Friday This ‘n’ That – Halloween

Well I finally had the chance to sit down and watch the Unrated Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6 – The Curse of Michael Myers.

Halloween 6

Halloween – The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – Unrated Producer’s Cut

Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.”

Initially I loved director’s cuts. Directors often have their creative works taken out of their hands and recut, often butchering them. While Aliens theatrical is more streamlined, Aliens director’s cut is significantly better and expounds upon the theme of motherhood that runs through it. The restored Touch of Evil is far superior to the theatrical cut.

Unfortunately Hollywood quickly saw the ‘director’s cut’  and the nebulous ‘unrated version’ as a profit center. This led to a slew of meaningless rereleases where essentially nothing was changed except an added scene or a few longer takes. For horror movies, it reached assembly line status: Release a movie with a teen friendly PG-13 rating then when it reaches home video, stick a little of the gore back in and call it ‘unrated’ even though it would likely still have been PG-13.

Sometimes a director’s cut can be overindulgent such as Apocalypse Now Redux. If you thought Apocalypse Now was a little bloated, try watching the new four hour cut. These problems put the kibosh on special editions for me.

Ok, a few weeks ago I wrote a bit about the mess that was Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers theatrical as well as the travesty that was Halloween Resurrection. I often find myself at a loss as to why I watch these films as there are now ten of them, eleven if you count this producer’s cut. Out of the ten movies, the first is an absolute classic and Halloween H20 is a lot of fun with some wonderful ideas, even if they pretend that 4, 5, and 6 didn’t happen.

Having now watched the unrated producer’s cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, I can say that it is significantly better than the theatrical version but it is still a mess. They have a much better explanation of the retconning of the end of Halloween 5 but that doesn’t mean it makes sense. The main problem is that it appears that the story someone wanted to tell actually begins about an hour and twenty minutes into an hour and thirty-six minute movie.

This is essentially a completely different movie and honestly one in which Michael Myers is merely a minor character. The cultists have ridiculous looking outfits which is why they are almost entirely cut out of the theatrical version. Dr. Loomis becomes a central character again. One of the characters meets a very un-Hollywoodlike fate in the middle of the movie that is different from the theatrical version.

If you are a fan of the Halloween series, by all means watch this fascinating misfire. If you aren’t a fan then this is not likely to interest you as it is not very good.


Resurrecting Halloween or Driving the Final Nails In?

Halloween Resurrection is currently available on instant Netflix

Halloween Resurrection

Halloween Resurrection (2002) – Rated R

Three years after he last terrorized his sister, Michael Myers confronts her again, before traveling to Haddonfield to deal with the cast and crew of a reality show which is being broadcast from his old home.

As I noted last week, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers was a complete narrative nightmare (and not in the good sense). Among its many egregious sins was rewriting the end of the previous movie.

Along came Halloween: H20, the second best movie in the franchise. Since it didn’t have Dr. Loomis, they went back and got Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role as Laurie Strode. It also helped launch the careers of Josh Hartnett, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michelle Williams. It also had a very satisfying ending that made for an excellent sendoff of the series. Unfortunately it made too much money.

So here we have Halloween 8. Resurrection is a terrible name for this movie as it is more a death knell than a revivification. It enters self-parody but not self-awareness. Naturally the first thing it does is completely rewrite the ending of the previous movie.

Original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis is lured back one last time. I imagine the conversation went something along the lines of “sure, I’ll be in your movie, I want x dollars and I want it to be a cameo just like in the Scream movies.” Katee Sackhoff has an early role here.

The premise has a reality show being filmed from the Myers home. This is apparently broadcast through the internet. As usual with a Hollywood movie, they have absolutely no idea how the internet works.

The house is completely covered with cameras and wired for sound as are all the ‘actors’ in the reality show. In spite of all of that, the plot hinges on no one (supposedly there is a vast audience for this live event) noticing the first few, completely on camera, killings. They also don’t follow through on their premise with many of the killings shown from angles that don’t match up to the camera placement.

I applaud the use of a more ethnically diverse cast so it isn’t just the usual game of ‘white girl down’. Unfortunately they also try to ‘urban’ it up which fails spectacularly. The writing is ridiculous and they must have had a cursing quota. Busta Rhymes is just awful. Tyra Banks is umm Tyra Banks.

Finally we reach the absolute nadir of the Halloween franchise with Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) going Bruce Lee on Michael Myers while Myers is armed with a butcher knife. Michael Myers becomes a bad joke in his own movie.

Halloween in September?

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers is currently streaming on Netflix.

Halloween 6

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – Rated R

Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.”

We’ve given him the power, the gift of thorn. I am its deliverer. I follow it, act as its guardian! I protect Michael, watch over him. And… now it’s time for another. Now it’s time for you, Doctor Loomis.”

Does the above quote sound confusing? Perhaps even non sequiturish? Well, it is pretty representative of this film as a whole. This film is an unbelievable (in more ways than one) mess.

The movie starts by recapping the end of Halloween 5. This is perfectly reasonable as seven years have passed since that movie. The problem is that, like the serials of old, they change something significant in the retelling. For some reason, Jaime has been kidnapped too instead of just Michael. This unfortunate retconning would be repeated in the, also on Netflix and also awful, Halloween Resurrection. Not only that but the mysterious Man in Black who did the kidnapping is Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Film.

Donald Pleasence again returns as Dr. Loomis. Loomis proves almost as unkillable as Michael Myers himself. Unfortunately, Donald Pleasence passed away during the production. He appears to have finished filming his part but the film went into extensive reshooting without him. It does not seem to have mattered though as the director Joe Chappelle found him boring and cut a lot of his scenes. Seriously, easily the best actor in the film (and the previous two Halloweens) and you cut his scenes?

Scream queen Danielle Harris wanted to reprise her role as Jaime from Halloween 4 and 5 but Dimension films wouldn’t pay her $5,000 asking price. Seriously. So they got an actress named J.C. Brandy to play her. The actor who originally played Tommy Doyle did not have an agent so a young Paul Rudd was cast.

The main problems seem to have been a series of arguments between the director and producer leading to constant script rewrites while on set. This would be okay if they made sense but alas this was not the case. The original cut did not fare well so there were extensive reshoots with a constantly changing script. The final cut is incomprehensible.

The Curse of Michael Myers is a very apt, ironic subtitle for the film. It was suggested by writer Daniel Farrands, perhaps his biggest contribution to the film as I have difficulty believing that the incomprehensibility stemmed only from the director’s interference.

Since we have a beginning that’s basically a lie, what can we do for an ending? I know! We can leave the fate of three completely different characters up in the air. Did x, y, or z die? Well, that’s completely up to you dear viewer.

While the beginning is a lie and the ending a complete mystery, the middle isn’t any better. We bounce around from place to place until we end up in the cultists’ underground lair. Yes, you read that right. /sigh.

The original rejected cut is often referred to as the Producer’s Cut. It was a hot bootleg item at conventions. It was a nice bonus to purchasers of the limited edition 15 disc Halloween collection on Blu-Ray (not the standard 10 disc set). Thankfully it is being released as a standalone disc on September 15th. Currently it is priced at a very modest $7.99.

I’m looking forward to watching it later this month though my understanding is that the movie is still a complete mess, just a different one.

Happy Halloween! Watch These on Netflix

Okay, you parents are probably out tonight trick-or-treating with your young’uns. I know I will be taking my adorable granddaughter Dorothy out and about. Those without children may be attending parties, especially with it being a Friday.

Dracula Untold

For the rest of you, there are slim pickings at the theater. Since there is no new Saw movie, they are re-releasing the original for one week only. New horror movies would be Horns, Ouija, Annabelle, and Dracula Untold. Ouija and Annabelle have very bad reviews and are watered down PG-13 ratings anyway. Dracula Untold wasn’t good but was at least passably entertaining.

Netflix only has two Halloween films and they are definitely bottom of the barrel. Halloween Resurrection was based on the thought of hey, why go out on a high note with a definite ending like Halloween H20? Why not pit kung fu fighting Busta Rhymes against Michael Myers? At least the other one (Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers) gave Paul Rudd his start in films.

You're Next

Still Netflix has plenty of wonderful horror films you might have missed. Try Cabin in the Woods, You’re Next, Evil Dead 2, World War Z, American Mary, Event Horizon, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and I doubt you will be disappointed.

Halloween Celebrations – Plan 9 of the Living Dead 3D

Ugh, I am still recovering from the loss of my computer. I hope to be back up and running by the end of this week.

Halloween 35th

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday because I love horror movies (the candy is incidental). I have already mentioned Screenvision’s bringing back of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Participating theaters can be found here.


Rifftrax Live is doing a Night of the Living Dead (1968) event on October 24th. They are an ensemble group that mocks movies in much the same vein as Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fathom events is promoting it here.


Epic Theatres are showing a double feature of Night of the Living Dead and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Both films have been colorized and converted to 3D so caveat emptor. Epic’s page is here.

Those having a Regal cinema that is showing their classic series on Sundays at 2 and Wednesdays at 2 and 7 will have The Shining during Halloween week. I’m sure there are other special showings out there so check your local listings.

Going to Pieces

Ok here are two documentaries covering the slasher genre – one of which is good and thorough but not excellent and the other one makes so many mistakes and really just comes off as an hour and a half advertisement for the remake of Friday the 13th.

Going to Pieces

WATCH: Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006) – “Join horror icons John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, special effects makeup artist Tom Savini and many more in a virtual scream fest celebrating the most terrifying — and disgusting — movies ever made. Selections include gore-soaked scenes from cult favorites and cinema classics such as Halloween, Psycho, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and When a Stranger Calls.”

This is a pretty exhaustive documentary (especially for only being about an hour and a half). They cover the slasher genre’s antecedents – sadly only briefly as Peeping Tom barely rates a mention and spends a fair amout of time on the movie that does actually kick off the popularity of the genre, Halloween. The Italian giallo genre is thankfully covered though I do always find it funny when Friday the 13th people get interviewed and never credit giallo (especially Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve) even though many of Friday the 13th’s signature kills are stolen shot-for-shot from the Italian films. In addition to directors and actors, they also talk to the special effects artists Tom Savini, Stan Winston, and Greg Nicotero. There are lots of scenes from a broad selection of the genre – extra time is naturally given to Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream but smaller films such as Prom Night, Terror Train, Happy Birthday to Me, and many more are covered.

AVOID: His Name was Jason – A prime example in how not to film a documentary. They do talk to just about everyone involved in the Friday the 13th movies except Corey Feldman and Kevin Bacon (were they too expensive?) and many people who weren’t which is a baffling design decision. Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp but not Friday the 13th) has the stupidest quote “That shishkebob scene is so original” referencing the double kill of the couple in bed that like many others, is stolen directly from a giallo film. Several of the talking heads come off as extremely self-important and they never have Betsy Palmer repeat her original quote where she called the first film “a piece of s***”. The most egregious offense the documentary commits is that not only do they interview the vast cast & crew individually, they only allow each person 5-10 sound bites before they cut again and again and again. The director or editior was absolutely in desperate need of Ritalin. This documentary is made for people who think the Friday the 13th movies are too slow-paced and watch them on fast forward.