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Waffleween - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Directed by: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Don Shanks

A year after he was thought to have been killed in a mine-shaft explosion, Michael Myers awakes from a coma and returns to Haddonfield.

It's remarkable that merely a year after the success of "Halloween 4",  the series could have been plunged to the depths on view here. With its ugly aesthetic and nasty tone, this fifth film anticipates the direction Rob Zombie would take the reboot of the franchise almost twenty years later. This is a horrid film in every sense of the word and introduced new elements which ultimately led to derision and disillusion among fans. Though the fourth movie featured no involvement from John Carpenter, it did for the most part feel like a "Halloween" film. Its follow-up has more in common with the sleazy imitations of Carpenter's classic.
The film kicks off with a flashback to the previous film's climax but presents us with the twist of Myers surviving and being swept down a river. Bizarrely he's taken in by a hermit (and his parrot) who seems happy to allow him sleep for a year in his hut. Myers wakes on Halloween Eve a year later, kills the hermit, and sets off back to his home town. Meanwhile, his niece (Harris) is in a children's institution following the attack on her step-mother, which it seems the victim survived. The psychic bond hinted at in "Halloween 4" is played up to cheesy levels now with Harris' physically feeling her Uncle's actions. Dr. Loomis is overseeing the young girl and his treatment of her makes him a lot scarier than Myers.
This movie has a ridiculous amount of problems. By placing Harris in the "final girl" role the film takes on a nasty undercurrent. While we can all enjoy watching teenagers stalked and slashed, it's not much fun seeing a child discover the corpses of her loved ones as her Uncle tries to stab her with a butcher knife. Cornell was a likable presence and the film would have been better had she been the central figure rather than killed off at the film's outset. Alan Howarth's score is terrible compared to his previous work and reaches a new low with the "Three Stooges" style theme he plays over a pair of bungling cops. Predictably, the movie was a flop, both commercially and critically, and the series would lie dormant for the next six years.
1/10

Eric Hillis