October Extras #31 - Halloween 5 (1989)

OCTOBER 30, 2007

LAST SEEN: 2006 (?) (DVD)

I think I just watched Halloween 5 again last year, when the new DVD came out. Or maybe I just watched the commentary. I dunno, who cares. Also, I'd like to point out that the "Revenge of Michael Myers" subtitle does not appear in the actual film, which I never noticed before.

Way to start the review off interesting, huh?

Like H20, 5 has great things, and terrible things, and it really depends on my mood which way I go with it. On one hand, it’s got some great and fairly unnerving sequences (Jamie in the laundry chute, the barn chase, and Rachel’s death), but on the other, its got those goddamn goofy fucking cops (with their even more annoying circus music), one of the series’ most annoying characters (Tina), and the fucking “Man in Black” that served to ultimately destroy the franchise. You can literally pinpoint the second the remake wheels began turning: when the man in black first appears, kicking a dog as he gets off a bus.

Yes, for reasons I forget, someone decided this film needed to begin to boost the mythology of Michael Myers a bit, so we have this mysterious man in black following him around throughout the movie, and shown as having the same tattoo as Michael has apparently always had (and, bonus of the large projection – the symbol appears on the wall at the Myers house near the end. Never noticed before.) At the end of the film, while Michael hilariously sits in a jail cell with his mask still on, the man comes along, fires what looks like a tommy gun into the police station, killing everyone and taking Michael away. Six years later, we found out it was a guy who was in one scene of the original, leading some nonsensical cult. Whatever.

There are so many moments in this film that just baffle me to no end. For starters, how does “Mikey” hear Tina calling him from what appears to be 3 blocks away as he DRIVES A CAR!?!?!? Why does Rachel scream in pain before picking up the phone to tell Loomis that Max is gone? Why does Mikey need to apologize to Sam? Why would Michael drive Tina to her party? Why has the Myers house suddenly become a giant gothic thing (complete with spiral room)? Why does “Cookie Woman” suddenly break Jamie’s mute status? Why does the title card say it’s one year later when everything else (Jamie’s age, the time since the night he first went after Laurie) puts it at two years since 4? Why would someone whose best friend’s family was destroyed by Michael Myers be so insensitive/stupid as to play a prank in which her friend pretends to be him (in front of cops no less)?

Speaking of that friend, has there ever been a stranger character in a slasher movie than “Spitz”? He laughs like Dr. Giggles almost non-stop, sings love songs to another guy when his super hot girlfriend is standing right there, and his name is Spitz. At one point in the film, I began to fear for the characters not because of Michael, but because of him. He seems more unbalanced than Michael and Loomis put together.

And yes, Loomis reaches the apex of his insanity in this one (he would only make one more appearance, in Curse, and was relatively subdued in it, when he wasn’t edited out entirely). He borderline assaults Jamie on more than one occasion, and even holds her up as bait at the end. Most of his dialogue is just beyond any sort of rational thought, and even when he does say something normal, he screams it (“If that GIRL! DIES TONIGHT!!!”). And his odd fascination with a scarecrow sitting outside the hospital always gives me a chuckle.

Before the two films, we were shown a brief little retrospective about their creation, with most of the principals in new interviews, plus archive interviews of those who are sadly no longer with us (Moustapha Akkad and Debra Hill). One notable exception is Dominique Othenin-Girard, who is represented only with archive footage from the set of 5. Come on man, even Carpenter offered a few words, and he had nothing to do with these two! But the real highlight was a disturbing recollection from Danielle Harris (who is so goddamn hot now it’s ridiculous), who talks about how Don Shanks (who played Michael in 5) would give her massages and they’d take photos together... it’s probably quite innocent but it sounds so goddamn creepy (especially if you have seen the 25 Years of Terror documentary, in which the film was revealed to have had a fairly ‘wild’ set). The rest of it was nothing special.

As with Halloween 4, the film looked far from great in the manner it was projected, but the sheer size of it, not to mention seeing it with other people (I don’t think I’ve ever watched this one with even a single other person, let alone a crowd) made it a lot of fun regardless. The occasional top notch set-piece elevates this one, albeit slightly, over the bulk of the ones that followed, but nothing can change the fact that this was officially the end of the series being truly special. Thanks a lot, Halloween 5!

What say you?


  1. This is quite impressive, I am pleased to read this post, keep posts like this coming, you totally rock!


    Cheap Zombie Costumes

  2. Haha. Lots of scenes in this movie are baffling. I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering why Michael drove Tina to the party.


Movie & TV Show Preview Widget