Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Our review of the sixth Halloween film, and the last to feature Donald Pleasence. Made at the absolute nadir of the Slasher movie’s quality and popularity, it was hacked near to death by its studio…after years of Development Hell had already caused their own problems.

13 thoughts on “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)”

  1. You neglected to mention the sheer number of times they leave the newborn alone in a room. Heck, I think they even leave it alone upstairs and leave the house in one shot. Of course, that was probably due to bad editing.
    Another issue I had with this one is the way Michael looks. George Wilbur plays him again, not having done so since part 4, but it looks like he gained some weight in between. Michael looks a little..lumpy..and the mask looks terrible.
    This one was a huge disappointment for me. I was one of those folks who had been very much looking forward to it. I actually managed to convince a few friends (not horror fans) to see it with me in the theater. They never let me pick the movie again.

    1. They do leave the infant unattended an extraordinary number of times, especially considering he begins life as this episode’s Human MacGuffin. But he’s a damn baby in a damn movie, meaning his primary purpose in the plot is keep me from falling asleep by screaming. To my mind, the characters are fully justified in abandoning the little bundle of noise to the cruel whims of fate, like Spartans. Yes, I’m happily child-free, why do you ask?

      As to George Wilbur…I thought the padding in that onesie looked familiar. The mask has always looked terrible and probably always will, since no special effects company seems capable of replicating a cheap novelty item from the late-70s. They’re like that chef who tried to replicate a Big Mac a few years ago: tilting at windmills. I think the obsession with Crime that gripped this country in the 70s and 80s destroyed the full-face-mask industry and left its various artisans and craftspeople to wander the world, unloved and forgotten, like all those crazy people the Reagan Administration let out with its budget cutting.

      Your friend’s wariness is unfortunate…and, given the circumstances, sadly understandable. But still unfortunate. All you did was fall for the hype, and that happens to everyone at some point. Seems to be the fundamental basis of our economy.

  2. Damn, seeing Paul Rudd this young is just….flippin’ weird, man. Excellent review.

    On a side note:

    I’d like to try a little thought experiment. If the franchise had stuck with the route Halloween 3: Season of the Witch went and just made it an anthology series, would people have eventually take to it? What stories and little trilogies in the series would you have wanted to see?

    Personally, I think people would have gotten used to the format. As for stories, I’d would have loved to have seen a Shadow Over Innsmouth-esque story with elements of Randolph Carter in the main character to expand into some sort of trilogy. But that’s probably just the Lovecraft fan in me.

    1. I think it would’ve probably gone a lot like John Carpenter’s post-Halloween 2 career, minus his occasional forays into Action/Adventure flicks. For all their differences, The Fog and Prince of Darkness (for example) are basically the same species of story as “the one about the kid who went crazy and killed his sister on Halloween night, cuz he saw her gettin’ it on with her boyfriend.” To me, it’s pretty obvious what kind of American folklore influenced Carpenter’s horror work. Look at how The Fog starts out: bunch of kids, sittin’ around a campfire, hearing a ghost story from an old man. I think Carpenter had a dream back in the early-80s, that he would become that old man, commanding the attention of an entire nation of kids with his scary stories. I would’ve been down with that…but the box office returns lead me to question the General Audience’s interest level. Especially in the mid-to-late-80s.

      Look around and ask yourself what Carpenter classics have genuine cults behind them? Looks to me like the list begins and ends with Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China, both flops in their initial run. They Live‘s cult is steadily growing but, for obvious reasons, tends to keep its collective heads down, lest bulldozers and riot cops pour through the walls. Everyone remembers The Thing, even if they’ve only seen clips of it it..but more for Rob Bottin’s effects than Carpenter’s direction. (Which is a shame, since you can’t have one without the other…well, you could…but without the other, either one would’ve looked silly, rather than grotesque.) Stephen King fans remember Christine (despite making occasional efforts to forget it) and sappy Romantics remember Starman…but who remembers In the Mouth of Madness?

      Well, I do, because that’s exactly the type of story a Halloween Anthology Series could’ve used…but see, I’m a particular breed of horror fan: the type who despairs that Slashers (and their children in Torture Porn) are relatively quick and easy to make, meaning they’ll continue to clog the market for quite some time.

        1. And you’re not the only one, especially around here. It never really got the chance it deserved, probably owing to Stephen King Adaption Overload. Which Christine didn’t help with, but that’s not Carpenter’s fault.

  3. I concur that this movies problems aren’t really with the constellation, the murder-cult, the MIB, or Paul Rudd as a very twitchy Tommy. In fact, I thought it would have been great if it was revealed that Thorn cult would have shown up and it would have been the same cult from Cannon’s COBRA. Then this could have been a sequel to two bad movies instead of one.

    The thing I honestly liked about this (and maybe I’m hallucinating it) is that it appears to be to sort of sideways trying the bring HII-SEASON OF THE WITCH into canon. I like to think of these cult guys as the ones keeping the faith, the survivors from the Silver Shamrock factory.

    1. You’re far from the first to wish for a link between Conal Cochran’s cult and the Thorn. Halloween 3 is a dangling thread in series continuity, and I’d be shocked if there weren’t some mention of it Farrands’ Series Bible, if not the first few drafts of his script. He seems to’ve been obsessed with wrapping all those threads up into an oddly-shaped-but-still-complete package. I stand in awe of his dedication, and take solace in the face he hates the theatrical cut of this movie even more than the rest of us. Probably more than all of us combined.

  4. Was just watching this again and I noticed something that brings up an inquiry —
    does that fact that Kristy McNichol plays the mom with mousey spectacles, does that mean Farrand
    wanted to bring BETTER OFF DEAD into the MyersVerse?

    1. Now there’s an idea: the beginnings of a Wold Newton family of, not just 80s Slashers (Freddy vs. Jason finally kicked open the door for all of them to share a universe) but their cousins in contemporary Teen Comedy, as well.

        1. I just want to see one or more of those cats terrorize the little town of Shermer, Illinois (where all the honeys are top-shelf but all the dudes are whiny pussies). And thinking about it now, nobody ever really did nail down Haddonfield’s location. Who knows? They could be sister cities.

          1. And of course Michael had to kill Kristy McnIchol’s character just as she was standing up to her horrid Trump of a husband — as if slasher gender politics weren’t questionable enough!

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