One of my fondest rites of passage into becoming a full fledged horror nut was when I got to see my first theatrical HALLOWEEN movie in theaters. I was 12 years old when I witnessed HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS on the big-screen and at that point I’d already read everything that Fangoria had to report about the movie. I’d already watched the first two HALLOWEEN movies countless times both on TV and video, in particular HALLOWEEN II which was my favorite at the time. And so when I walked out of the theater, I was already yearning for more.
Luckily I wouldn’t have to wait too long as the box office success of HALLOWEEN 4 insured that the next film in the series would immediately go into production and be released one year later. But as time has proved, perhaps its not the best idea to rush any film into production just for the sake of a quick buck?
Regardless, as a 13 year old, I couldn’t wait for HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS. And because of the speedy nature of the production, we didn’t even get a full on theatrical trailer. Instead we got a 34 second TV spot that served as the promotional material for the new sequel. And I couldn’t be more excited by how awesome this spot made the movie look! I taped it off TV (no doubt it aired during FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES) and watched it over and over again.
Of course, it was all a lie. Let’s watch the TV spot for HALLOWEEN 5 and break down how this very well could be the most misleading trailer to one of the most disappointing horror sequels of all time.
:02 mark: OK, the infamous theme starts. So far, so good, but wait… what mask is that? Is that… Michael? Whatever, I’m 13 years old and a disciple of the Myers. I’m in!!!
:08 mark: Wacky Loomis dialogue. Always a plus. “We both know he’s alive…” (How?! Oh, because this movie opens with a little extra bit of the ending of the last movie showing that he somehow crawled into a river from that ditch they blew him into… and passed out at an old man’s shack only to lie there for a full year before getting up again…) “…but you know where he is!” Jaime knows where he is?! How?! Oh right. Instead of actually carrying on his legacy of evil as implied by the closing moments of the last movie, Jaime is suddenly and inexplicably mute & has a psychic connection to her uncle Michael Myers. Carrying on…
:14 mark: “This time they’re ready.” Holy smokes! Dude with a giant machine gun! Cops everywhere! This is exciting! They’re ready for Michael! They’re totally going to set a trap for him and all the special forces in the State of Illinois are going to take him down!!! Oh wait… that’s just one random 2 second shot of a guy getting called away from the house where they leave Jaime alone with ONE FREAKIN’ GUARD. And bat-shit crazy Loomis who is actually using 9 year old Jamie Lloyd to spring a trap for Michael. (Kinda a dick move, no?)
:18 mark: “This time he’s unmasked!” Holy crap! They’re going to show his face! BECAUSE THIS TIME HE’S UNMASKED!!! Wait a minute… doesn’t Laurie Strode take his mask off at the ending of the first movie? Wasn’t he unmasked way back in the first HALLOWEEN? And what’s with that weird ripping sound in this teaser? Well, maybe we’ll get to see his messed up face since he blew up at the end of 2 and his hands are all burnt up. So he must be hideously deformed and scary looking like Jason, right? Nope, just looks like Don Shanks. Not blonde and blue eyed like in the original. Oh well, so much for continuity. And common sense.
:25 mark: “And this time, he’s back with a vengeance!” Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of “vengeance”: “the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else.” Well alright, I guess that seems pretty legit in the case of Michael Myers. But in Jamie Lloyd’s defense, he started it!
:30 mark: Alright, coolest thing about this teaser is the theatrical one-sheet poster ends it. Otherwise, damn you, HALLOWEEN 5!!!
Even though HALLOWEEN 5 could very well be my least favorite of the bunch and the most disappointing, primarily because my 13 year old brain came up with an amazing alternate movie based on that above teaser, I still admit that I own the original soundtrack on cassette (and now CD too!) and that if a vinyl version were to come out, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Also, I was re-visiting the movie on Blu-Ray yesterday and I was shocked to notice how much Michael Myers is lurking in the background of several shots in the first 30 or so minutes. I’d never ever seen him there. Not theatrically (then again, I was 13 so maybe I just didn’t remember) and certainly not on any previous VHS or DVD releases. Kind of interesting that the director (Dominique Othenin-Girard) tried to build that suspense, but kinda failed miserably considering I’m only now noticing it 24 years later.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! C-C-Cookie?