Halloween II (2009) Preview

“Looks like New Years come early for you two,” Officer Mash says with a smirk as he clangs the jail door shut. Jamie and Patrick beg them to listen to their story. Sure it sounds totally crazy, but they have to trust them. They are there for a reason… to change someone’s life… to help. But Bongo and Mash scoff at the suggestion. “Nothing is wrong in this town. It’s perfect,” Bongo says matter of factly. “Yeah, perfect,” agrees Mash, “you know, except for…” But before he can finish Bongo shushes him and reiterates that the town is a perfect example of perfection. Jamie and Patrick see their opening, but no matter how much they try to explain, it’s like talking to two rule-abiding walls. Mash chuckles at their attempts and silently mocks them to his partner. “I don’t know what kind of yuletide cheer you’ve gotten into, but there isn’t anything wrong with the town. Rules are just rules. So you boys just stay right there. We gotta go patrol the Halloween Jamboree.” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in confusion. Halloween? Didn’t he use the phrase ‘yuletide cheer’ just a second before? Officer Mash rubs his hands together in anticipation. “I heard this year they got Mikey Myers (of the Mikey Mikes fame) to perform and they are doing some spooktacular novelty songs.” Jamie and Patrick leap up. “Wait!” shouts Jamie, “We’re the Mikey Mikes.” Patrick nods his head excitedly and just as Bongo and Mash are about to wave them off he blurts out, “We can prove it! Let us give you a sneak peak at a double dose of spooktacular novelty songs!” Bongo and Mash look at each other and finally relent, “Ehhhh, OK. But just don’t make them too scary.” That’s right! We are doing a double dose of spooktacular action with both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. We are well ahead of schedule in our Halloween franchise pursuit with only Halloween Kills (currently qualifying) left. Let’s go!

Halloween II (2009) – BMeTric: 70.7; Notability: 69

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.2%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.5%; Higher BMeT: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Stan Helsing, S. Darko, The Unborn, Dance Flick; Higher Notability: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2012, Angels & Demons, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, The Lovely Bones, Nine, Fast & Furious, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Surrogates; Lower RT: Labor Pains, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Miss March, Old Dogs, All About Steve, Whiteout, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Echelon Conspiracy, Post Grad, My Life in Ruins, The Unborn, Couples Retreat, Bride Wars, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, The Stepfather, S. Darko, The Pink Panther 2, I Love You, Beth Cooper, The Ugly Truth, Year One, and 20 more; Notes: Man we have a lot of high BMeTric films on the table … can’t same I’m super excited about any of those though. Nearly 70+ for both BMeTric and Notability is pretty impressive though.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Michael Myers is back on the gory warpath in this lumbering sequel to Zombie’s 2007 Halloween. There are pitifully few genuine scares … just a lot of blood and utterances of the “f” word. Unrated director’s cut runs 119m.

(That’s what I’m talking about Leonard! YES! I think this might be the first BOMB in the actual series, the only other one being Halloween III (which is now a cult classic). Stunning that it managed it when even Halloween: Resurrection didn’t.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXkcgqmKZ2Y/

(This trailer makes it look a lot more normal that I think this film actually is. I’m pretty sure this film is a gross film I don’t like. But this makes it look like an actual slasher film (a genre I generally like). So that’s confusing.)

DirectorsRob Zombie – ( Known For: 3 from Hell; The Devil’s Rejects; Grindhouse; 31; The Lords of Salem; Future BMT: House of 1000 Corpses; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Real name Robert Cummings. Was most well known as a singer headlining the heavy metal band White Zombie.)

WritersRob Zombie – ( Known For: 3 from Hell; The Devil’s Rejects; Grindhouse; 31; The Lords of Salem; Future BMT: House of 1000 Corpses; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Is writing and directing the horror-comedy film version of The Munsters.)

ActorsScout Taylor-Compton – ( Known For: 13 Going on 30; Chariot; The Runaways; An American Crime; The Long Night; Return to Sender; Flight 7500; 247°F; Love Ranch; Triple Dog; Ghost House; An Intrusion; Wicked Little Things; Love at First Hiccup; Andover; Get the Girl; Future BMT: Sleepover; Obsessed; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Was a teen actress as she was only 15 when she was in 13 going on 30.)

Tyler Mane – ( Known For: Troy; X-Men; The Scorpion King; The Devil’s Rejects; 247°F; Victor Crowley; Gunless; Black Mask 2: City of Masks; Compound Fracture; Devil May Call; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; Playing with Fire; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: A former wrestler, his ring name was Big Sky.)

Malcolm McDowell – ( Known For: Father Stu; A Clockwork Orange; Caligula; O Lucky Man!; Bombshell; Easy A; The Book of Eli; Blue Thunder; Doomsday; The Player; In Good Company; 31; Bolt; Cat People; The Artist; Star Trek: Generations; Hidalgo; Excision; Time After Time; American Satan; Future BMT: Tank Girl; Milk Money; Mr. Magoo; Just Visiting; Sunset; Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius; Delgo; BMT: Halloween; Silent Hill: Revelation; Halloween II; I Spy; Notes: He’s in a million things at this point. The most intriguing upcoming project is Wizardream where he plays the role of The Wizard Mangodor.)

Budget/Gross – $15,000,000 / Domestic: $33,392,973 (Worldwide: $39,421,467)

(Actually, still not that bad. But I’m sure the reception was less than warm and ultimately they began looking for a new direction to take the rebooted series after this one.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (18/81): Zombie shows flashes of vision in the follow-up to his Halloween reboot, but they’re smothered by mountains of gore and hackneyed, brutal violence.

(That is way way way higher than I would have thought! I legit would have thought there would have been wholesale rejection of the Hastel-esque direction Zombie took with full creative control, but 20% isn’t that bad.)

Reviewer Highlight: Let’s float a notion: Rob Zombie is the greatest horror-movie director never to make a great movie. – Keith Phipps, AV Club

Poster – Hostel-ween 2: Even Hostel-ier

(Certainly shocking and so it’s doing its job. I can see that hanging in a theater and it grabbing the right people’s attentions. I don’t love all the gray, but the orange pops and the font is good. I think it’s good. Better than the first in its simplicity. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Family Is Forever (C+)

(Boy oh boy. They just don’t seem to care about these tag lines and that’s a shame. Slightly better than the first. Even though it’s generic there is a whiff of cleverness… “family is forever” is a wholesome phrase and they turn it around. But I don’t really appreciate just stating a generic phrase ironically. Gotta do something with it.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.4 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 76.9 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Texas Rangers (2001), Halloween (2007), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (Horror): 70.6 Halloween II (2009), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 58.6 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992), 56.9 They (2002), 45.9 Darkness (2002), 36.9 The Amityville Horror (2005), 33.6 Halloween (2007)

(Apollo 18 is one of those films that has been on the tip of BMT forever. Probably because it came out the year we started BMT. So it was always there, but we obviously had the classics to get through and he didn’t have as sophisticated an infrastructure to identify the merde de la merde of bad movies. Anyways, missed again, but we’ll get there.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Scout Taylor-Compton is No. 1 billed in Halloween II and No. 1 billed in Halloween, which also stars William Forsythe (No. 8 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 5 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (8 + 5) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch Sunset, The Jackal, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – John Carpenter was offered a cameo in the film by Rob Zombie, but he turned it down.

First Halloween movie to include Michael clearly walking around without his mask on.

Daeg Faerch filmed scenes reprising his role of Young Michael Myers but was replaced and the scenes reshot after it became apparent that Faerch had noticeably grown up since the last installment and no longer looked the same age.

Rob Zombie originally stated he would never do a sequel to Halloween (2007), until the studio decided to make it. Then he signed on to write and direct, because he didn’t want someone else to ruin his vision.

While writing Sam Loomis for the sequel, Rob Zombie based his egotistical and self-absorbed personality on Dr. Phil and his talk show.

Malcolm McDowell quotes Alex Delarge, the character he played in A Clockwork Orange (1971), during the press conference when he says “Let’s get things nice and sparkling clear”.

The decision to give Laurie the name ‘Angel’ as her real name was meant to emphasize her as an extreme opposite to Michael. Laurie Strode’s birth name in the original films was Cynthia Myers.

Tyler Mane is only the second actor to portray Michael Myers twice. George P. Wilbur previously portrayed Michael in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995). Mane is the first actor to portray Myers two movies in a row.

In the scenes shot at the exterior of the hospital parking lot, the location of the emergency room entrance to the hospital was actually the entrance to the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the now-defunct Sepulveda Veterans Administration Hospital in the San Fernando Valley, California.

The characterisation of Dr Loomis as a greedy, unlikeable egotist was Malcolm McDowell’s idea. He told Rob Zombie he didn’t want to give the same performance from the first film.

In addition to the studio interference that compromised production, Rob Zombie also strongly suspected that crew members were actually stealing money from the film’s production budget.

Rob Zombie had nearly every main character killed off in the ending, including Michael Myers and Laurie (though she only dies in the Director’s Cut), to finally ensure that another film could not be made. Despite this, Dimension Films insisted on a third film and Zombie walked away from such plans, not wanting to be involved with it. This film ultimately underperformed financially and was panned by fans and critics alike, casting doubt on a sequel. After years of no development, Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company finally surrendered the rights to the franchise to Universal Pictures and Blumhouse, resulting in Halloween (2018).

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Preview

Mud splashes in Young Jamie’s face and Jamie and Patrick fist bump and laugh as they watch the dirt mingle with his tears. The youngsters hopped on their own motorbikes in an attempt to battle their older counterparts’ sick moves. Alas, without the years of professional dance under their belts they couldn’t keep up. “Who… who are you guys?” asks Young Patrick, sniffling sadly at his own lack of motorbike skillz. Patrick throws up his hands. The youngsters shouldn’t worry about who they are. “The short and sweet of it is that we are who you could become if you learn the three R’s: reading, writing, and total radness.” Boom. A look of wonder and self-reflection cross the faces of the younger versions of themselves. They predator high five and vow to read, write, and be super rad by being kind and inclusive to others. Boy, that was easy. Jamie and Patrick nod at each other and prepare to head back to the time machine. They were certain this would take at least eight or nine short adventures to achieve their goal. “Hey wait,” the youngsters say, “Aren’t you going to stick around for dinner?” Patrick is about to explain that they don’t make it a habit to dine with children because they are adults and kids are boring when Young Jamie chimes in, “Yeah, and then afterwards is trick-or-treating!” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock, a shared feeling about this moment flooding back to them. They may have turned their lives around with their rad tricks and sage advice, but something about Young Jamie’s words make them think they have one more thing left to do. Halloween, late 90’s, tricks and/or treats… something monstrous is on the horizon. That’s right! We’re heading on through another horror franchise and boooooyyyyy howdy do I love franchises. Halloween might be the most critically disappointing of the major franchises. Started at the highest of highs and then really tanked starting with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. And that’s where we start and pick up a bonus in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Both under 90 minutes. Let’s go!

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) – BMeTric: 60.3; Notability: 26

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.2%; Notability: top 17.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 6.7%; Higher BMeT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Tango & Cash, Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Family Business, Lock Up, Millennium, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, and 24 more; Lower RT: Dream a Little Dream, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, The Horror Show, The Toxic Avenger Part II, Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy, Night Game, Wired, Wild Orchid, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, Rooftops, She’s Out of Control, Winter People, Millennium, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Notes: Huh … now that I look at both of these plots together, both of the ratings tick down at the same time. Much have been a purge of fake / suspicious votes or something. Maybe some misguided marketing attempt for the new film? Maybe a backlash to the new film? Maybe robots running wild? Who knows. This rating is more like it though, we’ve seen all of the other higher BMeT films as well.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Slightly more plot than before but still just a sequential slaughter of teenagers as Michael Myers (Shanks) again sets out to kill his young niece (Harris). Routine and plodding, with too many endings and unnecessary setup for a sequel.

(Interesting. There is a sequel. But from what I remember the sequel is barely connected to this film. Doesn’t it jump forward a bunch of years to the child of the kid in this one? I honestly can’t remember the setup now that I think about it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j37xXYWN7rc/

(Hate the beginning with the “help me, help me.” Also they weren’t ready, and he’s not unmasked. What a bizarre ad campaign!)

DirectorsDominique Othenin-Girard – ( Known For: Beyond Desire; After Darkness; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: From Switzerland. Evidently attempted to make a transition to Hollywood in the late-80s, but is more well known on the European indie scene.)

WritersJohn Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween Kills; They Live; Halloween; Escape from New York; Halloween; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Dark Star; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween; Lockout; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Halloween II; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; The Fog; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Still kicking around Hollywood, although he hasn’t actually written a film since 2001’s Ghosts of Mars. He likes to make his own synth-heavy soundtracks.)

Debra Hill – ( Known For: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Halloween; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Halloween II; The Fog; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Died in 2005, she was well known as the frequent collaborator and producer with John Carpenter on his most well known films.)

Michael Jacobs – ( Known For: Certain Fury; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Hasn’t written anything since the late-80s … that is until the upcoming documentary about the surveillance state in the United States? Yeah, that’s in post-production.)

Dominique Othenin-Girard – ( Known For: After Darkness; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Was educated in London and has directed across the globe, although most well known for his work in Switzerland.)

Shem Bitterman – ( Known For: The Job; Out of the Rain; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Trained as an actor, he also produces plays which appears to be what he is most famous for.)

ActorsDonald Pleasence – ( Known For: The Eagle Has Landed; The Great Escape; Halloween; Escape from New York; You Only Live Twice; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Phenomena; THX 1138; Fantastic Voyage; Prince of Darkness; Soldier Blue; Escape to Witch Mountain; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Wake in Fright; The Last Tycoon; Dracula; Alone in the Dark; Malachi’s Cove; The Hallelujah Trail; Watch Out, We’re Mad; Future BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Started acting in the 50s, oddly in television films. Obviously became most well known for his role as Dr. Loomis in the Halloween films.)

Danielle Harris – ( Known For: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood; Free Willy; The Last Boy Scout; City Slickers; The Town That Dreaded Sundown; Stake Land; Hatchet II; See No Evil 2; Victor Crowley; Hatchet III; The Wild Thornberrys; The Victim; Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet; Camp Cold Brook; Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2; Shiver; Havenhurst; Poor White Trash; Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead; Halloween; Marked for Death; Halloween II; Rugrats Go Wild; BMT: Urban Legend; Daylight; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Still working, including in shows like Creepshow true to her horror past.)

Ellie Cornell – ( Known For: Married to the Mob; The Specials; Room 6; Free Enterprise; All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos; The Thirst; Future BMT: House of the Dead; BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Was supposed to be in A League of Their Own but had to drop out when she became pregnant.)

Budget/Gross – $5,000,000 / Domestic: $11,642,254 (Worldwide: $11,642,254)

(Just going down and down and down. It isn’t a surprise they scrapped whatever plans they originally had for the sequel and only finally made it six years later. What a disastrous franchise performance.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (3/25): Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers finds the series embracing crude slasher conventions with pedestrian scares, disposable characters, and aimless plotting.

(Spoiler alert: it always did. That was the issue. The issue was they created the best original film of the bunch and then had nowhere to go but the unstoppable killer / horrible lore route. Even the second one was a pretty nonsensical rehash of the original’s ideas.)

Reviewer Highlight: A prime example of the principle of diminishing reruns. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

Poster – Sklogoween 5: The Revenge of Slithers the Friendly Snake

(I like this one a little better than #4. It’s a little more artistic with the knife and the girl and thankfully they made the mask a little smaller instead of weirdly huge. Still not great. C)

Tagline(s) – Michael Lives, And This Time They’re Ready! (C+)

(Yeah, OK. I can get with this one at least. This time they’re ready… sure… I mean, it’s not true, but there’s no law against a tagline being wrong, right? RIGHT?! THAT’S NOT A LAW, RIGHT?!)

Keyword(s) – killing-spree

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Antlers (2021), The Dark Knight (2008), Scream (1996), Malignant (2021), Deadpool 2 (2018), Goodfellas (1990), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Future BMT: 64.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 62.7 The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007), 61.0 When a Stranger Calls (2006), 54.4 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 45.9 Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003), 41.5 Hell Fest (2018), 41.1 The Purge (2013), 40.5 Hollow Man (2000), 40.2 The Forsaken (2001), 39.9 Ghost in the Machine (1993)

BMT: London Has Fallen (2016), Conan the Barbarian (2011), House of Wax (2005), Queen of the Damned (2002), Red Riding Hood (2011), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Species II (1998), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Dracula 2000 (2000), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

Matches: Halloween (2018), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Idle Hands (1999), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Christmas Evil (1980), Silent Rage (1982), Meeting Evil (2012), Who’s Watching Oliver (2017), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2 (1996), Dahmer vs. Gacy (2010), Heavy Mental: A Rock-n-Roll Blood Bath (2009)

(I should have just done Halloween again. Let’s see though, When a Stranger Calls is definitely one of those films we should have watched six years ago and still haven’t. Same goes for Hollow Man, which is a real weird film.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Donald Pleasence is No. 1 billed in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and No. 2 billed in Halloween II, which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis (No. 1 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 2 billed) which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (6 + 1) = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – After filming for two weeks, Donald Pleasence gave his much bigger trailer to Danielle Harris once he left set. Harris’s mother had been complaining about the small size of her daughter’s trailer and Pleasence decided that she should have his.

Despite the subtitle “The Revenge of Michael Myers” which appears on all movie covers and posters, it does not appear in the actual film. It only says “Halloween 5” in the opening credits.

Lowest grossing film in the entire series.

Don Shanks was originally set to wear the same mask that George P. Wilbur had worn in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) in order to retain consistency between the movies. The mask did not fit Shanks, so a new one was made.

KNB Effects had designed grotesque facial makeup for Michael Myers’ unmasking toward the end of the film. The producers told them to do so as an option, either showing Michael’s badly scarred face or keep it in the dark. They went for the latter.

The old hermit from the opening scene was originally scripted as a younger man named “Dr. Death” who had a fascination with the occult. His shack was supposed to be filled with ancient runes and tablets, and he attempted to bring Michael back to life after finding him. This scene was filmed, and can be seen in Inside ‘Halloween 5’ (2000).

The film’s first screenplay, which was written by Shem Bitterman, featured Jamie Lloyd and Michael Myers as dual antagonists, with a now-teenage Jamie going on a killing spree of her own, Myers attempting to kill her because she was unwittingly interfering with his own spree, and Rachel being caught in the middle. Executive producer Moustapha Akkad disliked the screenplay, feeling it felt more like a parody of the Halloween series than an actual entry in it, and also because he had already promised Danielle Harris that she would be allowed to return as Jamie, and did not think that the 12-year-old Harris would be credible as a serial killer. As a result, the screenplay was rewritten essentially from scratch by Michael Jacobs and director Dominique Othenin-Girard, though Bitterman remained credited for contractual reasons.

Donald Pleasence was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the story and with the way director Dominique Othenin – Girard was trying to get him to play Dr Loomis as totally heavy and overbearing. Pleasence also felt that the success and the shock ending of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) was not being capitalized on.

In the script, Rachel had Tina’s role, and Tina had Rachel’s, with a vast change in character for Rachel. Also the script had a scene in the Myers’ house that had The Shape fall through the floor into a cage in the basement, and the end had Michael escaping with Sheriff Meeker finding an empty cell, and other drafts had Meeker dying.

Footage was added to the beginning of the movie (from that previously used near the ending of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) to show that Michael had actually fallen down a nearby mineshaft rather than just being “swallowed by the ground.”

The film had been fighting an X rating with the violence, blood, and gore. Some scenes were trimmed down to keep it rated R, including a shot of Mike quivering on the ground after Michael stabs him in the head with a hand rake, a shot of glass embedded in Officer Eddy’s face after Michael punches through the windshield, and Billy’s leg being hit by the Camaro, the scythe that kills Samantha was originally supposed to go through her forehead.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Preview

Mud splashes in Young Jamie’s face and Jamie and Patrick fist bump and laugh as they watch the dirt mingle with his tears. The youngsters hopped on their own motorbikes in an attempt to battle their older counterparts’ sick moves. Alas, without the years of professional dance under their belts they couldn’t keep up. “Who… who are you guys?” asks Young Patrick, sniffling sadly at his own lack of motorbike skillz. Patrick throws up his hands. The youngsters shouldn’t worry about who they are. “The short and sweet of it is that we are who you could become if you learn the three R’s: reading, writing, and total radness.” Boom. A look of wonder and self-reflection cross the faces of the younger versions of themselves. They predator high five and vow to read, write, and be super rad by being kind and inclusive to others. Boy, that was easy. Jamie and Patrick nod at each other and prepare to head back to the time machine. They were certain this would take at least eight or nine short adventures to achieve their goal. “Hey wait,” the youngsters say, “Aren’t you going to stick around for dinner?” Patrick is about to explain that they don’t make it a habit to dine with children because they are adults and kids are boring when Young Jamie chimes in, “Yeah, and then afterwards is trick-or-treating!” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock, a shared feeling about this moment flooding back to them. They may have turned their lives around with their rad tricks and sage advice, but something about Young Jamie’s words make them think they have one more thing left to do. Halloween, late 90’s, tricks and/or treats… something monstrous is on the horizon. That’s right! We’re heading on through another horror franchise and boooooyyyyy howdy do I love franchises. Halloween might be the most critically disappointing of the major franchises. Started at the highest of highs and then really tanked starting with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. And that’s where we start and pick up a bonus in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Both under 90 minutes. Let’s go!

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) – BMeTric: 38.4; Notability: 28

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 6.4%; Notability: top 12.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 14.0%; Higher BMeT: Mac and Me, Caddyshack II, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Poltergeist III, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Johnny Be Good, Alien from L.A., Arthur 2: On the Rocks, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Big Top Pee-wee, Cocoon: The Return, Red Scorpion, Critters 2, Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, Hot to Trot, Two Moon Junction; Higher Notability: Action Jackson, Sunset, High Spirits, Caddyshack II, Big Top Pee-wee, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Cocoon: The Return, Moving, The Couch Trip, License to Drive, Vibes, Cocktail, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Hot to Trot, The Seventh Sign, Mac and Me, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Short Circuit 2, The Presidio, Bad Dreams, and 12 more; Lower RT: Two Moon Junction, Illegally Yours, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Johnny Be Good, Return of the Living Dead II, Watchers, Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, Hot to Trot, Fresh Horses, Hero and the Terror, Mac and Me, Caddyshack II, Cocktail, Dead Heat, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Action Jackson, Vibes, The Prince of Pennsylvania, The Seventh Sign, 976-EVIL, and 14 more; Notes: The rating just keeps on rising! Pretty silly that it does, the movie isn’t very good. Man, we still have a ton of solid 1988 films to watch. What are we doing?

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Unkillable monster is back, this time mindlessly headed for his hometown to murder his niece (young Harris). Standard horror thriller is technically well made but offers little novelty.

(Maltin reviews sometimes really confuse me. Like, this one is waaaaay shorter than most any review, and yet he can’t be bothered to put commas in places or add a “The” to the start of the review? He peppers semicolons all over his reviews, and then gets precious with commas? Just bizarre stuff. Oh the review? Yeah, sounds about right.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SpDZ1eErzM/

(Decent trailer. Shows enough to know you are going to get the kills you expect from the 1988 horror landscape, but also an interesting take on reintroducing Myers to the franchise.)

DirectorsDwight H. Little – ( Known For: Tekken; The Last Rampage; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Rapid Fire; Bloodstone; Getting Even; KGB: The Secret War; Future BMT: Marked for Death; Murder at 1600; The Phantom of the Opera; BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Notes: Ended up being a big television director, including 23 episodes of Bones. Seems like he’s been retired since 2018.)

WritersDhani Lipsius – ( BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Notes: Produced the Butterfly Effect DVD extras, and was an assistant on Cheers in 1983.)

Larry Rattner – ( BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Notes: Mostly a producer, like for the movie Far More starring Adrian Grenier.)

Benjamin Ruffner – ( BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Notes: Literally nothing about this person on IMDb, and on Variety he has only been mentioned in reference to this production.)

Alan B. McElroy – ( Known For: Wrong Turn; Fractured; Tekken; Rapid Fire; Thr3e; Future BMT: Wrong Turn; Spawn; The Perfect Guy; BMT: The Marine; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Left Behind: The Movie; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: A writer on Star Trek: Discovery. Still makes horror films, like Wrong Turn which came out last year. Was part of the Columbia Pictures Writing Program.)

ActorsDonald Pleasence – ( Known For: The Eagle Has Landed; The Great Escape; Halloween; Escape from New York; You Only Live Twice; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Phenomena; THX 1138; Fantastic Voyage; Prince of Darkness; Soldier Blue; Escape to Witch Mountain; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Wake in Fright; The Last Tycoon; Dracula; Alone in the Dark; Malachi’s Cove; The Hallelujah Trail; Watch Out, We’re Mad; Future BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Died in 1995. Nominated for an Emmy for The Defection of Simas Kudirka. I think he’s most famous as the original Blofeld in the Bond films.)

Ellie Cornell – ( Known For: Married to the Mob; The Specials; Room 6; Free Enterprise; All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos; The Thirst; Future BMT: House of the Dead; BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Still working, although she took an eight year break in the 90s. Founded Mindfire Entertainment.)

Danielle Harris – ( Known For: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood; Free Willy; The Last Boy Scout; City Slickers; The Town That Dreaded Sundown; Stake Land; Hatchet II; See No Evil 2; Victor Crowley; Hatchet III; The Wild Thornberrys; The Victim; Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet; Camp Cold Brook; Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2; Shiver; Havenhurst; Poor White Trash; Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead; Halloween; Marked for Death; Halloween II; Rugrats Go Wild; BMT: Urban Legend; Daylight; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Apparently sold the clown costume she wore in this film to a fan for his personal Halloween collection.)

Budget/Gross – $5,000,000 / Domestic: $17,768,757 (Worldwide: $17,768,757)

(I think this is just how horror films were back in the day? It is worse than the mid-franchise installments of Elm Street and Friday the 13th though. That is a shockingly low take only made palatable by the shockingly low budget.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (8/28): Halloween 4: The Return Of Michaels Myers may bring the series’ masked killer back into the fold, but fails to offer the visceral scares and inventiveness of the original.

(I mean, how can you match the inventiveness of the original when you are forced to use the same killer over and over. Isn’t that the story of Halloween 3? They tried something new, it didn’t work, the franchise falls apart in three years.)

Reviewer Highlight: It seems the latest stage in some curious evolutionary pattern; the slasher species keeps proliferating and getting weaker at the same time. – Caryn James, New York Times

Poster – Sklogoween 4: The Return of Bagpipes McGee

(Wooooah, that’s horrible. I guess I’d hang it in my room as a joke or something. It looks like a local advertisement for a mattress store or something. Gah, I have to stop looking at it. It’s growing on me with its weird giant mask. Noooooo D.)

Tagline(s) – Ten Years Ago HE Changed The Face Of Halloween. Tonight HE’S BACK! (D)

(Stupid meta-tagline. Even too long to be effective at that. May as well have just gone with the generic HE’S BACK instead.)

Keyword(s) – halloween

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), The Karate Kid (1984), Antlers (2021), Deadpool (2016), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Halloween Kills (2021), Rent (2005)

Future BMT: 84.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.1 Bewitched (2005), 70.5 Halloween II (2009), 70.0 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 67.8 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 64.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 61.4 Skinwalkers (2006), 60.5 Pet Sematary II (1992), 57.0 The Next Best Thing (2000), 54.3 Hanging Up (2000)

BMT: Batman Forever (1995), The Predator (2018), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Son of the Mask (2005), Made of Honor (2008), Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Deadly Friend (1986), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Town & Country (2001)

Matches: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), Halloween Kills (2021), Scary Movie (2000), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Crow (1994), Hubie Halloween (2020), Haunt (2019), Halloween (2018), Terrifier (2016), When We First Met (2018), A Cinderella Story (2004), Monster House (2006), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Hell House LLC (2015), Idle Hands (1999), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Bad Candy (2020), Fun Size (2012), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Night of the Demons (1988), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween II (2009), The Hollywood Knights (1980), Pet Sematary II (1992), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Hurt (2018), Stan Helsing (2009), Blood Fest (2018), All Hallows’ Eve (2013), Pay the Ghost (2015), Murder Party (2007), Night of the Demons (2009), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Candy Corn (2019), Tales of Halloween (2015), Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017), … (and many more)

(Kind of ridiculous how few (relatively) we’ve done, but we are working on it. Hanging up sounds weird. Basically Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan, and Lisa Kudrow all don’t care that Walter Matthau is going to die … that’s the plotline.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Donald Pleasence is No. 2 billed in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and No. 2 billed in Halloween II, which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis (No. 1 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 2 billed) which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (6 + 1) = 16. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Just so Danielle Harris wouldn’t be scared, George P. Wilbur would often lift up his mask between takes to remind her that they were just making a movie and that he was not really going to hurt her.

The girl Lindsey who drove Rachel and Jamie to the discount mart was going to be revealed as Lindsey Wallace from Halloween (1978) and have a larger part in the film as Rachel’s friend and helping her babysit Jamie, but that was cut for budget reasons. The third boy hanging out with Brady and Wade in the drug store was meant to be Tommy Doyle from the original film.

A scene was filmed to bridge the story with Halloween II (1981). It was a flashback to the finale of part II, with a scene where Loomis is being tended to by paramedics when he sees the burning body of The Shape. Loomis exclaims to the EMS technicians to “Let Him Burn!” but they douse the flaming body of Myers despite his pleas. This moment was added to Halloween Kills (2021) with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) saying the line after she sets her house on fire with Michael trapped at the end of Halloween (2018).

Series creator John Carpenter wrote a treatment for this film that had a more ghostly psychological approach to the Michael Myers mythos. It concerned the town of Haddonfield and what effect the events of the first two films had on its citizens. This concept was later rejected by the producers in favor of the typical slasher fare, at which point Carpenter left out of the film, making this the first in the series to have no participation from him.

Alan B. McElroy wrote the script in 11 days and beat the writer’s strike by mere hours.

Originally, when Jamie and Loomis were trapped in the school, Jamie hid in a classroom under a desk. Michael entered searching for her, throwing the desks over. Although due to time constraints this sequence was not shot for this film, it was remembered by producer Moustapha Akkad and later re-used in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).

In the schoolhouse, Michael’s mask appears, briefly, with blonde hair. This mask was the original type chosen for the film. However, it was decided to go with a design with brown hair, resulting in re-shoots. The mask with brown hair was chosen to match the style seen in the first two films in the series, with the blonde-haired mask appearing only in the schoolhouse sequence.

The ambulance that transports Michael Myers was a prison bus in an earlier draft of the script. Michael escaping from a prison bus was later used 30 years later in Halloween (2018).

This film is the first time Michael Myers is credited with his name, as opposed to bring credited as “The Shape.”

1988 was the first year in which all 3 of the then top horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare On Elm Street) all released new films in the same year: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, and A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Additionally, the first Child’s Play was also released in 1988, as were Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and Phantasm 2, all of which would also become major horror franchises.

The original ending had Rachel go upstairs to take a shower and replace the dirty, blood-stained clothes she was wearing only to have Jamie sneak up behind her and stab her to death. This scene was later changed to Darlene Caruthers but this scene was remembered for Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) and was used for Rachel’s death scene.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Preview

“Mr. Wrong,” Patrick finishes. With that he presses a button and the gigantic, useless box explodes to reveal its very not useless contents (what a twist!). Hundreds of Obsidian Dongles pour out. “You see,” Patrick explains, “once I saw the Rich & Poe book in the bookstore window I knew the Dongle wasn’t safe. I slipped it in the mail to my wife and told her to pack it up in this crate with numerous replicas. One of which you so conveniently stole from us.” He looks around in satisfaction, the Dongle nicely obfuscated by the sea of false Dongles. Manfred backs up in panic, attempting to use his false Dongle. “No, but… I quickened!” He screams in rage, still trying to use a power he never possessed. Patrick shakes his head. “Wrong again, Mr. Wrong.” At this point Manfred is picking up Dongle after Dongle, each one faker than the last. He sobs, lamenting his lost power as Patrick shakes his head in disgust. Time to wait and hope that Jamie triumphs over the cyborgs, but something told him that everything would be OK.

Jamie lifts the Obsidian Dongle from the safe and Kyle asks in a whisper how this could be. This world was a microcosm in and of itself and after decades living here it had carved itself into their image. Delivering unto them a Digital Dongle (all rights reserved). As the cyborgs bust into the back room their eyes widen for a moment before Jamie blasts them away.

Suddenly Jamie and Kyle wink into existence in the apartment, the power of cyberspace delivering them once again home. A tear trickles down Kyle’s face. “Never forget me,” he whispers. Patrick and Jamie embrace and then turn to Manfred. Sadly Patrick delivers justice, “Trick or treat, Manfred.” That’s right! As we head out of our 90’s extravaganza of friends we are transitioning to the year in retrospection. Just like 2020, this year proved difficult to collect an adequate roster of films, so we will be mixing in anniversaries (the first of which was 1996’s Mr. Wrong). But before that we will watch a Holiday Edition of BMT Live. While not a 2021 film, this Live is still with the spirit of the now in that it’ll celebrate Halloween with a film that just recently re-qualified for BMT. That would be Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Let’s go!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – BMeTric: 64.5; Notability: 33

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 6.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 13.1%; Higher BMeT: Grease 2; Higher Notability: Young Doctors in Love, Firefox, Trail of the Pink Panther, Movie Madness, Hanky Panky, Grease 2, Monsignor, Making Love, Lookin’ to Get Out, The Man with the Deadly Lens, Death Wish II, The Toy, Yes, Giorgio, Fighting Back, Megaforce; Lower RT: Megaforce, Class Reunion, The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Movie Madness, Monsignor, The Toy, Zapped!, Friday the 13th: Part III, Five Days One Summer, Amityville II: The Possession, Parasite, The Beast Within, Losin’ It, Vigilante, Fighting Back, Summer Lovers, Trail of the Pink Panther, Young Doctors in Love, The Man with the Deadly Lens, Lookin’ to Get Out, and 6 more; Notes: The graph makes sense because I think this is a film which is slowly becoming more cult-classic as it ages. Weirdly high BMeTric while also barely qualifying.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – There are a lot of problems with “Halloween III,” but the most basic one is that I could never figure out what the villain wanted to accomplish if he got his way. His scheme is easy enough to figure: He wants to sell millions of Halloween masks to the nation’s kiddies and then brainwash them to put them on at the same time, whereupon laser beams at the base of the neck will fry the tykes. Meanwhile, he runs a factory that turns out lifelike robots. What’s his plan? Kill the kids and replace them with robots? Why?

(Actually I know this. He is an ancient member of a cult. And every certain number of years they need to make a sacrifice (using things like Stonehenge as a way to focus power) to continue their eternal life I’m pretty sure. The bad guy plans the ultimate sacrifice. To kill hundred, thousands, millions (?) of children across the United States at just the right moment. So no, nothing really to do with robots. The robots are, I think, just to make it all not need to be a large conspiracy. The bad guy is effectively doing it all himself.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCNSJO24dvE/

(Sufficiently mysterious. Loving the classic Carpenter synth track. Just … the masks look pretty dumb. It is a fundamental issue with the film I think.)

DirectorsTommy Lee Wallace – ( Known For: Fright Night Part 2; Vampires: Los Muertos; Aloha Summer; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Allegedly has a movie he wrote and is directing in production. It seems like that is always the case, and as usual I’m skeptical.)

WritersTommy Lee Wallace – ( Known For: Fright Night Part 2; Vampires: Los Muertos; Far from Home; Future BMT: Amityville II: The Possession; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Was married to Nancy Kynes (who starred in Halloween and was in this as well), and worked on multiple Carpenter films around this time.)

John Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween; Halloween; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; The Fog; They Live; Prince of Darkness; Escape from New York; Assault on Precinct 13; Escape from L.A.; Dark Star; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Lockout; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Ghosts of Mars; The Fog; Notes: Y’all know Carpenter. This was his attempt to move Halloween away from the trashy horror franchise quagmire of the 80s and into an anthology idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.)

Nigel Kneale – ( Known For: The Abominable Snowman; Quatermass and the Pit; The Quatermass Xperiment; First Men in the Moon; The Witches; Quatermass 2; Look Back in Anger; The Entertainer; H.M.S. Defiant; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: A ton of his credits are for various versions of Quatermass. A cursory glance suggests quite a few similarities between that original story and this film which is interesting.)

ActorsTom Atkins – ( Known For: The Fog; Escape from New York; Creepshow; My Bloody Valentine; Lethal Weapon; Night of the Creeps; Trick; The Detective; Maniac Cop; The Ninth Configuration; The New Kids; Two Evil Eyes; Bob Roberts; The Owl and the Pussycat; Encounter; Bruiser; Where’s Poppa?; Amazing Racer; Special Delivery; Lemon Sky; Future BMT: Striking Distance; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Drive Angry; Notes: A horror icon of the era. Still works at the age of 85, he has a movie coming out next year, Final Summer.)

Stacey Nelkin – ( Known For: Bullets Over Broadway; Up the Academy; Get Crazy; Serial; California Dreaming; Going Ape!; Everything Relative; Future BMT: Yellowbeard; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Apparently she was the person who went out with Woody Allen as a teenager which inspired the plotline of Manhattan.)

Dan O’Herlihy – ( Known For: RoboCop; The Last Starfighter; Imitation of Life; Waterloo; Fail-Safe; 100 Rifles; The Dead; Macbeth; Odd Man Out; Robinson Crusoe; The Tamarind Seed; The Desert Fox; MacArthur; One Foot in Hell; The Cabinet of Caligari; The Black Shield of Falworth; Love, Cheat and Steal; The Blue Veil; Home Before Dark; Larceny; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; RoboCop 2; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Robinson Crusoe in 1955. His son Gavan was also an accomplished actor.)

Budget/Gross – $2.5 million / Domestic: $14,400,000 (Worldwide: $14,400,000)

(That is fine, but also obviously not what you are looking for at the time. At the time you are probably looking to get a huge multiplier on your budget for the classic low-budget franchise horror schlock. This merely made “some money”.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (11/28): Its laudable deviation from series formula not withstanding, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch offers paltry thrills and dubious plotting.

(For the record, this barely qualifies and didn’t only a few months ago. But we jumped on it before it (inevitably) became unqualified again. Amazing how high the critical rating is at the moment for a film with terrible IMDb ratings.)

Reviewer Highlight: This movie is a dirty trick on all Halloween fans. – Aja Romano, Vox

Poster – Baller-ween III: Season of the Sklog

(Most of this poster is terrible. It’s just a random shot from the film that makes no sense. I like the bit at the top though. Just make that the poster. If that was the poster I think it might have been like a B+. As it is, it’s just a C.)

Tagline(s) – The night no one comes home. (C-)

(These are words. I’m not sure they totally make sense. Certainly not in the context of the film, which is predicated on everyone gathering in their homes to watch a commercial at 9pm PST (midnight EST??). It’s short… that’s about it.)

Keyword(s) – halloween

Top 10: Halloween Kills (2021), Halloween (2018), Hocus Pocus (1993), Halloween II (1981), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Addams Family (1991), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Crow (1994), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 83.9 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.1 Bewitched (2005), 70.4 Halloween II (2009), 70.0 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 67.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 64.6 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 61.3 Skinwalkers (2006), 60.4 Pet Sematary II (1992), 60.0 Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), 56.9 The Next Best Thing (2000)

BMT: Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Batman Forever (1995), The Predator (2018), Deadly Friend (1986), Son of the Mask (2005), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Made of Honour (2008), Town & Country (2001)

Matches: Halloween Kills (2021), Halloween (2018), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Crow (1994), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween II (2009), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Hubie Halloween (2020), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), Monster House (2006), Haunt (2019), Terrifier (2016), Idle Hands (1999), The Haddonfield Nightmare (2021), A Cinderella Story (2004), Hell House LLC (2015), Night of the Demons (1988), Tales of Halloween (2015), Once Bitten (1985), Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), Night of the Demons (2009), All Hallows’ Eve (2013), Fun Size (2012), When We First Met (2018), Ghost Squad (2015), Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017), Pet Sematary II (1992), C.O.R.N. (2021), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Bad Candy (2020), Fear PHarm (2020), Candy Corn (2019), Stan Helsing (2009), …

(Sooooo many films have the keyword matches, I limited it to just up to the last one I definitely recognized by name. We really need to start working through the franchise though, that would fill out the plot well.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tom Atkins is No. 1 billed in Halloween III: Season of the Witch and No. 8 billed in Drive Angry, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 8) + (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 17. If we were to watch Striking Distance, The Jackal, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 22.

Notes – John Carpenter didn’t plan on having Michael Myers in every Halloween movie, only the first. He wanted a different Halloween related story each time. But after the first Halloween (1978) was a success, producers forced him to use Myers again. He did, but killed off Myers and Loomis to be done with them. Then he produced Season of the Witch to get back to his original plan. But at that point people were expecting Myers again so it failed. Carpenter then dropped the franchise and sold the rights years later because he wasn’t interested in doing more Myers. The new owners then brought Myers and Loomis back in 1988 with no explanation how they survived.

The movie’s novelization was published in 1982 by science-fiction writer Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin. Despite the movie’s critical failure, the book became a best-seller and was even reissued two years after the movie’s release, in 1984.

The song “London Bridge is Falling Down” was chosen as the Silver Shamrock jingle because this was in the public domain.

Using the original molds, the skull, witch, and jack-o’-lantern masks seen in the movie were mass-produced by Don Post Studios and sold in retail stores to promote the movie’s release.

During a reunion panel for the cast and crew of the movie in the Summer of 2015, Tom Atkins and Stacey Nelkin confirmed that the bedroom scene was one of the very first things that they shot together. Both found this humorous because Nelkin had been quickly cast as Ellie Grimbridge due to time restraints on the studio’s part and the two had barely gotten acquainted beforehand.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Press newspaper shortly before the movie’s release, Tom Atkins told the hometown publication that he didn’t know how the movie was going to end because they “shot a couple of different endings”.

Tom Atkins and Garn Stephens (who played Marge Guttman) were husband and wife at the time.

The tagline “The night no one comes home” is a play on the original Halloween movie’s tagline “The night HE came home”.

Director Tommy Lee Wallace credits the concept of witchcraft in the computer age to producer Debra Hill.

Executive producer Irwin Yablans was against not using Michael Myers in this sequel, even though Myers and Loomis were killed off in the previous movie. He has said in interviews he had little to do with the finished movie, and basically received credit for his minor involvement. He also said he did receive a “fat cheque” for his trouble.

The cartoon playing on television in the bar is The Cigarette and the Weed (1981), directed by Ralph Bakshi, the director of Fritz the Cat (1972), Heavy Traffic (1973), Wizards (1977) and The Lord of the Rings (1978).

The movie is included on the film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

“Season of the Witch” was the original working title of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973). “Season of the Witch” is also the name of a song by Donovan and the name for George A. Romero’s movie Season of the Witch (1972). Also the name of Nicolas Cage’s movie Season of the Witch (2011).

In “Halloween Kills” (2021), three of Michael Myers victims are displayed wearing the Silver Shamrock masks on a merry-go-round.

Wishmaster Preview

Clutch Guthrie checks his chute and looks down on the target area. “You sure you’re OK with a night jump?” The pilot screams over the sound of the engine. Clutch squints and smiles smugly, “I invented the night jump. Besides, how else do you think we can get into Fort Knox to steal the gold for the Vice President’s ransom?” The pilot nods, but then grabs him by the arm. “Hold on, Clutch,” He listens closely to his headset and pales, “It’s not just the Vice President, Clutch. Your ex-wife was part of a group taking a tour of the VP’s residence.” Clutch punches the wall and pulls down his goggles. “McGuire just made this personal,” and with that he jumps. He floats majestically like a bird, soaring towards the only area of Fort Knox that isn’t protected by laser beams: the rooftop exhaust port. One square foot in area and the President knew that there was only one man for the job: Clutch Guthrie. What Clutch didn’t tell him was that he knew the man who had taken the VP hostage. They knew him as McGuire. He knew him as McGuire Guthrie. His twin brother.

Patrick leans back from his typewriter and looks at what is shaping up to be a pretty damn thrilling novel. When he looks over at the piece of shit hack Manfred Long he finds the man sweating profusely in front of a blank page. “You OK Manfred?” he asks and Manfred’s head snaps up. “Shut up, I’m working!” He cries shrilly and takes to stroking the Obsidian Dongle. Suddenly his face lights up. “I wish…” he starts softly but then emboldened he yells, “I want to write the raddest story of them all! Make it so wishmaster!” He points the Dongle at his chest. That’s right we are taking on a bit of a cult classic of horror in Wishmaster. Poorly reviewed, but made by a special effects artist turned occasional director, you better believe we’ll get a visual feast. It’s just all the other stuff that is more questionable. Let’s go!

Jamie and the gang duck and bob and weave at the airborne cyborgs. “This isn’t so crackerjack after all,” Kyle says and Jamie shakes his head. At least Patrick seems to be faring better. When he sees Manfred use the Dongle he sighs. “If only we had a wishmaster, too.” He perks up. Wishmaster… too. That gives him an idea. That’s right! We are pairing that with Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies. You have to appreciate the horror franchises that jump straight to video. Let’s go!

Wishmaster (1997) – BMeTric: 34.7; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.0%; Notability: top 16.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.2%; Higher BMeT: Batman & Robin, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Home Alone 3, Anaconda, Steel, Mr. Magoo, Double Team, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Spawn, Flubber, An American Werewolf in Paris, Jungle 2 Jungle, Fire Down Below, Gone Fishin’, Turbulence, McHale’s Navy, Plump Fiction, Kull the Conqueror, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, and 15 more; Higher Notability: Batman & Robin, The Saint, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Dante’s Peak, Flubber, The Jackal, The Postman, Spawn, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Fathers’ Day, Red Corner, Meet Wally Sparks, Kiss the Girls, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Event Horizon, The Devil’s Own, Fire Down Below, Steel, Vegas Vacation, Warriors of Virtue, and 21 more; Lower RT: Plump Fiction, Shadow Conspiracy, The Blackout, Fall, The Peacekeeper, McHale’s Navy, Gone Fishin’, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Speed 2: Cruise Control, ‘Til There Was You, Mr. Magoo, An American Werewolf in Paris, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, The Pest, Dangerous Ground, The Postman, Keys to Tulsa, Double Team, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, How to Be a Player, and 32 more; Notes: 90s Horror is always interesting. This seems like a cult film, usually bad horror films are absolutely dunked on by horror fans online, but high 5s on IMDb is actually not at all bad for a horror film. We’ve only watched six of the top ten BMeT films from 1997 which is unimpressive.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  An evil djinn (genie to you) is freed from captivity in a gem and sets out to grant (backfiring) wishes while seeking Lauren, because granting her wishes will enable him to destroy the world … or something. The mythology is too complex, the story too thin, and the plentiful gore mostly gratuitous. Followed by three direct-to-video sequels.

(Well we are watching one of those sequels. I do love overly complex lore. I think a horror film immediately jumping into the lore is just a funny idea. Usually, they make one good film without any lore, and then the sequels ruin it with too much lore. Seems like they skipped the first step and just made a bad lore-filled film instead.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEA2l6dt8Bc/

(So basically this is the classic tale of the genie who grants you bad wishes, but taken to the extreme of making the wishes kill you in horrifying ways or something? I mean … great idea for a horror franchise if I’m being honest. It isn’t a surprise Wes Craven produced it.)

DirectorsRobert Kurtzman – (Known For: The Demolitionist; Deadly Impact; Buried Alive; The Rage; BMT: Wishmaster; Notes: He penned the story for From Dusk Til Dawn and then paid Tarentino to write the full script. He has 128 make-up credits to his name, so horror is his bread and butter. And yes, he has a make-up credit here.)

WritersPeter Atkins – (Known For: Hellbound: Hellraiser II; Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth; Fist of the North Star; Prisoners of the Sun; BMT: Wishmaster; Hellraiser: Bloodline; Notes: Was in a theater group with Clive Barker and he indeed actually wrote the Hellraiser theatrical sequels. He only wrote the first Wishmaster, although he has character credits for the rest of the series.)

ActorsTammy Lauren – (Known For: The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark; Chains of Gold; Tiger Warsaw; Future BMT: Radioland Murders; Mad City; BMT: Wishmaster; Notes: Was one of the stars of the period television drama Homefront. She’s has lot of recurring roles on television over the years, including a seven episode run on Home Improvement.)

Andrew Divoff – (Known For: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Hunt for Red October; Air Force One; Vault; Faust; Oblivion; Neon Maniacs; Xtro 3: Watch the Skies; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Dangerous Touch; Blue Hill Avenue; Lockdown; Extreme Justice; The Rage; Oblivion 2: Backlash; Touch Me; Hong Kong 97; Down ‘n Dirty; Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation; Treasure Raiders; Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; American Dreamz; A Low Down Dirty Shame; BMT: Wishmaster; Mac and Me; Another 48 Hrs.; Graveyard Shift; Notes: Y’all know Andrew Divoff. Oh wait … maybe you don’t. He’s a huge direct-to-video action star from the 90s and is all over a ton of television shows in guest spots over the years. I just watched him in Criminal Minds … don’t watch that episode though, it is ultra racist.)

Angus Scrimm – (Known For: Phantasm; Chopping Mall; John Dies at the End; Phantasm II; Phantasm: Ravager; The Lost Empire; Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead; Deadfall; Phantasm IV: Oblivion; Mindwarp; Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story; Munchie; I Sell the Dead; A Piece of the Action; Sweet Kill; Transylvania Twist; Witches’ Brew; Scream Bloody Murder; Disciples; Jim, the World’s Greatest; BMT: Wishmaster; Notes: Unusually tall and slender he played the “tall man” character from Phantasm in many parody commercials and shorts over the years as a staple of the horror genre.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $15,738,769 (Worldwide: $15,738,769)

(That is pretty good. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t try and go back to the well for a second try at the big box office take and instead ended up straight-to-video for the rest of the series.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (8/32): Wishmaster searches for horror in the exploits of a supernatural being — one whose powers, alas, evidently do not include the ability to summon a compelling script.

(Man the reviews are dire. Bad acting, bad special effects, bad writing, and laugh-inducing instead of scream-inducing.)

Reviewer Highlight: An extravaganza of bad special effects and worse acting – Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

Poster – Wishmaster General

(I like the general mood of the poster. Start red mixed with eerie black and all that. The font could be a little better and it kind of looks more like a vampire flick than a djinn flick. I mean, the picture on the poster really looks nothing like the monster in the film.)

Tagline(s) – Be careful what you wish for. (D)

(Well duh. Gotta ding this for creativity… and really everything about it. It’s just a common phrase. Nothing more or nothing less.)

Keyword(s) – demon, monster

Top 10: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Beetlejuice (1988), It (2017), Scooby-Doo (2002), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Moana (2016), Shazam! (2019)

Future BMT: 71.1 Supergirl (1984), 64.5 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 61.2 Scooby-Doo (2002), 56.3 The New Mutants (2020), 51.6 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 49.7 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.7 The Dark Tower (2017), 45.9 Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003), 44.5 Wrath of the Titans (2012), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010)

BMT: Hellboy (2019), Gods of Egypt (2016), Warcraft (2016), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Eragon (2006), R.I.P.D. (2013), Seventh Son (2014), Jason X (2001), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Slender Man (2018), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), The Golden Child (1986), Wishmaster (1997), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), The Bye Bye Man (2017), I, Frankenstein (2014), Alone in the Dark (2005)

Matches: The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021), It Chapter Two (2019), Hercules (1997), Legend (1985), Hellboy (2004), Wrath of the Titans (2012), Pumpkinhead (1988), Wishmaster (1997), I, Frankenstein (2014), Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000), Cellar Dweller (1987), Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1993), The Monster Project (2017), Slaughterhouse Rock (1987), The Snow Queen (2013), The Demon’s Rook (2013)

(I did a two-fer here because it seemed interesting. Obviously things like The Witcher probably have a demon and a monster. But then things like Cellar Dweller has a genuine demon-monster. Probably not a terrible way to discover related films in the end. Really glad Pumpkinhead II shows up here.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Englund is No. 4 billed in Wishmaster and No. 10 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 10) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 21. If we were to watch A Low Down Dirty Shame, and Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 18.

Notes – One of the statues in Raymond Beaumont’s (Robert Englund’s) room with the statues is a statue of Pazuzu from The Exorcist (1973).

Many crew members, including Director Robert Kurtzman (man killed by piano), had small roles in the film, sometimes appearing in different scenes as different characters.

Characters named Finney, Beaumont, Derleth, and Merritt are all references to early twentieth century science fiction or horror writers, Jack Finney, Charles Beaumont, August Derleth, and Abraham Merritt.

Features numerous horror movie actors, including Robert Englund (the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films), Angus Scrimm (Phantasm (1979)), Tony Todd (Night of the Living Dead (1990), the Candyman (1992) movies), Kane Hodder (various “Friday the 13th” and “Jason” movies), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm (1979)) and Ted Raimi (Darkman (1990), Army of Darkness (1992)).

“Wishmaster was a great experience….I had a very short schedule and had to deliver the film into theatres in 6 months start to finish so it was very stressful but very fulfilling. Sam Raimi actually recommended me for the film and after a half a dozen meeting with the studio I got the job. I had to go in and pitch my take on the film and its design. We shot it in 33 days in LA which was tough as we had dozens of locations all around the city so we had a lot of company moves. We had hundreds of FX which was a bit of a challenge as the schedule was tight. I was very lucky to find Andrew Divoff and Tammy Lauren. Divoff is a very close friend who I enjoy working with on whatever we can find together. We now have this second hand when we work together.” (Backwoods Horror interview with Robert Kurtzman in 2009)

Greg Nicotero, one of the special effects creator for Wishmaster, also worked on special effects in Romero’s 1985 movie Day of the Dead (and he played the character of Pvt. Johnson). Joseph Pilato, who played the drunk crane worker in Wishmaster, was the main villain in Day of the Dead (as Captain Rhodes).

According to a 2016 interview with PopHorror, it took 3.5 hours to get into costume with 1.5 hours to get out according to lead star Andrew Divoff. He also said his favorite scenes for the film were the ones where he shared scenes with his monstrous brethren.

Jack Sholder was approached to direct Wishmaster (1997) but declined as he felt the script wasn’t very good. When it came to the sequel, he was asked to direct it which he also turned down until the producers told him that he could write the screenplay for Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999) and, despite having to follow some basic guidelines, he could have creative freedom with the story.