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Dissecting Michael Myers

Oct. 30, 2012by: Ammon Gilbert

”Michael Myers”

Buy HALLOWEEN II here!

When we dissect filmographies, we usually stick to the real people who work in the industry and who make the films we know, cherish, and love. But since Halloween is upon us, it only seemed fitting to take Dissecting to the next level and take on a fictional character, and who better than that of Michael Myers (aka The Shape), the masked madman that has been around slicing and dicing babysitters since 1978, and the one person who has catapulted the HALLOWEEN franchise to what it is today. Starting as a killer at a young age, Myers has grown up to be one of the most celebrated movie maniacs in the history of cinema, and what better way to pay tribute to him and the holiday which is his namesake than to Dissect his filmography—the good entries, the bad entries, and maybe even one you’ve never fully given credit to.

BEST WORK

Buy HALLOWEEN here!

In 1978, John Carpenter introduced us to Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN, and the film remains to this day as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. From the iconic musical score to the eerie cinematography, to how perfect Myers acted once he puts on the inside-out Shatner mask, HALLOWEEN is about as perfect as a horror movie can get. Myers proved to be a scary character, a role he banked on even more-so in the film’s sequel, HALLOWEEN II, which takes place the moment the first one stops.

HALLOWEEN II is great because of the hospital location, the imaginative death sequences, and it really illustrates the outright hatred and determination Myers has to kill Jamie Lee Curtis. He f*cking hates his sister! He also apparently hates nurses, doctors, and random patients as well, which makes Myers even more brutally badass than he was in the first HALLOWEEN. And finally, HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS. Maybe not the greatest film, and nowhere near the quality of the first two, but because it was his triumphant return back to the series after Part 3 went in a completely different direction, and that there had been a few years since HALLOWEEN II, it’s just so good to see him back at what he does best in Part 4... plus, Danielle Harris in the house!

WORST WORK

Buy HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION here!

For as triumphantly good as HALLOWEEN is, it’s staggering how horrendously terrible some of the films in the series have been over the years, especially those released in the mid-90s and early 2000s. Specifically, I’d like to call out HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS, HALLOWEEN: H20, and of course, the notoriously bad HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. And actually, that’s the one that sealed the deal of being all-out. A “reality TV show” goes into the old Myers house with a group of contestants only to be met by the force of Myers and what he does best: death and destruction. But seeing Busta Rhymes go head-to-head with Myers (and winning… sorta) brought absolutely no pleasure to anyone watching. And to make matters worse, Busta lives to see the end of the movie! For shame… for shame! And it was directed by the guy who directed HALLOWEEN II, which makes its awfulness even that much more surprising.

HALLOWEEN: H20 also had a great genre director at the wheel (Steve Miner), but neither Miner nor the return of Curtis, and the inclusion of Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, and LL Cool J could save this stinker from itself. What hurt the most here was that most of the main cast survives, and Michael is decapitated by Curtis. Ok, that was pretty cool… except, of course, they bring him back for the next one, which makes it absolutely pointless. And by this time, most people are rooting for him, so having such a definitive death as beheading probably wasn’t the smartest move on their part.

TRADEMARKS

Buy HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS here!

Michael Myers is a complicated, yet simple, character. He’s motivated by one thing: to kill his sister. And if he can’t kill his sister, he’s going to kill his sister’s daughter (his niece), or pretty much any living female relative that he may have. He lost his childhood at an early age when he murdered his other sister, and yet the fact that he returns to his old home in Haddonfield, IL, every year speaks to his striving to gain his childhood innocence back. He wants to be an innocent kid again, but his murderous tendencies make it virtually impossible. Some people have daddy or mommy issues, but Myers has sister issues. Serious sister issues.

Who the f*ck am I, Dr. Loomis? Enough with the analyzing of his psyche, the guy is a f*cking crazy bastard who enjoys slowing stalking, then gutting, his prey. He prefers babysitters and women, but isn’t afraid to kill a man—in fact, he probably kills men more than he does women, which probably fuels his anger somehow. Weapons of choice include the classic kitchen knife, but he also likes using his bare hands when he can. He’s used syringes in the past, as well as other readily available weapons, but mostly he prefers the slickness of a sharpened knife, or the comforting feel of his own hands when he crushes a larynx, breaks a neck, smashes a skull, or holds a bitch under water.

HIDDEN GEM

Buy Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II here!

This may ruffle a few feathers out there, but Rob Zombie’s take on HALLOWEEN and his original follow-up with H2 are both far better than they’re ever given credit for, especially if you look at how Zombie went into giving actual character development to Myers. We see more of his background than we ever had before, we get to see what life was like at the insane asylum, and we get to see what his home life was really like. In terms of giving us a more well-rounded character than just a guy wearing a masking and hanging out in the shadows until he finds it time to slice and dice, Rob Zombie did it with HALLOWEEN.

H2 is even more fantastic because he went in a completely new and different direction. It wasn’t a remake, but rather a new entry into the HALLOWEEN universe. Again, we get more insight into Myers as a character, and he’s as brutally violent here as he ever was before (maybe even moreso), but at least here we know why. His look as the homeless mountain man may have pissed a few people off, but come on… if Myers ever stepped into the real world, he’d probably look like that! His mask was classic, the kills were classic, and we finally were able to see why (or at least, one of the reasons why) he does what he does: he has crazy dreams and visions of his mom! So I guess the guy does have mommy issues….

NEXT PROJECT

Buy Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN here!

For years we’ve heard rumors about there being a HALLOWEEN 3D in the works from writer/director duo Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer (dudes behind MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D). Scripts have been written, ideas have been pitched, but contracts have yet to be signed and last time I checked, the project was dead in the water. Which is a shame too, as Lussier and Farmer know how to make a rockin’ 3D movie (see also DRIVE ANGRY 3D), and would have been the best guys to put Myers up on the silver screen, slashing out at the audience with a big ol’ kitchen knife in his hand. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be, which means we either have a direct-to-DVD entry coming our way soon, or the Platinum Dunes guys will gain the rights and come up with some silly MICHAEL MYERS VS. PINHEAD movie idea that will suck all kinds of balls.

OVERALL

Buy HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS here!

There have been a few iconic characters in the horror genre that have stood the test of time. Dracula. Frankenstein. Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. But the one who not only out-spooks them all, but who also represents a franchise with the Halloween namesake is Michael Myers. He’s the one character who has never really made fun of himself on screen, his films have never gone the over-the-top goofy route that many of his movie maniac colleagues have succumb to over the years, and even after all these years, there’s nothing quite as frightening as seeing Myers starring at you with those hollow eyes behind the expressionless mask. He started out with a bang with one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and I have to believe that Myers has more stalkings under his belt in the years to come.

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Michael Myers moment?
Tags: dissecting

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6:14PM on 10/30/2012
Zombie's movies don't feature Michael Myers, they feature a guy who's Rob Zombie's retarded Mary Sue fantasy of what it would be like to be a "real" serial killer, growling "Hell yeaaaahhhhh!" while some shitty rock music plays as his personal soundtrack.
Zombie's movies don't feature Michael Myers, they feature a guy who's Rob Zombie's retarded Mary Sue fantasy of what it would be like to be a "real" serial killer, growling "Hell yeaaaahhhhh!" while some shitty rock music plays as his personal soundtrack.
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5:40PM on 10/30/2012

Still love Halloween!

Actually I didn't mind H4, but that was probably in large part to the rip off of part 3 being included in the same title. H2 was good, don't get me wrong, but so was H4. How many of us can say that a 3rd or 4th part in a movie is great? Not many movies can say that. If you are a true Halloween fan, you just love to see the Shape appear again, it's all good. H20 I felt started out well, but it lost my excitement by the end. There could have been more done with this movie, especially with
Actually I didn't mind H4, but that was probably in large part to the rip off of part 3 being included in the same title. H2 was good, don't get me wrong, but so was H4. How many of us can say that a 3rd or 4th part in a movie is great? Not many movies can say that. If you are a true Halloween fan, you just love to see the Shape appear again, it's all good. H20 I felt started out well, but it lost my excitement by the end. There could have been more done with this movie, especially with MM going after Curtis. Resurrection was terrible, that movie was like a long practical joke on Halloween fans. Maybe we fans should have had the "reality TV" cams on us. At the time I seen it, I was waiting for someone to jump out at the theatre to say that this movie was just a big joke on all of us... Zombies movies were OK, but I have never been a fan of remakes. But it was nice to see MM at the asylum, that added a nice touch, but if Carpenter would have done it, I would have felt sorry for little MM, so I am glad that they did not have this in the original.
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8:11AM on 10/31/2012
You're right about H4 being better than more fourths in a franchise usually are... good point! I like H3, but not as a Halloween franchise film, so that one doesn't count. See Michael return was a wet dream for most folks and they did a decent job overall.
You're right about H4 being better than more fourths in a franchise usually are... good point! I like H3, but not as a Halloween franchise film, so that one doesn't count. See Michael return was a wet dream for most folks and they did a decent job overall.
4:48PM on 10/30/2012

Nice Analysis but...

I agree with everything you said with the exception that Zombie H2 was great. It was okay, not not great. His first one was pretty good, but nothing near the brilliance of the original. It felt too dirty to me, like I needed a shower afterwards. And finally, H20 was WAY more brilliant than you have made it out. It continued Laurie Strode's character to a whole new level and we got to still see her pain as she is trying to hide from this nightmare she has lived with her entire life. It
I agree with everything you said with the exception that Zombie H2 was great. It was okay, not not great. His first one was pretty good, but nothing near the brilliance of the original. It felt too dirty to me, like I needed a shower afterwards. And finally, H20 was WAY more brilliant than you have made it out. It continued Laurie Strode's character to a whole new level and we got to still see her pain as she is trying to hide from this nightmare she has lived with her entire life. It wasn't near as suspenseful or heart pounding as the original, but it did it's job very well. Jamie Lee Curtis did great acting in this film. My only complaint with H20 was that it was way too short and I wish there could have been SOME mention about Jamie Lloyd, Laurie's daughter from part 4-6...I know they wanted to ignore those sequels (especially 5 and 6), but it would have been nice to have some sort of tie in. The ending was amazing. Until part 8 fucked all that up. 8 is the worst of the bunch with 5 coming in 2nd and 6 coming in 3rd, although part 6 had the potential of being a really great movie, had it's ideas been more fleshed out. I also thought 6 screwed it up by killing off Jamie. So my rank goes as follows 1) Halloween; 2) Halloween II; 3) H20; 4) Halloween 4; 5) Rob Zombie's Halloween; 6) Halloween 6; 7) Zombie's H2; 7) Halloween 5; 8) Halloween; [link] I also really liked Halloween III, even though it had nothing to do with Myers, still a very good film about Halloween

Also, not too long ago there was an animated treatment posted on here for a new Halloween film with the Sanitarium on fire and two police officers investigating and getting killed by Michael Myers...that looked AMAZING!!
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8:18AM on 10/31/2012
You made me want to check out H20 again. I didn't like it so much, but you have it above some others that I did like, so maybe it's time for a revisit...
You made me want to check out H20 again. I didn't like it so much, but you have it above some others that I did like, so maybe it's time for a revisit...
+2
4:30PM on 10/30/2012

Nice article but.....

I definately agree H20 needs more love. To each their own but to single this out over part 5 and alongside 6 and 8?!?!? I get the Scream comparisons as it was re-edited and scored to Beltrami's Scream scores to cash in on the popularity of Scream but it still has plenty to offer. I'd given up on the series at that point but watched it for Curtis return (plus the trailer rocked it for me) and LOVED it! The nods to the series especially the original were great without being too heavy handed,
I definately agree H20 needs more love. To each their own but to single this out over part 5 and alongside 6 and 8?!?!? I get the Scream comparisons as it was re-edited and scored to Beltrami's Scream scores to cash in on the popularity of Scream but it still has plenty to offer. I'd given up on the series at that point but watched it for Curtis return (plus the trailer rocked it for me) and LOVED it! The nods to the series especially the original were great without being too heavy handed, great cast and some decent chase and kill action all made this a fun time for me. It's definately on my festive viewing list this week.
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8:21AM on 10/31/2012
Nice! I gotta give this one another try, I guess. Memories serve me badly, but people seem to love it!
Nice! I gotta give this one another try, I guess. Memories serve me badly, but people seem to love it!
6:50PM on 10/31/2012
@Ammon - Hope you do and hope you enjoy at least a bit better than you remember but as I said - to each their own you're entitled to think it sucks if that's your opinion dude! Be interested to know what you think if you get around to watchin it again though. :-)
@Ammon - Hope you do and hope you enjoy at least a bit better than you remember but as I said - to each their own you're entitled to think it sucks if that's your opinion dude! Be interested to know what you think if you get around to watchin it again though. :-)
3:19PM on 10/30/2012
You lost me when you said H2 was a gem.
You lost me when you said H2 was a gem.
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8:19AM on 10/31/2012
That's cool, I fully realize and accept that most people hate H2. But it stuck with me! Had the balls to do its own thing and I give RZ mad props for attempting, then pulling, it off.
That's cool, I fully realize and accept that most people hate H2. But it stuck with me! Had the balls to do its own thing and I give RZ mad props for attempting, then pulling, it off.
10:33AM on 10/30/2012

My personal Favorite...

Rob Zombie's Halloween. I love Hallween II as well - not Zombie's but the original II.
Rob Zombie's Halloween. I love Hallween II as well - not Zombie's but the original II.
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9:24AM on 10/30/2012
I actually like Halloween H20 a lot. It'd be a perfect end of Halloween movie if not for Halloween: Resurrection. Best moment of Michel Myers: the opening of H20 where he attacked the nurse while the policemen searched the opposite house.
I actually like Halloween H20 a lot. It'd be a perfect end of Halloween movie if not for Halloween: Resurrection. Best moment of Michel Myers: the opening of H20 where he attacked the nurse while the policemen searched the opposite house.
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9:00AM on 10/30/2012

H20 needs more love!

H20 is the most criminally underrated entry in the series and just underrated in general. It's a fun, suspenseful ride. People act like it's some uber hip Scream knock-off which I don't understand. The focus of the plot is still very much about Laurie and her struggle with the past...the kids take a backseat to Curtis, who is awesome in this. I like to pretend the abortion that is Resurrection never happened and Michael died at the hands of his sister.
H20 is the most criminally underrated entry in the series and just underrated in general. It's a fun, suspenseful ride. People act like it's some uber hip Scream knock-off which I don't understand. The focus of the plot is still very much about Laurie and her struggle with the past...the kids take a backseat to Curtis, who is awesome in this. I like to pretend the abortion that is Resurrection never happened and Michael died at the hands of his sister.
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9:07AM on 10/30/2012
It's funny, cause I always thought H20 was OVERRATED, and always felt alone in hating it. So am surprised by your statement. But yeah, I loathe it as well... maybe I'll give it another shot someday...
It's funny, cause I always thought H20 was OVERRATED, and always felt alone in hating it. So am surprised by your statement. But yeah, I loathe it as well... maybe I'll give it another shot someday...
8:32PM on 10/30/2012
I hated H20. It was exactly what it was intended to be. Dawson's Creek with Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis. The campy music and trying way too hard to become a revival of the series by bringing Curtis back. From the mask to the movements, Michael absolutely sucked. I was excited when it came out and was let down. It was however way better than H8.
I hated H20. It was exactly what it was intended to be. Dawson's Creek with Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis. The campy music and trying way too hard to become a revival of the series by bringing Curtis back. From the mask to the movements, Michael absolutely sucked. I was excited when it came out and was let down. It was however way better than H8.
8:24AM on 10/31/2012
Alright yo, I'll give H20 a second try. I never really liked it, but people have the passion for it being better than a bunch of the others, so I'll give it another whirl someday.
Alright yo, I'll give H20 a second try. I never really liked it, but people have the passion for it being better than a bunch of the others, so I'll give it another whirl someday.
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