Archive for Michael Myers

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

Posted in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Last Road Reviews

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HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS

*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- Ten Years Ago He Changed the Face of Halloween, Tonight He’s Back

Release Date- October 21st, 1988

Running Time- 88-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Alan McElroy

Director- Dwight H. Little

Starring- Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Sasha Jenson, Beau Starr, George P. Wilbur

Released in 1988 Halloween 4 was the first one I saw in cinemas as I saw the previous 3 on VHS. As a fan of the series I couldn’t have been more excited seeing this on the big screen and it didn’t disappoint. Halloween 4 was one of my favorites of the series and one of my favorite horror films, but over the years for some reason Halloween 4 hasn’t quite held up for me and while I still enjoy it, but nowhere near as much as I once did and I can find myself at times losing focus. If anything Halloween 4 has become one of those films I need to be in the right mood for. When it comes to slasher films of the 80s they were all made possible due to the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween. After Halloween II in 1981 the franchise went in a different direction with Halloween 3: Season of the Witch in 1982, which ended up being a failure. In the 6-years between Halloween 3 and Halloween 4 we saw the emergence of A Nightmare on Elm Street and while the Friday the 13th films weren’t pulling in as much money as the earlier parts they were still turning a profit and Jason like Freddy was now a pop culture icon so Halloween 4 goes back to basics and brings back the character that started it all. By the time the late 80s rolled around there was still some life left in the slasher film, but they weren’t pulling in the numbers they once did and while many would later become cult classics it was Elm Street and Friday the 13th making most of the impact. By this point these films were playing more up to the F/X and Halloween 4 is no different as of this time it was the most graphic, but Halloween 4 attempts at being a legit suspense filled film to go along with the F/X. That’s what I enjoy about the Halloween series is they always tried to keep the movies being legit horror films even if they did add more violence and even the more over the top kills never got cartoonish. Halloween 4 does retain a lot of what made the original film the classic it is and in someways Halloween 4 is more or less the kind of film the original would have been had it been made in 1988. However that’s also some of the problems as it can at times rehash the original and as well as it turned out there was just that little something missing and while I personally wouldn’t rate this as my favorite sequel it really isn’t difficult to understand why so many do.

It’s been 10-years since Michael Myers (Wilbur) went on a killing spree on Halloween in 1978. For the past 10-years Michael has been in a coma and is being transferred on all nights Halloween Eve, but of course you can’t keep a good villain down and Michael escapes and sets off to Haddonfield this time in search of his young nice Jamie Lloyd (Harris) while Dr. Loomis (Pleasence) returns as well in hopes to stop Michael once and for all.

The screenplay was written by Alan B. McElroy who also wrote the Brandon Lee film Rapid Fire, which was actually directed by Dwight H. Little and McElroy would also write Spawn and Wrong Turn. From a pure writing side of things Halloween 4 is perhaps the best written sequel of the series and actually I think the script is just a notch below the original. Apparently the script was written in 10-days to avoid the writers strike, but it really doesn’t feel rushed for the most part. McElroy crafts solid characters with some depth and even if they’re a bit cliched since again the slasher film was done to death by this point, but the characters are actually fairly strong and can to some degree carry the film. In terms of characters, Halloween 4 is one of the strongest if not the strongest of the series. Rather than write faceless victims simply there to be killed by Myers, but McElroy takes his time and develops them. The biggest strength of Halloween 4 is also its biggest weakness; instead of being your typical run of the mill slasher movie the McElroy (and the director Dwight Little) try and be more than that. The plotting is simple, but effective and while the script didn’t feel rushed perhaps with more time Alan McElroy could have fine tuned it a bit more. Despite being generally well written it does suffer from just having been done so many times it does take away from the film.

Halloween 4 was directed by Dwight H. Little who also directed the Stevan Segal action film Marked for Death and the already mentioned Brandon Lee film Rapid Fire. Dwight Little has also been involved with many TV shows having directed an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares and 2-episodes of 24. Dwight H. Little very early on sets up an eerie tone thanks in part to the excellent opening title sequence and Halloween 4 gets off to a great start with a strong feeling of eerie atmosphere and suspense, but as the film goes on pacing can be a little sluggish in spots and Little very much follows what John Carpenter did with the original only it isn’t quite as effective here. Dwight Little does stage some genuine suspense in spots and strong as the characters are the longer the film goes without any action the pace can begin to slowdown. Halloween 4 also boasts quite a large body count, but there are also a lot of off camera deaths, which can be a bit frustrating as the longer the gaps between on camera deaths that can also slow the pace down. I appreciate the fact both Alan McElroy and Dwight Little avoided making the standard slasher film of the era and created a film built on character and suspense and while I felt that was the films biggest strength, but also its biggest weakness. The first half of the film is the strongest, but its the 2nd half where some of my issues start to come in. There’s always a layer of suspense and looming danger and early on its at its most effective, but does run out of a little bit of steam later on. However with that said Dwight Little also crafts some of the more memorable scenes of the series of the series in the 2nd half. The scenes in the Meeker house during the power outage are very effective and eerie with a great buildup though it is a little overly long and could have used a bit of editing, but the payoff is worth it and of course the rooftop scene is among the best scenes of the series. I really can’t fully explain the issues I had since there’s far more good here.

Halloween 4 has a terrific cast led by Donald Pleasence and while he mostly rehashes dialogue from the original I couldn’t imagine the film without him. Danielle Harris was wise beyond her years and was excellent and one of the few child actors that wasn’t annoying and Ellie Cornell makes for an ideal final girl. This to me was one of the better acted installments.

Overall Halloween 4 is a good film, but after a great start it never in my opinion is fully able to get back on track and while there are many excellent scenes the middle sections can lag and despite the high body count Halloween 4 may have been better served with an extra death scene or 2 on camera. The ending of Halloween 4 was quite chilling so there are a lot of positives here, but like I said something just wasn’t fully working at times, which again stems from just being a little too cliched. As stated I fully get the appeal of Halloween 4 and it’ll always hold a special place for me as it was the first I saw in cinemas, but over the years even though I still enjoy Halloween 4 it just doesn’t quite hold up. Despite my issues with the film it does feature some of the most effective scenes in the series.

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Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998) Review

Posted in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later with tags , , , on October 14, 2014 by Last Road Reviews

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HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER

**** Out of 5

Tagline- 20-Years Ago He Changed the Face of Halloween, Tonight He’s Back

Release Date- August 5th, 1998

Running Time- 86-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Robert Zappia & Matt Greenberg

Director- Steve Miner

Starring- Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Chris Durand and Adam Arkin

When it comes to horror franchises the Halloween series is one of the most iconic and the original Halloween kicked open the door for the wave of slasher films that dominated the market in the 1980s. H20 was released in 1998 and of course based on the title came 20-years after the original, but to me it was far more fitting it was released 10-years after Halloween 4 since both films go back to the basics. After Halloween 3 attempted to take the series in a new direction and was a sequel by name only, but it ended up brining the series to an end and was despised by fans of the series. While over the years Halloween 3 has gained a cult following its still largely dismissed. Halloween 4 brings back Michael Myers and resurrected the series and was actually the number 1 movie for 2-weeks straight. But by the time Halloween 5 was released in 1989 the tide was starting to turn on the slasher film and Halloween 5 became the lowest grossing of the series also released that year were Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Jason Takes Manhattan also became the lowest grossing and Elm Street 5 took in roughly half of what the 4th film brought in. As much as I personally enjoyed Halloween 5 and believe it or not its my favorite sequel of the original series, but it kind of backed the series into a corner and by the time the 6th film was released in 1995 the slasher film was dead and Halloween 6 like the 3rd film also tried to take the series in a new direction only this time with Michael Myers, but the 6th overly complicated a simple formula and was plagued by production troubles and while it turned a profit it wasn’t very successful and like Halloween 3 was mostly dismissed by fans. However in 1996 Scream, which was written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven was a massive success and brought back the slasher film. Originally before Jamie Lee Curtis was on board Halloween 7 was gonna be made DTV and continue the series, but not continue the thorn angle. Once Jamie Lee Curtis signed on the story was altered and made for a theatrical release and it would ignore the events of Halloween 4-6 (obviously 3 as well) and would continue from Halloween II.

I hate when a film comes out and ignores previous installments, but in the case of Halloween I really don’t think there was much of a choice. For starters the last two weren’t as successful in terms of box office business and general fan opinion and again the 6th film overly complicated the formula. With the return of Laurie Strode (Curtis) linking 4-6 would be too complicated. In Halloween 4 its stated Laurie died 11-months ago, which would place her death sometime in November of 1987. So that begs the question why would not only Laurie fake her death nearly a decade after, but why would she leave her daughter Jamie in Haddonfield? And why didn’t she return for her? Some people blame Halloween 4, but at the time nobody knew Jamie Lee would return and sure looking back there’s a number of directions Halloween 4 could have gone, but again who knew Curtis would return. In H20 Laurie has a son John Tate (Hartnett) who is 17-years old and yet in Halloween little Jamie having a brother was never mentioned. Trying to link 4-6 would just not only complicate the film, but slow it down too much and originally there was a passing mention, but was dropped in rewrites, but for the hardcore fan it would have too many questions and would take away from the film. Even all these years later it does bug me to some degree a whole bunch of films were wiped from the timeline, but its not difficult to see why.

20-years after the events of the first 2 Halloween films, Laurie Strode is now living in Northern California under the name Keri Tate and is headmistress of a private school. For the last 20-years she’s lived in fear her brother Michael Myers (Durand) would find her and with the 20th anniversary, Michael has returned to finish what he started.

Kevin Williamson wrote a treatment for the film, but apparently he was busy with other projects and was unable to write the screenplay, but there are drafts online for H20 with Williamson listed as the writer, but I can’t vouch for how legit they are. Robert Zappia was originally hired as the writer and even submitted a draft, which was liked, but once Jamie Lee Curtis signed on it needed a rewrite and Zappia was kept on and a couple of aspects of his script carried over into the final draft. The screenplay by Robert Zappia & Matt Greenberg is well written and for a 7th film it’s surprisingly excellent. I love the concept for the film and its great to see just what has become of Laurie 20-years later. I also like the change in her character from shy to a character with a bit more of an edge and take charge. The teen characters are also fairly strong, but no doubt the script is at its strongest when Laurie is the focus. Characters have some depth and the script unlike the past couple of films isn’t overly complicated and is back to the basics. H20 is very much a product of its time and the influence of Scream is quite obvious. Apparently Kevin Williamson did some uncredited writing and his style of writing is very much present.

Originally John Carpenter was in talks to direct, but when he ended up passing on it Steve Miner was brought on. Miner started off his career working on such films as Last House on the Left and Friday the 13th and made his directorial debut in 1981 with Friday the 13th Part 2, which of course was also Jason’s debut as the killer. Steve Miner than followed that up with Friday the 13th Part 3 so he’s no stranger to slasher films. Miner also directed such films as House, Soul Man and Warlock and made the underrated comedy My Father the Hero. Miner first worked with Jamie Lee Curtis on the film Forever Young, which also starred Mel Gibson and working with Jamie Lee on that film is what lead to him getting H20. Miner also directed various TV shows from the Wonder Years, the Practice, Chicago Hope, Dawson’s Creek and Psych to name a few. Steve Miner can be seen as a director for hire as he’s worked in various different genres and has more or less found success in them all, but its his work in the horror genre he’s most associated with. Whatever trend is popular at the time, Miner is a filmmaker that can deliver a film within the style of whatever trend is popular at that time. Many cite H20 as the one film in the series that captures the essence of the original, but I’d actually disagree with that. While there are clear homages to the original and Miner does take some cues from John Carpenter, but he crafts a more Scream like atmosphere. H20 is fun and well paced for most of the film, but the middle H20 does sort of hit a standstill. The one area that H20 follows the original is for a good bulk of the running time it’s a build up with Michael stalking his would be victims and while Steve Miner does create some strong suspense, but these scenes aren’t quite as strong as the original and the middle of the film does slightly lack and I think H20 could have possibly used maybe a death scene or two to keep the pace strong. However despite some slight pace issues, Miner still handles the middle sections well, but while entertaining it isn’t quite as strong as the opening and closing acts. Speaking of the closing Steve Miner very much gets the film back on track with quite an exciting final act. H20 only runs at 86-minutes and without credits it clocks in at under 80-minutes so the film moves on pretty fast and even if I felt there were some pace issues in the middle it’s never boring by any means and with the brief running time any lulls don’t last long. With H20 Miner directs one of the stronger sequels and one of my favorite horror films of the 90s. The following year after H20, Steve Miner would direct Lake Placid, which was written by the legendary TV writer/producer David E. Kelley and in my opinion was Miner’s best film, but H20 easily ranks as one of his best.

H20 marked the first film without Donald Pleasence in his iconic role of Dr. Loomis (not counting Halloween 3 of course). When I first saw H20 back when it was originally released it did feel a bit weird not seeing Pleasence and even over the years it still feels strange watching a Halloween film without Pleasence who passed away at the age of 75 in 1995, which impacted reshoots for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. This was also the first Halloween film not set in Haddonfield (again not counting Halloween 3). While it makes perfect sense the setting has changed, but Haddonfield very much became a character in the series. For the most part H20 gets the passing grade from fans of the series and while this one is a lot more Hollywood stylized it also has stated takes the series back to the basics. For me this was the last of the original series and I don’t even acknowledge Halloween: Resurrection, which for me was by far the worst of the series. H20 had the perfect ending to the series, but was ruined with Resurrection, which would have been easier to accept if the film turned out well, which for me and many others it sure didn’t. Overall Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later was a nice return to form for the series and was great having Jamie Lee Curtis return and it also helped make up to some degree the loss of Donald Pleasence. It’s a little annoying that Halloween 4-6 were ignored, but as stated there was little choice due to the formula getting overly complicated and more importantly would just have far too many questions. H20 was an overall entertaining film that should please most fans of the series.

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Halloween II (1981) Review

Posted in Halloween II (1981) with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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HALLOWEEN II

**** Out of 5

Tagline- More of the Night He Came Home

Release Date- October 30th, 1981

Running Time- 92-Mintues

Rating- R

Screenplay- John Carpenter & Debra Hill

Director- Rick Rosenthal

Starring- Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lance Guest, Charles Cyphers, Leo Rossi, Hunter von Leer, Dick Warlock

Released in 1981 Halloween II picks up right where the original film left off and making a sequel to a classic film is never an easy task as it’s often a sitting duck for critics and fans, but on the flipside you have an audience before the film is released. Halloween II is one of the rare sequels held in high regard with some hailing as the best horror sequel and with some even rating higher than the original. I disagree on both accounts and while Halloween II is a solid film with enough jolts to get a passing grade it’s also in my opinion far inferior to the original. As far as 80s slasher goes I would rate Halloween II highly as its better than the bulk of these films and I would label it a classic slasher film, but as a horror film while a case can be made for it I would label just under classic status.

The plot for Halloween II is quite simple and actually there really isn’t much of a plot it’s just simply a continuation from the original film. John Carpenter & Debra Hill return to write the sequel and it’s quite clear based on the script they really didn’t have a whole lot of ideas on where to take the movie. Michael Myers (Warlock) pursues Laurie Strode (Curtis) at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital as Dr. Loomis (Pleasence) continues to search for Michael.

Also at this time the slasher flick was highly popular and Carpenter & Hill are content on following the format of the typical slasher flick of the time, which is ironic since all those films were following the format of the original Halloween. The characters are the typical type that dominated the slasher flick at this point; Halloween II is filled with faceless victims that are only here to add to the body count and none of them really make much of an impact on the movie. The plot of the movie relies far too much on the original and while this might work well through the early parts of the movie the middle sections however is when the plot runs out of steam and Carpenter has admitted he wasn’t sure where to take the movie and that’s how the brother/sister plot came about. It really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s clear it was a spur of the moment idea, and while it doesn’t really make sense if you don’t linger on it one can accept it.

For the majority of the running time Laurie is reduced to being in a hospital bed and there really isn’t anything Laurie adds to the movie and it seems she’s here for the sake of it. Laurie was one of the few characters in a slasher flick that actually had some depth and it’s a shame she doesn’t have a whole lot to do in Halloween II. Dr. Loomis has a little bit more going on than Laurie, but for the most part the script has Loomis repeating what he said in the first film only worded differently. As I stated the characters were one dimensional and were only there to add to the death toll of the movie; the characters have little personality and sadly unlike the original, the characters in Halloween II are the typical faceless victims. Despite the shortcomings of the script, Halloween II isn’t poorly written. Carpenter & Hill make the most out of it and while it’s disappointing the characters aren’t stronger I suppose they serve their purpose and Carpenter & Hill deliver an entertaining script and even with the flaws it’s still better written than the majority of the 80s slasher flicks.

Rick Rosenthal makes his directorial debut and delivers an entertaining, but uneven movie. From the start of the film, Rosenthal does set up an eerie tone and is able to deliver a movie that has some strong suspense and scares and this is one of the better made slasher flicks of the 80s. The pacing can at times lag, but the script can be partly to blame, but horror flicks can still be scary and suspenseful regardless of the script. I’d go as far to say the original Halloween became the classic movie it has due to Carpenter’s direction and music the script was good, but really nothing special. The hospital makes for an eerie setting and while Rosenthal does handle it mostly well, it does however get tiresome seeing Michael walk around the hospital in search of Laurie and most people will put the blame on the script and rightfully so, but again a horror film can succeed despite the script.

Michael is a lot slower in this one than the previous part and at times it’s a little frustrating since if he just moved at the speed he did in the original he would have caught Laurie with rather ease I suppose if one really wanted to they can explain it as Michael being a little bit weaker from being shot at the end of the original. There are times Michael moves at the same pace as he did in the original, but when chasing after Laurie in the final act he moves way too slow and John Carpenter did do some reshoots so perhaps it could be due to having two different filmmakers. For the most part Rick Rosenthal is content on following what John Carpenter did with the original and never really injects his own style to the film. And while if you’re gonna knockoff any filmmaker, Carpenter is a great choice and while this doesn’t hurt the movie it does however make Halloween II feel like a rehash without an identity. However with that said Rick Rosenthal still delivers a well made chiller with some genuine suspense and scares to go along with an eerie atmosphere.

The performances were quite strong for a 80s slasher and while the characters may be one dimensional the acting is a step above the majority of the slasher flicks made in the 80s. Jamie Lee Curtis delivers a good performance, but as I stated she really isn’t given much to work with, which is a shame since an excellent actress gets sort of wasted. Donald Pleasence is a little more over the top this time around and what I love about Pleasence is he could play a role straight like he did in the original Halloween, but he wasn’t afraid to ham things up either. Pleasence walks the line of straight and camp in Halloween II, but delivers an excellent performance and while the character doesn’t add a whole lot at times like always Pleasence is a joy to watch.

When all is said and done Halloween II, while in my opinion not on par with the original it still gets it the job done by being a fairly suspenseful and scary movie and while I think this part lacks what made the original such a groundbreaking masterpiece, Rosenthal still delivers an excellent chiller that’s only really bogged down by being like every other 80s slasher flick, which is a disappointment since the original was a cut above everything that followed, but overall I’d still rate this as one of the better slasher flicks of the 80s and one of the better sequels.

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Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

Posted in Chiller 13: Great American Slashers with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

This list is from a special that aired on Chiller and I do have several issues with it. Chiller a network for horror fans, but with this list were thinking of the mass audience. There will always be somebody left off a list. I often see lists where people just seem to add an endless amount of films/actors/characters. The fun part at least for me is deciding what makes the cut. Adding everything is no fun and too easy. On my top 15 Scream Queens the fun part was narrowing it down to 15.

https://lastroadreviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/top-15-scream-queens/ (sorry if it isn’t clickable). There were many actresses left off and there were some that many will debate on being on there. Also people will debate the order and even I even still debate my choices and order. But what I like to do is get the best list possible and not make it a popularity contest, but I also don’t wanna add more underground actresses just for the sake of it. I know my readers or a good portion of them are legit horror fans that know the genre and will know the lesser know a or the very least heard of them. But I always with any list try and not only find the right balance, but order as well. I don’t wanna again make it a popularity contest, but I do wanna just focus on underground to be different.

But Chiller with the 13 Greatest American Slashers put together the safe list that not only will the die hards know, but your average person who may like the horror genre, but aren’t massive fans. Now I fully understand piling your list with lesser knows may not be good for ratings, but if you’re gonna make a list like this don’t take the easy way out; deliver a legit list not based on popularity.

With the rant over let’s take a look at Chiller’s 13 Greatest American Slashers.

13. Chucky
I enjoy the Child’s Play movies, but I’m not a huge fan. However I take no issue with Chucky on the list as he is deserving as one of the most iconic horror movie characters.

12. Sweeny Todd
Now this pick I do have an issue with. I’ll admit I haven’t seen the movie since it really didn’t interest me. Perhaps if I do see it I’ll love it who knows, but if you’re making a list of slasher characters I’m not sure Sweeny Todd should be one of the 13.

11. Candyman
Candyman is one of those borderline slasher films. It has some of the formula, but also mixes it up. However Candyman is a worthy and deserving pick.

10. Patrick Bateman
This was an interesting pick, but I do wonder if Bale didn’t go on to massive success in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy if Bateman makes it. American Psycho is a slasher film that doesn’t really follow the slasher formula not that it’s a bad thing. The film is excellent for sure and Patrick Bateman was a great character and an excellent pick however when I think of slasher films and characters American Psycho and Patrick Bateman don’t exactly come to mind. With that said sure you can replace Bateman with other characters, but he is deserving.

9. Dexter Morgan
The TV series Dexter is a show I always wanted to see, but never got around to it. Either way this pick strikes me more for popularity than anything else and Dexter is also the only TV character (I suppose more on account not many TV characters can fit in with slashers). But it’s just an odd selection when the other 12 are all film characters.

8. Pinhead
HellRaiser is an iconic series for sure, but like some others border the slasher film. I guess it doesn’t really fit into anything else so its lumped in with slashers, but its a fair pick since Pinhead is a horror icon.

7. Ghostface
The Scream franchise changed modern horror as we know it and Ghostface instantly became a horror icon. My only issue is I think Ghostface should be higher up. What Jason, Michael and Freddy were for the 80s, Ghostface was for the 90s and early parts of the 2000s

6. Leatherface
Another excellent pick, but I personally don’t see the TCM films as slasher films. They have the same basic plot and many upon many slasher films have borrowed from TCM, but it does stray a bit from the slasher conventions. However due to the impact its had Leatherface is more than deserving.

5. Hannibal Lecter
Silence of the Lambs is horror simple as that. It seems when a horror film is a massive critical success and in the case of this film Oscar nominated suddenly its not horror. However as great of a character as Hannibal Lecter is when I think of slashers I don’t really think of him and this pick seems out of place and is here because of popularity than anything else. Silence of the Lambs is a classic and Hannibal Lecter a great character, but when I think of slashers this really doesn’t come to mind.

4. Norman Bates
What would a list like this be without Norman Bates? If not for Norman Bates and Psycho who knows where the slasher film would be. Odds are it would have happened, but who knows how it would have been. Norman is the original slasher and in some ways I feel should have been number 1. Many people debate if Psycho is a slasher and while yes it is different than the films it inspired this is very much a slasher flick.

3. Jason Voorhees
Well no surprise on the top 3. When putting a list like this together you sort of have to go with the picks from Chiller and the only real debate is the order. When I think of slasher films and characters Jason of course comes to mind and again that’s where my issue comes in with some of the picks. Does Hannibal Lecter, Dexter and Sweeny Todd really fit in with the top 3?

2. Michael Myers
Like Norman, you can make a case for Michael being the top pick. Without Michael Myers and Halloween where would the slasher film have been in the 80s? Besides Jason and Friday the 13th, Michael Myers and Halloween were often knocked off and as long as there are horror filmmakers I don’t see that ever changing. Personally I think Michael or Norman should be number 1, but a case can be made for any of the top 4.

1. Freddy Krueger
Elm Street is interesting in the fact they’re slasher films, but they also stray from slasher movie conventions (at least the sequels). However Freddy like the classic monsters of the 30s is a character you know even if you’ve never seen any of the films. While Freddy wouldn’t be my top pick I really can’t argue it.

Overall Chiller does provide a strong list of characters, but its simply a popularity contest. I think if you’re gonna make a list of slashers than make sure you fill it up with slasher characters. Again American Psycho is sort of a slasher, but its not a film that first comes to mind when thinking of these films. It’s a great film and Patrick Bateman a great character, but I still say add to the list with legit slasher characters. If I were to make a list like this I can’t say how it would look, but characters like Mrs. Voorhees, Frank Zito, the Prowler would all be included. It’s characters like that is what comes to mind when I think of slashers.

Halloween Posters and Lobby Cards (sequels and remake)

Posted in Halloween Posters and Lobby Cards Vol. 3 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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Halloween Posters and Lobby Cards (Sequels)

Posted in Halloween Posters and Lobby Cards Vol. 2 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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Halloween: Resurrection (2002) Review

Posted in Halloween: Resurrection with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION

** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- Evil Finds Its Way Home

Release Date- July 12th, 2002

Running Time- 94-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Larry Brand & Sean Hood

Director- Rick Rosenthal

Starring- Bianca Kajlich, Busta Rhymes, Katee Sackhoff, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tyra Banks, Ryan Merriman, Brad Loree and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode

Released in 2002 Halloween: Resurrection is considered by many fans to be the worst of the series and it would be difficult to argue against that; after a successful return to the series with H20 where it ignored Halloween 4-6 and went back to the Laurie Strode plot and with H20 it also sort of cashed in on the success of Scream while also keeping true to the original concept of the series and at the end of the movie it seemed as if Michael was dead for good, but if a sequel can be made somehow the villain will be brought back. H20 really was the perfect ending, but the way Michael was killed off or so we thought was a mistake in my opinion since it sort of broke the rule of never kill off your franchise player even if we now find out it wasn’t really Michael who got decapitated at the end of H20. I think the biggest problem with Resurrection is not only is this a bad movie, but pointless as well. I suppose one can say the past sequels were pointless, but even with their flaws at least they were fun and even in the weaker ones up until this point had some fun moments whereas this was just a disaster and with H20 wrapping things up so perfectly it makes this one the most pointless sequel of the series

Set 3-years after H20 Laurie (Curtis) having accidentally killed the wrong man is now in an asylum and is awaiting the return of Michael Myers (Loree) meanwhile a reality show led by Freddie Harris (Rhymes) is setting up in the Myers house where a group of people will explore the childhood home of Michael on Halloween night and once in the house will be locked up with no way out, but unknown to them Michael is there waiting.

The screenplay written by Larry Brand & Sean Hood is quite weak and while the idea was fairly decent the execution was rather poor; with Michael seemingly killed off in H20 I’ll give Brand & Hood credit for finding a way to bring him back, but as stated before it was pointless, but this was really about the only aspect of the script that was fairly done right with the explanation how Michael is still alive well sort of a good explanation. By the time Resurrection came out the Scream style slasher flicks while still being made were starting to run their course and what was once a fresh take on the slasher film was now becoming run of the mill and Resurrection seems like a holdover from that era and Resurrection also drove the point home that the Scream era was now a tired act.

The characters are boring with no depth at all and serve no purpose other than to be butchered by Michael Myers and while true past sequels may not have had the most Iconic characters, Resurrection easily has the worst characters. None of the characters have their own identity and some are also cheap knockoffs of past characters in the series best way to put it the quicker they are killed of the better. Brand & Hood attempt to create smart and witty characters, but instead they are overly annoying and the more they talk the more annoying they get. Sara (Kajlich) makes for a decent final girl and she’s sort of the modern Laurie Strode and while Bianca Kajlich does well in the role, she is however letdown by her writers and director and really ends up being quite a bland character, but she was still one of the better characters; Jen (Sackhoff) while a clichéd character is the only one that really stands out and that has more to do with the energetic performance from Katee Sackhoff than anything else.

There is also a subplot with a group of characters watching the reality show online at a Halloween party and these scenes are nothing more than filler scenes and add absolutely nothing to the plot and zap the pacing (which wasn’t very good to begin with) and these scenes really could have been mostly edited out. As poorly written as Resurrection was Brand & Hood do have some decent ideas by playing up to modern technology, which is something that has hindered slasher movies, but everything here feels rushed and tiresome and while returning to the Myers house was interesting it was already done in Halloween 5 and actually done better and the only thing this movie has over Halloween 5 is the house looks to be the proper size. Simply put Larry Brand & Sean Hood write a rather poor and forgettable script that is easily the most pointless of the series.

Rick Rosenthal who directed Halloween II returns to the series for Resurrection, which got some fans excited and as much as I enjoyed Halloween II, Rosenthal simply just followed what Carpenter did with the original, but for a sequel to a masterpiece of a film, Halloween II actually turned out fairly well. However with Resurrection things couldn’t have gone any differently. The opening act had some decent suspense with Michael Myers chasing Laurie in the asylum and while Rosenthal handles the scenes well overall it also lacks any common sense, which has more to do with the writing than the direction.

The pacing of the movie is quite sluggish and shots of Michael hiding within the house stalking the characters grows old quickly and everything just comes across as a poor rehash of past installments of the series. Rosenthal is unable to deliver any suspense or tension and the movie moves along at a slow pace and when there is lack of any action the movie can get quite grueling as the characters aren’t strong enough to carry the movie and the attempts at any suspense and tension are laughable as the film is devoid of any scares as each scene is as sluggish as the last. The Myers setting, which could have made for an excellent setting grows old quickly as scenes of the characters exploring the house while Michael somehow manages to always be out of sight grows quite tiresome very quickly. For the majority of the movie we can repeat this over and over again and at no point does it ever work. The direction by Rosenthal is lazy and uninspired and yes some problems are due to the writing, but horror movies and in particular slasher movies don’t always feature strong writing and flaws with the writing can be made up for to a certain degree if the director is able to make a suspenseful movie and Rosenthal handles the production as poorly as Brand & Hood handle the script.

The final act is when things pick up just a little bit and while by no means is anything highly suspenseful, Rosenthal does manages to put together some fairly decent scenes, but anything Rosenthal was possibly building is completely destroyed by the idiotic antics of Busta Rhymes. Having Busta Rhymes do a karate stance and spin kick Michael Myers out of a window is not scary, it’s just stupid and laughable. Having Busta Rhymes beat the hell out of Michael and always have a comment isn’t funny, it isn’t suspenseful it’s stupid. Michael is the villain and not a punching bag. I like when characters put up a little fight and not just stand there and die, but you don’t have your franchise player reduced to being nothing more than a bitch, it zaps any credibility he had left. As bad as Resurrection was like I said the final act actually had a little bit of suspense, but it’s destroyed by the Busta-Fu and anything that Rosenthal might have had going is lost and impossible to get back. Some people wonder how this film was by the same person who made Halloween II, but with that movie Rosenthal did have many people from the cast and crew from the original, which helped and of course John Carpenter did some reshoots, which some feel hurt the film whereas I felt they helped, but that’s for another review, but my point is a lot of the success with Halloween II had a lot to do with the cast and crew and not just Rosenthal and this movie sort of proves that.

The biggest mistake the film made was killing off Laurie Strode and while I guess that was needed to bring the series into a new direction, but certain characters should be untouchable and Laurie is one of those characters and with more creativity Laurie could have been written out without being killed off and still bring the series in a new direction and the worst part is how idiotic Laurie’s death is handled. After chasing Laurie to the roof where she has a trap set up for Michael where he ends up hanging from his ankles over the roof and quickly grabs at his mask where Laurie says she has to be sure this time. Ok I get why she would have to be sure, but does it really matter at that moment seeing as Michael or not he just tried to kill you!

Overall Halloween: Resurrection is a poor movie and while every so often I can dust it off and give it a watch it can be tough to get through and for me this is easily the worst of the series and as I stated before of all the sequels this just might be the most pointless one. I justify the movie by seeing it as just a horrible nightmare Laurie was having.

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