HALLOWEEN (8): RESURRECTION (2002)
SLASH’S SHITFACED SATURDAY
OK, you nutty lovers & fans of Michael Myers, let’s tackle #8 of the series; resurrection indeed. The franchise seemed to be winding down hard in the four years since HALLOWEEN (7) H2O (1998). So much so that some of the producers wanted a fresh perspective–like a Halloween movie that could capitalize on the John Carpenter concept, but that would not have Michael Myers in it.
Christ, what a fucking lame idea that was. An elephant in the board room happened to mention the prostate probe they all received on HALLOWEEN III (1982), so they came up with another way to keep Michael Myers on the screen, and WTF, this was no more absurd than all the other punk resurrections for other screen monsters. As a matter of fact, many fans look forward to the absurdity & pure joy of some cockamamie plot device that would bring back their monster of the month.
Then the producers had another hurdle to tackle–Jamie Lee Curtis, who was still under contract–but she stated that she would only consider doing this film if they could guarantee her that the character of Laurie Strode would bite the big one, take a dirt nap, die for real, not more bullshit. Everyone agreed, and a kind of prologue was filmed in which Laurie & Michael dance one last time. This was all well & good, but that left over 80 minutes of film yet to be developed, so a second scenario had to be written to allow Michael that chance to carve up some teenage ass.
HALLOWEEN (8): RESURRECTION (2002)
Directed by Rick Rosenthal @ 94 minutes.
Rosenthal was the first director connected to the series to direct more than one
of the films. He had directed HALLOWEEN II (1981) 21 years earlier, with most of the original cast from the first film appearing in it. He was not the first choice, of course, since both Dwight H. Little & Whitney Ransick had turned down the opportunity to direct this movie. For once, old surly proud John Carpenter had not been considered on the short list; too much bad blood perhaps.
Taglines: Evil finds its way home.
Evil never dies; burn it, shoot it, lock it up forever–it’s still here.
Michael’s work in Haddonfield is not done yet.
Brother vs. Sister; one last time.
Michael Myers is ready to clean house.
The movie was filmed in British Columbia, mostly in & around Vancouver. The budget was 15 million, & it grossed 30 million dollars. The body count was 10, plus 4 more shown in flashbacks to other films.
The cinematography was by BC native David Geddes, who has directed 90 film credits since 1979,
including A PASSION FOR MURDER (1992), ERNEST RIDES AGAIN (1993), A SIMPLE CURVE (2005), & TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2010).
The musical score was done by TV wunderkind Danny Lux, bringing back more of the original synthesizer feel to the score. He has scored over 100 film projects since 1994, 99% of which were TV movies & series.
HALLOWEEN BABE GALLERY
Damn, we scored in the tit-shot department on this film.
Lead off, now for the fifth time, was Miss Jamie Lee Curtis.
No, I have not exhausted all the fine tit shots of her out there.
I love this fake shot from TRUE LIES in which they used her own tits shopped onto one of the striptease shots.
I liked the audacity of this shot too.
Red-haired slim beauty Daisy McCrackin is next.
She has the notoriety of doing the only nude shot in the movie.
She played Donna.
A bitch in chaps always gets me pumped up.
In this group shot she is the one in the red boots.
Here we have the gorgeous Bianca Kajich.
She played Sarah in the movie.
She offered up some fine tit shots.
As an actress, she couldn’t scream. So they had to dub in another screamer.
But we tit-hounds in the HH gallery like her regardless.
Next up we have tough girl Katee Sackhoff.
She played Jen in the film.
She had played Starbuck in the latest BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA.
She also did the sexy bounty hunter in the latest REDDICK flick.
Gosh, what a rush to find super model Tyra Banks in the cast.
She is proud of her body.
No fake shots for her.
She is even proud of her Brazilian it seems.
Her tit-shots are pure heaven. Thank-you for gracing the HH gallery, super star.
And last in line is lovely Natassia Malte.
She played the French Maid in the movie.
I was amazed at her tit-shots.
If you got them, flaunt them, right?
This movie rivals some of the SAW babes. Over here at HH, we never tire of thanking ladies for the mammeries.
Film opens with a traveling dolly shot down a all in a mental health facility, past a lot of crazy patients doing a lot of fucking Marat Sade tableaus, with Laurie Strode doing a narration, talking about the hallway we will all end up in at the end of our days, a hallway with a doorway (actually it is a tunnel, & there is no damn door at the end of it; just a plethora of light, & a spirit guide waiting for your dead ass)–one door goes to heaven, the other to hell.
Camera stops on the doorway at the end of the hall, This is that doorway, she says, as the camera goes into the room, & there is Laurie sitting on an unmade bed, holding a Raggedy Andy doll, staring out the window. Her long hair (another cheap wig) looks like a rat’s nest. She is not wearing any make-up & looks just dreadful; even a drunk would not have fucked her with Michael’s killer dick.
Cut back to the hallway, with an older black nurse filling in a younger inexperienced nurse just who the hell Laurie Strode is; seems that she beheaded the wrong person at the end of H2O, for sly Mike grabbed the paramedic who was checking him out in the cafeteria of the private school, crushing his larynx so he couldn’t cry out, then calmly changed clothes with him, putting the MM mask on the deceased dummy.
That being the case, as Michael walks out among the cops & medical teams, & just wanders off into the woods, why didn’t any of those horse-shit official responders notice that Meyers unmasked, his face totally scarred up, hair still half burned off, did not look a thing like the poor son of a bitch medic he just killed; sure, sure, in the confusion it is possible that Mikey pulled it off but–what about after Laurie stole the truck, and watched the “corpse” in the body bag come back to life, and tear its way out of it; that’s all Michael Myers feats. Myers might have crushed the guy’s Adam’s apple, but why would he have left him alive? In addition, after he attacks Laurie & there is a wreck, & he is pinned to the tree, could he not have found a way to communicate to her that he was not Myers? Another interesting but preposterous way to leave Michael alive.
The nurses enter Laurie’s tiny room, give her medication, talking about how she has not spoken a word for three years, that she just stares out the window, & is not responsive to therapy. After they leave, Laurie, of course spits out the meds, & hides them in a handy pocket under the checkered apron of the doll. She gets up & stares out the window. She sees Michael Myers standing outside, then she doesn’t; real or memorex?
Cut to a security guard is doing his rounds. He says a locked gate open, & investigates. We expect Michael to waste his uniformed overweight lard butt, but instead he finds a large inmate in coveralls, wearing a clown mask. This guy, Harold, is an expert on serial killers, has memorized all the stats; this time he is pretending to be John Wayne Gacy.
Cut to the guard’s office. The senior guard sees Myers on a screen for the basement. He rags on the fat guard for fucking up & letting Harold get out of his room again. They rush off to investigate. Security guards never fare well going up against Michael, so we kind of know how this scene is going to go.
En-route, the fat guy has to stop at the candy machine in the hallway. The senior guard heads down to the basement. He finds Michael waiting for him, who doesn’t waste time fucking around; just decapitates his rent-a-cop neck. Soon the fat guy shows up chewing on a Twinkie, sees the decapitated body lying in a nice big pool of blood, but before he could take another bite of Twinkie, or pull his pistol, or blow a whistle, Myers jumps him, & quickly cuts his throat.
Michael strolls through the hallways looking for Laurie; or maybe he already knows which room is hers; this is a hair-brained illogical slasher flick after all. He passes Harold’s room, who sees him but isn’t sure of what he is processing. For some odd reason, Laurie’s door has a round porthole window in the middle of it. Many of the other rooms have standard windows in them; I guess hers was the seclusion cell.
Anyway, when Michael’s face appears in the round window, it is a flashback to that round window scene in H2O. The door is securely locked, so Myers uses some of his demonic super strength, & bashes through the middle of the door as if it was made out of balsa wood; which it obviously was.
We are to somehow believe that he never looked left of right when entering that tiny room, so Laurie was able to clobber him over the head with a lamp. She starts running down the hallway, & he pursues her immediately. Doors are locked everywhere, of course, & the hallways are empty. She makes her way to a stairwell that heads up to the roof. (We then recall that one of the nurses talked about the staff finding Laurie up on the roof several times in the past).
Michael appears on the roof, sees that her bathrobe is sitting on a section near the roof edge. Looking neither left or right, he heads to the robe. Laurie steps out of the shadows, & says Hello, Michael. I knew that you would come for me sooner or later. Then she jerks on a dangling rope, & we are to believe that Myers walked right over to a trap she had set, that no one ever noticed, stepped right into a noose of rope. He is jerked off his feet, as she hoists him 4 feet up in the air. (Where in hell did she get the winch set-up?)
He drops his bloody butcher knife. She picks it up, & prepares to cut his throat as he is hanging there like a lassoed burglar, but after chiding him for being a fucking psycho crazy mother fucker, she stops, & reaches out to the mask.
I have to be sure this time, she mutters.
For Christ’s sake, his hands are free; so much for her three year plan, so far implemented perfectly–until she fucked up & he grabs her arm, lifts her off the ground, takes the knife away from her. She screams & struggles & they both plunge off the roof. But I guess, & we are to accept that the rope around his ankle is holding them both up, & somehow as they fell, the rope got tangled so that they are right side up. He pulls her up close to him, a movie love clench.
We hear him stab her 3-4 times. She leans forward & kisses him on the mask mouth; See you in Hell, Michael she whispers as he drops her & she plunges several stories to the ground, breaking tree limbs, on the way down, & the popping sounds are her bones breaking, her body dying.
Cut to a close up of his face. The mouth is curled a tiny bit; after twenty-three years of trying to waste his younger sister, he accomplished his mission.
Cut to Michael walking in the hallway up to Harold’s room. The door is unlocked. (WTF is up with that?) Myers walks in as Harold stands, recognizes him, accepts the bloody butcher knife that is offered to him, & begins to recite the dates & victims of Myers killing escapades. As expected he mentions only the kills in the original, II, & VII, leaving out the 30 kills done in HALLOWEEN 4, 5, & 6. Now this is beginning to be a boner of contention for me.
Cut to one year later, as we are quickly introduced to a Haunted House Reality Show set up by entrepreneur Freddie & his trusted assistant, Nora.
There are, of course, six teenagers who won the audition contest, & are picked to spend Halloween night in the old Michael Myers house. Bill, Donna, Jen, Jim, Rudy, & Sarah. (Sarah gets all the close ups, seems to be the only one who balks at the enterprise, & is treated like our protagonist).
They are all equipped with a personal POV camera, & the audience can jump back & forth from the contestants, depending on the interest & the action. This was supposed to be broadcast on regular TV & as a computer pod cast, so how the hell could that level of sophisticated technological capacity be implemented? Just asking. It is their job/task to stay the whole night, & to try & find out clues as to what may have motivated Michael Myers to kill so many people (but do not expect Samhain, or Druids, or Thorn, or the Man in Black, or Laurie’s first child, Jamie, or his son (Stephen) to enter into the equation; hell, no). Come to think of it, no one mentions or refers to Dr. Sam Loomis in the whole movie either. I guess lame actor, Tom Kane, was not available to do more voice over work.
Cut to Nora sitting in front of 8-10 monitors, talking to a crew member, Charlie, who is setting up a camera. Nora turns on some hip tunes, & shakes her butt while making a latte, while we see that Michael Myers has appeared, has taken the camera & held the tripod out as a lance, & rammed old Charlie through & through in the throat with it. Of course, by the time Nora looks back at the screens, Charlie is hauled off, & she suspects nothing.
Cut to Halloween night, as lots of press cover the event from outside. The teenagers, equipped with their POV cams, are sent inside, while Freddie pontificates on how cool this is going to be for the viewers. The kids go inside, & then I am pissed off immediately; the tiny head cam shots are are grainy, shaky & shit, all copy that stupid flick BLAIR WITCH, give a sense of immediacy, jump cut like a sombitch; all very cinema verite, all just boring, inane, a waste of time to watch, a real concentration issue not to throw up with techno-induced motion sickness. I read several reviewers equally as unhappy, calling this part of the film A really dumb BLAIR WITCH rip-off. And unfortunately the producers did not take the SAW solution, putting everything on B&W CCTV screens, they continued with this shaky out-of-focus shit for over half of the picture; like trying to masticate a gravel salad with hot tar dressing; sticky chicken shit directorial choices there, Rick man.
We are introduced to Myles, a young HS student who text messages Sarah in a google chat room; no smart phones around much in 2002. She doesn’t know he is only 15, of course, & even though he is dragged off to a teenage Halloween party, he ferrets out a computer, and follows the broadcast.
Cut to in the house: the teenagers break up into three pairs, Bill & Jen, Jim & Donna, & Rudy with Sarah. First we spend time with Bill & Jen, hanging out in sister Judith’s old bedroom, as Jen sits combing her hair at the vanity where the sister got killed by Michael when he was 6 years old. Bill talks Jen into flashing her tits for instant celebrity. She unbuttons her blouse, slowly lifts her undershirt, & we do see a fine set of jugs covered in a lacy black bra; then she shuts it down; bitch was all tease. Bill gets bored & heads off to the upstairs hallway. He meets Michael, who cuts his throat in one quick swipe.
Next we spend time with Jim & Donna, who find a secret door to the hidden basement, like a basement under the basement. They decide they would rather have sex than keep looking for pre-set clues, not seeming to care that both of them were leaving their body cameras on; so thousands of viewer get to see her tiny tits as she pulls her top off.
Just as they start to do the horizontal bop, the wall caves in. After the screaming is over they see the skeletons & remains of dozens of bodies. Upon closer inspection, Jim discovers that the bodies were all fake. They determine that all the cool shit & Michael Myers paraphernalia was pre-set; that what first appeared to be stuff left by the Myers family was all bull shit, all fake.
Jim gets a severe case of the ass, & heads back up the ladder to tell the others about their discovery. Donna puts her top back on, giving us a nice flash tit-shot. Then she saw that there was yet another chamber beyond the remains of the fake wall, & fake corpses. She calls for Jim, but of course, he is long gone.
She crawls through the hole, and with her flashlight begins checking out the anti-chamber.
She sees several rats scurrying. She finds a mattress, blankets, a radio, other personal shit–& then she sees several partially eaten raw meat rat corpses on tin plates; now we now how Michael gets his protein.
Michael Myers appears, & she isn’t sure he is the real deal, but she runs like a stripped-ass dog when he gets rough with her. She comes into a dead end, blocked off by thick steel rods, bent over but still impassible; making the chamber look like it was part of the old sewer system. He charges right in & impales her on one of the longer sharper steel rods; she doesn’t scream much.
Cut to the teen Halloween party; there are a dozen kids watching the pod cast with Myles; he thinks that the murder was “real”, most of them tell him he is out of his mind, it was just CGI & F/X.
Cut to Michael Myers walking from the kitchen to the living room; suddenly, another Michael Myers appears out of the shadows behind him; we all are way ahead of the plot & hip to the horror jive; the first one is a fake, the second one is for real. The first MM hears someone behind him, is shocked, then gets pissed off. It is Freddie all dressed up to scare the kids. He thinks that the other MM is really Charlie, the missing crew guy who got killed first. He scolds “Charlie” & tells him to get the fuck out of there, & out of the costume, & go out to the garage & help Nora with monitoring the camera screens. Michael turns & leaves.
Freddie says; Damn, what does it take to get good help up in this mutha-fucker? (they filmed Michael killing Nora in some of the prints, but in this one we do not discover the deed until later on.
Cut to Freddie, dressed as Michael, scaring the hell out of Sarah. Rudy comes to the rescue bashing Freddie over the head with a club. Freddie complains loudly, & Jim joins them. Freddie promises that if they go along with the fake shit program, they will all make a pile of cash on the event. Sarah, Jim, & Rudy decide they are going to quit the game. They were going to gather up the others & all split together; gathering at the foot of the stairs.
Cut to upstairs, Jen is coming out of a room where she has been getting high on huka pipes, & she discovers Bill hanging upside down (Michael loves to hang bodies upside down), stabbed in the head. While still standing upstairs on the landing, screaming,
with the trio downstairs yelling at her to come down immediately, Myers appears, grabs her, & whooosh, decapitates her fine blond head in one super slice. Her head rolls down the stairs landing at the feet of the teenagers.
Michael starts down the stairs. Jim tells them to run, that the will stay and face Myers (never a good decision in one of these movies). Rudy & Sarah flee just as Michael swats the tall camera, that Jim is thrusting at him, to the floor.
Jim punches him, but it is like punching a brick wall. Myers grabbed him by the face, & held him off the ground; one of his favorite moves, killing him by crushing his skull as blood spurted out of his eyes, nose, mouth, & ears.
By this time Sarah is screaming, though she actually physically could not scream so they had to dub her screams in, & scurrying around. Michael confronts Rudy in the kitchen where he is using two butcher knifes to keep Myers at bay. He cuts Michael several times before Myers stops each of Rudy’s blow with a massive capturing fists, then he lifts him off the floor, driving the big killer blade into his midriff. He held Rudy off the ground, & we got to watch the twitching feet boogie; then Michael drove two knives into the kid, pinning him to the kitchen door. While he was still twitching,
Myers drove a big butcher knife through his chest & out through the door. He left Rudy dangling like a marionette, & took off after Sarah. She locks herself in a bedroom, text Myles, Where is he? Myles while watching the pod cast can see Myers all the time, so he skillfully texts Sarah to escape out a window, then back into an empty room. She runs into Freddie, who breaks the news that Michael has already killed Nora.
Myers catches up to them, as Sarah rushes off & Freddie stands up against Michael, trying some fancy kung fu moves; this slows Myers down but ultimately he catches a leg kick & a punch, & stabs Freddie, tossing him across the room & up against the wall.
Meanwhile, Sarah found the hidden room & is trying to escape. Rushing through the sewer tunnels she comes to where Donna is hanging on the steel spike, but undeterred, she, somehow finds an exit; something sweet small-tits Donna couldn’t manage. She comes out into the garage, & finds the floor covered in blood, with Nora hanging from some cables off the ground.
Michael Myers appears & seems to be cornering her, both skating in the fresh blood. Suddenly the door smashes open & here is Freddie, back, still wounded, but ready to rescue Sarah. He lands several more powerful kicks & punches, but Michael overpowers him, bitch-slapping him to the floor. Freddie sees some live hot cables still hooked up to his equipment.
He clips one to Myers pants’ leg and the electric shocks begin to erupt in the Michael universe. Then Freddie shoves another hot cable into the sea of blood on the floor, which is a good conductor, driving about 100,000 volts through Myers, frying his raisinette ball sack. Michael thrashes about, getting tangled up in a dozen live hot overhead cables; sparks, volts & shit are zapping all over; the room catches fire, as does Myers. Freddie & Sarah exit out the open back door.
Cut to the aftermath, cops everywhere, aide cars, reporters. Sarah looks into the cameras & thanks Myles publicly for saving her life. Freddie tries to spout some hip hop bull shit as the flashbulbs blossom all about them.
As Michael’s body bag is being carted out, Freddie & Sarah unzip it, & spend some time calling him a dead-ass crispy critter; then saying some unkind things about his Mama.
Cut to the morgue. Myers is set out on a slab. The coroner unzips the body bag, we see the mask burned brittle black, then the eyes open up; fade to black, folks–run the end credits.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at 12% Critic’s Approval, that would be 88% negative reviews, & 27% Audience Approval; still 30 million dollar BO payday isn’t hay, right?
Joe Leydon of VARIETY wrote: “This one seems even more redundant & shamelessly money-grubbing than most third-rate horror sequels.”
Dave Kehr of THE NEW YORK TIMES wrote: “Spectators will indeed sit open-mouthed before the screen–not screaming but yawning.”
Kevin Crust of the LOS ANGELES TIMES wrote: “Hey, it’s not the worst film in the series–HALLOWEEN III will never be unseated, but there is not nearly enough scares, or dark humor, to make itself worthwhile.”
David Nusair of REEL FILM REVIEWS wrote: “This one is surprisingly effective, especially the opening sequence, featuring the “last” showdown between Laurie & Michael.”
Ian Waldron-Mantgani of UK CRITIC wrote: “Only a few minutes elapse before the daddy of all slashers arrives, still in the coveralls & white mask, which both look remarkably clean for a guy who has been mass-murdering folks since 1978–but has never been seen doing laundry.” (Actually, though, in HALLOWEEN 4: the Return of MM, after he broke out of the mental institution for the second time, he was still in a hospital gown, so he had to kill that mechanic and steal a clean pair of coveralls.)
Mike McGranaghan of AISLE SEAT wrote: “Actually, there is only one way to really kill Michael Myers for good; just stop buying tickets to these movies.”
You know, this film did hold my attention, but it had this odd structure to it. Even though it opened with a prologue, much like HALLOWEEN H2O, it was unrelated to the rest of the story; as if the death of Laurie Strode (& of course, the writers could resurrect her effortlessly if they wanted or need to) was a short film in itself, 15 well done minutes before sliding into an hour plus of teenage slaughter rock. Growing up in the 50’s, I found teenagers to be popular characters, victims, targets, subject to group ridicule. I guess that is still the case today, or in 2002 when this flick was filmed.
It wouldn’t have made 30 million dollars, but I would have loved it if the first 15 minutes had been released separately, for there is a sense of finality, of closure with it. The Big Brother House, Blair Witch pastiche of a plot that followed really lacked luster & peaked interest. I remember thinking that what would be next–Michael Myers goes on a killing spree in an old folk’s home, in an elementary school, a shopping mall? Then I remembered all that shit already happened in the last year for real–fuck me, what a rush.
I think I do feel short-dicked by having Tyra Bank’s death scene cut out; what the hell were they thinking? This notion that Michael stayed out of sight for three years before finding out where Laurie was residing is some strange shit too; just hiding in the catacomb sewers below his old house, munching rats & reading comic books, waiting for the next Halloween. If Freddie & Nor had not set up the reality show in the house above him, he might not have emerged at all. At least in several of the other sequels, some of which remain nameless for the purposes of this review, he had been locked up, or was in a coma, or pretending to be in a coma.
Four different endings were filmed it seems. Rosenthal wanted Miramax to play all four at different theaters & monitor the results. The studio called bull shit on that brainstorm, & now the alternate endings regarding Freddie’s fate can only be seen on some of the extras on some of the DVDs. The cast had no idea what ending would be used for the final cut. I read that Katee Sackhoff was supposed to play Donna. If she had the tit-shots would have been much more interesting; just saying.
I am inclined to give this clunker an extra star just for the terrific prologue, & the actual tit-shots in it. That being the case, the movie ends up with 6 stars out the HH 10 star rating system; even though it really only deserves to be a 5, secondary to all the gut-wrenching, headache-provoking, bull shit hand-held shaky camera ersatz cinema verite crap we had to suffer through.