sources of mood lighting.
When we watched this earlier cut, we realized that in this form, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers could have been the best of the Halloween sequels to that date. Sadly, this movie was butchered before it hit theaters and became an incoherent mess. Fans of the Halloween franchise were robbed of a movie that could have rescued the series from its slide into stupidity. Instead, they were treated to a castrated story and an overdose of gore. In short, another dumb sequel.
Up to this point, both versions of the film are similar, at least in outline. The point where they diverge totally is at the fade to black following Kara's fall from a second-story window. This is at 1:07 (one hour, seven minutes) in the theatrical version, and at 1:20 in the producer's cut.
Before that, the story is familiar. Jamie Strode (J.C. Brandy) escapes from a Druid cult called Thorn with her newborn baby. She is pursued by Michael Myers, apparently a disciple of Thorn, to Haddonfield, hiding her baby in a local bus depot before Michael catches up with her and nearly kills her.
I'd rather die than do reshoots on this movie."
Living in the Myers house now is a new set of Strodes, including Kara and her illegitimate son Danny. Danny has been having disturbing visions that tell him to kill. This aspect of the story is never fully explored in either version of the film, although it does make some sense in the producer's cut as Danny's relationship to Michael is cleared up.
A retired Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is alerted to Myers' presence in town by the reappearance of Jamie, long thought dead. Along with a former colleague, Dr. Wynn (Mitch Ryan), Loomis begins to hunt Michael. On Halloween, Michael begins his killing spree, with the dual purpose of killing off anybody living in the Myers house and finding the lost baby.
the loony bin is starting to look like a good option.
The earlier portions of the film also reveal that the producer's cut has much less graphic violence that the theatrical cut. This greatly improves the movie, as Michael's use of farming implements and over-the-top killing methods was always a distraction for us in the theatrical cut. Perhaps the silliest moment of the theatrical cut was when Michael killed John Strode (Bradford English) by impaling him on a fuse box, and John's head exploded! Mercifully, he's just electrocuted in the earlier cut.
While the theatrical version has more gore, and longer suspense scenes, it cuts large amounts of character and plot development that were present in the producer's cut. The worst examples of these cuts involve Loomis and Doyle. Most of Loomis' scenes are truncated, and we are given little exposition about his relationship with Dr. Wynn. In the producer's cut we are given additional background, and there is a plot point involving Wynn's retirement and his desire to see Loomis replace him as the head of Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Because the film's biggest surprise (in either version) has to do with Wynn, it makes no sense to cut this material. Important info about Tommy Doyle is lost in the theatrical cut as well. In the producer's cut Doyle has figured out the significance of the Thorn rune, and he has a plan to use positive runes against the evil influence it represents. So long as you can keep your suspension of disbelief intact, these elements combine to form a somewhat logical plot.
Scientologist anymore! Guys? Guys? Anybody?"
The producer's cut, on the other hand, features a more mystical turn of events. Kara is taken prisoner by Thorn because they want to turn Danny into another mindless killer like Michael, and they need her as a sacrifice to do that. Tommy, who arrives with Loomis, reasons that Michael's powers of invulnerability can be cancelled out by the magical runes that represent Good, and so he lays a trap for Michael while Loomis seeks out Wynn. It turns out that Wynn's retirement from Smith's Grove is also a retirement from his position as Michael's caretaker, and in a scene laced with much magic and hokum, Wynn passes on his duties to Loomis. Why Loomis is chosen isn't clear, especially since the good doctor is about three breaths away from kicking the bucket (Pleasence himself died before the film made it to theaters), but there you have it. The producer's cut also suggests that Michael has retired from the noble profession of serial killing.
We can almost console ourselves with the fact that we have now seen H6 in its intended form, and that Farrands had much better intentions for the next step in this wayward series than were allowed to appear on screen. Dare we hope for a Producer's Cut special edition on DVD? Only time will tell. Until then, haunt your local sci-fi conventions, because there are some lost horror film treasures worth digging up.