Movies

You Have to Rewind It (Valentine’s Day Edition): My Review of the 1988 Film ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers’

I’m not sure what world you’re living in, gang, but over here on the couch…candy is candy.

Really, though. Love it or hate it, is there A time that usurps all other times when it comes to consuming sweets? To me, that box of Milk Duds tastes just as good on Halloween night as it does on Valentine’s Day morning. By the way: Happy Valentine’s Day (to those of you who celebrate)…

This is not science, of course, so I wouldn’t urge you to write your congressman or tell Willy Wonka that he is full of shit. Far from it. All I’m sayin’ is…candy is candy, whenever and however, with whomever and so on. You do candy when you want to do candy—side note: following that creed in Vegas usually costs more. But I digress.

The point here is…with this freedom to eat sweets and say “fuck the correlating holiday,” there shouldn’t be a demarcation that outlines when (or when not) to watch horror movies either. After all, this is February—and the NFL season is over. The groundhog and his shadow notwithstanding, this month is the epitome of paint drying, grass growing, screws rusting, etc.

It’s….

(This is 47 minutes later)

So, yeah, I just fell asleep at the computer by simply THINKING about February. It’s boring. And when something is that boring—with all the snores—all you can really do to pass the boring-ass time is watch television or read a book.

This year, I chose the former—although you could choose the latter and read my short story that’s available on Amazon:

OK, yeah, that was a shameless plug but whatever. #Bloggers.

Now back to the movie thing.

Sticking with the aforementioned candy argument, I decided to take these ideals into a level of NEXT-LEVEL—that probably only exists in the minds of deranged aardvarks—and twist it to satisfy my movie choice. With that in mind, I took my simple argumentative process and dove really deep—McConaughey deep—into the waters of cinematic obscurity, pressing play on a horror movie on Valentine’s Day.

Needless to say, it was a candy cornucopia, skewed to make the nonsensical…well, less nonsensical. What follows really happened, I tell ya’!

Here’s my review of the 1988 classic Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

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The plot

Ten years later, Michael Myers is still pissed off. At everything. And it makes sense, too. During his stint as a homicidal nut-job, he has been shot, stabbed, took a hanger to the eye, felt the lukewarm wrath of Jamie Lee Curtis, watched, like, 25 different couples have sex—where he was not invited to join in—got burned, basted and blown to shit by Dr. Donald Pleasence of English ancestry. So, yeah. I’d be pissed off, too.

What’s worse? Well, it seems like Myers’ HMO isn’t willing to cover any more time at the loony bin, where he apparently spent the last ten years bandaged and tied to a gurney. This dilemma means Ol’ Mikey must be transferred to a regular hospital, where he can walk in the gardens and play chess in a sort of Cuckoo’s Nest kind of way.

The interesting part here, though, is the lack of severity with this transfer. The hospital sends two doctors—a man and a woman—to pick up Myers. There is a driver too, and that’s it.

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Say whaaaaa!?!

I mean, I know Facebook didn’t exist back then, but did no one stop and think: Oh, hey, this guy, Michael, he’s killed some people, and even though he’s not really moving these days, maybe we should, oh, I don’t know…bring some sticks and at least one more dude from Central Casting?

But nooooo, that would be too sane.

First warning shot!!

A guard—a portly dude who reminded me of the motel desk guy in Big, who says, “Ten dollars for the sheets”…and then yells at someone to get out of the restroom, thus scaring the unforgiving pizza shits out of a confused Tom Hanks—does tell the doctors that “Jesus got nothing to do with this place.”

The woman doctor looks freaked out, but she dusts it off as simply nighttime security guards being their normal, weird-ass selves (very realistic), and then she goes and checks Michael’s blood pressure.

Side note: It probably wasn’t great.

Second side note: As usual, it’s raining!

They load Michael into the ambulance—what could go wrong?—and they’re off to greener pastures that accept HMOs.

Except…

That ornery sand-baggin’ sonuvabitch does have the use of his appendages. Whoopsie! While the two doctors sit unprotected in the back of an ambulance with a mass murderer, Mikey decides that he’s waited long enough—and he’s probably got several places that need to be itched—so he kills both of them…and the driver and, BOOM! The game is on.

The movie could have been over in 10 minutes

Michael Myers, without newer technology like Siri or Waze, really should have picked up a map shortly after his killing spree.

As the audience is being introduced to our newest heroin—the young offspring of Jamie Lee Curtis—we see that she is looking out the window at…yep, you guessed it…a very familiar ambulance. A few slow blinks later and the thing is gone. Poof!

This, as you could imagine, was confusing.

Did Myers sit behind the wheel going, “Nah. That’s not it.”

Again, a simple road map would have told him he’s IN Haddonfield. Yet, as we learn after the bus (more on this term later) crashes, his instinct was to pass up this non-Haddonfield and continue driving—four hours away!!!

You dumbass.

Loomis brings the boom-is

Like Myers, Dr. Loomis (AKA English Donald) is beat to shit. He looks tired and grey. His voice is very weak and he’s peeing a lot more. And he can’t believe they let them TAKE MICHAEL MYERS OUT OF THE BASEMENT OF THAT NUT HUT!!!

As usual, the other doctor thinks Loomis is bat-shit crazy, and that Michael deserved to be kept in a place that has a room with a view, so he can see a tree or fuck Clarice Starling…wait, wrong movie. Anyways, yeah, the doctor (who is the coach from American Anthem) is like: Bitch, you crazy.

But holy shit was he wrong!

They keep calling the ambulance a “bus.” Why?

Ol’ Michael crashes the ambulance into a creek/river. It’s bad. Loomis was right, the rest of the people were wrong. The issue, though, is that everyone in this damn scene keeps calling the ambulance a bus—in fact, I call it a bus now, because I’m brainwashed from this plague of confusion.

This is a bus:

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This is a bus:

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This is a bus:

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This is an ambulance:

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The cast gets killed too quickly to really warrant any mentioning

So there’s young Jamie, played by Danielle Harris of Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Dead. She lives.

Everyone else is just waiting to be slaughtered.

There is a great 80’s moment in dieting

Mind you, there wasn’t a 24/7 flux of dietary information floating around back in 1988 like there is today. There was Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, or machines that jiggled the fat off your ass, and that was it.

Oh yeah, there was this guy on the left selling sensible shakes:

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And this lack of healthy livin’ information is highlighted during a breakfast scene, where Rachel—the older stepsister to Jamie—passes up eggs and some sort of sausage or bacon for a bagel. Her reasoning? “You don’t want a heffer for a daughter, do you?”

Ah, the 80s…where science was nothing more than half of a movie title.

The stepsister lives, by the way, and goes on to be naked in Halloween 5: This time, I mean it!, where Michael stabs her in the temple with a No. 7 pencil. (She looks heavier in part 5, though, and I would imagine that today’s version of Oprah would insist it was on account of the damn bagels.)

Favorite character

No disrespect to Meryl Streep, but Carmen Filpi’s career is why acting books are written: Consistent. Savvy. The ability to morph into such a realistic characters that the audience is left with all the feels and *cups fingers together like squeezing a cow’s tit * the dramatic elements that make cinematic experiences so heavy with adjectives.

Oh yeah! This man was living art.

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Whether it was an episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose or break dancing with Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, Filpi was “that old guy” for seemingly 27 decades. (Yep, he’s Old Man Withers in Wayne’s World!) This guy was awesome in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and he doesn’t disappoint in this flick either. He’s old and crazy and so is Loomis. They drink, they sing, it’s definitely something that could have been spun off into a Thelma and Louise deal.

Salute!

Least favorite character

Brady—aka Sasha.

Ugh, this fucking guy…

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He wants sex (lazy character arc) and Rachel wants to wait (also a lazy character arc). It’s like a film-within-the-film that just so happens to be an After School Special. Yawn!

And, if he would’ve just waited for Rachel to ditch the Closed for Business sign, instead of banging the sheriff’s daughter, then he probably would have lived for the fifth installment—and probably would have stood a damn solid chance at banging Rachel…oh…sometime before she gets stabbed in the head with that No. 7 pencil.

Regardless, Brady has no redeeming qualities. He works at a drugstore—that also sells costumes—and the entire time I really wished he would have applied for that ambulance driver job.

Years later, he is reincarnated as Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s friend. Sweet moment.

Honorable mention

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All Deputy Logan had to do was look in the back seat of his squad car—then he would have noticed that, in fact, Michel Myers was hiding back there. Instead though, he just drives off to the secret hiding spot…of the only people who HAVEN’T been killed in Haddonfield.

He’s THAT dickhead.

And the award for Best Ensemble goes to the guys drinking the Busch Light

When the entire town is dead, you have to sometimes rely on the lowest denominator to save the day.

The local drunks at the bar—and the bar owner—are appointed to policemen because the ACTUAL policeman are now headless and resemble more of an accident involving  hamburger meat than they do a force.

This is a pleasing element of the film, a sort of “hey, anybody can be a fucking hero if shit gets dire enough” message that really spoke to me.

Oh, but there’s a twist

Of course, the drunks kill one of their own. The guy was simply taking a piss in the bushes—to a drunk in the back of a truck, however, it looked like straight-up murder was taking place. And while the poor sap was probably in mid-shake, he was shot. Dead.

On that note: A lesson in double-barrel shotguns

There are only two bullets in those fucking things. Two! So, Sasha, if you fire two shots at Michael, but he keeps on comin’ like a train operated by Chris Pine…well, you’ll need to reload champ.

What goes up, must fall off the roof

Why in the hell do folks constantly think it’s smart to run UP the stairs—to the attic or roof or whatever the fuck—when trying to evade slow-moving killers? Eventually, you’re going to run out of real estate, and the only option of freedom, at that point, is to jump.

Jaime and Rachel fall for this classic blunder and both suffer serious grass stains and embarrassment.

Michael takes the stairs, because he knows that he is NOT a cat.

Michael is not THAT smart

Um…Rachel fell off of the roof, bud, not the Eiffel Tower. Chances are, she’s probably still alive. So maybe…I dunno…stab her for safety’s sake? Letting her lay there, while you chase after a five-year-old (who’s running at the speed of snail) might bite you in the ass down the road…

I mean, helllllooooooooo!

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Yep, it bit him

Rachel squirts Michael in the mask with a fire extinguisher, thus saving her stepsister from any more horse-shit antics.

For the 19th time it looks like Loomis might be dead, though.

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No one learned from Deputy Logan

The drunks are tasked with getting the girls out of Haddonfield. Great idea!  (Just don’t knock over the Styrofoam cooler, will ya!!! It’s got a case of Busch Light waiting for us once we get out of this damn town.)

Not ONCE, however, did they think  it was smart to check underneath the damn truck before taking off. ANNNNNNDDDD-UHHH! Who do you think was hiding underneath there? It wasn’t the Aflac duck, that’s for damn sure.

The ending

I was hoping for some real dramatics at the end, but ultimately I was disappointed.  I guess, just once…I wanted Michael to stop after a getting shot, or run over by a truck or taking a saw to the nuts, and say: “Fuck, that one…that one really got me there.” And then he limps over to the police cruiser, begs to be cuffed, and starts crying like when Daniel Stern realizes a rattlesnake didn’t bite his ass in City Slickers 2.

But noooooooooooooo.

Michael gets shot, falls into a grave that was dug about 45 feet too deep, and that’s that.

The end.

But that wasn’t the real ending

There’s always more…the Ol'”Ooooop, wait, don’t get up!” sequence.

So, Jamie touches Michael and that gives her the family itch—you know, the one that makes you want to stab shit. And, as it goes in such family matters, Jamie decides to stab shit.

(The good news: Loomis, yet again, is alive. Unlike Michael, I think he might be a cat.)

Anyway, Jaime goes B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Kind of like this:

And it’s perfectly fitting for Jamie to go bananas, too, because her Halloween costume is the EXACT same one Michael wore when he decided to stab shit.

It’s one in the same.

Like eating Halloween candy on Valentine’s Day. Or vice-versa.

And that’s…that’s what I was trying to say, like, 2500 words ago.

You’re welcome?

 

 

 

 

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