Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Halloween 5

Ah, good old Revenge, with its need to be served less then lukewarm. It seems that even Revenge will have to have revenge by the end of this movie, because on all the boxes and posters and such, the movie is listed as “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers,” but in the opening credits, the movie is just called “Halloween 5.”

When you can’t even get your marketing people and your moviemaking people on the same page, trouble is brewing.

And speaking of the credits, as the movie opens we’ve got orange text and a black background, intercut with quick little shots of light glinting off a kitchen knife. There seems to be a puddle of water involved too.

And a pumpkin.

As the credits close, we get a shot of a Jack O’Lantern, which I guess was carved using a knife. So there’s the knife connection, anyway.

The credits conclude, and we’re thrust back into the final minutes of “Halloween 4,” with Michael clinging to the top of the truck, getting flung off the top of the truck, then hit with the truck, then shot a bunch of times until he falls down a well, which then collapses on top of him.

We get a shot that was not in the last movie, with Loomis holding Jamie while they stare at the hole Michael just tumbled into.

And now: New material!

It turns out that it wasn’t a well at all, just an old mine shaft, and not a very deep one at that. Michael is at the bottom of the shaft, crawling down a tunnel into darkness. One of the cops runs over and throws a grenade down the shaft, but it’s too late… Michael has already crawled out a hole in the bottom of the mine, and slipped into the current of a nearby river.

He floats along for a minute, then pulls himself out using a dock.

In a nearby shack, an old fellow living in shack-like squalor near the river hears a noise, steps outside to investigate, then steps back in because he didn’t see anything outside. Michael is there, naturally, and he grabs the old dude by the throat… and collapses to the floor.

The old dude kneels down on the floor, notices the blood on Michael, and we faaade out.

We fade back up on a burn-in – “Halloween Eve: One Year Later.” Plus a bonus burn-in: “Children’s Clinic. Haddonfield, Illinois.”

I guess that would mean it’s time for Jamie to head out and find another relative to kill. Assuming that this movie remembered the big, fat twist at the end of the last movie.

Let’s find out!

Lil’ Jamie is lying on her bed in the Children’s Clinic, with a monitor wrapped around her head that’s reading her brainwaves. We get into dream sequence mode, and we get to see Jamie in her clown suit again. Then we get the clown mask point-of-view shot, with Jamie’s foster mom getting stabbed and falling into the tub.

Non-dream-sequence Jamie wakes up, screaming, only there’s no noise. A nurse runs up and tells her it was another horrible nightmare, and asks Jamie if Jamie wants the nurse to call “her mom.”

So it looks like they’ve decided to “it was all a dream” away the last few minute of part 4. I’m guessing someone said, “I don’t really WANT to make a movie about a killer kid. Why don’t we go ahead and get rid of that bit…”

Jamie continues to not-scream, and we cut to a shot of her hand flexing on the bed.

Then we cut to a shot of Michael’s hand, which appears to be lying on some kind of rock with paint or chalk drawings on it.

Michael’s hand flips over, and we can see a tattoo on his wrist, which looks kind of like a triangle.

Now we get a lot of intercutting. Jamie starts staring at her own hand, and then the nurse takes off, and she writes, “He’s Coming for Me” on a little chalkboard she has.

Michael wakes up, sans mask, and he looks around, and we sorta-kinda get to look at his face for the first time since the end of part I. He pulls on his mask.

Jamie, meanwhile, mimes putting on a mask.

Michael goes over to the old guy who saved his life, and kills him.

Jamie flips out and goes into a seizure of some kind. Other people arrive, and they wheel her out of her room and into another room, where they hold her down with a towel and prepare to cut open her trachea.

Only Dr. Loomis is there, to tell them not to do that. Jamie spontaneously stops choking. Looms follows this up with, “She has something to tell us.”

Is it worth mentioning that his burn makeup looks different? Because it does.

And now it’s the next morning, and Rachel is kind of sleeping in a chair next to Jamie. They both wake up, and sort of communicate their love by having Jamie tell Rachel that her makeup is smeared, only she doesn’t say it out loud.

A dark-haired teenage girl pounds on the window, demanding to be let in. She’s got a dog with her. The dog comes in, and Jamie gets all happy to see the dog.

Rachel tells the brunette, “She can’t even remember,” while the audience goes, “Uh, is anyone going to tell us who just came in the window?”

A Halloween costume is brought out. There are lots of hugs, and other cutesiness-and-dopiness.

Then Loomis walks in, and everyone calms down, and the brunette goes to lead the dog out, and everything is subdued, and then…

CRASH. A rock with a note on it comes through the window. Loomis picks it up and reads it: The Evil Child Must Die!

Outside moments later, Rachel and Loomis chat about this. Rachel wants to know why people won’t leave it alone. Loomis says that people know she’s related to Michael, and that she attacked her stepmother.

So I guess it wasn’t a dream after all. Jamie is still a serial killer, just not a very successful one.

Rachel expresses guilt over the fact that she’s heading out of town for two days. Loomis says that someone will take care of Jamie.

Rachel heads home, and it turns out that the dog belongs to their household. The dog starts barking at a branch that’s moving. Rachel, who hasn’t yet learned the value of paranoia, pulls the dog away and takes him inside.

As she heads in, we get a shot of what’s behind the trees. It’s Michael, in his mask.

Dude. Seriously. By this point, if someone sees a guy in that mask, lurking in some bushes – any bushes at all – the police need a jingle. It’s broad daylight. What is wrong with people?

Rachel heads upstairs to the shower, while Michael lurks around outside.

Jamie, who is currently in art class, freaks out, grabs some markers and starts scribbling on the wall. Someone says her name and she turns around and starts “yelling” in sign language about Max, the dog.

Rachel, still in the shower, hears the phone ring. She throws on a towel and answers it. Loomis is on the other end, asking about Max.

Rachel heads downstairs to check on him. Michael can be seen in another room as Rachel runs to the door – which is open.

She grabs the phone and says that Max is gone, and Loomis tells her to get out of the house. She runs outside and finds a neighbor, who is more than willing to help her because she’s an attractive young female dressed in a towel.

A little later, two cops come out of the house, accompanied by comedic music. They didn’t find anything. Rachel starts to apologize, when suddenly Max comes running down the sidewalk, dead animal in jaws.

The cops say it’s their job to, “Rescue cats,” and, “Find dogs.” Based on the musical accompaniment, this is obviously supposed to be hilarious. But considering the fact that every cop except two was slaughtered one year ago, the funny is slightly dulled. No wonder all the cops were killed: They were dopes.

We get more zany music to let us know that the Krazy Koppers have finished their routine, and the scene comes to a close.

Rachel calls Jamie to tell Jamie that she’s okay, and they hang up the phone.

Jamie gets upset, clearly concerned for her sister, and Loomis tells Jamie’s friend Billy (the kid who asked if she was okay earlier) that Jamie needs some rest.

Loomis waits for Billy to leave the room, then goes to Jamie with a marker and some paper and demands that Jamie write down what she knows. Jamie resists. Or maybe doesn’t resist. She’s not talking, and her head motions are kind of vague.

Back at Rachel’s place, Rachel takes off the robe she borrowed from her neighbor, and goes to her closet with no clothing to hinder her. She tries to pick out something to wear, and a hand reaches up and fondles the bar of her closet.

Then we get a reverse shot of the closet with Rachel standing in it, and we realize: There is NO WAY a human being could fit in that thing and not be seen. It’s about four feet deep and four feet wide, light is practically pouring into the thing, and the door is completely opened inward.

Where, exactly, is Michael hiding?

No matter. Rachel steps out of the closet, and moments later, Michael peeks his head out. As Rachel slips the sweater (and nothing else) on, she can hear Max barking.

Michael, meanwhile, randomly wanders out of the room.

Rachel turns around and walks out of the room, and into the hallway. She looks out the window and realizes that Max is outside, barking. She hears a noise in the room next to her.

She goes in, and finds a framed picture of Jamie lying on the floor. The glass is cracked, and there’s a bloody mess on the picture near the top of Jamie’s head.

Rachel picks up the picture, hears a noise, and turns around.

And finally, there’s Michael, who stabs her with a pair of scissors.

Back in the hospital, Jamie has yet another seizure.

Elsewhere, Loomis confronts the sheriff about Michael, trying to convince the sheriff of… something. That Michael is evil, I guess, because he goes off on one of his speeches, concluding with, “I prayed that he would burn in hell. But in my heart, I knew that hell would not have him.”

Another cop arrives, calling out, “Sheriff. They want you down at the cemetery.”

Back at the ex-Rachel’s house, Brunette Friend shows up, bearing groceries. No one answers the front door, so she uses the keys to let herself into the back door.

Michael-cam alerts us to the fact that Michael is still around, while Brunette Friend wanders around yelling out, “Rachel. Rachel?” Oh, and she also discovers that a record has ended, but has been left on the player.

I don’t recall any music playing in earlier scenes, so this would suggest that Michael killed Rachel, then headed downstairs to listen to some music.

Brunette Friend takes the needle off the record and heads upstairs, giggling. Which is her default.

Upstairs, she heads into the room that I think Rachel was just in, only the director doesn’t bother to establish any geography. Instead, he holds the camera on Brunette Friend while she picks up a stuffed bear, hugs it, then lies down on the bed for a while, then gets up and sees the picture frame with the crack in the glass, only there’s no picture of Jamie any more.

Where’s Rachel? And why is the picture gone? It isn’t like Michael doesn’t know what Jamie looks like, right? And it’s doubtful that her current address is listed on the back. What’s the deal? It’s like the people making this didn’t even attempt to have it make sense.

The doorbell rings, and Brunette Friend goes downstairs, only there’s no one at the door.

I guess Michael ding-dong-ditched the house. What a jerk. Killing people, fine, but that’s going too far.

Then we get ye olde fake care, as Blonde Friend We’ve Never Seen Before accidentally-on-purpose scares Brunette Friend. They yammer about having the house all to themselves.

Seriously, y’all, I have no idea what’s going on or who these people are. Rachel made some sort of comment about “moving out,” so I guess these could be her roommates, but no one is bothering to establish who anyone is or what they’re doing. The brunette could be Lindsay, from the last movie, but I have no idea who the blonde is.

They talk about Rachel going to the country with her friends. Aren’t THEY her friends?

I guess I should just pipe down and realize that this whole “in the country” thing is just a lazy screenwriting excuse to keep people from looking for a very dead Rachel.

Either way, the two friends leave, and we get a shot of Michael in the window to let us know that Michael is still in the house.

Blonde and Brunette go for a walk, yammering about you know, boys, and how they enjoy having adult relations with them. Eventually, Brunette’s boyfriend, who is named Michael, pulls up in a car and the girls get in.

Great. An extra Michael. From how on, he’s called Brunette’s Boyfriend. Brunette, by the way, does not appear to be Lindsey, but I refuse to try to figure out her name, because the movie really doesn’t care.

Back in the hospital, Jamie starts to freak out again. She runs to the window to look outside, and there’s Michael.

Jamie runs out the door and heads out into the hallway. At the end of the hall is a door outside. She sees a shadow through the glass in the door, and runs away, which is dumb, because she’s on the SECOND floor, not the first.

She runs back the opposite way and heads downstairs, which is REALLY stupid, because Michael is currently outside, so this takes her closer to him, instead of farther away.

I’m puzzled, though, because no one else seems to be around. At all.

Jamie runs down some more stairs, to the basement, and into a large room with a bunch of clotheslines. Sheets are hanging down from them, and there aren’t a lot of lights.

She races around, not sure where she’s going, and finally gets into another room. She sees a window well and climbs up a chair and into the window well.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, when she got to the basement, a shadowy figure who looked like Michael was Just a Few Steps Behind Her.

Let’s lay out a few more logic flaws, while we’re here. Where is everyone? Why are they hanging sheets in the basement? Don’t they have a dryer? How did Michael get into the building? Is there no security at all?

Jamie hides in the VERY well-lit window well, and here comes… The Janitor! Jamie signs at him frantically and then here comes… The Nurse! Who asks what’s wrong.

They pick her up and take her back to her room.

In her room Loomis confronts Jamie. He tells Jamie she has to help him. They both know that Michael is alive (uh, in the last movie he said that Michael was dead… time to take a senility test, I suppose). And Jamie knows where he is, and nothing will prevent Michael from finding her.

He goes on to say that someone dug up a coffin in the graveyard, then throws in a few more pleas for help.

The nurse is there, and she does not approve of Dr. Loomis’s methods of counseling.

Elsewhere a bus pulls to a curb, and a man wearing boots with silver tips steps off of it. He sort of kicks a dog out of the way, and a kid looks at him funny, and there’s ominous music, so I guess it’s important.

Some other place, Loomis pulls a gun out from under his coat and heads into a house. I guess it’s the Myers house, but it looks nothing like the Myers house. He calls out to Michael, because I guess his death wish is growing.

He keeps talking. “Have you come home, Michael? I know what you want from her.”

He goes upstairs. He checks the laundry chute. He walks on. Right behind him is… the man with the silver-toed boots. The camera pans up to show us the symbol tattooed on his wrist, which looks quite a bit like the symbol on Michael’s wrist.

Dr. Loomis heads to the basement, and tries to turn on the lights. Which is stupid, because the house has been free of occupants for more than a decade.

He opens up the laundry chute from the bottom, and a dead animal falls out.

Out on the street, Brunette’s Boyfriend runs a cloth over his car, while Michael looks on from a distance. Brunette scares him with a mask. They get in the car and make out.

Blonde friend appears. Blonde’s Boyfriend steps out of a nearby store. Brunette and Blonde go into the store. Blonde’s Boyfriend tells Brunette’s Boyfriend that they can get three cases (of what, they don’t say) and that he needs to pull around back.

Brunette’s Boyfriend goes around back, tires all a-squeal.

Michael looks on.

Blonde’s Boyfriend loads up the car with three cases of… I have no idea. No one will tell me. What, am I too young to know? Is it not important? Why does no one tell me anything? I’m old enough. I’ll understand.

Blonde’s Boyfriend goes back into the store. Brunette’s Boyfriend decides to sit for a minute and look at himself in the car’s mirror. Behind him, in the mirror, he sees a hand take a garden implement and damage the paint job on his shiny, shiny car.

This makes him angry. And you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. Or sleepy. Or hungry. Really, there’s no reason to like the guy at all. So when he ends up dead in like a minute, I think everyone is a winner.

BB goes to confront Michael, who grabs him by the neck, chokes him, then jams the garden implement into his head. BB lies there for a second, dying, and Michael drags his body away.

Over at the place where the kids with mental problems stay, Jamie is all dressed up in her princess outfit, and Bobby comes over to give her some flowers. And a bracelet that he wears all the time. He says it’s for good luck.

She kisses him on the cheek.

I’d make a crack about young love, but really, this write-up needs that like a gardening implement in the face.

Everyone lines up to show off their costumes for the yearly costume pageant. Awesome idea. Take a bunch of mentally unstable kids and have them compete. Perhaps they could toss a live grenade into the crowd while they’re at it.

Back at Rachel’s house, Silver Toes is on the prowl. Brunette’s Boyfriend pulls up in his car, only that guy is dead, so you have to presume that Michael is driving. Or the car is driving itself.

In a movie filled with totally disconnected plotlines, a sentient car doesn’t seem all that crazy.

Inside the house, Brunette is dressed up like… I don’t even know. She doesn’t look all that different that she did before. She just went from wearing a short black dress to a short white one.

Ah. She has a black and red cape. She’s a vampire of some kind. Tee-hee.

She goes to the car and tells Michael (who she thinks is her boyfriend) to open the door. Even more tee-hee.

Michael opens the door, and Brunette gets in. Michael is wearing the mask that Brunette scared her boyfriend with earlier.

All this is intercut with Jamie freaking out and going into a seizure, which once again is supposed to indicate someone is in danger. Everyone tries to help her, except Loomis, who keeps asking Jamie to tell him where Michael is.

Brunette tells Michael she wants a pack of cigarettes, and she gets mad that, a) Her “boyfriend” is giving her the silent treatment, and b) He’s driving around like a psycho. Apparently both these things are common with her boyfriend. The garden implement to the skull was too good for him, really.

Michael drops her off to get her cancer sticks.

At the hospital, Jamie spits out words. She describes the sign on the front of the store there Brunette has just walked in.

In the car, Michael takes off his mask, picks up a knife, and puts on His Mask.

The girl walks out the door, sirens scream, and a gaggle of cop cars pull up telling her that if she’s Tina, she needs to stop where she is.

Oh, hey! A name. Tina. That took long enough.

The cops tell Tina she needs to go see Jamie, and Tina goes to tell her “boyfriend” what’s happening… only his car is gone. No surprise there.

Tina goes to see Jamie, and Jamie says, “Tina!” She can speak again. Hooray! Tina is very happy.

Tina tucks Jamie into bed and Tina says she has to go to the party. Tina is a moron. And a heartless one at that.

Loomis tries to stop Tina from leaving, explaining that Jamie, who is crying a LOT in the other room, thinks that Tina is in danger.

Oddly, Jamie referred to Michael as The Boogeyman again, which makes no sense whatsoever. Everyone knows his name now. He’s a public figure. On the record. A part of local lore.

Tina leaves, proclaiming, “I’m never sensible if I can help it!” Loomis calls out to two cops to stop her, but unfortunately, it’s the Keystone Koppers, and they don’t do anything. Again.

Assuming Tina is going to die, and I do, that means they are indirectly responsible for the deaths of two people on the same day.

Loomis gets ready to go off on a rant about how if Tina dies, it will be All Their Fault, and they go to tail her. They get outside and explain that, yep, they’re following her, and she tells them to give her a ride to the party.

I guess she really does have vampire powers, because they agree to take her to the party.

Jamie stares out her window as the cop cars drive away – and right behind them is Michael, in his stolen car.

Jamie freaks out a little bit.

Moments later, the nurse appears, crying out that no one can find Jamie. Loomis prepares to go after Jamie when the sheriff arrives. Loomis tells him that Jamie is gone.

Outside, Jamie is wandering around. She runs into Billy, who says that he knows where Tina is. The Tower Farm. That’s wonderful. Now they just have to learn how to boost and drive a car.

At The Tower Farm, the party is in full swing. The Keystone Koppers are sitting outside, waiting for something to happen.

Michael drives up in his car, and the Koppers decide that it isn’t a life-threatening situation. They opt to play cards.

Inside the party, Blonde Friend tells Tina she has a “great” idea. I’ll bet.

Tina and Blonde Friend run outside, screaming. Michael gives chase behind them. The Koppers get out of their car, drawing their guns.

Michael pulls off his mask, revealing that he’s actually Blonde’s Boyfriend. The Koppers chastise them for this prank, pointing out that someone could have gotten hurt. “Fortunately, we’re lousy cops,” says one of them.

Seriously, did someone accidentally drop some pages from a “Police Academy” movie into this script? More or less at random?

Blonde Friend finds a kitten, and she, Tina, and Blonde’s Boyfriend run into a barn. Because it’s a farm, you see.

Ah, I get it now. They’re looking for kittens. They find a bunch, and Tina chases after one that opts to run away from the stupid people. On the other side of the barn, Michael walks in the door and prepares to do some damage.

Tina loses the kitten in the dark, and then, WHAM! Kitten attack! No, I’m kidding. I’m just depressed that this movie is lame enough to use the “cat jumps out of the dark and scares everyone” tactic.

I mean, really.

Tina gets up and goes to rejoin her friends. She sees something in the dark, and jumps a little bit. She resumes the search for her buddies, and something almost falls on her. It’s a hay bale, dropped by Blonde’s Boyfriend.

Tina leaves B and BB (er… BB2?) to do, like, whatever. Only BB2 ain’t there neither. B starts to freak out a bit. She thinks she sees her man-friend, only he vanishes, and then she thinks she sees him again, only it’s Michael, who stabs her.

No, wait, it’s her boyfriend again, wearing the mask and fake stabbing her. She gets super-angry, but then – kissing.

Man, remember when Halloween used to develop characters, at least a little bit? I miss those days.

Things progress. Blondie is going to get some action on a hay bale. This is going to be itchy.

She finally protests, pointing out that she doesn’t have any protection. But her boyfriend does. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any protection from pitchforks, and as things get a little more… uh… heated? Yeah. Michael comes up and gives him a pitchfork in the back.

Michael then casually walks away while the boyfriend dies. However, his impaling didn’t extend through the boyfriend and into Blondie, so she decides to go the standing up and screaming route.

They say you never forget your first time, but I have to say it’s particularly true, in this case.

(Okay, I need to pause for a second and address something. This movie doesn’t make a lick of sense. None. None at all.

Let’s take the first Halloween. Michael kills his sister. Okay. Then he kills another dude for some clothing (logical) and then three babysitters attract his attention when they yell at him on the street. It’s a wrong place, wrong time thing.

Then we learn that Laurie is his sister, and he’s actually back to kill off the rest of his family. A little screwball, sure, but it still gives us a little logic to hang with.

Part four, he’s still after family members. Fine. All well and good. Some people get in the way, and he seems to have really elaborate plans on how to accomplish his task, which somehow involve killing all the power in town, but still. Dude had a goal.

This time, though. What’s his deal? Killing Rachel, okay, Rachel can be viewed as family by adoption. Killing Jamie, fine. The psychic connection thing is more-or-less out of nowhere, but we’ll run with it.

Why on earth is Michael tracking down and killing Rachel’s friends? He’s never met them. They didn’t taunt him. And it’s taking a LOT of work to kill ‘em, because unlike the first movie, where they’re all in one place, he has to drive to the middle of nowhere to do some killin’.

Michael needs a game plan, folks. Anyone want to hand the dude a life coach?)

Back to Blondie. She backs away from Michael, who has now located a scythe. She yanks the pitchfork out of her boyfriend, and attacks Michael. Michael dodges, and kills her with the scythe.

We don’t get to see how. Probably to avoid an X rating. Who knows?

Outside, the Keystone Koppers finally notice that the screaming going on seems sort of genuine, so they get out of the car to check things out.

Michael comes out the barn, carrying the pitchfork. The cops point out that, “Someone is going to get hurt with that thing.” They get ready to get all authoritative.

Back at the party, one of the guys tries to convince Tina to come skinny-dipping. Tina says she can’t just leave her friends.

As everyone else heads out for a night of debauchery, Tina goes to the barn and starts yelling to her now-dead buddies. She looks around and spots a kitten, covered in blood.

At the same time, Jamie and Billy finally make it to the farm. How they got there, and how long it took them, and why no one felt compelled to help out some kids running around in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night is anyone’s guess.

At the barn, Tina picks up the bloody kitten. She spots the bloody scythe, and her dead friends tumble from atop the hay bales.

She runs outside, calling for help, just as everyone drives away.

She goes to the cop car, but the Koppers are dead.

She looks over and spots her boyfriend’s car, only Michael is behind the wheel.

Jamie and Billy suddenly arrive and yell to Tina.

Michael fires up the car and goes to run down Tina. Tina runs away.

Jamie and Billy yell at the car, telling Michael to come for them. Michael figures, okay, sure, and chases them.

He hits Billy, who rolls to safety. He’s hurt, but I’m sure he’ll be okay, because most movies don’t have the guts to kill a kid. Unless cancer gets them. That’s okay.

Michael chases Jamie in the car until he crashes into a tree. The car goes up in flames, but of course Michael is unharmed. He gets out of the car and comes for Jamie. But Tina runs into his path and gets stabbed.

Billy runs up, and grabs Jamie, and they walk away. Slowly. With Michael maybe behind them. I think.

He doesn’t catch them, as Loomis suddenly appears out of nowhere and brings the kids to the cops.

Tina and the two kids are loaded up into ambulances, and Loomis asks Jamie if she’s willing to help him.

“Can you kill him?” asks Jamie.

“I think so,” says Loomis. Who, up to this point, has failed a LOT at the whole killing Michael thing.

The various cops and ambulances drive off, and Loomis stands alone out by the farm, and yells into the woods, and tell Michael that someday his anger will destroy him too. “You have to fight it!” says Loomis. “In the place it all began.”

Ah. Everyone is headed back to the Myers house. Where they stick a nine-year-old girl in Michael’s sister’s room, and have her brush her hair, the same way that Michael’s sister did, only less post-coitally.

Jamie and a cop practice their signal for when Michael shows up. Things seem to be all set to go. When suddenly, Jamie starts to seize up, crying, “Billy! Billy!”

The cop shouts for Loomis, who is downstairs walking past some fresh graffiti on the wall. The graffiti in question is, of course, the symbol tattooed on Michael and Silver Boots.

Loomis pages the sheriff, and tells him that Michael is at the clinic. The sheriff sends all mobile units to the clinic.

Then he radios to Loomis that they’re going to take Jamie to the police station, where she’ll be safer. Sure.

And Loomis says, “Now you’ll come, won’t you Michael?”

Upstairs, Jamie’s cop buddy, whose name is Charlie, confronts Loomis, who says they aren’t going anywhere.

Outside, another cop radios to Charlie that there’s a cop car approaching. The car rams into his vehicle, then the driver shoves a hand through his window, chokes him, and beats his brains out on the steering wheel. Is it Michael? You get one guess.

Inside, Loomis tells Charlie to watch Jamie, and he heads downstairs.

Loomis wanders the ground floor until he finds Michael, and then Loomis gets to monologueing, telling Michael that he knows that, “The little girl can stop the rage inside you.”

He tells Michael that “the little girl” is in the middle of the house, and says, “Let me take you to her.” It seems like it’s going to work, but then, no. Michael stabs Loomis, smashes him into a window, then throws him over a banister onto the floor a half-story below.

Charlie and Jamie, meanwhile, try to escape out the window using a rope ladder that came from somewhere-or-other.

Michael breaks through the door, and Charlie shoots him a lot. But it’s no good. Jamie runs away.

Charlie, however, gets hung on his own rope ladder.

Over at the clinic, kids are fleeing what I guess is a fire. No one actually says it is a fire, but there seems to be smoke. Or mist. I have no idea what’s going on there.

Back at the Myers house, Jamie finds the laundry chute and decides the best course of action is to go down it. Strangely, Michael, who just broke through another door like it was nothing, has a lot of trouble getting through the door just behind her.

Once he breaks through. Michael checks the laundry chute right away, spots his niece, and tries to grab her. She lets go, and falls all the way down to the bottom, which is locked.

Michael goes to the basement, finds the bottom of the chute, and tries to open the door. It sticks.

Jamie tries to climb back up the chute, while Michael frees the door and tries to reach up the chute. Then he tries to shake the chute. Then he starts stabbing into the chute.

Jamie, meanwhile, manages to pull herself up and out of the chute.

Out on the street, cop cars drive somewhere, fast, lights blazing.

Jamie heads to the attic, which is not the best decision she could have made, and there she finds several things: some blazing candles. Her large school photo which was formerly property of Rachel. Brunette’s Dead Boyfriend. And Dead Max the Dog. And Dead Rachel.

Jamie cries out, “No!” and then hears footsteps behind her. Michael is coming up the stairs. And there he is.

Jamie climbs into something that looks like a coffin, and lies down. (It is a coffin. Michael dug it up earlier. I guess it’s nice that this totally random act has a payoff.) Michael gets ready to stab her, and she says, “Uncle? Boogeyman? Let me see?”

Michael lowers his knife and takes off his mask. We don’t really see his face, but we see a single tear roll down his cheek.

“You’re just like me,” says Jamie. “Let me?” And she goes to wipe away his tear. Michael freaks, puts on his mask, and goes back to stabbing, but Jamie has already run away.

She goes downstairs, and finds Loomis who is quite alive. Loomis picks up Jamie, and yells out, “You want her! Here she is! Come and get her!”

But he keeps walking backwards, leading Michael downstairs, to the middle of the living room. Suddenly, Loomis pulls a rope on the wall, and a net made of heavy chains falls on him. Then Loomis shoots him twice with a dart gun of some kind. Then he beats Michael with a two-by-four, yelling out, “Die! Die! Die!”

Finally, Michael falls to the floor. Loomis collapses on top of him, eyes open. Maybe dead, but probably not, because this series has three more movies to go.

Red-and-blue lights show outside. The cops have arrived. I have no idea who called them.

Later, Michael is locked up in a prison cell. The sheriff declares, “The National Guard will take him to a maximum security facility. Where he’ll stay ‘til the day he dies.”

(Um, why is his mask still on? Is it normal to leave masks on a serial killer, after he’s captured?)

Jamie says, “He’ll never die.”

The sheriff tells the other cops to take her back to the clinic. For being sassy, I guess. The cops lead her away.

Outside, Silver Toes stamps out a cigarette, and walks into the police station.

Nearby, a cop puts Jamie into his car, when suddenly there’s an explosion in the police station.

A barred door, red light behind it, silhouettes Silver Toes, who appears to be shooting with a machine gun.

The cop with Jamie says, “Wait in the car,” and runs in to see what’s going on. Jamie, of course, gets out of the car and heads into the police station. All the cops are dead. Again.

All the police in town killed on Halloween, two years in a row. Recruitment for the next round is going to be rough.

Jamie finds the cell Michael is supposed to be in, only the door has been blown off of its hinges. As has the door to the outside world.

Jamie starts to cry, softly stating, “No. No.”

Really, movie? That’s how you’re leaving things? With some dude in silver-toed boots and a cowboy hat and a flappy kind of coat thing breaking Michael out of jail?

Yep, that’s how they’re leaving things.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Ah, the good olde Halloween font is back, letting us know that it’s October 30, 1988. And then, just for a new twist, we’ve got some credits over shots of a farm out in the middle of nowhere.

Whither the pumpkin, folks? Whither the pumpkin.

No matter. We’re away from the farm now and out on a rainy road, with an ambulance driving along. Moments later, it stops at Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, and the fellow behind the wheel honks the horn.

A guard steps out, glances at the man behind the wheel, and says, “Go on through.”

Once inside, a man and a woman in white jumpsuits say they’re there for a pick up and transfer to “Smith’s Grove.” I presume they mean another sanitarium, as opposed to a serenity garden. Though how awesome would that be?

The guard at the front desk leads them through the sanitarium, noting that, “This is where society dumps its worst nightmares.”

The guard goes on to recap all of Halloween 1 and 2 in about ten seconds, with one quick twist. It seems that Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers “almost” burned to death.

It’s interesting, really. People just keep on talking about how Michael is superhuman. Why does no one ever mention just how much damage should have been inflicted on Loomis, as well?

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on that later.

The two folks in jumpsuits (one male and one female) go to locate their charge. He is lying on a bed, hooked up to what sounds like life support, covered by a sheet, and another doctor is standing over him.

The doctor confirms who the transfer personnel are, and the lady stays to “check out” the patient while the man goes off with the doctor.

Jumpsuited Female take Myers’s blood pressure, and the arm she’s not cuffing falls off the bed. I guess this is supposed to be ominous, or something, but mostly, it’s like, “Yeah, it’s an arm. I’ve seen those before.”

Jumpsuited Male talks to the doctor, and asks him why Loomis isn’t there, since Michael is still his patient. The doctor explains that Loomis’s job is “mostly ceremonial” now, and he hopes that once Myers is gone, Loomis will either transfer, retire, or die.

Yep. He really says that.

Our two jumpsuited meat suits verify that Michael is alive, and they run him out to the ambulance. And now it’s exposition time!

In a short bit of banter, we learn that Michael Myers has a niece (which I guess would be… Laurie’s daughter. What happened to Laurie?), but that the niece isn’t old enough to be his legal guardian.

So the state owns Michael. Whatever that means. It doesn’t matter either way, because as we learn this, Michael’s hand jerks up from the bed and grabs Male Jumpsuit by the face. Then jams his thumb right into the guy’s head.

The movie cuts to “elsewhere,” where a little girl can’t sleep. Her name is Jamie. She misses her parents. Something happened 11 months ago, and now she’s sad and hoping that Rachel, who is older than her, loves her.

Even if they aren’t real sisters. I’m guessing it’s a foster thing.

Rachel puts Jamie back to bed, or at least in her bedroom. Jamie opens up a small box, and inside is a picture of Laurie, who is looking very 1978-ish.

Jamie puts her box away, and as she cleans up for the night she walks by a mirror. Lighting flashes. Michael is visible in samesaid mirror. Which is confusing. Just where is the dude standing? In the window?

Oh, no, wait. He’s standing in her room. Which is guess is why they keep showing us the open window.

Jamie goes to her bed, kneels down, and says her prayers.

The second she’s done, the closet door squeaks open. She looks inside, and there’s a doll on the floor. She puts the doll away and closes the door. She goes back to her bed, and the closet door opens up again.

She goes to close it, and a hand reaches out from under the bed and grabs her. She runs away, and Michael crawls out from under the bed. She opens the door to the hall, and behind it is… Michael again. Dream sequence!

Jamie screams, and her foster parents come running down the hall. They find Jamie in the closet crying, and assure her that she just had a bad dream. Which she did. Which is kind of lame.

And now it’s the next day, and the school bus is driving along while our friendly neighborhood burn-in informs us that we’re in Haddonfield, Illinois, and it’s October 31, 1988.

Oh, and then it lets us know that it’s “Halloween.” In case we had no idea what the significance of the title of the movie or October 31 is.

And now, some family drama. Dad dips his tie in his coffee, and needs a new tie. Mom has just learned via phone call that her babysitter has canceled, and because of this, Rachel discovers that she must babysit (thematic echo, echo, echo) Jamie tonight, and cancel her plans with Brady. Whoever that is.

She goes off on a long, kind of lame rant about how she thought Brady was ready to commit, and this is totally imperiling her mother’s future grandchildren, when in comes Jamie, who says the she’s sorry she ruins everything.

Rachel feels some low-end remorse, while her father admonishes her.

Rachel goes to apologize to Jamie, stating that she and Brady can go out tomorrow. And that they should go trick-or-treating (dude… just… assuming Jamie knows ANYTHING about what happened to her mom… just, no…) and they should also go get some ice cream after school.

“Double scoops?” says Jamie. Who is milking her foster sister’s guilt for all it’s worth.

The movie cuts to a long, white hallway where we’re following a bald dude in a long coat, who is walking with a cane. You know what? Forget the return of Michael Myers. Who’s got a moment to give it up for Loomis? Whoo! Loomis, Loomis, Loomis, Loomis!

Loomis goes to confront the doctor who released Myers the night before, and we finally get a look at Loomis’s face. Normal on one side, kind of melty and gross on the other.

And just as crabby as ever. “Why wasn’t I notified? You let them take it out of here.”

And we’re off with the usual back-and-forth, with Loomis concluding by pointing out the damage to his face, and reminding the other doctor of the date.

The phone rings, the doctor who is not named Loomis picks it up, and hangs up moments later with a, “There’s been an accident…”

Loomis doesn’t even wait to hear more. He knows what time it is, and he is out the door.

Out on the highway, the cops are blocking off the flipped ambulance. Loomis and the other doctor pull up, and…

You know, does it really matter what everyone says? Loomis, naturally, figures that Michael is alive and headed to Haddonfield, so he tells everyone he’s going to Haddonfield and they can reach him through the local police.

He notes that it’s a four-hour drive, and that if the cops and the other doctor don’t find Michael in four hours, Loomis is sure he’ll find Michael.

Gotta say, it would be kind of awesome if they did find Michael’s body, and it turned out that someone else entirely was talking the streets of Illinois, but really, what are the chances of that happening?

Ah well. Onward.

In a garage located somewhere-or-other, a man working under a car sees a coworker go by, so he asks for a socket wrench. The coworker doesn’t comply, so the man slides out from under the car and spots Michael, still wearing a hospital gown and bandages over his face.

Michael drives some sort of large metal thing down into the hapless mechanic. He must have been overcharged.

I’m a bit confused about Michael’s face coverings, though. Given the fact that Loomis is clearly healed, Michael should be healed as well. Did he have an accident at the hospital? Probably not, since the idiot doctor stated that Michael’s muscles should have atrophied.

So… people just take turns cutting on Michael for fun, maybe? Might explain all the anger.

Later, Dr. Loomis drives to the same garage, in search of gas for his car. He gets out to fill his tank, and when no one answers his calls for assistance, he begins to fill his tank himself.

A POV shot implies that Michael is watching Loomis from an area near the garage door.

Loomis finishes filling up, and heads into the garage. He looks and looks for someone, anyone, and finally finds a guy. Unfortunately, it’s the dead one from a couple of minutes ago.

In a minor panic, Loomis runs into a small diner attached to the garage, and locates a dead cook. Loomis looks around, and spots Michael, still in bandages but now dressed in a jumpsuit he stole off of the dead mechanic. Interestingly, I can’t spot the hole Michael would have made stabbing the guy.

But while I’m thinking of it, I also want to know how it is that Michael is so good at gauging whom he should kill so he can take the dude’s clothing.

Loomis begs Michael not to go to Haddonfield, then shoots at Michael a couple of times. Michael vanishes before the bullets hit him. No idea how he manages to dodge bullets or how Michael manages to leave the kitchen, which appears to have no exit.

Loomis runs out to the parking lot, and suddenly a tow truck comes crashing through the garage door, just misses Loomis, and then smashes into the gas pumps, which causes them, and Loomis’s car, to go up in flames.

Loomis just barely gets out of the way by diving behind some garbage cans.

At Jamie’s school, Jamie is walking down the hall and being taunted for not wearing a costume. Oh, and because her mom is dead. And because her uncle is the boogeyman.

I’ll admit, I’ve seen some vicious kids in my time, but taunting someone about their dead mom is a new one on me.

Though thinking about it, I have to say that it’s not real wise to taunt someone whose uncle killed something like 16 people. You never know when something like that isn’t going to skip a generation.

Oh, and now they’ve gone to, “Jamie’s an orphan! Jamie’s an orphan!”

Dude. Harsh.

Jamie runs out of school and down the street, and tries to calm herself by saying, “You’re okay. You’re okay.”

Yeah, someone should definitely get this kid some help before she starts admiring sharp things.

Rachel hops out of a nearby car, asking Jamie is she’s all right. Rachel’s friend Lindsey is driving.

Now, earlier, it should be noted, Rachel said that Jamie’s mom used to babysit her. Sooo… I gotta know, is this THE Lindsay? Because that would be awesome.

Jamie tells Rachel she’s changed her mind. She wants to go trick-or-treating. Lindsey says that they’re having a sale on costumes at the Discount Mart. Rachel doesn’t want to go there, because Brady is there and she doesn’t want to seem “too pushy.”

I’m not quite sure what her logic is, but ultimately it doesn’t matter, as Jamie decides she really wants to go trick-or-treating, so they’re off to the Discount Mart. Oh, and also Dairy Queen, because Jamie still wants ice cream.

Yeah, Jamie really does know how to work the old personal trauma angle.

Over at the Discount Mart, we meet Brady, who bets his friend Wade that Wade won’t ask out Brady’s coworker. Wade makes his move, and Brady’s coworker uses profanity to assure Wade that they will not be going out.

Lindsey, Rachel, and Jamie arrive at the Discount Mart, which actually appears to be the store Michael stole a bunch o’ stuff from in part one. Rachel sends Jamie to find a costume, while she goes to talk to Brady.

Jamie looks over her costume options, and chooses a clown costume. Just behind her, the Michael mask looks on, ominously. There is something seriously wrong with a storeowner who continues to stock the same mask a serial killer once stole from his store.

Jamie calls to Rachel about her perfect costume, and the camera cuts to Rachel and Brady, who are doing some serious sucking of the face. Serious. Jamie is moments away from having a foster-nephew, the way these two are going.

Rachel pulls away to tell Brady they won’t be able to get together tonight. He takes it poorly, since she’s just telling him at 5 PM. He looks over at his female coworker. Any port in a storm seems to be the order of the day.

Brady says he’ll call Rachel later.

Jamie looks at herself in the mirror, holding up the clown costume. The mirror shot turns into a little boy, and the audience goes, “Oh, yeah, little Michael wore a clown costume when he slaughtered his older sister with a knife.”

Just behind Jamie, a hand grabs the Michael mask, and a dude in a jumpsuit slips it on behind Jamie. Jamie panics, turns, and falls into the mirror on the wall.

Rachel comes running, Brady close behind her, and Jamie says, “It was the nightmare man.”

You know what just occurred to me? Who was Jamie’s dad? Was he the dude who Laurie met in the hospital? The ambulance driver?

Rachel doesn’t even try to find the creepy guy who scared her foster sister, instead opting to say she probably saw a mask or something. I guess she really DOESN’T love Jamie all that much. How sad.

Rachel brushes Jamie off and leads her away, while nearby, reflected in shattered glass, we see the “face” of Michael.

Out on the highway, Loomis tries to thumb a ride with various people. After being taunted by some cheerleaders, a crazy Reverend with a really, really beat up old car picks him up.

Back in Haddonfield, it’s time to trick-or-treat. The foster parents leave, Jamie gets her costume on, and Rachel calls Brady and leaves a message that he should come over around 8 PM.

Meanwhile, someone is watching from outside the house.

Jamie puts on her clown costume, and she and Rachel head out to beg for candy.

Inside the house, Michael wanders around. He finds Jamie’s special box o’ mom photos and looks at the shot of his sister. I can only imagine how upset he is that she died before he could kill her.

At the sheriff’s office, Loomis walks up to the front desk and asks for his old friend, the sheriff. Turns out the old sheriff retired in 1981.

You know, granted, his daughter was killed in 1978. But the man didn’t look any older than mid-40s in “Halloween.” When did the guy retire, at age 50? Just how well does the sheriff gig pay in Haddonfield?

Loomis is directed to the new sheriff, who already knows who Loomis is. Loomis does a recap of the movie up to this point, and the sheriff tells his peon to make a call and check it out. Peon notes that the long-distance lines are down.

The sheriff tells Loomis they’re going to go collect Jamie, and they head out.

Jamie and Rachel, meanwhile, are walking the trick-or-treat walk. Jamie runs into a bunch of other kids, and one of them notes that, “That clown costume is really cool.” The kids ask if Jamie wants to join them on their trick-or-treating adventure.

She does, and the large group of kids heads for the next door. Ding-dong!

The door opens, and there’s Brady’s coworker, who says, “Hi, Rachel.” And who’s behind her, in the hallway? Aw yeah, it’s Brady.

Rachel is somewhat taken aback by this turn of events.

Brady calls out to Rachel, attempting to explain himself. Rachel stops to talk to him, and Jamie wanders off with the other kids. Apparently acceptance by a group of kids is enough to make her abandon the person who got her a Halloween costume AND ice cream.

Somewhere in this movie is an awesome Psych paper about the emotional damage rendered by having dead parents and a serial killer for an uncle.

Rachel decides that Brady isn’t worth listening to, and stalks off, while Brady’s coworker asks if Brady is coming back inside. Is it worth pointing out that all she seems to be wearing is a T-shirt that says “Cops do it by the book?”

(Her dad is the sheriff. One assumes he bought her the shirt. Ewww.)

Rachel looks around and begins calling to Jamie, but she’s nowhere to be seen. Unfortunate.

In a local bar, the news is on, letting people know to get in their homes, and telling local businesses to close as soon as possible.

The bartender calls the sheriff. There’s no answer. So the bartender grabs a bunch of patrons and they all head off to the police station.

Over at Jamie’s house, the sheriff and Loomis walk in the open front door. The sheriff has a shotgun.

Loomis walks upstairs and finds Jamie’s box of dead mom photos. Loomis declares, “He’s been here.” He points out a dead dog to the sheriff. I guess Michael got hungry again.

The sheriff and Loomis head out. The sheriff leaves a deputy behind.

Elsewhere, at a power plant, a random worker encounters Michael, we get the standard horror movie scene where the dude is like, “You better leave, or I’m calling the cops,” and then Michael throws him into something power generating and all the lights in the city go black.

I fail to see what the point of this master plan is. Michael was in the house that the person he wants to kill lives in. Why not just wait for a couple hours? Killing all the power in town seems wildly inefficient.

Out in the city, Rachel and Jamie wander the streets. Jamie has been abandoned by all her friends, who I guess finally realized that her clown costume was not at all cool.

Rachel eventually sees someone stalking the streets who looks sorta like Michael. So she runs. Astonishingly smart, really.

After a couple more minutes, Rachel finds Jamie. And then along comes the sheriff and Loomis, who put the kids in their car, while off in the shadows Michael looks on.

Loomis spots Michael. Oh, wait. There are three dudes in jumpsuits and masks. Dude. Duuude…

Oh wait, never mind, it’s some kids playing a p rank.

The sheriff spouts some idle threats, and the kids yank off their masks and head for home.

The sheriff, Loomis, Rachel, and Jamie all drive away. And there, behind the car, is… Michael! Maybe. Could just be another kid in a mask. There isn’t any way to tell.

Loomis and the sheriff head to the police station, where everyone is dead. It seems Michael decided that after he cut the power, he wanted to make sure no one at the police station could get involved.

What I’d really like to know is, what’s Michael’s game plan, here? Is he working from some sort of deranged list?

Step one: Kill power to the entire city.

Step two: Eat a dog.

Step three: Kill everyone at the police station.

The sheriff and Loomis walk out of the police station and bump into all the patrons from the bar, who demand to know what’s going on. Your guess is as good as mine, folks.

The sheriff says this is police business. Loomis pipes up and says that Michael Myers is responsible.

The sheriff tries to maintain control, but one of the many bar patrons notes that the police didn’t exactly do a bang-up job last time, and things don’t look too good for what remains of the police force, at the moment.

Apparently the angry guy “lost his boy ten years back.” Which means he could be anyone, really. Lotta dudes died in the first two movies.

The collection of angry drunks gets ready to lock and load, and the sheriff accuses Loomis of creating a lynch mob.

“You don’t have a police force,” spits Loomis. He does not point out that if a mob kills a guy who ended the lives of almost twenty people and two dogs, the world will probably not get too upset.

Over at Jamie’s house, the deputy runs to his car and radios the sheriff to let him know he heard all the other cops are dead. As he does so, the camera pans over to the back seat, where Michael is lying, being all prone and quiet.

The deputy sets down the radio and rolls out.

Moments later, Ma and Pa Foster show up at the house, noting that the lights are all out in the house. They head into the house.

Somewhere in town, the lynch mob spots Michael. So they all pile out of the truck and do a LOT of shooting. They run over to check out the body, and it’s not Michael. Which we knew. Yeah, they just shot some guy to death. Poor guy. Too bad he didn’t follow the curfew.

Over at Brady’s coworker’s house, Brady and the coworker are getting really friendly. Really, really friendly. Yeppers.

Just as things are about to get really, really, really friendly, Coworker hears a car pull into the driveway, and realizes it’s her dad. Who is, of course, the sheriff.

Props to you, screenwriter-person. You thought this bad boy out. Rachel and Brady can at last be reunited to work out their differences, while waiting to be slaughtered by a serial killer. It’s like a sitcom, really, with the enclosed space and the working out of difficulties. Plus, sharp, pointy objects and mayhem.

Loomis, Rachel, Jamie, and the sheriff pile out of the car and into the house, with Loomis declaring, “Where is that deputy?” and the sheriff saying, “He’ll be here in a minute.”

Sure enough, here comes to deputy. Which of course means Michael is with him. This movie is gonna get brutal fast, folks. Once again, props to the screenwriter for efficiency.

Coworker, it turns out, is named Kelly. The sheriff tells Kelly to take Jamie upstairs. Then he asks if Brady knows how to use a gun, and gives him a shotgun. Brady asks the sheriff to explain what’s going on.

The sheriff says there’s no time. No time? “There’s a killer on the loose, and he’s trying to kill Jamie. If you see a man in a mask, his name is Michael Myers. Shoot him in the face.” How hard is that?

The sheriff asks the deputy where his riot gun is, and the deputy says it’s in the car and goes to get it.

Brady is sent to the attic with his gun, a hammer, and some nails.

Everyone in the house starts boarding things up – the sheriff declares that the front door is now the only way in or out of the house.

Upstairs in the attic, Brady hears a noise and goes to investigate. Nothing happens.

In Kelly’s bedroom, Jamie asks Rachel when they can go home.

Loomis and the sheriff use a battery-powered radio in an attempt to reach the state police.

Kelly makes a cup of coffee. She’s still wandering around in her T-shirt, and no pants. Oddly, her dad has yet to say anything about this. That creeps me out a bit.

Rachel sees that Jamie is falling asleep, and heads downstairs to find out what’s going on. The deputy tells her the state police will be along soon.

The sheriff finally reaches the state police, and he explains the situation, in brief. The state police say they need some information, and Loomis takes off.

As he exits the house, the deputy asks him where he’s going. Loomis says he’s going to try to stop Michael. The deputy asks Loomis if Loomis knows HOW to stop Michael.

Loomis says no, but someone has got to try.

And, as we all know, Loomis is the only other person in town who can live through being set on fire.

Loomis leaves.

The deputy locks the door behind him.

Kelly makes coffee. With no electricity. Rachel joins her in the kitchen, and Kelly tries to justify herself.

The sheriff hears talk over the radio about the dude who got shot dead. So he heads out of the house to prevent more innocent people from getting all shot up.

Jamie wakes up alone and freaks out a little bit.

Rachel, who has been left sitting all alone by the police radio, starts to get creeped out.

Kelly comes out into the living room, carrying a tray of hot coffee. She offers some to the deputy, who doesn’t say anything. So instead of going, “Um, dude, SAY SOMETHING,” or freaking out and running away, she lights a candle.

Which allows her to see the dead deputy.

Michael stands up, brandishing a shotgun, which he rams through Kelly’s torso, pinning her to a wall.

Down by the radio, Rachel gets a call from the state police – they’ll be there in about a half-hour. She thanks them, then goes upstairs to tell everyone. Only they’re all dead, of course.

Rachel screams and heads up the stairs to find Jamie. Jamie missing. She runs downstairs and finds Brady. Brady goes to open the front door so they can run, but he doesn’t have a key.

He tries to shoot out a lock, but “It’s metal!” So they can’t escape. They’re trapped in the house. Unless they can find, I don’t know, a window. Dude is still carrying a shotgun, after all...

They head up the stairs and find Jamie, then look around, and there’s Michael, being all Michael-y.

Brady aims his shotgun and goes to shoot, but he needs to reload. So he reloads, all slow and suspenseful-like. He goes to fire, and Michael takes the gun from him and administers a beating to his face, which culminates in… I’m not sure, really. A shattered neck, maybe? Either way, dude has probably groped his last sheriff’s daughter.

Rachel and Jamie head into the attic, and toss a bunch of junk down the stairs to slow Michael down a bit. They run to the window and smash through it. Jamie gets on Rachel’s back, and they climb out onto the roof.

And here, naturally, comes Michael.

Rachel ties a cable around Jamie and starts to lower Jamie down off the roof, only Michael takes a swipe at her and Jamie drops about halfway to the ground before the cable catches.

Jamie grabs onto an ivy trellis and climbs down.

Rachel tries to fend off Michael, only she falls off the roof and is knocked unconscious.

Jamie tries to wake her up, only Michael is now on the ground and ready to party. Or to kill Jamie. Either way.

Jamie runs off, screaming. Michael gives stalk.

Rachel wakes up.

Jamie runs into Loomis. Loomis asks where the schoolhouse is. Loomis should know. Perhaps he forgot all about the whole Samhain thing.

Jamie and Loomis run to the school, which is padlocked shut. Loomis shoots the lock off, and they run inside, searching for a room to hide in. Things are looking up.

Until Michael appears out of nowhere, grabs Loomis, and throws him through a window.

One would think that Loomis is the one guy Michael would want to make sure is good and dead, but I guess that isn’t the case.

I mean, seriously, they’re on the first floor. Loomis is probably going to have, like, two scratches. After a night of cutting the power and killing all the cops, this hardly seems like a time to cut corners.

Jamie goes running… no, sorry, walking pretty slowly down the hallway, looking for a room to hide in. She turns around to look, and there’s no Michael.

So she heads down the hall again, looking around a bit, and oh, there he is.

So the panics and runs, and falls down some stairs. So maybe they were on the second floor after all. Jamie, who can’t get up off the floor, pulls herself to the bathroom, when a hand clamps on her ankle.

Suddenly, Rachel races around the corner, shoots Michael with a fire extinguisher, and grabs Jamie.

Rachel runs outside with Jamie, where they run into the bar patrons. The bar patrons throw the girls in their truck, and they all leave town. They radio in to… someone, to let them know the state police are on their way.

The state police drive by, going in the opposite direction. One of the police cars stops and sends the whole crew to a nearby officer’s station.

The whole gang heads there, encountering a massive fog when they do.

And here comes Michael who was… what, exactly? Holding onto the bottom of the truck? I have no idea. None whatsoever.

Michael kills all the dudes in the back of the truck, then breaks the outside window and yanks the driver’s throat out.

Rachel shoves over and takes the wheel, racing the truck around erratically in an attempt to throw Michael off the truck.

Rachel hits the brakes and tosses Michael off the truck. Then she guns the truck and rams him, knocking him into a ditch.

Naturally, this causes her to drive off the road, about thirty feet away from Michael.

Jamie looks over her shoulder and sees Michael moving, while Rachel goes to talk to the cops.

Jamie, who suddenly got all stupid, walks over to Michael and looks at his very scarred hand. Then she touches his hand. Michael twitches, and all the cops start shooting Michael a lot.

Jamie ducks.

Michael takes a whole bunch o’ shots, then falls backwards into what I guess is a well. Which then crumbles on top of him.

Ho-kay. Whatever.

So Michael is probably really, really dead, except they’ll never, ever recover his body. So they can’t be sure.

Back at Jamie and Rachel’s house, everyone convenes, and Loomis goes, “Oh, yeah, Michael is dead now, and these kids will be just fine.”

Foster Mom takes Jamie upstairs and starts the bath, when suddenly we move into killer POV. Which grabs a pair of scissors, slips on a clown mask, and…

There’s a scream from upstairs. Loomis runs into frame, and looks up the stairs, and there’s Jamie, in her clown mask, clutching a pair of scissors, all covered in blood and breathing heavy.

Cut to black.

That leaves just one question: What was up with that farm at the start of the movie?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

(Note: “Halloween III” was one of the best ideas, and one of the worst ideas, anyone ever had.

“Halloween” and “Halloween II” had come and gone, and end the end of II, Michael Myers was quite dead. His story was told. And yet, there was enough money in the franchise that it was decided to go ahead and make a part III.

A part III, it should be noted, that had nothing to do with parts one and two. Nothing at all.

At its heart, this is a brilliant premise. Get talented people to make a scary movie every year or two, based around the scariest of all holidays: Halloween. Think of it as a Twilight Zone for the big screen.

Unfortunately, this idea had two flaws.

The first was the serial killer movie model, which was already well in place by the time III hit theaters. It had one simple rule: No matter how dead the bad guy was at the end of the last movie, he’s alive at the start of this movie. Freddy and Jason had already established this.

The second flaw was just as simple: II had featured Michael Myers. If III had actually been part II, I think we’d probably still be watching Halloween sequels to this day, instead of the reboot that we eventually got.

Because the Halloween franchise decided to take this weirdly illogical step, many people deride the movie without having seen it. Granted, it has its flaws, which we’ll get to momentarily. But taken on its own merits, it’s a decent horror movie that has a little following of its very own.

I debated whether or not to include III here, since it doesn’t have anything to do with the overarching story of Michael Myers and his family tree. I finally opted to write it up because I know that there are people who have skipped the movie, but still want to know just what they’re missing.)

“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” opens with an annoying noise and a great deal of screen flutter – the live-action pumpkin of part 1 and 2 has been replaced by early 80s computer graphics, perhaps to let us know we’re facing a new threat: TV.

Interestingly, John Carpenter and Debra Hill still have their names on the franchise as producers –and John Carpenter still has his name on the series as a composer, as well.

I will add, however, that the credits look terrible. They’re in a bright blue font that just screams Weekday Afternoon 1980s TV.

Finally, the visual trash heap that are the credits comes to an end, and we get a burn-in that lets us know we’re in Northern California. Though what we’re looking at is something of a mystery. A road? An underpass?

Oh, and it’s October, Saturday the 23rd.

Some dude comes running down the road. He glances behind him. A car is speeding along, coming his direction.

The man runs onto an open lot with a bunch of junk cars on it. He races over to a mobile home up on blocks, and pounds on the door, but it’s nighttime and no one is home.

The man glances over his shoulder at the gate. The car pulls up to it, then drives past, still searching for him. Or possibly searching for a bathroom. Or a nice hotel to spend the night. Maybe this guy just really hates giving directions.

The man walks around a bit, trying to find somewhere to go. The car returns to the gate, and starts to pull in.

And then the man bumps into… another man. In a suit. With a really lame mustache. Mustache Man grabs our current protagonist by the throat, then throws him to the ground and chokes him for a bit while sitting on his chest.

Protagonist grabs a nearby chain that’s on the ground, and gives it a yank. This causes a block to move out from under the tire of a nearby junker. It rolls towards Mustache Man at about ½ a mile per hour, then rams into him, pinning him between the moving vehicle and another non-moving vehicle.

Moustache passes out, presumably from the shame of not being able to avoid a barely-moving junker.

Current protagonist slides out from under moustache man and gets to his feet. Then he runs away.

Now we’re at a gas station, and another burn-in informs us that it’s “One Hour Later.”

A black gas station attendant is sitting and reading a magazine while a documentary about Stonehenge is playing on the television.

That is, until a commercial comes on.

This commercial needs to be explained in detail, because it is going to keep on coming back, over and over, and over again.

Here’s what happens:

Visuals occur, of little kids and some Halloween masks.

But here’s the important bit. In your brain, sing London Bridges. You know the song: London Bridges falling down, falling down, falling down…

Okay. Now replace the words with: Eight more days to Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Eight more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock.

The number of days will change each and every time, but I just plain refuse to type that out over and over. So from now on, I shall refer to it as The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

Outside, there is thunder and lightning, and the power goes out, cutting off as The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

The black man gets up on his chair and looks outside, when suddenly, Our Protagonist appears out of nowhere and grabs him.

Protagonist whispers, “They’re coming. They’re coming.” And we finally get a glimpse of the orange thing he’s been carrying around. It’s one of the Halloween masks we just saw on as The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

Then Our Protagonist passes out. The black man loads him into his tow truck and drives him off, while Mustache looks on.

And now we’re in a nice cozy house, where Some Guy walks in and yells out a hello. Two kids come out, who I hope are his son and daughter, because they call him daddy and they give him presents.

Then Presumed Mom shows up and generally gives Some Guy a hard time. Some guy gives the kids a couple of bags, which contain Halloween masks. They tell him that Mom already got them masks – Silver Shamrock!

They go put the masks on (a skull and a witch) and proceed to sing the music from The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

Some Guy’s beeper goes off, and Presumed Mom says, “Drinking and doctoring, great combination.”

The kids turn on the TV, and what’s playing? Why, it’s as The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

The man calls the office, and notes that his name is Challis. He needs to head to the hospital. Which is where he works.

This is interesting – II and III might have nothing to do with each other, but both feature drunken doctors. I guess they tie together after all!

Challis arrives at the hospital, and it turns out his patient is Our Protagonist, only I guess he’s just Some Dude. The black man who took him to the hospital informs Challis that he just brought Our Protagonist (man, I hope this guy gets a name soon) to the hospital.

Challis asks if OP has a room, and he is informed that OP is in room 13. Wow. Subtle screenplay craftsmanship, there.

Everyone starts to take OP, who is lying on a gurney, down the hall to his room, when suddenly a nearby TV starts playing The World’s Most Annoying Commercial. OP wakes up and says, “They’re going to kill us. All of us.”

Challis decides to give OP 100 milligrams of Thorazine. And hey, that’s what Michael Myers was supposed to get in court!

Outside the hospital, Mustache Man looks on.

Inside the hospital, Challis talks to Agnes, a black nurse. He says he’s going to take a nap, then asks Agnes to join him. Then he cops of feel of Agnes’s rear. Agnes opts to neither sue nor physically damage Challis.

As Agnes and Challis walk down the hall, the camera settles on Mustache Man, who is standing off to one side.

Mustache Man creeps down the halls, puts on some gloves, and goes into OP’s room. OP is doped up and asleep, though it should be noted that he’s still holding the Halloween mask from The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

MM covers OP’s mouth, then grabs OP’s nose and… breaks it? Jams it into his brain? It’s tough to tell.

Either way, OP finally drops the mask.

MM wipes off his bloody gloves using the bed curtain, and Agnes walks in and says, “What are you doing in here?” Though she does not detain MM, who walks away without saying anything.

Moments later, Agnes screams, awakening Challis, who was asleep in the doctor’s lounge.

He races out of the lounge, and Agnes points down the hall. Challis gives chase, finally coming to the parking lot, where we finally get a shot of MM’s face. He doesn’t have a mustache. He’s a totally different guy in the same suit.

Good job, director-man. Way to provide clear views of who people are.

No matter. We’ll just call this one Not Mustache Man, which should work great, since he’s not long for the world. Because you see, as Challis hits the parking lot, NMM gets into his car, covers himself with gasoline, and sets fire to himself.

Which causes his car to blow up.

Later, Challis calls his ex-wife and tells her that he can’t pick up the kids because two people died. His ex-wife is not terribly understanding. There’s a joke in there somewhere about why she’s his ex, but I’m going to let you work it out for yourself.

Challis hangs up and looks down at the desk. One of the many police officers on the scene has set the Halloween mask from The World’s Most Annoying Commercial there. Challis picks it up and looks at it.

We fade out, and a burn-in informs us that it’s Sunday, the 24th.

In OP’s hospital room, Challis and a couple of officers of the law are standing around. A young woman in a blue dress arrives. She confirms that OP is her father. Then she asks, “What happened?”

Which is great for me, because I still can’t figure out how NMM killed him.

The officer tells her, “Some crazy man.” A moment later he notes that it was, “Drugs, probably.”

You know, that may go down in history as the worst police work ever done on film.

“Well, sir, this guy snuck into the hospital, killed this other guy, wiped the blood off his hands using the curtains, then set fire to himself in the parking lot. I’m sure it was drugs and not, say, a premeditated murder.”


Blue Dress isn’t really happy with that explanation either. She leaves.

A short while later, Challis sees her crying in the hallway, but opts to not comfort her. Whatta guy.

A new burn-in informs us that it’s Wednesday the 27th. Challis talks to the coroner’s assistant, Teddy. We finally learn what happened to OP (his skull was shattered) but there isn’t much more information to be had.

Challis begs Teddy to do some more investigating for him.

Then Challis heads to the bar. Oh, sorry, it’s two days later, Friday the 29th. Thanks, burn-in.

Or maybe Challis has been there for two days. Either way, it’s just him and the bartender, so he asks the bartender to change the channel, which is showing cartoons.

The bartender does so, leaving the TV on a commercial. For the original “Halloween.” Which is referred to as a classic.

I can’t figure out if this is really meta, a form of advertising, or an attempt to remind viewers that they could be watching a much better movie RIGHT NOW.

No matter. The ad ends, and The World’s Most Annoying Commercial comes on. Of course, now it’s TWO days until Halloween. Challis gets mad and tells the bartender to change the channel again.

The bartender switches over to a football game.

When in walks Blue Dress – whose name is actually Ellie. It seems a nurse told Ellie that she’d be able to find Challis at the bar.

Ellie thanks Challis for coming to her father’s funeral, and asks Challis if her father said anything to him. Challis is reluctant to talk at first, but then he spits out the whole story of Ellie’s dad and the creepy mask.

This gives Ellie pause, but I guess she figures she can trust Challis, so she takes him to her dad’s store. Apparently, it was going out of business thanks to the new mall that opened up.

Poor guy. Things are looking bad for him, and then he gets his skull shattered. Because of drugs. Life just isn’t fair.

Ellie notes that her father kept excellent records, and opens up his datebook. She’s been checking out everything that happened in it, seeing if he really went where it says he went.

On October 20th, he was supposed to pick up more Halloween masks. Ellie figures that she should check out what happened to him starting there.

Challis decides to go with her. She he calls his ex who, once again, chews him out a lot. Among other things, she claims the kids can’t even remember his name. Wow.

Interesting to think that either we’re following a “hero” who is just about the worst man in the world, or we’re following a guy whose ex-wife is, at best, horribly emotionally abusive. I like to envision the kids bringing home B-pluses and being happy they only have to sleep in the closet for two nights, instead of all week. Plus, mom is only going to put the poisonous snakes that have been recently milked in with them, so their chances of death are much, much lower than usual.

Anyway, Challis lies to his ex about where he’s going, then grabs a six-pack of beer off the top of the pay phone. Apparently just talking to her for three minutes is enough to make him require a sixer of “medication.”

Challis runs to his car, gets in it, and drives away.

The camera paaans over to a nearby TV store, where (you know what’s coming) every TV is playing The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

This fades out, and fades back up on Ellie and Challis driving to the Silver Shamrock factory. As they drive by a bunch of fields, they toss out just a ton of exposition, which mostly boils down to this:

The Silver Shamrock factory was founded way back when by a rich Irishman. It started as a novelty company, then eventually evolved into just selling Halloween masks.

Ellie and Challis arrive in the little old town (I’m sorry, “Wee tiny town”) where the factory is located. Everyone stares at them in a creepy, creepy manner.

They locate the factory, when suddenly, Ellie realizes they need a plan. Challis pulls one out of his rectum: They’ll pose as buyers and rent a room at a nearby motel.

Our not-very-good-at-planning heroes head to the motel, and Challis tells Ellie to distract the Innkeeper while he… goes to the front office, looks at the ledger, and starts thumbing through his wallet. No idea what’s going on there.

Meanwhile, Ellie and the Innkeeper chat, until Cochran, the man who runs Silver Shamrock, drives by. Slowly. To be, you know, all ominous and stuff.

Challis comes out of the front office, and nearly gets run down by a family in a minivan – a husband, a wife, and their unruly kid. They get introduced, so you know they’re important, but I’m sure they’ll be dead soon. So let’s just call them The Meat Family.

Another woman also pulls up in a car, complaining about how the factory screwed up her order.

And finally, Challis tells the Innkeeper that he signed the ledger and left $40 on the counter to pay for the room. Which the Innkeeper is fine with.

Challis gets back to his room, and tells Ellie that her dad was here on the 20th. They plan to run over to the factory, but Challis notes that it’ll be dark soon (what does that have to do with anything?) and that he needs a drink. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.

Challis and Ellie talk about where Challis is going to sleep. The car? The floor? Finally, Ellie asks him where he wants to sleep. He tells her that’s a dumb question. Kissing ensues.

As the sun goes down outside, the speakers on the factory announce that it’s six o’clock, and reminds everyone that it’s curfew and that they should clear the streets.

Darkness falls. A video camera watches the empty streets.

In one of the most random scenes ever, Challis wanders out of a liquor store (uh… did the owner not tell him about the curfew?) and runs into a bum. The bum asks if he can have a drink, noting that he doesn’t have any diseases, and Challis hands him a paper-bag covered bottle. They each take a hit or three, and the bum tells Challis that something freaky is going on at the factory. None of the workers are local, for example – they were all brought in from somewhere else. And the bum has decided it’s time to burn the place to the ground.

Challis listens to the bum’s rantings and then walks away, back to his hotel room.

The bum wanders off to his shanty, where he proceeds to get drunk and sing the song from The World’s Most Annoying Commercial. This goes on until he encounters two Men in Suits, who rip his head from his body.

Back at the hotel, Ellie talks to Marge, the angry buyer staying at the hotel. They yack back and forth, and Marge reveals that the reason she’s visiting the factory is because the Silver Shamrock label fell off one of the masks she was buying/selling.

Marge heads to her room and sets the detached label on the dresser, then accidentally knocks it on the floor, revealing… (duh, duh, duuuh) some sort of microchip on the back. Marge does not notice this.

Back in her room, Ellie takes a shower, because the audience is probably kind of bored by now.

Elsewhere, Challis calls Teddy, his buddy at the morgue, who reveals that the autopsy they’ve been performing has shown… that they’ve been autopsying something metal and plastic – possibly part of the car.

Challis heads back to the hotel room, where Ellie is standing in the room, wearing a blanket. She drops it, revealing some sassy lingerie. That she had in her overnight bag. That she slapped together when she went to her father’s funeral.

Just what, exactly, was Ellie planning on doing at the funeral? Something life-affirming, I guess.

Challis and Ellie get to affirming.

Later, Challis and Ellie lie in bed, listening to the radio, when The World’s Most Annoying Commercial comes on. Challis changes the station, and Ellie decides they should do some more life-affirming stuff.

In another room, Marge is lying in bed when she notices the Silver Shamrock logo lying on the floor. She picks it up, notes the microchip, and starts poking it. So it shoots her in the face with a laser.

Ellie is startled by the noise next door, and wonders what it is. Challis says, “Who cares?” Ellie seems to agree.

Back in Marge’s room, much of Marge’s face has been badly burned. As Marge dies, a bug crawls out of her mouth and into her hairline. Icky.

Later that night, Challis and Ellie wake up because they hear a noise. They see Marge being wheeled out of her room on a stretcher, but no one will let Challis see her, despite the fact that he mentions he’s a doctor. Way to blow your cover there, ace.

Either way, Marge is loaded into a van which doesn’t really resemble an ambulance, and her body is driven away.

At that moment Cochran steps out of the crowd. He assures Challis and Ellie that Marge is being taken to the factory, which is equipped to deal with emergencies.

Ellie and Challis head back to their room. They want to go, but Ellie won’t leave until she finds out whether or not her dad went to the factory. So they fall asleep with no further affirmations of life.

The next morning, Challis calls Teddy again, and finds out Teddy couldn’t find anything to autopsy – just ashes and car parts. Challis asks her to find out everything she can about Cochran. He hangs up the phone, and the camera pans down to reveal a microphone stuck to the desk – Challis’s conversation is being listened to. Or recorded. Or something.

Oh, and forgot to mention. The burn-in helpfully pointed out that it’s Saturday the 30th.

Apparently, the factory is working weekend hours because of the holiday, as Challis and Ellie are able to head over to the office to attempt to “fill” an order that Ellie’s dad “didn’t pick up.”

Only it turns out that he did pick it up, back on the 21st. Ellie talks to man who helped her dad out, and asks if her dad mentioned where he was going. The dude behind the counter tells Ellie her dad was headed North.

Stuffed to the gills with no helpful information, Ellie and Challis start to head out, only to be cut off by The Meat Family, who are here to see Cochran.

Cochran comes out, and tells everyone hanging out by the front desk that Mr. Meat sold more masks than anyone else in the country. Up to this point, I guess, since there’s… One more day to Halloween, Halloween, Halloween… (I feel dirty.)

Cochran informs Challis that his mixed up order, which of course was not mixed up, will be replaced free of charge. He goes on to state that Marge is fine, but she’s been flown to a hospital in San Francisco.

Cochran tells The Meat Family that he’d love to give them a guided tour, and Mr. Meat asks if Challis and Ellie want to come along. They think that’d be a great idea.

Everyone heads into the mask factory, where they see… a bunch of masks being made. They look like masks being made. I know. Riveting.

Mr. Meat fills Challis in on some of the history of the Silver Shamrock empire. Apparently, the many novelties created by Cochran include sticky toilet paper. I realize that we are talking about a guy who puts killer logos into masks, but seriously – that’s just sick.

Little Boy Meat asks for a Halloween mask, which you would think he has already, since his dad sold more than anyone else. Cochran gives him one that went through “final processing.” Then much discussion is had about “final processing,” while Challis glances about and notices several Men in Suits.

He goes over to Ellie and says they should be going, but as they walk away from the factory, a garage door opens up and Ellie sees… her dad’s car. Despite the fact that the creepy factor is amped up to 14 on a scale of three, Ellie runs over to the garage for a closer look.

Her way to blocked by some Men in Suits.

So they head back to the motel. Ellie packs, while Challis heads to the motel office to call the police. He dials the operator, and gets a “We cannot complete your call as dialed” message.

The World’s Most Annoying Commercial comes on the TV.

Challis heads back to the room. Ellie is missing. And there are several Men in Suits standing in the parking lot. Challis closes the door to the room, then escapes out the back.

He races down dark alleyways, attempting to evade capture.

Over at the factory, two Men in Suits pull into a garage, and come out of the car with Ellie in tow.

Over at a phone booth, Challis tries to call the operator from a pay phone, but he keeps getting the same “Cannot complete your call” message.

So he heads back to the factory, and tries to find a way to break in. Dude may be a doctor, but I bet he’s one with a C- average.

Challis breaks in through a window, and starts creeping around the factory in search Ellie. Or evidence. Or possibly another drink. He’s been without booze for almost an hour now.

He encounters a woman sitting in the corner, knitting, and attempts to interrogate her, only her head falls off. She’s mechanical.

But the Man in a Suit behind Challis is not. They fight. Oh wait! The Man in a Suit is, in fact, mechanical, which Challis discovers when he rips out the dude’s guts, and comes away with a lot of yellow goo.

As he looks at his goo-covered hand, another Man in a Suit stalks up behind him and grabs him by the shoulders. Challis sort-of-but-not really passes out, and the Man in Suit lifts Challis to his feet.

Cochran comes out and babbles about how he’s sad that Challis broke one of his mechanical toys. He follows this up by revealing that he knows who Challis is, and who Ellie is, and then he hints about his plans. He’s all excited for Halloween morning to arrive the next day.

Challis and a Man in a Suit and Cochran all head to an elevator, and Cochran does some more babbling, semi-explaining his mechanical men. Eventually they all end up in a giant warehouse, where Cochran shows Challis a giant rock – from Stonehenge.

“It has a power,” he says. “A force.” He leads Challis over to a bank of monitors, using them to show Challis a couple of rooms.

The first has Ellie, and Cochran is happy to point out which room she’s in.

The second has a very dead Marge, who is lying under a bed sheet being all dead. Cochran states that she was the victim of a misfire.

The third room is empty except for some furniture – Cochran says he’s going to give Challis a demonstration.

The Meat Family is led into the furnished room, which is designed to look just like a living room. A couple of Men in Suits hand Mr. Meat a pad of paper and a pen, so he can take notes.

And here comes the nightmare fuel.

The TV starts playing The World’s Most Annoying Commercial, but with a bit of a twist. It tells “the kids,” (in this case, Little Meat) to put on their masks and watch. Little Meat does what he’s told… and then his mask starts to melt, his head collapses, and cockroaches pour out of his head and mask.

So in case you missed it, folks, here’s the plan: Kill a truckload of kids by converting their head areas into a mass of bugs.

Oh, wait, I’m sorry. Now snakes are pouring out of Little Meat’s head as well.

Mrs. Meat passes out. Mr. Meat begins screaming. I wonder if he remembered to take notes?

Challis raises his fists ineffectually, perhaps hoping he can punch these images out of his own head.

One of the snakes that came out of Little Meat’s head turns out to be a rattlesnake. It seeks out, bites, and kills Mr. Meat.

(Seriously, y’all. People asked for more Michael Myers after this. You know why? Because they COULDN’T HANDLE THE HORRIFYING IMAGES BURNED INTO THEIR RETINAS. Myers is about as scary as a bucket of puppies compared to this.)

The movie cuts away from this and decides to play to the slower audience members for a bit, by showing various cities throughout the country. Kids are buying the Silver Shamrock masks. Kids are wearing the Silver Shamrock masks. And The World’s Most Annoying Commercial is playing, announcing to everyone watching TV or listening to the radio that they all need to be sitting in front of their TV and watching their masks at nine PM.

The sun is going down. The End is Near.

Then the movie kind of forgets that the United States is about to become a ghost town, and instead cuts over to Teddy, who tries to call Challis. Only the operator says the call can’t be completed.

So Teddy calls someone else, and says she thinks she has something that isn’t a car part. Only off in the background, you can see a Man in a Suit. The Man locates a drill and goes to have a chat with Teddy.

At that moment, Teddy figures something out, dials the operator, and asks for the sheriff. Too late. The Man in a Suit grabs her, pins her to the floor, and sticks a drill in her ear.

A burn-in lets us know it’s 7:30 PM.

And we’re back with Challis and Cochran.

Challis is all tied up, and he asks Cochran why he’s doing this crazy thing.

Cochran starts by saying it’ll be a hilarious joke on the children, then accuses Challis of not thinking any further about the holiday than about the whole kids go begging for candy angle.

He monologues, “It was the start of the year in our old Celtic lands, and we’d be waiting in our houses of wattles and clay. The barriers would be down, you see. Between the real and the unreal. And the dead might be looking in, to sit by our fires of turf. Halloween. The festival of Samhain. The last great one took place 3000 years ago and the hills ran red with the blood of animals and children.”

Challis points out that this was “Witchcraft,” I guess in an attempt to justify the somewhat obscure subtitle of little ol’ Halloween III.

(Seriously, folks, you just can’t get up in arms about this movie not tying into the first two Halloween flicks. Samhain! It’s right there!)

As if to drive my point home, Cochran sticks a white mask on Challis, and in the background, music from the original “Halloween” begins to play. No, not the theme. That’d be too obvious. One of the other bits of music that gets repeated like five times in the original.

Cochran wraps up his little speech and heads out the door, leaving a TV on in front of Challis.

Challis looks at a nearby clock. It’s 7:49.

You know what, though? Dude lives in California. At this point, two time zones have already been wiped out, and the third is going bye-bye in about ten minutes. Best-case scenario, the man’ll save ¼ of the United States. If he’s lucky.

Challis decides it’s worth it, even if he only saves one person. He drags his surprisingly movable chair around with his legs, and he kicks out the TV screen. Through some sort of offscreen magic, he manages to get a shard of glass from the busted set and cuts his bonds.

Then he rips off his mask and throws it at a TV camera stuck high up in a corner. The mask settles easily over the camera, blocking its view.

Out in the warehouse, one of the Men in a Suit-guys notices that one of the monitors isn’t showing anything. He goes to talk to Cochran, but Cochran is on the phone and can’t be bothered.

Challis finds an air vent and yanks out the grate. He climbs through the air vents, eventually emerging on the outside of the building. He then goes back into the building, sneaking into a small warehouse where several boxes of merchandise are stacked up.

And why is that, I wonder? It isn’t like there’s going to be a huge market for the masks starting in, oh, say, an hour, right? Why the overstock?

Challis finds a phone, and calls his ex. He tries to explain she needs to get rid of the masks. Mostly he does this by babbling. She hangs up on him, assuming he’s drunk.

Cochran and crew, meanwhile, have learned that Challis has escaped.

Challis hangs up the phone instead of calling, I don’t know, EVERYONE HE CAN THINK OF, and he goes to find Ellie.

It’s 8:26.

Cochran and crew spot his escapees on their closed-circuit TV cameras, and Men in Suits are dispatched to find them.

Challis and Ellie head to the Stonehenge warehouse, and sneak around for a while. Challis puts his hand in a damaged box and pulls out one of those Silver Shamrock tags. The little thing that killed Marge earlier.

He tells Ellie to wait a moment, then he sneaks out onto the floor of the warehouse. For some reason, no one is watching the main computer keyboard so Challis punches some keys and The World’s Most Annoying Commercial starts to play.

Challis and Ellie run up some stairs so they’re standing over the warehouse, and Challis shakes out hundreds of Silver Shamrock tags, which fire electric currents into everyone and everything, which kills all the henchmen.

But not Cochran.

The World’s Most Annoying Commercial just keeps on playing, and the Stonehenge stone lights up. Cochran looks up to the rafters and sees Challis, and offers him a slow golf clap.

Lights abound, and Cochran lights up and vanishes, and the Stonehenge stone explodes.

I guess this is as good a time as any to say that every time I mention Stonehenge, I hear that Spinal Tap song. It is almost as maddening as The World’s Most Annoying Commercial.

Ellie and Challis run out of the building, and across the parking lot, and then they get in their car and drive away.

Challis turns on the radio, and we learn it’s 8:48 PM, and The World’s Most Annoying Commercial is on, alerting everyone to head home for the 9 PM show.

Though, as I’ve noted, we’re in California, so most of the United States is already dead.

Challis says they need to “call somebody.” Ellie, meanwhile, just keeps on staring straight ahead, until she turn to Challis and tries to kill him using the time-honored skull-crushing technique of the Men in Suits.

Ellie is a robot. Or she just takes bad news really, really poorly.

(Though if she’s a robot, what took her so long to react? Challis set her free, okay, but she could have pretty much killed the dickens out of him right then and there. Why wait?)

Challis crashes the car and manages to escape by knocking Ellie’s head off with a tire iron.

Oh, except her arm was torn off in the crash, and the arm tries to kill him as well.

Oh, and then her body, minus the head, chases after him for a minute, but falls to the ground before it can crush Challis’s skull.

Challis looks at his watch. Ten minutes to go.

Challis runs to a nearby gas station, where he encounters… the black guy who tried to help Ellie’s father!

Awesome? Or lame? I leave it to you to decide.

Challis gets on the phone, and calls… someone or other. It’s 9 PM, and the TV is playing The World’s Most Annoying Commercial already. Outside the window, you can see a kid in a car wearing a Silver Shamrock mask.

Challis tries to explain to whoever is on the other end of the line that the commercial “means the death of everyone watching.”

Three kids walk into the gas station, each wearing a mask, and the black guy offers them candy. They go to look at the TV.

On the TV, an announcer states that they are experiencing technical difficulties, and to please stand by.

The kid changes the channel. The TV once again stops The World’s Most Annoying Commercial and claims technical difficulties.

The kid changes the channel again. The World’s Most Annoying Commercial is playing, and it ain’t stopping.

Challis begs the man on the other end of the line, who apparently controls all TV programming everywhere ever, to turn off The World’s Most Annoying Commercial on the third channel. As the movie draws to a close, and the electronic pumpkin from the opening credits flashes on the screen over and over again, Challis screams, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”

Creepy music comes up, and it’s roll credits.

(Note: The credits list Sam Nicholson as the person responsible for The World’s Most Annoying Commercial. Feel free to call him up and sing to him in your free time.)

(Secondary note: Seriously, y’all. This movie might make almost no sense, but its creep factor is through the roof. Respect the III. Or it will eat your head and make your neck hole poop snakes.)