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Waffleween - Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Directed by: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, Mitch Ryan, Kim Darby, George P Wilbur

Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield to kill the new-born son of his niece.

"Halloween 5" had introduced a new character, the mysterious man in black. At the time nobody involved with the franchise really knew where this sub-plot would lead. Originally it was thought he would be Myer's twin but for the sixth film it was decided he be the leader of a cult based out of Smith's Grove, the sanitarium which originally housed the young Myers. To say this sub-plot is handled haphazardly is an understatement. This film attempts to tie up several loose ends but actually creates more than it ultimately resolves. There's a bootleg "Producer's cut" floating around which makes slightly more sense but in either incarnation the film is a mess.
We open with Jamie Lloyd giving birth in the subterranean lair of a druidic cult. She should be fifteen by this point but she's played by an actress who doesn't look a day under twenty. The question of who fathered this child is never actually answered but seeing how Myers is also being held by the cult you surmise some Myers family incest may have occurred. Lloyd escapes and hides the child in a bus station before Myers impales her on some farming equipment. Tommy Doyle, the young boy Laurie Strode was babysitting in the original film, is all grown up and played by a fresh-faced Paul Rudd. He lives across from the Myers house which is now inhabited by relations of its original residents, the Strodes. Hearing Lloyd call a radio talk show, he tracks down her baby and hides it in his room. From here on the plot gets too confusing for me to attempt to relate, suffice to say we end up with more questions than answers.
The film is an improvement on its immediate predecessor, though pouring acid in your eyes would be an improvement over watching the fifth film. Gone is the ugly lighting, handheld camera and comic relief cops. To its credit it does try to tie things in with the first film. Rudd's landlady reveals herself as the babysitter of Myers that fateful night in 1963 and there are visual callbacks such as a young boy dropping a pumpkin upon sighting Myers. Despite this it's still a relentlessly dull affair which suffers from a lack of focus. There are too many characters who you know won't be killed off and Pleasence's role is little more than a bit part due to his ill health (he passed away just after wrapping up shooting). By trying to create a back-story for Myers, the producers were digging themselves into a hole and the wise decision was made to write off this mythology for the far more successful seventh installment.
3/10

Eric Hillis

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