Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Director: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan

Sequels. They're the bane of any movie lover's existence. Sure, every once in a while you get a good one like Terminator 2 or the Back to the Future sequels, but a lot of the time they're just made to cash in on the original's success and are not made with the same kind of strokes of brilliance that the original film was. Then sometimes another one is made. Then another. Then another. Then another, all until the series is sucked dry and left to die like a festering corpse in the desert. What a horrible chain of events. And what better to epitomize this raping of creativity and artistic vision than by looking at the complete lack of anything salvageable that is Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

I know what you're thinking: How can a slasher series have any creativity or artistry to rape in the first place? Well, this movie is so bad and so odious in its stench that it manages to do so even when there was already a lack of those things. How low can you go? Well, this movie goes lower!

What a vile film this is. What a complete and utter failure. I don't even know where to start. The shoestring budget? The lack of any likable characters? The godawful acting? A blank, empty line would sum up everything this pile of ass did right, and for what it did wrong I'd have to write several paragraphs of this kind of raving. So let's just...go ahead and try to get this over with, lest it haunt my nightmares forever.

We start off with the main girl from the last two confused movies being dragged kicking and screaming into some dark chamber where she's strapped to a table and they take a baby out of her. Apparently this is the direction the film has decided to push on us. Yup, an evil cult centered around Myers and his...evil-ness, I guess. She escapes with the help of a blonde chick who tries to get her out, but is subsequently killed by that old indestructible force of nature Michael Myers, who still isn't tired of trying to kill off his family. This guy has more of a one track mind than a train headed for a brick wall.

Only this time we get a back story. Apparently, this is what they came up with, quoting Wikipedia:

Michael has been marked with Thorn (or Thurisaz), a runic symbol that druid astronomers claimed was originated from a constellation of stars that appear on Halloween night from time to time (whenever it appears, Michael appears, explaining why Michael appears a few number of years after he's been in a near-death-experience). It is an ancient Druid curse that represented a demon that spread sickness and caused mad destruction on druid tribes. In order to prevent the tribes from dying, each tribe had to inflict the curse on one child from each tribe...

Yeah, because that sounds so much like something I'd want to see in a Halloween film. How did we even go from a movie with almost no plot in the original to a movie with a huge, suffocating WALL of it like this? Admittedly the idea is alright, but...it's Halloween! This is like trying to add Shakespeerean drama into a Nightmare on Elm St. movie. Maybe if this was directed by John Carpenter or someone who actually understood how to make a good horror movie or a good movie at all, it would be excusable and even welcome, but...this movie is the cinematic equivalent to a goat's rectum. So you can guess how well it goes down.

Then we're introduced to our main characters. Relatives of the Strode family who adopted Laurie, they live in the Myers house. The father is an abusive asshole who is so one-dimensionally angry and grouchy that I actually think he is zero-dimensional. I seriously can't even make jokes about this guy; the movie makes them all for me. He shouts at everyone and everything, slaps and insults his own family and I don't think I've ever seen a character more worthy of being murdered in a slasher movie, ever. The mother is a complete joke and a push over, letting everyone step all over her and push her around. Yeah, because nobody has any depth to them as characters. Everyone is just black or white, with no in-between area and no reason or motivation for anything they do. Every person can be summed up with one word adjectives and bam! You have your movie. God, what a load. The lead girl is completely faceless and unmemorable, as is her son, who is supposedly the next heir of this Michael Myers curse thing, except I don't give a rat's ass. It's really kind of hard to do that when we're barely given any reason to care about these morons in the first place. I've sat in wading pools less shallow and substance-less.

Oh, and at the bottom of the barrel lies Tommy Doyle, the little boy who was being babysat by Laurie Stode in the first movie. He's grown up into a paranoid nutcase who inexplicably knows all about Michael and has all the answers to everything in this movie, and I suddenly hate this movie that much more. The acting, oh fuck, the acting...is fucking horrible. It doesn't help that this movie has some of the worst lines ever ("Michael Myers is the right man for me," on the radio show, and the narration in the beginning that says that Halloween is a night of mayhem only because of Myers...) but the acting is just intolerable. Nobody is believable, nobody has any emotion and nobody delivers their lines with any conviction at all. It's an acting student's worst nightmare! You could get a pair of fleas to act better than half of these assholes. You could get...Romanian midgets with cranial deformations to act better. This is awful! This is torture!

And how about Donald Pleasance? Well, in his first scene we see him talking to an old colleague who says it's great for him to be away from everything and be retired. Loomis agrees, and then the colleague says that Loomis should...come back to work. Did anyone ever actually proofread this script? Not to mention that Loomis actually agrees, again. Despite the fact that he's been doing it for four straight movies now, I guess the studio was just that strapped for cash that they needed to get the poor old goat to go at Michael again. Even though I'm pretty sure he does nothing in this movie anyway, so whatever.

Poor Pleasance. What a godawfully atrocious last movie role this was. You can see his career dying with him every second he's in this movie. Every line he says is painstakingly labored and sluggish, completely forced and slow, and he just really sucks. I'm sorry I have to say that, but...there you go. Damn you Halloween 6, do you know no bounds of wretchedness? Do you have any mercy at all? You made me say Donald Pleasance sucks! My soul is forever scarred.

That's it, I'm wrapping it up. The movie plods along with what I think is a clear example of no direction - maybe Akkad and his cronies were out for lunch or something while the camera was on; who knows. It's boring, stupid and completely unexciting. I don't even think Uwe Boll could come up with something this horrid. Nothing sticks out except for the absolutely atrocious acting and the destruction of Donald Pleasance as an actor.

What a flat out horrible experience. I haven't hated a movie like this since I don't even know when, but I am not exaggerating any of this. It's stupid, it's wrongheaded, it's got no sense of direction, the acting is horrible, the lines are horrible and it undoes everything the Halloween series ever did that was good. No, seriously; fuck this shit! It's some of the worst cinematic drivel out there. If there is a movie hell, this movie is burning in it forever. And rightfully so.