Set ironically six years after Michael’s last rampage through Haddonfield, Halloween 6 tells the tale of redemption set on the backdrop of a Halloweenless Haddonfield. When a now grown up Jamie Lloyd escapes the clutches of what seems like a coffin like confinement deep below the earth’s surface, Michael is right behind her, hot on her trail. With her new infant son in toe, the last of the Myers bloodline, Jamie must fight for her life along with a grown Tommy Doyle and an elderly grown Dr.Loomis. With every step Michael, along with the mysterious man in black from the last outing, gets closer to finishing the job the Kid from Lampkin Lane started almost 20 years ago. If our group of franchise favorites succeed, an end could be put to the curse. If not, it’s still Halloween in Haddonfield once more. Welcome to Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers.
I have some business to attend to here- Dr. Sam Loomis
I’ve been a Halloween diehard since I can remember. I was only nine when I unwittingly stumbled onto a double feature of Carpenter’s immortal classic and Rick Rosenthal’s 1981 follow-up and ever since I’ve been a Haddonfield saga addict. Me, all alone, just waiting on some street corner for that next Michael Myers’ blood drenched fix. While over the years I had seen a crappy boot leg I bought off eBay a few times, The Producers Cut of Michael’s fifth outing, three legendarily taking a different narrative route, never really resonated with me. So after having Scream Factory’s stellar Halloween The Complete Collection: Deluxe Edition for a while, I decided to pop this back in and give it another try. The exclusivity of the film, it’s only available publicly in Scream’s deluxe box set, was a big selling point for the set. So I put that badboy in the rusty PS3 last weekend; I’ve been smiling ever since. So let’s hop in that Smith’s Grove Station Wagon, wake up Sheriff Bracket, and head down to Haddonfield as I review Joe Chappelle’s Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers.
Joe Chappelle directs the producers cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers with much more style than that of the theatrical cut. The Producers Cut, a film that was due to actually be titled Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers when released, is much more of a director’s film than the cut that bowed out in theaters back in 1995. This is for so many anger inducing reasons; I freaking despise the theatrical cut now.
One of the main reasons is tone. It’s a word that lesser filmmakers don’t quite understand and one that is critically important in our beloved horror genre. With the producers cut, we get that same tone that fans of the franchise have loved since Carpenter gave birth to the timeless original in 78′. The main reason being the P-Cut utilizes the musical cues crated by Carpenter in the first film. That’s not just the Halloween theme, but also Laurie’s theme and a few other recognizable tones not present in the theatrical cut.
Then there’s the Director’s work as a visual storyteller; The Producers Cut is simply a better directed film. Chappelle, who has gone on too much TV success with series such as HBO’s The Wire (2002-2008), Fox’s Fringe (2008-2013), and 1998’s Phantoms, really bring the goods here. Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms yo. OK, back to the review. With the Director’s first cut, gone is the rapid fast cutting and the way over the top gore from the theatrical cut. In its place, we get much more disciplined camera work and a more simplistic approach to the editing. There’s one shot that is exclusive to The Producers Cut after loud mouthed DJ Barry Simms gets his just due that is both beautifully executed and hauntingly effective. These help give the P-Cut a subtle chilling effect instead of a music video inspired head trip you would get from the theatrical print.
The acting in the producers cut of Halloween: The Curse of Micheal Myers is far more polished that of the theatrical cut. This is probably because the additional footage used for the theatrical cut is mostly either unnecessary gore moments or Rudd and Strode clan running around Smith’s Grove like the Scooby Doo bunch. The van isn’t the only thing mysterious here. Not the ideal choice for an actor. Exorcise over performance.
Much like the cut that we’ve had for years, Donald Pleasance brings the goods to every moment he has on screen. Only, unlike the butchered theatrical cut, here we get much more of the Halloween Jedi’s work. And work does he. What Pleasance brings to the role, that perfect antithesis to Michael, the father-like being to Michael’s fear driven inner child, is as present in the film as it’s ever been sans his untouchable work in the original. Given the fact that he was between 74 and75 years young when the film was shot, tragically dyeing before the ill-advised reshoots, is impressive enough. Simply put, the man is horror royalty.
Paul Rudd is also fantastic in the fifth Haddonfield set horror flick. Rudd, who stars in Payton Reed’s upcoming Ant-Man for Marvel opening later in July, plays a now grownup Tommy Doyle. This was, mind you, the little boy Laurie was watching in Carpenter’s classic. The future Bryan Fantana does the actor’s actor job here of taking every role seriously and treating the lines with respect. It’s no surprise Rudd has gotten to where he is today; the man has next level talent. His scenes in The Producers Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Micheal Myers proves this.
More from 1428 Elm
- Shudder Original Terrified: Poltergeist or Dimensional Beings?
- Godzilla Minus One makes the King of the Monsters terrifying again
- A Creature Was Stirring scares up yuletide frights
- Unwrapping the Unhappy Holidays collection on Shudder
- Holiday Horror viewing guide: 20+ movies to stream this Christmas
Then there is Marianna Hagan. Hagan, who plays the very Laurie Strode inspired character of Kara, does a very effective job taking us on this ride of mayhem. From one Strode to another. It’s really sad Hagan hasn’t worked more since. Most notably, she was in Jim Mickle’s Stake Land back in 2010. I’ve seen “Survivor” girls come and go all over this genre, and Hagan has that quality that most strive for but end up coming short-Girl Next Door charm and believability. Personally I’m glad to call her a Haddonfield resident. Watch the film, she earns it.
Daniel Farrands script, the original building blocks for the much better producers cut, is more chocked with Halloween franchise lore than is the theatrical cut. So much of the film is a continuation of what came before it, mainly being Dwight Llittle’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Dominique Othenin-Girard’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and as a lifelong Halloween fan I devoured every second of this cut. Right from the beginning, Farrands begins to try and solve the many problems created by the horrendously bad Part 5. Mainly being who the man in black is and what is his purpose. You know that character the Director of Part 5 saw when filming in the background and put a lookalike in his movie for no reason. In your face Dominique.
Though not all of Farrand ‘s original script is present in the Producers Cut, it’s still a sharper addition to the Halloween franchise than what was bestowed on audiences in 1995. Gone is the Paul Rudd opening narration, now replaced with a much more poignant monologue by the legend Donald Presence. Same words, more poignancy. It infuriates me that this was changed, because I don’t see the point at all. Even with Clueless opening first, Halloween 6 was shot before but because of reshoots the release was pushed, I can’t see them realizing Rudd’s drawing power that early. It’s not like he’s the lead in Clueless; Color me clueless on this one Deadites.
Over all, this is a much better script. Not only is Jamie not stupidly killed off in the first ten minutes, but the whole film feels just like that; much more whole. I’m not even sure if you could call the theatrical cut as having a script. Roughly forty percent of the film was scrapped in the reshoots and to my knowledge it was the Weinstein’s pulling the strings on Director Chappelle like a marionette puppet. As if Harvey gave story ideas to the Director and they made up stuff on the spot. Got to love micromanagement filmmaking. Here we get more scenes with Kara, much more content featuring not only Loomis but scenes and situation more in line with the series, and a more satisfying conclusion. Some may find the cult and mythological stuff a little too much for a film that started with a simple wacko in a Star Trek mask, but I found it ultimately satisfying as a fan.
The Producers Cut of Joe Chappelle’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is miles better than that MTV inspired trash that the Weinstein’s gave as the “legit” version in those old 1995 theaters. While the story may be silly to some, the film is still an atmospheric attempt to tie up the many lose of the horrible fifth entry. I extremely recommended the film to Halloween fans and to anyone that wants a little schooling of the studio system and how a film can change drastically after a test screening. Now go, be creatures of the night. And wear your sunglasses.