Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

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Wow, the Haddonfield police are one of the dumbest groups of people in film history. They filled Michael Myers full of holes in part 4, and he fell into a well, or a mineshaft, or something. The police basically just shone their torch down the hole where Michael had fallen and went “well, he’s probably dead down there, let’s call it a night, shall we?” This amazingly isn’t the dumbest thing they do during the course of this film.

Of course, ol’ Michael takes a kickin’ and keeps on tickin’. After being shot a bunch, he falls down the shaft, but luckily there’s a tunnel that leads to a nearby river at the bottom. He goes for a bit of a swim down-river, and fortunately happens upon a hermit’s shack. He collapses, the hermit decides to just look after him (friendly hermit), until Halloween the next year when Michael bashes the guy’s head in and goes back to Haddonfield to finish his work off, whatever it’s supposed to be at this point.

I think there ought to be a new way to judge slasher films. It’s not so much if they’re any good or not – most of them are absolute garbage – but on how cleverly they set up the pieces for the next sequel. As you may have noticed with the treatment of Michael, this one just goes “ah, who cares?” Perhaps it’s not the sort of thing you’d notice if you watched them a year apart, but watching them all over the course of a week, certain things pop out, and apart from MM, it’s mainly to do with Jamie (Danielle Harris).

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It’s obvious at the end of part 4 that she killed her foster mother. Both the actress and Donald Pleasence wanted her to be the villain in part 5, or at least Michael’s sidekick, but what actually happens is there’s a spot of retconning – she only moderately wounded the woman, who is now referred to as her step-mother; and she’s been sent to a childrens’ psychiatric hospital. Rachel and friends from the last film gather round to try and cheer her up at the beginning of the movie, which is nice BUT SHE TRIED TO KILL HER MOTHER! Dr Loomis, who was inches away from shooting her at the end of part 4, is now her best friend; and, of course, the parents aren’t around, having gone on a camping trip. Why bother sticking around at the most traumatic time of the year for your children? It’s not so much the retconning itself, more they had an opportunity to do something interesting with the franchise and decided to go back to the lame safeness of the indestructible Michael.

Donald Pleasance is a mainstay of the franchise, only leaving it when he died, most of the way through filming part 6. He’s fully in scenery-chewing territory here, either being given weird direction or having some competition with himself to see what’s the craziest line reading he could slip into the final film. He also looks a lot older than he did in part 4, shot the previous year, which indicates he was already a little ill by this point. The sole interesting part of this film is strong indication that Loomis is just as crazy as Michael is, but it’s a tiny oasis in a desert of idiocy.

You don’t really need me to incredulously recap the rest of the stupidity in this one. I could talk about the two cops who refer to themselves as “lousy” and even have their own comic relief-style theme music; the boyfriend, beamed in from the 1950s; the psychic link that Jamie and Michael share – we all know that Uncle-Niece bond is the strongest of all; how Jamie has weird fits every time Michael kills someone, except when the film forgets and she doesn’t; the endless bullshit jump-scares; the way that people dressing as Michael Myers for a joke have been directly responsible for a lot of deaths in these movies; why the movie is called “The Revenge Of…” when he’s a damn mass murderer who’s got no-one to take “revenge” on; and, finally, why Michael is after this group of teenagers, who have no relationship whatsoever to him or his family.

I’ll leave you with a little more cop stupidity, though. Loomis sets up a trap for Myers at his old house, and the police finally realise he’s not dead so are out in force. Firstly, they don’t bother checking the attic of the house, or wondering why it’s lit up (yes, “someone” is already up there), and secondly, when the kid has a psychic vision of where the killer is, they all drive off, leaving one idiot and a sheriff’s deputy to protect Jamie and Loomis.

Anyway, it’s the dumbest Halloween film probably of ‘em all (although I’m really not looking forward to Halloween Resurrection). Its cliffhanger ending is at least different, even if it’s really stupid (knowing what I know about the mysterious man in black who drifts through this film, it would be difficult to be more stupid).

Rating: thumbs down

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One thought on “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. Horror Franchises |

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