Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Oh dear, where to begin. How about a little backstory?

Due to the horrible critical and fan reaction to part 5, producer Moustapha Akkad held off on making another sequel until he was sure he had a decent script. Then the Weinstein Brothers, who own Dimension Films, purchased the rights to the franchise. A script by Daniel Ferrands titled Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers was bought (and was said to have frightened the producer so much that they couldn’t sleep) and was put into production with Joe Chappelle directing. Well, things didn’t go as planned. Ferrands’ script explained the druid mark and cowboy dude from the previous film and took the franchise in a different direction. A test screening was held and the producers didn’t like the feedback and forced a hasty series of reshoots that watered down the story and added in nonsensical scenes that serve no logical purpose other than to pad out the runtime and add more senseless gore. That’s what we ended up with. The Curse of Michael Myers indeed.
When the film opens we find Jamie (now played by J.C. Brandy) giving birth to a child in a temple filled with chanting druids and her uncle. She learns that these druids intend to pass on the Curse of Thorn (the symbol on Michael’s wrist) to the child. Jamie escapes with her offspring before the ritual can take place and is promptly killed by Uncle Mike, but not before she managed to hide her baby in a rest stop bathroom. The baby is found by Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd… yes, Paul Rudd), who had escaped Michael’s wrath in the original film, and he discovers the link between Michael and the child. He has been studying Michael over the past 20 years and knows everything about the curse. He attempts to warn the family living in Michael’s old house, who coincidentally are related to Laurie and Jamie, that the killer is still on the loose and will come for them. Random murders, green slime and religious gobbledygook ensues.

The flick is a mess. It has a schizophrenic story that jumps from one random topic to another with either no explanation or a lame one thrown in to keep the plot chugging along. Who was the cowboy dude? Some old fart doctor who controls Michael and is now stalking the son of Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan) for no particular reason. The Strodes that now live in Michael’s old house? They serve no purpose other than cannon fodder. One gets his head blown up for being an abusive asshole. Why does Michael bleed green goop when hit repeatedly with a length of pipe? Does it matter? Why does he go on a rampage and kills all the druids that would remove his curse? Because the producers felt the movie needed a higher body count. Why was this movie even made? $$$, which this film didn’t make.
Oh yeah, Donald Pleasence is in this too! His burn scars have magically healed and for some reason he was pretty much edited out of the film which was a nice way of honoring him on the part of the producers since he died after filming this garbage.

The rest of the main cast is embarrassingly bad. Most are completely miscast, especially Paul Rudd as Tommy. He seems to not be able to keep a straight face for most of his scenes, most of the time he lets it slip when he’s face to face with Michael. Marianne Hagan, while not a bad actress, looks lost the whole movie. It’s almost like she doesn’t know if she should be low key or over the top. Most of the time she acts catatonic. JC Brandy, who replaces Danielle Harris (the producers didn’t want to pay her $5k to reprise her role), is awful. She looks like a dude on meth and thankfully she’s taken out pretty early in the film. The supporting cast is equally horrid. No one looks like they care (most likely because of the reshoots) and are phoning it in. Only stuntman George Wilbur, who plays The Shape (he also played him in Halloween 4), looks like he’s trying. He makes Michael menacing and imposing, but unfortunately he’s not scary anymore due to the ridiculous ways these films have developed.

Director Joe Chappelle is nothing more than a studio hack. He has absolutely no style and no idea of how to build tension. He obviously cannot direct actors either since everyone on screen appears to be asleep at the wheel. The movie chugs along at a snail’s pace and he lets the editing do all the storytelling. I blame this film for the start of the insane MTV style editing that became so prevalent in the late 90s and early 2000s. Saw owes a lot to this flick.

This is a horribly made, horribly acted and horribly conceived mess that does nothing but insult the viewer’s intelligence and patience. At this point I was hoping the series would just go away permanently.

0 out of 5

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