Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers (1988)
Director: Dwight H. Little
Donald Pleasence/Dr Loomis
Michael Myers/George Wilbur
Michael Myers (Wilbur) thought dead and burned alive cheats the grave and heads back to "Haddonfield", this time to seek and kill his young niece Jamie (Harris). Dr. Loomis (also thought dead) tracks him down… again…god this guy must have a weak social life. Will Myers get to his niece? Will Loomis save the day? Will teens die horrible deaths? What do you think…The Shape is back…ready to get on with the killing….
It’s nice to see The Shape back on his two feet. The Myers-less "Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch" left a bad taste in many Halloween fans mouths…so this entry was welcomed with open arms. Is it any damn good? It’s actually pretty decent. Lets discard the fact that at the end of part 2…our poor psycho had his eyes shot out by Laurie and that Loomis was blown up to smithereens, this is the horror genre and when money talks, bullshit walks. Myers has no problems driving a truck, sees perfectly well and Loomis has a few burn scars and hobbles when he walks.
This movie is basically a muscled up version of the original with Michael taking it to the next level. He blows up a gas station, wipes out an entire police station and kills the town's electricity (yes the whole town), all that so he can murder his niece without any hassle (why didn’t he just nuke the place). Apart from a few spooky scenes this movie has more in common with "The Terminator" than the original Halloween but that doesn’t mean it isn’t very entertaining. One thing I particularly appreciated is that this time Michael is after a little girl. It gives the movie a meaner edge and makes it scarier. Add to that intense chase scenes, some nifty kills, genuine suspense, an edge of your seat rooftop stalk scene and a powerhouse ending and you get a solid sequel. It's far from the "subtle" horror film "Halloween" was but it sure is good pumpkin fun. Lets put some razor blades in apples…
It’s alright…Michael seems to be pissed off in this one. He impales a chick with a shotgun, stuffs his thumb in some dudes forehead, crushes a few skulls and rips one poor schmuck’s head off. You go my man…
Donald Pleasence (Loomis) can do no wrong. Loomis is crazier, more obsessed and very determined. Mr. Pleasence is on top of it all. Ellie Cornell (Rachel) gives a grounded, pleasant performance and I’m very pleased that she actually looks like a normal girl and not the typical balloon tit bimbos we usually find in horror flicks. Danielle Harris (Jamie) is a big part of the film and considering her young age (she was 10 years old at the time), she holds up very well and then some. Where is she now??? Kathleen Kinmont (Kelley) gives a decent show but her performance is overshadowed by how good she looks in a T-shirt. George Wilbur (Michael) walks the walk and is a bigger dude than the previous Michaels.
T & A
Miss Kinmont gives us a half baked tit shot but graces us with a wonderful g-string butt shot…great behind…I dreamt about it later on that night...
Little loves the color blue, the movie is bathed in blue filters. He also slaps in a few groovy lighting tricks, knows how to build suspense and nails the action scenes. I also have to give the man props for capturing that eerie Halloween (the holiday) feel, it's creepy but yet beautiful at the same time. With this one he gives the series the shot in the arm it needed.
A reworking of "Carpenter’s" classic score, it will send shivers down your pants when it kicks in..
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
The DVD I'm reviewing is the "Limited Edition" DVD. It's encased in a metal box and comes with a full color booklet that talks about how H4 came to be. Here's more about the disk..
IMAGE: We get the film in Widescreen (1.85:1) and let me tell you, the film never looked so polished. The image is crisp and I was almost able to smell the Halloween season coming out of my TV set.
SOUND: The film never sounded so sharp, the Dolby Surround treatment serves it very well. Wait 'till that Carpenter score booms in...fun stuff.
EXTRAS: The DVD has really kool extras...read on.
Halloween 4: Final Cut: This 17-minute documentary is a treat for any fan of the film. It talks about the director's intentions in regards to the movie, the famous rooftop stalk sequence and has lots of folks come in to yap about their H4 experience. Akkad (producer), Dwight H. Little (director), Alan B. McElroy (screenwriter), Ellie Cornell (Rachel), George P. Wilbur (Michael), Alan Howarth (did the score), Danielle Harris (Jamie) and more come in to talk shop. Danielle looks particularly cute in this documentary. I loved this extra.
Trailer: The H4 trailer brought me back. I remember being fairly young and seeing it on TV all the time. It prompted me to go see the film on the big screen. Halloween 4 was my first Halloween flick. Aaaaahhh, the memories...
This DVD is a keeper. The menu is slick, the film looks polished and the extras are pretty kool. I would've liked a director/actors commentary track, but you can't have everything in life now can you? I say get it and get it fast, I hear there are only 40,000 copies of this "Limited Edition" available.
This entry propelled Michael to the commercial level of Freddy and Jason. It made money. The movie is tight, has good murders and a kicked my butt ending. The Shape is back and in good form; this is my favorite Halloween next to the first one. Too bad Part 5 cheats itself out of following the road part 4 opened up with it’s cap off…but that's a whole other story.
After viewing a rough edit the director realized that the movie was too soft so they brought in effect dude John Buechler (directed Friday The 13th 7) for one day of extra "blood" filming. The thumb in the forehead, the redneck's head getting twisted…all his.