Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meep Pic Of The Week: Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers
A Galaxy International Release
Original Theatrical Release Date: October 21, 1988 (remember when they released Halloween Movies in October? I never understood that trend of releasing them in August--Stupid Stupid Stupid!)

In a couple of months it will be 24 years since I watched Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers for the first time, and I remember having a blast. It was especially exciting since it had been exactly 10 years since the original came out, and Michael's character had been on sabatical since he supposedly blew up/was set ablaze at the end of Halloween II in 1981 and had sat out Part III (which yielded the result of Tom Atkins vs. Evil Irish Mask Maskers and that was totally awesome in itself)

Halloween 4 picks up on some of the original storyline, introduces new characters and expands on the Michael Myers legend a bit. It's a not a perfect film by any means, but there are some nice touches here and there...Love the thumb to the head early on with Michael's escape... The atmosphere seems right (very Halloween-y), even if the Film had a fairly different vibe from the first two. Those first two films were filmed in southern california, while parts 4 & 5 were filmed in the more autumn/winter friendly Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Night Michael Came Home... Again... And Again... And...

This new Halloween also had a new (old) distributor as Dino De Laurentis, who had produced Halloween II and III, was done with the franchise and sold it back to original Producer Moustapha Akkad, who quickly decided he would never let go of the series ever again and eventually passed on the Halloween torch to his son after his death. With Akkad back in place for Part 4, it was his mission to capture what made the first Film a success, and to some degree, the Film does.

What the Film does severely lack is the panache of John Carpenter behind the wheel. Once he (and perhaps very smartly) gave up on the series after Part III, the Films thereafter would never be able to recreate his brand of Movie magic. Dwight H. Little's direction is admirably workmanlike, but it doesn't stand out enough. Still, there is suspense and atmosphere in Halloween 4, and characters I liked.

Dr. Loomis gets picked up by a crazy old preacher after getting left in the dust by some jerky teenagers who really deserve to be hacked up by his ever-escaping patient, Michael Myers.

Donald Pleasence is still at the top of his game (love the scene between him and the old preacher man), it was nice to see one of my favorite character actors, Michael Pataki, in the Film, and then newcomer Danielle Harris does a good job in a role that is usually dreaded in a franchise Film... The newly added kid character. Playing Laurie Strode's surviving daughter, Jamie (nice nod to Jamie Lee Curtis), you empathize with her plight and you sort of buy into this whole weird why-does-her-uncle-want-to-kill-her-so-badly scenario...which is expanded upon in the next sequel...And I actually enjoy Part 5 a good deal as well. But hey, that's probably just me.

Halloween 4 (as well as Part 5) is being released on Blu-Ray for the first time in a spiffy new edition from Anchor Bay this month. Check it out here:

I saw Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers at the Marboro Quad in Brooklyn on October 21st 1988... How about you?

Alternate Poster Art for Halloween 4:

The not quite up to snuff mask used In Halloween 4

Apparently someone makes customized Halloween 4 Vans Sneakers. Wacky!

Hey, did you know that Michael Myers' George P. Wilbur has a website?

And best of all. Halloween 4 contains one of Horror Film's most memorable T-Shirts...

Not only does she steal Rachel's man Grady, Kelly also answers the door to child trick-or-treaters in this get up. Slut.

Buy your slutty kelly action figure today! Operators are standing by...

TV Spot:


Ken Reid said...

I too saw this in theaters in 88. The Assembly Square Cinema in Somerville, MA to be exact.

I think it's the best of the sequels with Meyers in them. I'm looking forward to the Blu Ray.

Alex Jowski said...

Though I wanted to see this in theaters at the time I had to wait for video because I was only 8 years old.

It's really not my favorite of the Halloween sequels as most of the time it kind of feels like a forced retelling of the first Halloween movie with a younger girl. Though it is FAR superior to that mess that was Halloween 6 (which, incidentally, was the first of the franchise I watched in theaters).

FilmFather said...

I saw Halloween 4 at the United Artists Theatres in Williamsport, PA during college. A fraternity brother of mine told me he heard it was just as good as the original. Um, well...I *did* jump near the end when Donald Pleasance pounced on Danielle Harris as she was running through the street...

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Mummbles said...

I agree with you on the mask being really bad looking in this one. I still enjoy the movie somewhat but hey, its still better then some or most of the later films. Nice write up!

Cinema Du Meep said...

Thanks for sharing guys!

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