Friday, November 22, 2013

HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS


Dominique Othenin-Girard, 1989
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr

A year after Jamie Lloyd, the niece of Michael Myers was stalked and nearly killed by him, she is left mute and traumatized. Her foster sister Rachel visits her in the hospital and Dr. Loomis supervises her care, but Michael is still alive. Badly injured, a hermit in the woods nurses him back to health. He awakens and kills the hermit; Jamie knows he is coming for her again and Dr. Loomis tries to act quickly. Michael returns to Haddonfield and kills Rachel, and proceeds to kill her friends, who are partying for Halloween. He also kills a number of police officers and sets out to kill Jamie, while Dr. Loomis tries desperately to stop him. A mysterious man dressed all in black also shows up in Haddonfield. 

Really all that Halloween 5 has going for it is that it’s the last of the ‘80s slasher sequels. And that’s not saying much. While I was able to drag myself through II and 4, because of Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Loomis, here Loomis is a sad, washed up version of the earlier character and it’s clear Pleasence wasn’t having a very good time on set. Instead of being the lone, if somewhat panicked, voice of reason, here he rants and raves for much of his screen time. Daniel Harris and Ellie Cornell return from Halloween 4, but the studio stupidly did not follow the plot set up at the end of 4. After Michael is “killed,” Jamie snaps and stabs her foster mother to death. Allegedly, the first script followed this ending and Pleasence argued bitterly with the producers and director about the change. 

What a stupid idea. They had at least an interesting new premise to follow, with young Jamie as the young killer, but no. And that’s probably one of the reasons that this has a reputation as being the worst of all the Halloween sequels. Another reason is director Dominique Othenin-Girard, who is also remembered for helming the equally awful Omen IV: The Awakening. It’s a wonder the studio was surprised that this was the least successful of all the Halloween sequels. 

Unlike Halloween 4, which made every effort to be over the top in terms of violence, here the kills are boring and repetitive. The only likable character (aside from Loomis) dies before the half an hour mark and this descends into a movie about annoying teenagers having sex and getting slaughtered with a variety of farm/gardening equipment. Probably the most annoying thing about the film is the supposed psychic link between Jamie and her uncle Michael. Why does it exist? What’s the point? All she really does is writhe around mutely and go into seizures. 

As with Black Christmas, some of the bodies are hidden in the attic to be discovered later and, as with Halloween 4, Jamie and Michael spend a lot of the film running around a house, essentially playing a fatal game of hide and seek. Loomis shows up and futilely tries to stop Michael, but predictably gets the hell beaten out of him. Here they even have Loomis and Jamie trying to talk some sense into Michael. The producers and script writer should be publicly shamed for such a stupid decision, but I guess the final product is shame enough. Speaking of stupid decisions, this is one of the few times where Loomis actually defeats Michael and gets him sent to prison, but the stupid man in black attacks the police station, so that Michael is able to escape. It never ends. 


I absolutely can’t recommend this movie, but if you’re as masochistic as I am, it is available on DVD. It might be able on Blu-ray as well, but I can’t really say that I care. This was followed by Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Halloween Resurrection

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