As my brother, Billy, has been fond of pointing out, we at Tower Farm believe the more taglines a movie has, the better it is. For an example, see his review of the wonderful, three-taglined Curtains.
But let's go further: if multiple taglines can indicate just how fun a movie is going to be, what about multiple titles?
For our scientific piece of research, we'll look at Halloween 6, also known as Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween 666, and Halloween: The Origin of Michael Myers. Halloween 6 can be found listed under any of these above titles... or under any combination of them.
A couple of years ago, while at one of the Screamfests in Orlando, FL, I picked up a copy of Halloween 6: The Producer's Cut (yet another title!). It has long been rumored that the fifth sequel to Halloween had been recut after initial test screenings and that the version released in the theaters was nowhere near as coherent as the original cut of the film.
Well, I saw Halloween 6 in the theaters and, no doubt about it, it was a total mess. So, I was eager to see it as it was originally intended to be released.
It is a total effin' mess. In fact, it is not all that different from the theatrical version that is currently available on DVD. But, given that many more readers will most likely have seen the theatrical version already, I will be reviewing the bootleg version.
The movie opens with some lady we have never seen before giving birth at some sort of hospital/ futuristic lab/ medieval dungeon. I am not kidding. I have no idea what this place is supposed to be or what century it is supposed to be in.
Wait. What? That woman giving birth is supposed to be Jamie from Halloween parts 4 and 5? But, this woman doesn't look even remotely like Jamie. And she is, like, a good 7 years too old to be be Jamie. I mean, where the hell is Danielle Harris?
Well, I guess Danielle Harris must have been too busy on Roseanne or something, because she is nowhere to be found in this movie.Anyway, right after she gives birth we get the Man in Black with the steel-toed boots from Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. He kind of struts into the room like a sinister Garth Brooks and takes the newborn. Unlike in the theatrical release, the opening credits here are narrated by Dr. Loomis. He tells us of Michael Myers, "He needed to wipe out his entire family. He struck them down at night, and always on Halloween".
Huh? As far as I remember, Micheal Myers only ever struck down one member of his family on Halloween night. That was his sister in 1968! If that's the case, it sure seems like he is not very good at his job. I mean, it is pretty clear that his parents (seen in the opening of part 1) were never killed by him. He never did get to Laurie (in part 4 it is indicated that she died in a car accident). He did, however, kill a lot of other people that were not related to him, whatsoever. It seems to me that this would be sort of like bragging to everyone that you were going to go out hunting for a deer, then walking in with an armful of dead squirrels.
But, what do I know? I have never hunted in my life. Maybe it is all about the number of animals that you kill altogether and not about shooting the particular animal that you went out to kill. If that is the case, then Michael Myers has been a huge success.
Anyway, in no time some lady helps Jamie and her baby escape this bizarro birthing place. This lady points Jamie in the direction of the exit and sends her on her way. Wow. Thanks. Jamie and the baby get stuck running in circles in some indescribable place that, I guess, is located in Haddonfield. It is indoors, I think. But, it is also raining. There are tunnels and darkened hallways. There is also a spiral staircase. Truly, it is as through Jaime and the crying baby are stuck inside some sort of M.C. Escher drawing. Or maybe Haddonfield is located in some other dimension, like the Twilight Zone. Whatever the case, I have come to the conclusion that the opening to Halloween 6 does not take place on Earth.
Jamie ends up getting some innocent alcoholic murdered as she steals his truck and gets away. Nicely done, Jamie.
Inexplicably, the focus of the movie shifts at this point. We find out that the Strode family is alive and well and still living in Haddonfield... a town that has banned the celebration of Halloween.
Good lord. How does an idea like that make it on to paper, much less the screen?
But, okay. I'll go along with this premise.
Some dorky radio talk show host (who I think is supposed to be kind of like Howard Stern. But, needless to say, completely misses the mark) is heard going on and on about Michael Myers and how that killer has been dead for six years, blah blah blah. Then, he gets a call from Tommy Wallace.
Yes, Tommy Wallace, the little boy from Halloween is back. Sort of.
You see, as with Jamie, only the character has returned. This time around, Tommy is played by Paul Rudd.Oh, you read that correctly. Years before becoming (somewhat) famous, he was picked to play Tommy Wallace in Halloween 6. Paul Rudd chooses to play Tommy... strangely. His entire characterization of Tommy is nothing more than an imitation of Cary Elwes. The facial expressions, the delivery of the lines, everything. It is the best impression of Cary Elwes I have ever seen. Actually, it is the only impression of Cary Elwes that I have ever seen. But, it is a great one.
Soon after Tommy's call, some other guy calls and says that he had heard the "old quack" that had been treating Michael Myers was dead. At this point we cut to an ancient looking Dr. Loomis sitting at his study (realistically listening to this assinine radio program). He starts laughing and says aloud something about how he is not dead, just retired. Of course, the actor, Donald Pleasance, died before the film was released. So, it is an odd choice for the filmakers to keep that line in. But, what the hell, I guess.At this point, we jump back to Jamie. I can only assume she is still trapped in The Twilight Zone because she has arrived (during what appears to be one of those Midwest hurricanes) at an open, yet completely abandoned bus station.
Here's the thing- this is supposed to be happening in Illinois in October. Why not just go with a snow storm or something? Oh, and get this- It is not raining like this for any other character in the movie, which only strengthens my belief that Jamie is not on Earth.
Anyway, Jamie goes to a phone in this abandoned station and calls for help. Unfortunately, all of the emergency lines are busy because of the hurricane-like conditions. So... are you sitting down?... she calls the radio station. Her pleas for help on the radio, of course, alert Dr. Loomis and Tommy Wallace (separately) that Michael Myers is back in town.
Then Jamie is killed ("You can't have the baby, Michael" is uttered as my eyes roll). Yep. That character survived the two previous movies just to be offed in this one. Oh, well. Them's the breaks. You find out, though, that Michael just left Jamie for dead and actually, the Man In Black shot her dead at the hospital later. So, Michael still hasn't killed one of his family members! He is totally inept!
Good God, this movie is stupid and we haven't even gotten to the Celtic conspiracy stuff, yet.
Yeah, that's right.
Anyway, back to Kara Strode. She is, apparently, the heroine of this flick. She has a "bastard" kid (her father's word, not mine) and is studying Psychology at some college. Her father is a loud mouth. Not sure why she chooses to live with her parents still, but that is neither here nor there. Let's just say there is a lot of tension in the Strode household.None of this matters, though. We all know what happens from here. Kara and Tommy have to team up to protect Jamie's baby (which ends up in their care). None of that is unexpected. What really throws this movie off course, though, is the whole Runestone plotline.
Okay. To begin with, Kara's "bastard" son, Danny hears a voice that no one else can hear. It is a voice that sounds like someone trying to imitate Freddy Kruger and it says stuff like "Danny... Kill for him". Now, if I had a child hearing stuff like this, I would be totally freaked out. But, of course, Kara just thinks he has an overactive imagination. Even after he pulls a knife on his grandfather.
There is also something about Celtic runestones. Michael Myers has a tattoo of the one for Thorn, which is bad. It is also a constellation that appears on some Halloween nights. When the stars align, Michael comes home.
As it turns out, virtually the entire town has been in on everything from the get go (the get go apparently being 1968). It seems that there is some sort of curse that falls on one boy. If he kills his entire family, then the town lives and thrives. As soon as the boy does kill his enitre family, the curse is lifted from him and passed to another boy, who starts the process over again. Oh, and the boy who is cursed hears voices. Can you see where this is going?
The Man In Black is the former head of the sanatorium that housed Michael. He is like the leader of some Haddonfield pagan society, or something.You know, I am a fan of trashy sequels. But, when you have characters running around in capes using arrangements of runestones to stop a serial killer... Well, you have reach an entirely new level of dumb.
This mixture of ambition and knuckleheadedness could have made Halloween 6 the greatest sequel (and by extension, the greatest movie) ever made. Unfortunately, it is just too boring. So, having multiple titles for a movie does not guarantee anything, after all.
Two and a half fingers.
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