essence” (pulled from Wikipedia), she stabs her foster mom to death with a pair of scissors. End movie. Yup. Chew on that!
Halloween V (1989). And here we are. We’ve arrived at our film destination. The story works as a direct sequel following nose to nose behind the events during Halloween IV. As you recall, Myers attempted to slay his niece Jamie only to find himself gunned down at the end. This new film shows us that same scene and now we watch as The Shape tumbled down the coal shaft and the police toss in dynamite (you can’t make this stuff up folks) to hopefully once in for all destroy Myers. In a scene that reminded me of Rambo: First Blood than a slasher flick, Mikey escapes by low crawling through an opening in the shaft, rolling down into a river, and floating to some hermit shack only to, once again, go all comatose. One year later, he reawakens, thanks to the kind hermit who took care of him for an entire year without calling the cops or an ambulance…really…and sets off again to look for his niece Jamie. The young Myers is now living in a mental ward for children that looks more like a country bed and breakfast. She’s still having horrible dreams and seems to have a psychic link to The Shape. She sees what he sees, feels what he feels, etc. etc. At the ward, Jamie is under the care of…you guessed it, Dr. Sam Loomis. After a decade of hunting and trying to kill off his former patient, Michael Myers, Dr. Loomis is pretty much totally off his rocker in this movie, willing and able to do whatever he must to finally stop the boogieman. In a final showdown, Loomis sets up an elaborate booby-trap (I just wanted to say booby) for The Shape, using the young and terrified Jamie as bait. Loomis elephant darts Myers and then bludgeons him into submission with a two-by-four, collapsing on the once boy-murderer and very seemingly dead. But I think we all know how death works in these kinds of movies. Mikey is locked up at the police station where he is mysteriously rescued by some faceless trench coat and steel-tipped boot wearing stranger and disappears.
And this brings us to our review. I’d like to tell you it ended here with Part V, but it didn’t. You’ve still got Part VI and H20 and Resurrection to enjoy. You’re welcome.
Coming off a fresh screening for this review, it had been some years since I last watched Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers. And there’s a good reason for that. Despite some of the charm of watching a 1980s slasher flick and the excellent acting on Donald Pleasence part, there is still so much to loathe about this movie. In no way shape or form do you give two shits of a rat’s ass about any of the characters? Jamie, maybe, cause there’s history there and the kid does her best to step up to the plate of actual acting. And Loomis, cause Pleasence. But everyone else? Horrible. Didn’t care for. Wanted them to die. The worst of the worst had to have been Tina. I did not get her, at all. She seemed doped up or on crack or something during the entire film. Strange. Very. And the fucking cops with the slapstick sound effects? Why? Just…why?
The entire vibe seemed off-kilter. The musical score though would sometimes use Carpenter’s original masterpiece, was otherwise goofy and sounded like on those sitcom shows on TV when someone does something bad. You know, the “uh-oh” of music. Just watch Family Matters or Full House and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, you know what, that’s what this movie was: just a strange Full House episode with special guest Michael Myers. Oh. My. God…
Some of the gore was kicked up, but not by much, not by a late 80s standard. And the best kill, the impalement in the barn, please…how many movies have done that before? Tons. Friday the 13th to name one, though we all know who did it first, that being in Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971). No? Sorry, I’ll tuck away my nerdy horror trivia for the remainder of this review.
Now, I’m not saying everything about this movie was horrible. Just about 98% of it. Loomis stole the scene whenever he was on screen, giving us probably one of the best lines in the movie (no, it was the best line in the movie) as he is trying to convince the sheriff Myers is still alive he says, “I prayed that he would burn in hell. But in my heart, I knew that hell would not have him.” See? Bravo, sir!
However, dwelling on his character in the movie, if we’re, to be honest, wasn’t he getting kinda creepy grabbing on to Jamie and begging her to tell him where Myers was? He did that through, what, about 50% of the movie? I was thinking during those moments, what kind of hospital for children hires a guy like Loomis? Have you seen how he looks? Face half-burnt away, has to wear gloves because of the scars on his hand... His eyes alone would terrifying non-mental patient adults and kids, let alone those who are trying to recover in a ward. His acting was good, maybe over-the-top, but it was things like that, and many others, that didn’t make sense, thus throwing off the realism of the movie. And supernatural or otherwise, if your movies motivations do not jive, it’s going to fail miserably.
And that is pretty much the summary of the movie itself: failed motivations, the horrible addition of horror comedy, and flat acting. If you must watch, go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Thomas S. Flowers is the published author of several character driven stories of dark fiction. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He is published with The Sinister Horror Company’s horror anthology The Black Room Manuscripts. His debut novel, Reinheit, is published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein and Apocalypse Meow. His military/paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Books, both Dwelling and Emerging and Conceiving (coming soon), are published with Limitless Publishing, LLC. In 2008, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served for seven years, with three tours serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in History. He blogs at machinemean[dot]org, where he does author interviews and reviews on a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics. You can keep up with Thomas and all his strange books by joining his author newsletter.