October Horrorshow: Halloween 5

What a putrid mess. Halloween 5 is a shameless cash grab. (The full title is Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, but that full title seems only to exist on posters and other promotional material. The title card of the actual movie has no subtitle.) Halloween 4 was a cheap b-movie that sought to bring a recognizable brand to heel after the failure that was Halloween III. And it worked. Audiences didn’t like the fact that Michael Myers wasn’t the villain in the third flick, and producer Moustapha Akkad took notice. He brought back the slasher icon for the fourth installment, and saw a tidy return on investment, so it was inevitable that there would be a fifth. Of course, since abject cheapness didn’t hurt the bottom line with Halloween 4, there was no incentive to produce a quality product with Halloween 5.

A year after the events of the fourth movie, Michael Myers is on the loose in Haddonfield, Illinois, once again. He survived a hail of bullets and a bundle of dynamite to rest and recuperate with a riverside hermit. But now it’s Halloween night, and Michael’s lust for blood is unstoppable. His main target is young Jaime Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the little girl he failed to kill in the last flick, who also happens to be his niece. At the end of the last flick, Jaime appeared to take on the mantle of her murderous uncle, donning a mask and costume, then stabbing her stepmother to death. Any trace of that dark finale has been expunged for this movie. It’s mentioned in passing that Jaime attacked her stepmother, but is made to seem mild and forgivable, as if it were little more than a confused and traumatized child acting out. What really happened is that it was no longer a convenient direction for the story to take, so it was jettisoned like so much chaff. That’s pretty lazy filmmaking, but hardly the worst thing about this dog. That would be the Man in Black.

At times throughout the film, a mysterious figure dressed like The Undertaker pops up in the film, looking like a caricature of a 1980s badass. I think Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks used to wear shit like that when they walked onstage in their moreHalloween 5 narcissistic phases. Comedians and wrestlers unite! Anyway, there is no point, nor reason for this character to appear throughout the movie, nor is there any explanation as to who it may be. You know what it is? It’s fucking stupid, and that’s the last I have to say on the Man in Black.

While Michael is cutting a swath through some local teenagers, Jaime is having psycho-sympathetic conniption fits that her doctor, the ever-present Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), believes is the key to tracking down Michael. Following the trail of bodies seems to be no help.

By this point in the series, Dr. Loomis is totally unhinged, and why people continue to let him hang around is a mystery. Pleasence was a fine actor. He really was. But even the best professionals know when they’re working on a garbage project, and Pleasence’s response was to ham it up. In Halloween 5, Pleasence was just another awful element a viewer is forced to endure.

This movie is just dreadful. In the few spots it manages to hold a viewer’s attention, it’s about as opaque as a brick wall. Nothing makes sense, nothing has purpose, and the resolution is just silly. If I hadn’t established a bit of a tradition by capping off the October Horrorshow by reviewing Halloween flicks, I never would have watched this piece of shit again. Alien: Resurrection is miles better than this atrocity.

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