10 Days of Michael Myers. Worst to Best. #6…
In 2017, we get our Friday the 13th right smack dab in October, the month we horror geeks get to fly our nerd flag, for 31 days leading up to Halloween. Now, in a perfect slasher-movie universe, we would get a new Friday the 13th, or Halloween film, or better yet, a Jason vs. Michael movie, but instead you’ll have to settle for the next best thing, a F13/Halloween series retrospective by me (ok, the 1748th best thing).
Now since every slasher-obsessed dork on the planet has already done this, I’m going to change it up a bit by separating each film into segments and rating each one on a 1 to 10 scale. Why that way? Well, as most all of these films are formulaic remakes of the original Halloween, they (along with pretty much all slasher films), can be broken down into 3 parts:
1. Origin/resurrection: here we either get a backstory on how our killer was formed, or how he came back from his demise in the previous film.
2. The premise: as just about all these movies center around a young woman and her teen friends being stalked and attacked by our madman, the premise of each movie usually just puts a slight twist on the characters, and circumstances.
3. The showdown: the standard finale requires a chase scene, in which our heroine (sometimes with her love interest) who has lost all of her friends to the killer, runs from the slasher, until she summons the strength to fight back and vanquish him (usually in a manner that will allow for a sequel).
I’m going to rate each part, and then assign a ranking of the film over all, based on each, presented in Worst to First format, Friday movies first, then Halloween (god, im a dork).
Lots of spoilers, and if you haven’t see these movies, this may not make a lot of sense, but I hope you’ll enjoy, now the less. Anyway, happy 13thoween!
Uh-oh. A pre-movie quote? A conversation between Little Michael and his mother about the symbolic significance of a “white horse?” Is that pretension I smell, seeping into this franchise? Well, maybe a little, but honestly Zombie’s mild-artsiness is a welcome change, even if he never fetes it quite right. After that, we get kind of an homage/mini-remake of the original Halloween 2, where Laurie is again stalked by Michael in the hospital she was sent to. It’s a pretty great sequence; brutal and trippy, a haunting, “Knights in White Satin,” by The Moody Blues, played throughout. But of course, it’s just a dream. Yup, this film starts with that tired old trope, and this hospital chase has nothing to do with the rest of it. It’s just a nod to the old movie. Really, they should have found a way to make this the whole thing; an actual remake of Halloween 2, a cult-classic in its own right. Have Laurie wacked out on painkillers unsure of what is real and what is not in this sterile medical environment. Maybe have Michael recall some of his own hospital traumas throughout. I know it would be difficult to have Laurie isolated in a modern hospital, in a world of cell phones and internet, but damn it, use some imagination and creativity! It’s sucks that this is a dream sequence but it’s still a pretty good time. As far as Michael’s actual resurrection, what we get is pretty lame. I can accept that the gun shot to the head didn’t kill him last time (we never actually see where it lands) but he awakens when his redneck ambulance drivers act like morons behind the wheel and run into a cow. Yeah, a cow resurrects Michael this time. Not the worst ever, but this intro makes it clear, this is not Rob Zombie at his most imaginative.
6 out of 10
This one kind of feels like Part 5 in that, nothing really happens. It’s just a body count movie. Laurie is dealing with the PTSD of having gone through the last film, Dr. Loomis is exploiting his misadventures with Myers with a book and press tour, and Michael kind of just kills off anyone he missed last time, plus a few new folks. At least he offers us a view of what Michael does in between Halloweens, living like a scruffy hobo with serious mental problems. Like Rob Zombie’s first Halloween there is enough visual flare to keep things from getting boring; everything has a retro 70s, music video kind of look, yet remains within this world of realism. Zombie tries to amp up the psychology by adding trippy dream sequences, and hallucinations from both Michael and Laurie. Like most of Zombie’s cinematic efforts (outside of that first half of Halloween), he has lots to offer visually, and can nab some excellent acting talents, but doesn’t have much to say as far as story, and dialogue. Like a Tarantino film, it’s fun to see a bunch of familiar faces chewing the scenery in Rob Zombie’s Halloween universe (where else would you get Danielle Harris, Weird Al, Chris Hartwick, Brad Dourif, and Malcolm McDowell together?), but there’s just not a whole lot for them to do, especially since the man behind the dialogue is no Tarantino.
5 out of 10
In a somewhat clever move, it is Michael’s Mom, communicating to him within his thoughts that convinces him that it’s all over. But not before Loomis steps into Michael’s grasp and kind of sacrifices himself to help Laurie. I guess we get a little bit of a character arc for Loomis who realizes he can only exploit Michael’s infamy because he failed him as a psychiatrist. Laurie finally stabs Michael to death, after he is shot and impaled, and walks out wearing his mask, before being institutionalize herself. Really kind of depressing if you think about it. She doesn’t overcome her obstacles and grow stronger, she descends further into a relentless nightmare. But what else would you expect from a film so nihilistic and heartless?