Classic horror

HALLOWEEN II (10) (2009)

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SLASH’S SHITFACED SATURDAY

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HALLOWEEN II (10) (2009) 

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That is correct, this review is being written on Halloween, but as per our normal posting procedures, it will drop into HH on Saturday, as a part of SLASH’S SHITFACED SATURDAY series.

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Rob Zombie helmed this production; totally exhausted after doing the fantastic reboot of the series with HALLOWEEN (9) (2007), he initially turned down the chance to direct the sequel–but after a year of resting & cooling down, he became more open the idea. He approached the production with the proviso that he no longer was bound by a sense of needing to retain any “John Carpenter-ness”,  that he “felt free to do whatever he wished.”

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Zombie talked to the press about making this sequel “Ultra-gritty, ultra intense, & very real.” almost the diametrical opposite of what most people expected. We will see Michael Myers unmasked, & further explore his sister Laurie’s psychological issues,

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“As Laurie is Michael’s sister, I am playing it like he is clearly insane, but so is she, although her insanity doesn’t manifest itself in the same way. She will be slipping into insanity throughout the whole movie.”

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An interesting sidebar here, the Weinstein Company wanted to greenlight a production team for HALLOWEEN III (11) back in 2009. Zombie opted out as director. Patrick Lussier, director of MY BLOODY VALENTINE, was brought on board. It will filmed in 3D. Scout Taylor Compton, Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif & Malcolm McDowall are rumored to return for this film. The project moved into reality in 2011, & then was cancelled in 2012. But in May 2014, Demension Films announced that HALLOWEEN 3 is back on track.

“We can confirm that a new installment of HALLOWEEN is indeed moving forward, currently redeveloping a script to finally return Michael Myers to the theaters; something his fans deserve, & will love.”

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The movie, for the first time, was filmed in Georgia, providing both a substantial tax incentive, & the look Zombie wanted; shot in Atlanta, Decatur, Compton, & Madison. The budget for HALLOWEEN II was 15 million, & it grossed over 33 million, to lukewarm critical reviews. The body count was 20, with one dog killed & eaten, oddly tying into the forgotten sequels, the ones pre-Zombie. There are a lot of bodacious tit-shots & lots of action.

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Taglines:  Family is Forever.

                They survived the terror, but not their destiny.

                 You can run, hide, or you can fight like hell. 

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IMDb User Review: If you want to see a lot of people get stabbed with a cool director’s visual style, & a ton of boobs–you’ll like the hell out of this movie!

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The film stars Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, & Malcolm McDowell, with cameos by Howard Hessman, Octavia Spencer, Margo Kidder, Mark Boon Junior, & Weird Al Yankovic.

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The musical score (mostly rearranging popular rock songs) was done again by Tyler Bates.

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The cinematography was done by Brandon Trost, who has lensed 76 films since 2001, over half of them “Shorts”, including LIGHTNING BUG (2004), CHAOS (2005), BROKEN GLASS (2007), PULSE 2 & PULSE 3–Video Games, CRANK; High Voltage (2009), GHOSTRIDER 3 (2011), & THE LORDS OF SALEM (2012).

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THE HALLOWEEN BABE GALLERY:

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In this, our last visit to the hot babes in Mikey Myers Land, we were fortunate to be overloaded with ladies who were willing to share their best assets.

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Our tasty lead-off gal is Sylvia Jerries

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who plays stripper Misty Dawn.

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Her scenes in the Strip Club were cool.

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She had done some fine nudity in other films as well. I wonder if the director during auditions, says, “Show me your tits”.

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Next up we have the stunning director’s wife,

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Sheri Moon Zombie,

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reprising her role as Deb Myers,

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Michael’s very hot Mama.

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Our protagonist is next,

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Scout Taylor-Compton,

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playing the mysterious Laurie Strode,

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doing things Jamie Lee Curtis never dreamed of.

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Now in her fourth appearance in the series,

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tying Jamie Lee Curtis for number of times in it,

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Danielle Harris plays Annie Brackett.

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We have watched her grow up in these movies.

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And that is always cool.

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Margot Kidder plays Barbara, Dr. Loomis’ assistant;

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yes Miss Lois Lane herself.

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Back in the late 70’s

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she was no stranger to nude scenes.

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Her tit shots are classic but still nice.

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Brea Grant played Mya.

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She did a nice sexy photo shoot

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for MAXIM, at one point,

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& we at HH are happy to share it.

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Nothing in color, but B&W is fine too.

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Betsy Rhue played Jazlean.

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I found some shots

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from another film that she graced

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with a lot of special tit-shots.

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Nice to include her rack in the HH Gallery.

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Our final babe was Nicky Whelan

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who played Wendy in this film.

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She, too, provided some stunning

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nude shots to grave our review with.

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Ever notice that faces can be familiar,

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but every pair of boobs is unique.

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SYNOPSIS:

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In the movie before this, Zombie did like a dozen set up shots of Mama Myers visiting young Michael in the asylum, somewhere in an institution near LA; he opens with one of those shots–Deb Myers coming in winter to visit her son; we recognize the gate, the facility.

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Cut to interior of the visiting room, where Mama has given Michael a toy statue of a white stallion. (Young Michael, with the long blond tresses is played this time by Chase Vanek; the original actor from the previous film, Daeg Faerch, was cast & shot a few scenes before it was determined he had aged too much to pull it off.).

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Little Mikey is so sad; Mama asks him why. It seems he had a dream the night before, that his mother appeared all dressed in angelic white, leading a white horse toward him in the hallway, telling him that soon she would be there to take him home.

Cut to 15 years later, to that night He came home in 1978–picking up the story exactly where HALLOWEEN (9) left off. We see a stumbling figure in silhouette, a woman, or rather a young girl. It is Laurie Strode, carrying a pistol, limping, covered in blood, staggering down the middle of the street & no one takes any notice.

A police car emerges out of the fog, & stops behind her. It is Sheriff Brackett. He takes the pistol from here, puts her in the patrol car & takes her to the hospital.

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Cut back to the empty swimming pool where Laurie left Michael after shooting him in the face; lots of police activity as the critically wounded Annie Brackett, still topless, her tiny tits slashed up, still screaming in shock, carried out of the old house & put in an ambulance. Then we see paramedics carrying Dr. Loomis, still alive,  to another aid van.

Cut to five men & one woman trying to stuff the presumed deceased body of Michael Myers into an XXL body bag. It takes all six of them to lift his 300 pound 6’ 9” frame onto a cart, & into an ambulance.

Cut to a chopper shot of the ambulance traveling on a lonely road headed to the coroner’s. (I have to call bull shit here, for the killings were done in Haddonfield, picked up in town; are we to believe that somehow to get to the fucking morgue, they took the long way out in the country on a lonely two-lane blacktop?).

Cut to the interior of the ambulance. They are discussing how damn heavy this stiff in the back was, when the younger man begins talking weirdly about getting aroused when he saw the naked body of Lynda; how he’s never felt that way before, but that naked bitch corpse made him sprout wood. This, of course, disgusts the older driver, who is lecturing the other guy so intensely that he didn’t see the cow in the road, which the ambulance plows into like hitting a brick wall at 50 m.p.h.

Cut to the aftermath. We see that the older driver is a mass of bloody wounds & shit, & has died in the crash. The younger perve driver is injured, but alive. He begins to weakly call for help (oh sure, who in hell was out there to hear him?). Then we hear a thunderous blow on the inside of the back door. Michael Myers has come back to life, & he wants out of that metal beer can. The shot is from outside, as each blow, or kick, that Michael administers is as loud as sledge hammer blows on sensitive microphones.

The back doors burst open, & we see Michael’s huge feet & legs jump from the back. Cut to the whimpering pervert in the cab. We see Myers now on the driver’s side. As Michael walks around the steaming front of the van, he stoops to pick up a large piece of glass (glass what, you might ask; when a windshield breaks it turns into a lattice work of crumbled flakes–perhaps it was a very large shard from one of the mirrors; what a nit-picker I am).

Michael reaches in, grabs the paramedic by the hair, pulls his head back, & saws away at his neck, like someone carving the Thanksgiving goose. He decapitates the pervert, & lifts his head up, taking it. As he walks along away from the wreck, he sees a very clear vision, of his mother, his younger self still dressed in the clown outfit he was in when he killed sister Judith, & the white stallion. (I get the feeling that this movie will go deep into madness like none of the others ever did.). This scene has a Roger Corman drive-in vibe to it.

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Cut to the hospital. Laurie awakens, all beat to shit & bandaged up, a boot cast on her right foot & leg. She throws off the covers, & painfully gets up. A nurse watching her has fallen asleep in a chair by her bed.

Cut to the Nurse’s station. Two nurses are laughing it up; one is leaving for the night; a plump black one is staying for the night shift (Octavia Spencer before THE HELP).

Cut to Laurie stumbling along with her IV tower, entering Annie’s room. She is devastated by how bad Annie looks, & is blubbering some heavily medicated nonsense babble as Nurse Daniels comes in & makes her go back to her room.

En route, the nurse gets a code call on the speaker, so she leaves Laurie in the hallway. But Laurie’s meds are wearing off, & she is beginning to hurt, & is getting dizzy, so she returns to the Nurse’s Station for help.

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Nurse Daniels comes back, but the front of her blouse is bloody, & she is spitting blood bubbles. Michael Myers appears–connecting for a moment to the original plot structure of HALLOWEEN II (1981). Laurie comes to life, rushing out the back of the station, screaming, tearing out her IV. Michael steps up over the fallen Nurse.

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He whips out a butcher knife, picks up the woman by the back of the hair, & then stabs her a dozen times; the sound effects are really vivid as the blade does its job.

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Cut to Laurie trying to escape down the stairwell, stumbling along, falling several times. She finds another nurse sliced up like bacon bits & shit on one of the landings.

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Michael appears & starts down the stairs after her. She manages to get the main floor escape door open, & stumbles out into the rain.

Cut to a beautifully set up wide shot in the rain as Laurie stumbles along, fleeing for her life. She is heading toward a gate & a guard shack. Michael appears from the building, a small menacing figure at 150 yards off. Laurie finds, of course, that there is no one in the shack. She discovers an open window, opens it, crawls in, & hides under the desk.

Cut to an aged overweight security guard (we all know he is dead meat), arriving for his shift. He discovers Laurie inside, tells her to wait there while he goes & pulls his car over there. He locks the front door. A long two minutes go by with Laurie whimpering, & he shows up, apologizing for taking so long.

Michael appears, stabbing the old man mid-back; we hear the butcher blade slicing deep into the spine, the bones splintering, as Myers rips a huge wound up toward the head. Laurie hides again under the desk. Myers grabs a fire axe & walks around the building peering in the windows, increasing the suspense. (I must say that Zombie, who has decided that Michael does not know how to drive, remains true to the premise. The guard’s car is unlocked with the motor running, & Myers pays no attention to it.).

Cut to Laurie under the desk, as Michael begins to tear down the door, & then using the axe, begins to tear apart the wall, crashing the blade through it like a pitchfork through a hay bale. Laurie tries to escape out a back door, but of course, it is locked, & there is no escape (another fine example of the hundreds of non-functional doors in horror movies that mysteriously are locked & cannot be unlocked). Myers bashes & cuts his way into the shack as Laurie looks up into his mask. He dispassionately lifts the axe, & just as he swings for her head–

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she wakes up. It is one year later as she lurches up screaming from a nightmare. We discover that she has been living with Sheriff Brackett & daughter Annie.

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At breakfast we find out that Michael has been missing for a year; no one ever found his body. This Laurie Strode is pretty fucked up, skanky unwashed hair, no make  up, jittery as an addict in rehab, cranky, paranoid, & seeing a psychiatrist.

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Cut to Dr. Loomis on a lucrative new book tour. He has become a boring, mean, greedy egotist, who verbally abuses his assistant, Barbara (Margot Kidder in a rare appearance).

Cut to beautiful crane & chopper shots of Michael Myers, dressed in old dirty rags & a huge coat with a hood, walking across wide farm fields, & through patches of woods. At night, while camped out, we see his face, this big bearded man with scary eyes; a homeless figure.

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He is having another of his visions, where his mother, & younger self, & the horse show up to keep him motivated, instructing him that it is nearly Halloween, & it is time to bring his little sister, Angel (Laurie) home, to become part of the family; so he sets off toward Haddonfield.

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Cut to a night shot, Michael is walking along a farm road, & he is caught in the headlights of a pick up. It is the redneck farmer, his daughter, & his slob son-in-law. The farmer is played by Mark Boone Junior (before SONS OF ANARCHY & MEMENTO).

They halt Michael, warn him to stay off their land, then give him a beatdown with a tire lug wrench & a baseball bat. While they are yucking it up, bragging about how tough they are, Michael gets up, puts his white mask on, pulls out a hunting knife like a Bowie blade, & smashes the passenger door window, pulls out the son-in-law, & guts him. The farmer gets out, yelling that the bum is in for it now. Myers slams him down on the hood of the truck, & does an autopsy on him.

Finishing with the men, the pulls the daughter out of the truck. We see this in long shot, in silhouette. He drags her a few feet & then stabs her about ten times, his angry arm pumping up & down, the sound of the hunting knife carving girl flesh. (It is about at this point that I realized Zombie was giving us a terrible glimpse of real psychopathic madness; very brutally, realistically, no jump cuts or stylized action; blunt, murderous stabs into people we begin to really see as mostly innocents. Oddly, for nine movies we have watched Michael killing people like a rabid terrier kills rats, but this time we are allowed to really feel the rage, the blood lust, the tragedy of the madness).

Cut to Laurie, deeply disturbed & distressed, at the bathroom sink, taking some mental health medication. While staring in the mirror, we see Michael in it behind her. She begins to hallucinate while awake, being visited by Mother Myers & young Michael–then suddenly she becomes the 10 year old Michael, is dressed in his clown outfit, is staring at Annie sleeping in a chair. She takes some duct tape, & wraps Annie up, tying her to the chair, just like Michael did to his stepfather, Ron. She pulls down the silly clown mask, & slits Annie’s throat before waking up.

Cut to Michael, having killed the farmer’s dog, calmly sitting alongside it, tearing off chunks of meat & eating it raw; we remember that the only other food we recall him eating was rats, so canine tartar is probably preferable. This is a paean to Carpenter’s vision where several other dogs have been sacrificed to Michael’s murderous rages.

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Cut to Dr. Loomis who is encountered harsh criticism from several press interviewers, & even the folks buying his new book. At one of the signings, the father of former victim, Lynda, pulls out a pistol, calls Loomis a murderer, & has to be taken down & arrested. The hand gun was not loaded.

Cut to Halloween day. Laurie & Annie are arguing terribly. Annie is calm, logical, while Laurie is just ranting, swearing, saying ugly, hurtful things; then storms out of the house. She visits her friends at work, a record shop called DOCTOR MEAT’S.

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The spin doctor is played by Howard Hessman in a nice cameo. Laurie visits her psychiatrist, demands more meds, & when the doctor refuses, Laurie calls her a lesbian cunt, & splits.

Cut to the RABBIT RED Gentleman’s Club, where we meet the proprietor, his security guard stooge, & his favorite stripper, his main squeeze box, Misty Dawn.

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The Boss liked to verbally abuse his helper, sending him out of the joint to go empty the garbage, while he played with Misty’s tits, then bent her over his desk & played hide the salami with her.

Cut to outside, where the security guard encounters Michael, threatens him if he doesn’t move on, the takes a punch at him. Myers grabs the punk’s fist, jerking him up in the air like three feet, then slams him down onto the ground so hard we hear the man’s spine breaking. Michael then stomps on the man’s head several times, crushing the skull into a bone/brain casserole.

Cut to back inside the strip club where the boss is busy porking Misty, her tits bobbing as he banged her. Michael appears. The Boss pulled out a pistol from his desk drawer & talks tough. Myers moves lightning fast, breaking the man’s wrist as the pistol rattled onto the floor, then began to slam his head into the desk, & several of the walls, then finished off by strangling him.

Misty ran out of the office naked, finding the other man hanging from a rope on the stage, his head so smashed up it looked like a meat tenderizer had worked it over. She encounters a locked door, & Michael is upon her too. We see some of this action in one of the large mirrors. He begins to smash her face into the mirror, again & again, blood running all over her tits, shots from the front & the back as we enjoy seeing her butt as she does the dance of death. After the glass disappears, Myers keeps smashing her head into the wall. When her face has become hamburger, he lets her slip naked & bloody to the floor.

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Cut to a book store. Dr, Loomis’s book has been released. Laurie buys a copy, & reads it while sitting in her car. While reading she comes to the chapter all about her; revealing that she was adopted by the Strodes as a baby, that she actually is Angel, Michael Myers’ little sister.  Finding this out makes her go ape shit, screaming, pounding on the dash.

Cut to Laurie drunk, at a BFF get-together over at Mya’s place with Harley. After revealing her dark secret to her friends, they decide to go to a huge Halloween Rave party.

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Cut to the very active, very loud rocking Rave Halloween party (in a way another Carpenter tribute, similar to the college Halloween party in  HALLOWEEN VI (1995). Now this event is very psychedelic, very Rob Zombie brings a bunch of his rock-n-roll buddies in & they shoot with pink & red filters. This is a real rock revel, several strippers are topless on stage with the master of ceremonies, &/or the lead singer of the band. Laurie, Mya, & Harley arrive in costume & dirty dance with every swinging dick they can.

At one point, Harley hooks up with a short werewolf, & they get into his van to party. She flashes her tits, kisses him through his mask, & mounts him like one of the dudes from BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. The young man had been drinking a lot, so he excused himself to go take a piss. Harley was already finger fucking herself to keep the passion up.

While outside, standing by a tree pissing, Michael appears, & stabs him 3-4 times quickly. He goes down with his dick in his hands. Then Myers gets in the van with Harley & blade-fucks her passionately.

Cut to the Brackett house. Annie is pissed off that the Sheriff has assigned one of his Gomer Pyle deputies to stand guard with a shotgun on their porch. This deputy is strutting around doing his best “I’m not scared of no Michael Myers” muttering. Annie in her robe is talking to the Sheriff, telling him to quit calling her every half hour, that she will be fine. (But we all know that is not true. In the Zombie reboot she is alive in Part II, but her character will not survive this sequel).

The deputy hears something. He has a shotgun equipped with a large flashlight under it, which he uses to investigate. Michael appears, slaps the shotgun out of the rube’s hands, & gives him a free open heart & brain surgery simultaneously.

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Cut to inside the house. Myers takes after Annie who while running around like a trapped mouse in a maze, is cornered in the upstairs bathroom. Danielle Harris had done a good job in this movie, making Annie likable & real.

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So, thankfully, Zombie pulls the camera back to outside the house. We hear her screams, hear the knife singing to her, but do not have to watch the butchering.

Cut to the Halloween Rave. Laurie & Mya can’t find Harley, but they are pretty sure she had already hooked up with some guy, so they left her there; she could find her own way home. They are shitfaced & giggling when they arrive at the Brackett house. They do not see the police car, or the deputy, but hell, they are stoned, & it is dark out.

Cut to inside as they wander around calling for Annie. When they do find her all cut to shit lying naked on the bathroom floor, they sober up fast. Annie is still barely alive. Laurie is screaming for Mya to go downstairs & call 911, which she does; but she doesn’t know the address of the place. She steps out on the porch & tells them the house number. Michael appears & snatches her back inside, slamming the door. He puts her on the kitchen table & carves her up like a holiday ham. Once again, this is brutal, & we had gotten to know Mya, & liked her. It feels so odd to have my emotions stoked by Zombie’s expert manipulation. I became upset, frightened, & very angry at Michael for the inexorable inescapable slaughter of the true innocents.

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Then Myers is upstairs chasing Laurie, who moves cat-quick, gets out of the house, finding (Demon forbid) an unlocked door. We follow her running from Myers, through fields, through the woods, finally collapsing on a lonely highway (what else would she collapse on). Several cars had driven by her without stopping, but finally one did stop.

It was some kind of piece of shit mini-Korean model. The young man cannot fully understand her plight, as she is covered in Annie’s blood, & is muttering & babbling, but he helps her into the car, telling her everything will be fine, that he will take her to the hospital.

Michael appears, picks the hapless young man up by the mackinaw, & slams him down on the hood of the car. We hear the Bowie knife humming in the air, punctuated by the base drum thumps as it cut flesh & breaks bone. Myers flips the body off onto the ground, & decides to push the mini-vehicle over into the ditch; which he does, lifting the car like Hercules flipping over a war chariot. The car rolls over onto its top in the ditch; injuring & knocking Laurie unconscious. Michael pulls her out of the wreck, & carries her off down the road.

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Cut to four or eight police cars, lit up, sirens blaring, arriving at the Brackett house. First they find what’s left of Mya, then some of them go upstairs and find Annie. The deputies try to hold the Sheriff back from viewing Annie, but he pushes his way roughly into the bathroom.

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Brad Dourif had been given several scenes in this movie to establish his fragile mental state. Now we see him breaking down emotionally like he was Hamlet finding Ophelia. The camera stays on his face as he descends into hell, as his heart is truly torn asunder, as his soul threatens to abandon his husk.

Cut to Michael Myers walking toward an abandoned cabin, carrying Angel, his little sister who had been raised as a Strode. Mama Myers & his 10 year old self in the clown suit accompany him. Inside, Laurie awakens to find her real mother in her face, & the young Michael holding her arms behind her back. She is ordered by Deborah to say, I love you Mommy, which she does repeatedly. We are a family again, all together, Mama says.

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Cut back to the cops cleaning up at the Brackett house. One of the deputies tells the Sheriff that Michael Myers is holed up in an old cabin out of town, & that the cops have surrounded it. Brackett gets a wild look in his grieving face, rallies the troops,  & six police vehicles head for the cabin.

Cut to Dr. Loomis, seeing this event unfolding on TV live in his motel room.

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Cut to the cabin, with the Sheriff on the bullhorn ordering Michael to come out, to give up, resistance is futile, there is a chopper hovering over the cabin, & he is totally surrounded. Inside, Laurie is still being held down by the younger version of Michael, & Mama Myers is smiling, & Michael is standing mute without his mask (which is mostly torn up & falling apart anyway, as a cheap rubber Halloween mask should have done.

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This film is the first time in the series that we have seen Michael’s face clearly, several times, somehow humanizing the behemoth, putting a person’s actual face on the Monster; a master stroke from director Zombie).

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Dr. Loomis shows up, asking if he can help, getting his share of the TV coverage. Sheriff Brackett loses his shocked cool, knocks Loomis to the ground & puts a .357 Magnum in his face, hoarsely screaming, I want to kill you! I want to kill you!

Deputies restrain the Sheriff, as Loomis scurries by & heads for the cabin door. For the cameras, Loomis says, Michael knows me. I can get Laurie out of there. I owe this to all of you I have hurt with the truth in my book. Then he enters the cabin.

Inside he finds Laurie thrashing around on the floor, believing that she is being held down. Michael is standing near her glowering at the doctor. Loomis tries to convince her that no one is restraining her, that she needs to calm down, focus, come to her senses. Michael pulls on the ratty William Shatner white mask.

Cut to outside. This is the Director’s cut so now we see Michael & Loomis crashing through the cabin’s wall, landing on the ground outside. Fifty cops hold their fire as Loomis gets up, pleading with Michael to give up, trying to take the mask off him. Myers violently stabs Loomis in the heart, yelling quite clearly, DIE !!–this is the first & last time the adult Michael has ever spoken.

The the fusillade of constabulary lead begins to rain down upon Myers. Every one of the cops is firing their riot rifles repeatedly, as 200 shots are fired. We watch about 40 of them hit Michael in slow motion, a real Peckinpah death scene; the Giant shuddering with the gun shots. This is another connecting scene to the series, aping the death by police at the end of HALLOWEEN IV (1998).

Laurie walks out of the cabin, walks over to Michael lying on the ground, & inexplicably picks up the pig sticker Bowie knife. The Sheriff yells Hold your fire, but it is too late, as three shots ring out & bring the mad bitch down. We get a chopper overhead shot as the camera dollys back, showing us the trinity of death, Michael Myers, Angel Meyers, & Dr. Sam Loomis lying in a cross of dead bodies. Fade to black. Roll the credits.

This was an alternate ending included by Zombie for this Director’s Cut. In the original released version, after Loomis enters the cabin, Mama Myers tells Michael It is time to go home, where upon Michael grabs Loomis, slashing up his face, & stabbing him several times in the chest. Then he picks up the body of Dr. Loomis & stands in front of an open window. Sheriff Brackett shoots Michael twice, who drops Loomis, &  falls backward onto the rusty spikes of some farm equipment ( mirroring the death he gave his niece, Jamie Strode, after the birth of his son, in HALLOWEEN VI: Curse of Michael Myers (1995) ).

Somehow released from her hallucinations, Laurie walks up to Michael, tells him she loves him, big brother, then stabs him a dozen times in the chest & face. The cabin door opens & Laurie appears wearing Michael’s mask. As she pulls off the mask, the scene shifts to Laurie in an isolation cell on a psychiatric ward; where the room is elongated like the scenery in THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, a real German expressionist  scene. A remix of LOVE HURTS blares from the sound track. At the end of the long hallway room, she sees Deborah Myers approaching, walking with the white stallion. This scene was so beautifully shot that Zombie did include it in the Director’s Cut as an earlier disturbing hallucination scene for Laurie.

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Rotten Tomatoes rated this film at 20% Critic’s Approval with 45% Audience Approval.

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Kyle Smith of THE NEW YORK POST wrote: “Zombie offers up a rush of fiercely imagined nightmare images.”

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Joe Neumaier of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS wrote: “Zombie walks the walk, you can’t deny it–& he has found the medium where he can let his Freak Flag fly highest.”

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Chuck Wilson of the L.A. WEEKLY wrote: “Zombie has talent to burn, but he is slumming here, & one suspects that he knows it.”

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Ali Gray of TheShiznit.co.uk wrote: “The irony, of course, is that by attempting to breathe new life into Michael Myers, Zombie may be the man who has finally killed him. Let us hope in this case–the bastard remains dead. HALLOWEEN II may very well be the bullet in his brain.”

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William Goss of CINEMATICAL wrote: “At one point we see Myers in silhouette  dragging a victim out of a truck, then stabbing him again, & again, & again, singularly summing up what a numbing experience it all is. No flashes of blood, no hints of character, just shadows killing shadows.”

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Rob Humanick of PROJECTION BOOTH wrote: “This film might be the most artfully rendered slasher sequel ever made. Alas, Zombie’s dark poetry only goes so far without more substantive justification.”

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John Beifuss of COMMERCIAL APPEAL wrote: “Brutal & redundant, but not without a certain ugly integrity, this gruesome sequel allows Zombie to continue to explore his idea that Michael Myers is a pathetic & tragically irredeemable product of terrible childhood abuse.”

MY RATING:

Well, once again, I find the critics wanting, lost in lack of translation, not fully recalling all nine other movies in the franchise. This was another example of Rob Zombie golden cinematic genius. He totally rewrote, & re-imagined the Michael Myers legend, & as he promised made the film more believable. As stated previously, I found myself fully engaged with all these characters very emotionally for the first time. In its own quiet brilliant way, Zombie somehow brought the trappings of empathy & explication & full disclosure to this film.

I am not sure that I will be receptive to the next sequel rumored to be in the works.  Zombie capped this one brilliantly; no voodoo Celtic Druid ghoulish unbelievability evident, the insane adrenaline of the giant brute Michael Myers was finally put to rest, brought down hard & righteously.

I read where buddy John Carpenter was offered a cameo in this film, but it is just as well he turned it down. I just saw a CNN piece on Charles Manson last night, with up to date photos of him, this wizened totally gray madman, still with fire in his eyes, & I thought absurdly, Fuck, Manson now looks just like John Carpenter. In the movie, in her bedroom, Laurie had a picture of  Charles Manson on the wall next to Alice Cooper posters.

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I liked the idea that Tyler Mane got to play Michael Myers again. He really brought his A-game bulk to the arena. In one scene of the movie, a 4-year old boy in a Halloween costume walked up to the 6’ 9” Michael. Are you a giant? the little boy asks. Myers does not respond. The child’s parents drag him off, but the image, the frightening juxtaposition of a 3 foot tyke confronting the mad behemoth harkens back to those scenes in the original FRANKENSTEIN, where the Monster towers over the little girl picking flowers by the lake.

When one looks up the White Horse as a dream symbol, we find that if it appears, it symbolizes ambition, or a drive to succeed favorably, that by its very appearance now there is a better chance for prosperity & pleasure. So even though the Mama Myers scenes resembled scenes from countless HAMMER vampire & werewolf movies, it was more Zombie brilliance to cover Deborah Myers in angelic white, giving us a glimpse into the fragile balance of good & evil within the tortured life & brain of Michael Myers. Of course, the fact that Laurie referred to herself as Angel Myers heightened the Yin/Yang features of the legend. I did not expect to like this film so much, figuring that because Rob Zombie was pressured into helming it, it would turn out to be yet another poorly realized schlock entry; but not so, it turned out to be one of the best; not quite up to the Zombie reboot two years earlier, but damn close. I would also rate it highly, at 9.0 out of 10 HH rating stars.

HALLOWEEN SERIES WRAP-UP:

For now we are done with the Michael Myers stories, and following are my ratings for all ten of them.

HALLOWEEN (1978)                                                             7.5

HALLOWEEN II (1981)                                                           5.0

HALLOWEEN III: Season of the Witch (1982)                      5.5

HALLOWEEN IV: Return of Michael Myers (1988)              7.0

HALLOWEEN V: Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)            5.5

HALLOWEEN VI: Curse of Michael Myers (1995)                7.0

HALLOWEEN (7): H2O: Twenty Years Later (1998)             8.0

HALLOWEEN (8): Resurrection   (2002)                                 6.0

HALLOWEEN (9) (2007)                                                            9.0

HALLOWEEN II (10) (2009)                                                       9.0

OK, so that give the whole series, stretched out to 31 years:

6.95 stars; not bad for the John Carpenter & Debra Hill vision, that outgrew them, expanded into its own horizons, & finished with a Zombie BANG.

 

 

1 reply »

  1. OK, how you HH heads like me now? 51 posted reviews deep, & still hammering away at horror. Next week we will start on the FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) series; there are 12 of those movies in the franchise, so that should keep me busy until sometime in January 2015. Jason Voorhees will be the next featured Bad Boy; hope you all dig it & shit.

    Like

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