Friday, July 19, 2013

Murderous musing - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Halloween 5 begins with a fresh new take on the opening pumpkin sequence of the original with a good dose of unrepentant rage. The poor pumpkin gets diced into a pile of mush; much like our poor brains will be over the course of the film. We are whisked through a brief recap of the madness of the prior Halloween film, where Jamie Lloyd follows in the footsteps of her sadistic uncle and stabs her step mother with a kitchen knife while in a self induced hypnosis. H5 explores the reasons why, and from what I can tell Jamie now shares some psychic bond with Michael, where she can see what Michael is seeing. The director explained it like a mouse seeing what a cat can see while trying to escape said cat. All I want to know is if Jamie can see Michael poop, and if so doesn’t she have the decency to look away?

Loomis is back, crazier and more ramped up than ever. He straight up uses Jamie as bait for Myers, and it seems like he spends most of the film screaming at Jamie’s face and flying off the handle. It’s hard to tell who poses more danger to the kid, The Shape or Loomis. He’s become so obsessed with finding Myers that it’s apparent he’s willing to sacrifice children to get what he wants. What a dick. Max the dog seems to be Jamie’s only true protector. He barks at Loomis and Myers with equal fervor and ended up being my hero of the movie. I was deeply saddened to see him go, sadder than seeing any of the caricatures of people that populate the movie bite the big one. I mean who cares if the infamous clown cops die? They suck. My theory is that since most if not all of the police department in Haddonfield got wiped out last Halloween they had to accept a few second stringers on the force to cover this Hallow’s Eve.

So it’s apparent that Jamie gained some evil psychic power from Michael by touching his hand at the end of part 4. Is there some subtext there about pedophilia; like Uncle Touchy-Feely fingers spreading evil by touching his niece? Could be, I mean you’ve got the absence of Jamie’s parents, her state assigned psychiatrist is a complete nut job; nearly everyone including her own mother fails to protect her in some way. Yes, there’s Rachael, but that security blanket is quickly stabbed open in the first half hour of the movie. Michael got some revenge on. Really it’s a dysfunctional family all around, so having an abusive uncle doesn’t seem so out of place.

Jamie begins relying on Tina for protection, who is more than a little flighty “ heart is made of neon” and totally 80’s. You can tell Tina cares for Jamie but not like a true sister connection or anything, it’s much more platonic than Rachael’s relation with Jamie. Tina really owes no responsibility for being a caretaker for Jamie, Loomis seems to know he can’t handle it being a complete spazz and wants her around Jamie during Halloween, but she does what any teen would do, calls him a creep and goes out with her friends instead. Jamie is really screwed if Tina is her last chance. Well there’s Billy the stuttering pirate kid, but I think he’s actually impeding her chance of survival. He’s the kind of kid that would swallow a bucket of chlorine because it smelled funny, or place hide and seek in a refrigerator, just begging to be a statistic.

Michael gets all stalk crazy about Tina, which I believe is kind of like his obsession with Annie in the original. Maybe she reminds him of his original obsession, Judith. It makes me believe that Judith might have been more of a liberated and independent gal than the original let on, only because of the way Annie and Tina act. Maybe he wanted to get with Tina simply because her boyfriend’s name is also Mike, and he has the mind of a 6 year old, so maybe that’s all it took for his obsession to kick in. In any case Michael pretends to be Tina’s boyfriend for a time by wearing a hobo mask and driving her to the Halloween barn party, which is an entirely new stalking technique for him. It’s hard to believe he pulled it off without succumbing to the urge to kill Tina, I don’t think I could have lasted five minutes in that car without choking her to death with her own intestines. Maybe after 5 sequels he is finally ready to lay down the knife and get some loving instead. That paragraph has a lot of maybes.

Many fans, or Halloweenies, hate the look of the Myers mask in this installment but I thought it looked better than the “chunky” Myers mask from part 4. The part 5 mask is commonly referred to as the “big neck” mask for obvious reasons, but I thought it looked sufficiently creepy and worn out after Myers was shot down by a militia in the prior installment, but I know I’m in the minority. I like to refer to it as the “big gulp” mask.
My favorite scene in the movie is probably the barn chase scene. Myers was born to hold a scythe. And the pitchfork has always been a gruesome weapon of choice. The barn chase scene is probably the most body-count oriented of the film and is the definite crowd pleaser. Loomis facing off against Myers at the end seemed kind of limp in comparison, but I will always get a chuckle out of how awkward that stand off is. Loomis repeatedly smashes Myers with a 2x4 while he drunkenly stumbles around, barely fighting back, like he’s tired of all these sequels and just wants it to end. The poor guy even cries about it earlier in the film. Satisfied that he’s beaten him up enough, Loomis then lays on Myers chest and takes a nap (or is he really passing out drunk, it’s hard to tell). Imagine waking up from that hang over!

Loomis is absolutely bat-shit crazy at the end of the film. If you thought he was being nutty before at the clinic you really don’t know Loomis. It’s like his insanity finally peaked out after 4 sequels. First he starts parking in handicap spots, then he’s swinging around mentally scarred kids by their arms, offering them up as bait to a serial killer; he’s totally out of control. Before he faces Myers at the end he seems intent on making Jamie’s life as horrific as possible. The moment anyone drops by her room to cheer her up Loomis shoos them away and starts ranting about true evil and Hell and burning people in wicker baskets; no wonder Michael was never “cured”. Again, what a dick.