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From the DVD Bin: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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Trancas International Films

Halloween 3 turned many happy horror fans into ravenous haters. “We want Michael Myers!” was the chant of the mob.

With Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, the franchise gave the fans what they wanted: their silent serial killer of the season.

Movie: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Plot: 10 years ago, Michael Myers left a trail of terror in Haddonfield on Halloween night as he stalked his sister, Laurie Strode. He was presumed dead, but evil doesn’t die. Instead, he suffered deep burns an was incapacitated at a mental institution.

As he is about to be transferred back to Smith’s Grove the day before Halloween, Michael hears one of his paramedics talking about his niece. Obviously, Michael wants to go meet her, and begins another 24-hour slaughterfest on Halloween as he searches for his niece.

Dr. Loomis is back as well, disfigured but still on the hunt for Michael and the reason behind Michael’s desire to kill.

Killer: Michael Myers. No, he didn’t return from the dead. Don’t be stupid. He survived the fire Dr. Loomis started and has been in critical condition for the past 10 years, rejuvenating after hearing medical personnel talk about him having a niece, because Michael just loves his family.

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Trancas International Films

Critique: Halloween 4 could have been a horrible sequel. It was a bit forced due to the hatred surrounding Halloween 3. Luckily, the storyline was created to keep in step with the first two films. They connect, and it’s plausible. Well, as plausible as a movie about an unkillable serial killer wearing a mask can be.

Danielle Harris was fantastic as the sweet, innocent Jamie Lloyd, separated from Uncle Mike through two adoptions: her mother’s, Laurie Strode, and her own. Using her Halloween costume as a parallel to Michael Myers’ own childhood didn’t feel forced at all. In fact, it gave the Halloween franchise an element of infinite sequels. A bloodline of killers following the ways of their predecessors? Eat your heart out, Leatherface and family.

Unfortunately, the film continues the Halloween franchises decent into generic slasher films that it began back in Halloween 2. The body count is up. The kills are more creative. The story is expansive. The film technique, however, still fails when put up against the first installment.

What could have been the storyline if Halloween 3 was given a fair shake? It’s a question that will haunt me forever. Or at least until the end of this review.

Scene of Awesomeness: Jamie Lloyd re-enacts her uncle’s first kill almost scene for scene. Even the first-person view behind the mask was used.

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Trancas International Films

Scene of Ridiculousness: OF COURSE a couple of doctors know all about Jamie Lloyd, and just so happen to discuss her when they have Michael Myers in the ambulance. Even if he wasn’t a sadistic serial killer, have some consideration. If I were laying in a hospital bed incapacitated, I’d probably get pissed off if I heard that I had family out there that didn’t bother to even send flowers for 10 years.

Body Count: 17 (and 1 dog)

1 head bashed into the side of an ambulance, finished off with a thumb through the forehead

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Trancas International Films

3 unknown

1 spike through the chest followed by a chain-hanging

1 severe beating or choking or something you would do to a truck-stop waitress

1 bear-hugged dog

1 electrocution that causes a blackout in Haddonfield

1 dismembered police officer

1 death by gun-happy lynch mob

1 oddly twisted police officer

1 shotgun stabbed through the stomach. Yes I said stabbed.

1 neck crushed by hand

2 rednecks stabbed by butcher knife

1 redneck thrown out of a moving pickup truck

1 redneck with his neck red from having his throat ripped out

1 alleged stabbing by scissors to restart the cycle of killings

1/2 pair of breasts (nipple-less side-boob)

Actors/Actresses of Note: This was Danielle Harris’ breakout role into kiddie scream queen prominence, but also into roles in The Last Boyscout, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, and voice-over work in The Wild Thornberrys. And if you thought Brady looked familiar, he should. He’s jock-hippie Don Dawson in Dazed and Confused.

Quote: “I catch you gropin’ my daughter, I’ll use that shotgun on you. You understand?” -Sheriff Meeker

Grade: B+


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Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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