Lore, baby! Lore. This is what happens when a film becomes pure lore and it is a BMTutiful sight to behold. Let me riff on this for a second. And by a second I mean for far longer than that. You have to dive deep to understand the level of lore we are dealing with here. It’s not just an origin story for Michael Myers. Not just a simple “Freddy Kruger was the progeny of a hundred criminally insane maniacs.” No, this film takes all of the previous five films and like a crazed conspiracy theorist weaves them all together. Magnifique.
To start, the fifth film ended on an insane cliffhanger where Jamie and Michael are taken from prison by the Man in Black. The Man in Black was a wholly unexplained character in the film, so it was left to whoever made the sixth film to define him. Indeed, the screenwriters of The Curse of Michael Myers jumped right in and proclaimed that this mysterious character from film five was connected to the mysterious symbol on Michael’s wrist from film four. They are the Cult of Thorn and they are here to use Michael for their own nefarious deeds.
But who are they and what do they want? For that we actually are best served by going back to Halloween 3 (that’s right, the film that has nothing to do with Michael Myers… or does it?). That’s because when they veered away from Michael the focus of the series briefly shifted from the singular killer to the very idea of Halloween. They went back to the original idea of the holiday (aka Samhain) and its connection to sacrifices. Much like in the third film the primary antagonist isn’t Michael Myers anymore, but really a puppetmaster of sorts who is using the powers of sacrifice to gain strength. This is basically the entire plot here: Michael Myers was cursed by this cult and every so often on Halloween (when the thorn symbol appears in the stars) awakens and goes on a killing spree to murder everyone in his family (and beyond?). This benefits the cult in some vague way. So when Jamie escapes from the cult with her baby (Michael Myers’ final sacrifice) they are left with no other choice but to set him loose on Haddonfield again to finish the job.
This is also how the second film most strongly connects to the sixth. Not really through Samhain (which is mentioned briefly in that film as being connected to Michael), but rather through the killing of his family. It’s impossible to forget that the second film is where they made the terrible mistake of retroactively making Laurie Strode the sister of Michael. The later films are worse than the second, but I think that’s still the worst thing they ever did. Anyway, this gives a rock solid (and totally unnecessary) explanation for why Michael would want to kill his family. As if a maniac needs such an explanation!
Finally that brings us to the first film (and my favorite of the lore building). So Michael is loose on Haddonfield and thus, like the yin to his yang, the even more insane Dr. Loomis’ reign of terror begins anew. He teams up with his old colleague Dr. Wynn and Tommy Doyle (both not seen since that first film) to track down Jamie’s baby and keep him safe from Michael. This is all before Dr. Wynn is revealed to be the Man in Black himself! And you know what this clears up? In the first film there is some mystery around how Michael Myers knew how to drive like a pro after spending his entire life in a hospital and Loomis explains that he seemed to be driving just fine when he saw him so maybe “someone taught him.” You bet someone did. Dr. Wynn, Cult of Thorn maestro himself. It should be noted that in the novelization of the first book it is claimed he learned by watching Loomis. Bah! Trust in the Lore is my motto. You best believe Dr. Wynn spent many Saturdays giving driving lessons to Michael.
Behold my masterpiece on the pure lore that is the sixth film. So I must have loved it, right? Hell no. This is by far the worst of the films. I actually forgot what a catastrophe it was. It is horrible. Straight dog poo. The hilarity of the lore is its only redeeming quality. It was so bad that they had to basically smash cut and ADR their way to a reshot ending in the insane asylum that actually ended up as the best part of the film. A nonsensical reshoot was somehow better than the rest of the garbage they put to screen.
As for New Year’s Evil? Well, for horror completionists I think this is a must. It’s such a weird film and I think indicative of just how lost some people got in trying to replicate the success of other slasher films. But it is quite fun for a few reasons: some really weird motivations for the characters, excessive use of the “punk” stereotypes of the 80’s, and a real dumbo killer. To elaborate a little on the last point: unlike many horror films that try to hide their killer, we spend about half the film riding around with the murderer as he does his murdering and he… is… terrible at it. Throw away the notion of an unstoppable force of evil. This is a very stoppable man who bumbles his way to his own death. Suicide by being real bad at stuff. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers? More like More Halloween? Curse you Michael Myers! Amirite? Only if you imagine me shaking my fist ruefully at Michael Myers. Let’s go!
- My god, look what they’ve done to my boy! Halloween, you’ve never looked so bad. Top to bottom, front to back, side to side gobbledegook. Just nonsensical garbage. Dare I say it? I ran up to this film, a lover of horror mega-franchises and slashers in general and they slowly pushed dog poo right into my face.
- You know I love to say it: this film is a slap in the face to fans of the franchise.
- When I go back to school to get my PhD in BMT-ology (at BMT University) my dissertation will be entitled: How to Ruin Horror Franchises, Lore in its Many Forms. The crowning jewel of the thesis will be about this film.
- The Cult of Thorn. Don’t you see? The mark of Thorn condemned a child to kill their family in a blood sacrifice according to Celtic legend. But then why does Michael only escape on occasion? Well, because a constellation in the shape of Thorn only appears every so often. … nailed it? What absolute drivel, answering questions no one is asking.
- Weirdly, if they had just landed on that lore earlier in the series it could have worked. Michael is dead? Who cares? The whole issue was the insistence that The Shape NEEDED to be Michael Myers! So now he becomes an invincible unstoppable force and the whole thing is a retcon. Lore. Ruins. Everything.
- I’m now very intrigued to see just how bad Halloween: Resurrection is. Because this movie is garbage. It might actually be the worst of all of the mega-franchise horror I’ve seen. Zero interesting kills. Terrible acting (yes even Paul Rudd). Perplexing decision making. Poor direction.
- Obviously you always need to give a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield when it comes to Halloween. And an A+ Holiday Film (When?) for Halloween. And I’m going to throw out the Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that the other doctor from the first film was the head of the Cult of Thorn and Man in Black the whole time. Definitely a BMT I think, just for how terrible it is.
- Oh, and our friend! New Years Evil is an early slasher (1980) and actually quite interesting. An interesting killer obsessed with time. A very old school 70s feel. But … horrible acting and it feels like a television film. It is interesting to see how people were still creating that early slasher feel into the 80s when the big franchises were just starting to exploit the genre. And I’m shocked they have never tried to remake it or create a modern sequel. There is a nugget of a cool idea there for sure.
Time to dive into my reworking of the series. After the third film they should have stuck with Michael being dead. But then The Shape should appear again. And the big reveal there would have been something like Tommy Doyle was the new Shape. Loomis though begins to get confused. Tommy? He wasn’t a psycho, just in such shock from the events of the first film that he had gone to the same asylum as Michael had been at! The middle trilogy then is the unraveling of the Cult of Thorn, where it is revealed that Michael was the first test subject. A young sociopath that a cult-obsessed doctor had cursed with Thorn 10 years prior. And the three movie set then finishes with the destruction of Thorn … but can you contain such a powerful and ancient evil? Probably not. Would have set it apart from the other major horror franchises at least.