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Entries in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers [1995] (1)


Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Stinky Jinx

Having just watched The Burning, it may be impossible for me to talk about Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers objectively.

But I’ll try.

Nope. Can’t do it. This movie’s not worth the effort. It’s just a bad, dull movie that tries to be something it’s not. I normally give points for ambition, but when that ambition is not backed up by solid execution, there’s nothing left but Halloween 6.

Sure, Dimension Films tried to legitimize this one by leaving the number out of the title (probably to draw attention away from the fact that the previous entry slinked into theatres six years prior), but Curse is the horror franchise equivalent of trying to turn over your car when it’s clearly dead and starting to smell. Instead of simply resurrecting the Haddonfield bogeyman for another killing spree, writer Dan Farrands tries to inject the series with a heretofore-unacknowledged mythology. You see, Michael Myers was not simply a vessel of pure evil who killed a bunch of people in the late 70’s; no, he was chosen at birth to be the weapon of an ancient cult known as Thorn, whose mission in life is to kill every last member of his own bloodline. Or something like that.

The one thing a Halloween movie doesn’t need is a bunch of people in robes walking around performing rituals. This franchise had its chance to branch out and tackle other stories centered on the mythology of the day, but after the criminally underrated, Michael-Myers-less Part 3, Season of the Witch, Dimension cast its lot with the maniac in the William Shatner mask, and this Druid shit is just plain unbecoming.

Besides, it sucks up the valuable time usually allotted to the body count; but with kills this unimaginative, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Ooh! A guy gets his throat sliced in the bathroom! Oh, no! There goes mom, with an axe to the chest—and look at all that gore on the fresh linens! At least that gag set up a later scene in which her husband finds the bloody sheets tumbling around the washing machine—and is subsequently electrocuted so badly that his head explodes. But despite the awesome effects of his skin charring and bubbling before the big bang, I couldn’t stop wondering when Michael Myers learned to do fucking laundry.

Like The Burning, Halloween 6 contains a very special acting debut; that of Clueless and I Love You, Man star, Paul Stephen Rudd. I can only guess that he landed Clueless before this movie came out, ‘cause I’m pretty sure he would have been blacklisted if this were on his demo reel. I’ve seriously never seen Paul Rudd act this poorly. He was either totally goofing on the ridiculous mutation of the series, or he underwent a significant leap in ability from his first role to his second. Either way, his portrayal of Myers survivor Tommy Doyle is so twitchy, melodramatic and weird that I wanted to throw my remote at the screen every time he showed up.

Then again, he may have been directed to those heights, if only to balance the exhausted performance of Donald Pleasance. The venerable actor returns as Dr. Loomis, the only person in the world who fully understands Myers’s threat. What began in the original Halloween as a poignant Ahab role devolved over the years into parody. Pleasance, who died shortly after this film wrapped, delivers every line as if he’d been asked to recite them for fans at horror conventions for a decade. There’s no spark in his eyes or his words, and he just looks ready to go.

The same can be said for the movie itself. Gone is the atmosphere and care that John Carpenter put into the original. Even Michael’s mask looks like a Dollar Store knock-off. The biggest crime, though, is the mid-90s synth version of Carpenter’s lovely, eerie Halloween theme. I tell you, the abominations never stop.

Though there were two more sequels after this one, Halloween: Water and Halloween: Resurrection (aka Trick or Treat, Motherfucker!) before the studio laid this incarnation of the movies to rest, The Curse of Michael Myers stands out as a slasher movie that aspires to be a weighty conspiracy drama with tits and gore. Sadly, it succeeds only in wasting ninety minutes that I could have spent watching The Burning again.

Note: In fairness, there is a legitimate flaw that Curse shares with The Burning. Both films have horrendous editing in key scenes. This movie’s climax was obviously chopped to hell, as there are portions that fade to black like a commercial break and resume with the characters in different locations, talking about things that make zero sense. There’s a famously unreleased “Producer’s Cut” of the film floating around out there, but the last thing I want to see is more of Halloween 6.