Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
The 324th review!
I made some chili today and let me tell you, it was wonderful. When Lincoln started eating solid foods I had to stop putting hot sauce in the mix. For the first time I did something that I should have done at the start and just poured some hot sauce into my own bowl. It makes all the difference. So good! No, that has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted you all to know I really enjoyed my dinner. Anyways, before that I checked out...
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Ten years after the Halloween massacre at Haddonfield, Michael Myers has been in a coma. He and Dr. Loomis survived their fiery encounter from part two and have the scars to show it. In the beginning, Michael is getting prepped to be transferred back to the mental hospital he called home for a large chunk of his life. Unfortunately for the paramedics driving him, Michael wakes up and makes up for lost time, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.
Dr. Loomis hears about it and immediately sets out to find Michael, who learns he has a family member he needs to kill back in Haddonfield. Loomis has pretty much become Captain Ahab and it seems the only reason he's alive is to be Michael's foil. It is a damn shame we lost Donald Pleasance because he is SO good. His obsession over Michael really elevates even the mediocre instalments in the series. Anyways, both Michael and Loomis make their way back to Haddonfield, both trying to get to Jamie Lloyd, played by Danielle Harris in her film debut.
The Michael/Loomis scenes are wonderful even if there's some weird teleportation going on. Dr. Loomis comes to a gas station where Michael laid waste to and Loomis sees him across the hall. The way he practically begs Michael to stop, even offering up himself as a victim instead. Pleasance acts the shit out of that scene and you see the pain in his face combined with the frustration and fatigue in his voice. His, "God damnit, Michael," before he opens fire is kind of tragic. After decades of being his patient, Loomis finally realizes he can't reach Michael and never could. Loomis, despite his best efforts, has failed and he understands it's only going to end with their deaths. The series lost a lot of what made it so good when Donald Pleasance passed away.
This movie isn't bad and probably doesn't deserve the criticism it gets. Sure it has its problems, like Michael himself. He's built like a linebacker and a lot of times when you see him, it looks like he has no neck. But the worst thing about him is the mask. It looks terrible! It looks like the knock offs you can buy at Spirit Halloween.
The Return of Michael Myers also furthers my hypothesis that all Michael has to do is stick out a knife while standing still and people will run right into it. He has to be the luckiest movie monster ever. He never has to do any work, people do it for him! Right before he wakes he conveniently overhears the paramedics talking about his relative. Next, he manages to crash the ambulance close to a gas station with a mechanic so he can wear his trademark outfit. Then he manages to torch the place and Loomis' car with the power of fancy driving. Next he manages to walk through Haddonfield with a bandaged face, sneak into a store and steal the only Michael Myers mask. Then, while hiding in a police cruiser, they drive him right to the home where all the main characters are holding out. Then he manages to sneak in right before they are completely barricaded in. Finally, he sneaks onboard a truck and manages to kill three people standing right next to each other without any of them noticing. It's kind of a theme with Michael, people go out of their way to make things harder for themselves, and easier for him.
Tangent aside, it's better than you remember and has some scary moments and also some very tense chases. The standout for me is when they're trying to escape the house they had locked up tight. To my surprise and delight, in my head I was yelling at Jamie and Rachel to hurry up as they tried climbing through an attic window. That chase is the best non-Loomis part in the movie.
Most of the characters are cannon fodder, but I liked the vast majority of them. The goofy doomsday priest who picks up Loomis on the side of the road is a fun one. He's drinking liquor while cruising and talking to Loomis about how he's fighting damnation and nearly caught him a few times. It's funny because this loony would be Loomis if the doctor let go of his sanity, and I think Loomis knows it. In the end he ends up drinking with the dude and smiling along with him.
I also enjoyed the sheriff and the state police who don't waste time doubting Dr. Loomis' story, they act quickly and appropriately and it keeps the movie tighter because you don't have to wait for the others to realize what you, the viewer, already know. Plus, I liked the idea of the mob and the dangers they represent. I also appreciated how, despite one shooting spree, when push came to shove, they weren't unreasonable and ended up doing the right thing in the end, even if it backfired on them.
I think this movie gets unfairly criticized because it's easily the worst looking Michael, it kicked off what became a weird turn for the series, and it got erased from the continuity multiple times. But still Donald Pleasance is incredible, the opening credits are wonderfully creepy and for the most part the main characters make sound decisions.
7 Dr. Chainsaws!
Post Script, I just remembered Michael kills a dog, so fuck this movie.
4 Dr. Chainsaws!
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
1 h 28 min
Directors: Dwight H. Little
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur
Supporting actors: Ellie Cornell
Studio: Trancas International Films, Inc.
Rating: R (Restricted)
Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece on Halloween.