To Be fair, Halloween 6 goes a bit farther than being merely coherent in many areas. In fact, it's clear that this time out Moustapha Akkad was fully intending to make a good film that also added a few dimensions to the very character of Michael Myers! To this end, Akkad hired Daniel Farrands to write a ripping new sequel and Joe Chappelle to direct the damned thing, not to mention Miramax's Dimension Films imprint to release it. Sound good? Perhaps it might if that was the whole story. In actuality, the film that was finally released as Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was originally advertised as Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers. That, my friends, was only one symptom of the ELEVEN rewrites this script went through before Farrands' final version.
Not that his "final" version was the version we eventually saw. Nope... after a disastrous screening, Akkad, along with his son Malak, fellow producer Paul Freeman and smilin' Joe Chappelle re-cut this film into the inconsistent and uneven product we see now. This is in spite of the fact that series star Donald "There's something about that Guy" Pleasence had, shit marble, died after production ostensibly wrapped... and was therefore unavailable. Undaunted, they just sort of "shot around him".
Hell, we still don't really know his character, Dr. Sam Loomis' fate, man. His last line is something about having "some business to attend to" back at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Some Business to attend to, huh? I sort of pictured him running upstairs, grabbing some stamps and envelopes, then writing some checks, paying a few bills, mailing them, dusting off his hands in satisfied glee and heading home just in time for Murder She Wrote!
Ah, but back to the buggy Beginning! After a setting-setting voiceover, we see Jamie Lloyd Carruthers is back again, alive, but not well (and played by J.C. Brandy). The good news is that she's pregnant, expecting a lovely bouncing baby boy. The repugnant news is that this pregnancy wasn't exactly her choice... and as soon as she delivers, said infant is taken away from her bound and bleeding ass by a Satanic Cult we come to know as "The Cult of Thorn". When Jamie escapes with "Baby Stephen", it is, of course, scary Uncle Mikey who follows them out to continue the extermination of his bloodline (with the exception of the bambino... nice guy, great uncle). Michael (played, as in part 4, by stuntman George P. Wilbur) is, quite naturally, all anyone in old Haddonfield, can talk about, seeing as how this all happens (in stunning coincidence) right around Halloween Day! What they don't know is that the strange, unseen machinations around Jamie and her kid have set Michael free to prowl again on the suburban sycophants of Illinois, who were just now ready to start Trick or Treating again!
But it's not for lack of warning. If you remember poor old Tommy Doyle, he's still alive, newly creepy (as played by Paul Rudd) and constantly seeing Michael Myers in his mind. To this end, he's even taken to spying on his across-the-street neighbors. Sexy Kara (Marianne Hagan) thinks this is because Tommy is a pervert (and he may well be), but the real reason is that her last name just happens to be Strode! Yeah, "Strode", as in the family who adopted Michael's little sister (and Jamie's Mother) Laurie, then moved back into the old Myers place.
When was it, please, that the once-venerable Halloween franchise started looking like a soap opera? The little sister of the uncle of the daughter who is having the new baby, soon to be adopted near the home of the family who adopted the little sister who used to babysit the neighbor and lived in that family's house along with the uncle/ big brother himself. Dude, I started looking for Frisco and Felicia. I even had to wonder if the mysterious "Man in Black" dude (introduced at the end of Halloween 5) was actually Carlo Hesser or Mitch Lawrence! (Yes, I do make obscure references even about Soap Opera characters from twenty years ago! Don't like it? Kiss off!)
But, no, it's not Mitch Lawrence. It's some clown named Thorn (note, not Damien). The question arises of who is really in control of Michael? Is it the pure evil within him, or could it be this strange Cult that has guided him throughout his life? It isn't long before Sam Loomis is back on the case, along with the staff of Smith's Grove Sanitarium, as led by Mitch Ryan's Dr. Terence Wynn (first introduced in Halloween)!
What starts as "hard-to-believe", but interesting, slowly devolves into your standard, no-surprises slasher flick in which the "hard-to-believe" aspect is pushed WAY into the realm of the completely uncanny! Essentially this revolves around the Mikenator stalking everyone from Kara's parents (Bradford English and Kim Darby) to some lame-ass "Shock Jock" Joke named Barry Simms (Leo Geter). And every once in a while he pauses to stand around on his old front Lawn, modeling his new Sears Catalogue Coveralls and Bill Shatner mask!
It's not that Halloween 666 is all that good to begin with! After all, the mystery of Michael Myers (as established by Debra Hill and John Carpenter, whose "Halloween Theme" makes a Synthesized Cameo) is rather hosed by the concept of him being controlled and guided by some X-Files-type conspiracy. Still, the second half manages to lose a good deal of the promise (dubious though it may have been) of the opening. It's clear that there were flashes of brilliance here (making me want to see more of the previous versions of the script), but these flashes never become valid puzzle pieces.
Every once in a while Chappelle shows us some strange visual (accompanied by an orchestra hit from Alan Howarth's score). We get the idea that we're supposed to get the impression that these mean something significant, but we're never given enough of the story to allow this to make any damned sense. Even worse, Michael's rampage is irrational and borderline impossible with very little reason or thread between the seemingly random-nature of his victim selection as compared to his usual Modus operandi of croaking his family members and those who get in his way. I've no doubt that this would have made more sense with a significantly better editing job, but the end result feels like peices of multiple films shaken into the somewhat promising plot of the overall Halloween Story Arc.
Speaking of other films, the Halloween Celebratatory setting allows for more references to classic cinema from the Bride of Frankenstein costumes of Tim Strode (Keith Bogart) and his girlfriend Beth (Mariah O'Brien, whom we see naked) to the actual viewing of 1925's The Phantom of the Opera on television. While this might help in some ways, it generally made me wish I was actually watching Bride of Frankenstein instead (although, to be fair, we never did get to see The Bride naked in that flick, which is a tally mark in the Halloween 6 column, to say the least)!
It should be noted that floating around there in Cyberspace is a version of Halloween 6 known as "The Producer's Cut", which is said to be much closer to the originally screened version of the film (before the re-working). Rumor has it that this alternate version is a lot more coherent than the theatrical version. We'll see... Rumor also has it that this version is set to be released on DVD sometime in the future. Let's keep our fingers crossed for that one.
As for this present version, however: Two Stars out of Five for the well-meaning, but lacking Halloween 666! And so ends the first Halloween series, on a bit of a stale note. The next entry, Halloween H20, ignores (perhaps wisely) the events of Halloween 4, 5 and 6. Luckily, it also ignores, as do we all, the events of Halloween III! Not even a Producer's Cut could save us from the "Silver Shamrock"! Ugh! Happy Halloween, everybody! Don't forget to Trick or Treat, Dress up Scary and look for me in the next reel!
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