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Face-Off: Halloween II Vs. Halloween IV

Oct. 29, 2012by: Mike Catalano
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It seems that many were in agreement with me on our last Face-Off which showcased the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT defeating PARANORMAL ACTIVITY in the battle of "first person shooter/found footage" horror movies. I enjoyed hearing everyone's interesting opinions, so please keep them bullets flying!

I'm definitely pumped for today's Face-Off seeing as how it revolves around the greatest time of year for any horror fan. That's right! Like The Shape going after his baby sister, Halloween is quickly creeping our way! And you know you can't celebrate the Eve of All Saints without paying tribute one way or another to the true blank face of the holiday! And since we already saw a Face-Off concerning the worst HALLOWEEN sequels, we figured it was now time to compare two of the best!

Michael
Still as slender and cunning as he was in part 1, even after being shot six times, "I shot him six times and he just got up and walked away!" Part 2's Michael seems to have added a bit more speed to his stepping when compared with his previous film's stalking methods. Still, the extra bits of rage he shows (the violence was upped big time for the sequel) coupled with his quiet about-to-stalk stance make for one scary slasher entry.
Michael definitely put on some pounds while being laid up in a coma for ten years. I suppose the filmmakers wanted a more hulking stature for Mr. Myers in this sequel. Honestly, I feel they should have kept him sleek. His larger shoulders and puffy chest just look kind of awkward and don't help in the scary department. His movements were pretty sluggish too in a non-frightening way. And don't give me the whole "he was in a coma" bullshit. If he can get up and walk and shove his thumb into a guy's skull, he should be able to stalk just fine.
Kills
Oh, Michael really started branching out in the creative kills department after sticking mostly to the knife in part one. He jams a hammer into the head of a security guard. He takes out a doctor with a syringe to the eye. He drains the blood from a nurse. But, of course, the pice de rsistance happens when Michael turns up the heat on a hot tub and scalds poor Nurse Karen to death by repeatedly dunking her face into the piping, bubbling water. This nasty kill comes as a big-time shock and has still yet to be matched in the Halloween series.
Michael certainly didn't forget how to kill while he laid in a coma for ten years. However, his execution (pun intended) of said kills did need some dusting off. I just got a real weak sauce vibe from Mike's murders in part IV. Maybe because there wasn't much blood on display. A lot of the kills aren't even shown on screen. We just get dark, mostly gore-less shots of the aftermath. How great would it have been to see Michael storm the police station, dispatching every Haddonfield officer? Well, we don't get to. And, whoever came up with that thumb-through-the-head gag at the beginning is a moron.
Big-Boobed Hottie
Pamela Susan Shoop as "Nurse Karen" played a wonderfully essential part in shaping my young hetero/horny mind while growing up. She was so sweet and delicate, yet still willing to have some old-fashioned sexy fun. The first time I saw part II was on basic cable, so Ms. Shoop's wonderful hot tub scene was sadly trimmed. However, upon finally seeing the uncut version, her wondrous rack was as beautifully supple as I imagined! To have Michael violently end her life so shortly afterwards was the biggest crime in Halloween history. I hated her death.
Kathleen Kinmont was another 80's hottie that left quite an impression on my youth as "Kelly Meeker". And speaking of impression, I'm certain that we all imagined leaving a facial impression within Ms. Kinmont's more than ample bosom. It seems that every guy in Haddonfield wanted a shot at "Kelly" and perhaps the fact that she was the Sheriff's daughter added an extra urge of forbidden lust. Seeing her melons protruding forth from beneath her "Cops Do It By The Book" night shirt definitely does things to the nightstick. Not to mention her amazing butt shot when she's stripping down to her undies. She doesn't even give a full-on boob shot and still manages to tantalize to the fullest in a bra! (Special thanks to The Arrow for helping me see the headlights in trying to pick this category's winner.)
Scream Queen
Jaime Lee Curtis definitely proves why she is indeed the Queen of them all with how she handles herself within this sequel. Spanning a wider range of emotions than in the original, she masterfully goes from a scared victim to a shocked sister to a brave survivor. And when her initial medication wears off, she sure can belt out one frightened shriek.
Even at a very young age, Danielle Harris clearly was destined to ascend to the throne created by her character's mother in part IV. She too goes through a pretty impressive range of emotions from innocent, picked-on little girl to confused and frightened prey to even the next generation of evil. Not bad for a youngster, but you still have to hail to the original Queen, baby.
Halloween Theme
I find it very interesting how composer, Alan Howarth was able to basically copy John Carpenter's original master work and somehow put a fresh, eerie spin on it. The classic tune is there, but it is now played with what sounds like a carnival organ. It echoes wonderfully and really adds a creepy kick to the film.
Well, I will say that I do think the subtle, windy score during the opening credits sequence ain't too bad, albeit not at all like Carpenter's notes. Unfortunately, when it does come time to play that familiar Halloween tune, we get a very weak, uninspired interpretation. The music feels about as clunky as Michael looks in this sequel.
Ending
Halloween II offers up quite the spectacular finale as all the action and main characters culminate at Haddonfield General. The meeting up of doctor, sister, and patient/brother is definitely more of an intimate affair. There isn't an overlong chase or any intense battling, and that doesn't matter. It's just Michael and his slow, powerful desire to let nothing, even locked doors, stand in the way of reaching his goal. And then sister, Laurie, says to hell with that and fires two shots at his face. The blood that drips through the eye holes of Michael's mask makes for an unforgettably ominous sight. Loomis seemingly sacrificing himself to end Michael for good is a fittingly heroic touch. And whoever thought of the idea to have Michael walk forth from the explosion covered in flames for one last scare is a genius.
Okay, at least Halloween IV didn't hold back in terms of delivering a satisfying shocker of a finale. Having Michael hiding underneath the truck transporting his niece was an inspired notion and does pre-date DeNiro's Cape Fear. Then, the good guys throw everything at him but the kitchen sink. He gets bashed by a speeding truck, shot by a literal firing squad of automatic weaponry, and dropped into the earth as a bunch of heavy objects go crashing on top of him. True, this all happens kind of quick and isn't really that spectacular. However, the real shocker of an ending occurs when young Jamie is brought back home and succumbs to the "curse" of her family that is somewhat hinted at throughout. After stabbing her mother, the last shot of her that mimic's the shot of young Michael after he stabs his sister in part 1 is very awesome. But what I truly love is the shot that directly precedes it of Loomis shouting "No!" and aiming his gun at her.
HALLOWEEN II
Wow! Well, I suppose it wouldn't be Halloween without a massacre involving Michael Myers. I truly was not expecting this when I set out to write this particular Face-Off. I guess I should prepare myself for a slash-fest from all the haters that gonna hate below. Maybe because part II is so close to part 1 in terms of plot and look, it had an easier time obtaining vicotry? Perhaps if you totally disagree, watch both flicks again. I'm sure you'll be able to find them both on TV somewhere around this time. Please, remember to spit your bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!

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+0
4:08AM on 10/30/2012
Halloween 4, definitely. It's the only one of the Halloween sequels that I really liked. It's fast-paced, the stalk and chase sequences are directed with a lot of energy, the atmosphere and cinematography are evocative of the holiday, and I enjoyed the use of wider locations (especially compared to the limited hospital location in Halloween 2), with Michael chasing our heroines throughout Haddonfield and even outside the town by the end! Blasphemous as this may sound, I also thought Ellie
Halloween 4, definitely. It's the only one of the Halloween sequels that I really liked. It's fast-paced, the stalk and chase sequences are directed with a lot of energy, the atmosphere and cinematography are evocative of the holiday, and I enjoyed the use of wider locations (especially compared to the limited hospital location in Halloween 2), with Michael chasing our heroines throughout Haddonfield and even outside the town by the end! Blasphemous as this may sound, I also thought Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris were the two most likeable leads in the whole series (yes, even more so than Jamie Lee Curtis) and they really worked well together (pity Halloween 5 ditched that chemistry). It's been a while since I've seen Halloween 2, but other than it's stark cinematography and one topless scene, I was overall unimpressed.
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5:21PM on 10/29/2012
Pamela Susan Shoop doesn't win the "boobs" section? What. The. FUCK?!
'H2' looks like a movie. 'H4' looks like a made-for-TV movie.
Pamela Susan Shoop doesn't win the "boobs" section? What. The. FUCK?!
'H2' looks like a movie. 'H4' looks like a made-for-TV movie.
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+1
4:08PM on 10/29/2012
Nice face off, to be fair it's been some time since I watched both though hopefully H4 blu ray is next sent from my rental list. I do seem to remember H4 differently - not sure if UK got a stronger version as I think I remember Kelly's full topless scene and the kills being pretty gory. I also liked her kill of ramming the shotgun through her. I love the house and rooftop chase, would've been cool to see the original scene planned for the school where he flips tables trying to get to Jamie
Nice face off, to be fair it's been some time since I watched both though hopefully H4 blu ray is next sent from my rental list. I do seem to remember H4 differently - not sure if UK got a stronger version as I think I remember Kelly's full topless scene and the kills being pretty gory. I also liked her kill of ramming the shotgun through her. I love the house and rooftop chase, would've been cool to see the original scene planned for the school where he flips tables trying to get to Jamie but at least we got in H20. I love the score of H2, and the kills are great, I like how they brought back Nancy Stephens as Nurse Marion from 1 plus there are some fun/nice characters. Jamie's chase into the basement and outside then back in again is great and I remember being completely on edge watching it. Bad parts - Jamie shooting out Michael's eyes was cool but never sat right with me - I know adrenaline is a mircale drug but it made her an expert marksman? I never got the point of the little boy going to hospital hurt (played by little boy from The Fog) he had no ties to anyone and goes nowhere so why waste time with him. Either way I can't choose right now and remember loving them both equally.
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2:51PM on 10/29/2012
H2 is a really good movie, but I think H4 is the superior sequel!
H2 is a really good movie, but I think H4 is the superior sequel!
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11:48AM on 10/29/2012

Agreed

I always thought H2 was the best of the lot when it came to Halloween sequels.
I always thought H2 was the best of the lot when it came to Halloween sequels.
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9:26AM on 10/29/2012

boobs and music...

now i was pretty young still when H4 hit...but, i kinda remember seeing kelly's breasts sans T-shirt. maybe its wishful memories on my part, but i really seem to remember doing the ''oh hell, my dad's sitting next to me!'' squirm. (now i do know that sherilynn fenn's waterfall breast scene was edited out from "the wraith'' in every copy since the first video [link] squirm moment. figure maybe this happened to H4)


also...alan howarth did the music for H4 as well as 2.....go figure. (though
now i was pretty young still when H4 hit...but, i kinda remember seeing kelly's breasts sans T-shirt. maybe its wishful memories on my part, but i really seem to remember doing the ''oh hell, my dad's sitting next to me!'' squirm. (now i do know that sherilynn fenn's waterfall breast scene was edited out from "the wraith'' in every copy since the first video [link] squirm moment. figure maybe this happened to H4)


also...alan howarth did the music for H4 as well as 2.....go figure. (though i enjoy both scores as well as 1 and 5's)
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9:13AM on 10/29/2012

H2 all the way.

I find H4 to be very overrated. Never saw the love for to be honest. It's a dull, dry film with a boring, dry Michael. The mask is god-awful too.
I find H4 to be very overrated. Never saw the love for to be honest. It's a dull, dry film with a boring, dry Michael. The mask is god-awful too.
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8:38AM on 10/29/2012
I gotta be honest, I think IV is by-far the superior sequel. Better acting, better mask, better performances and an amazing atmosphere with the terrific cinematography and music. Jamie is barely in the second movie so that kills it as well.
I gotta be honest, I think IV is by-far the superior sequel. Better acting, better mask, better performances and an amazing atmosphere with the terrific cinematography and music. Jamie is barely in the second movie so that kills it as well.
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