Halloween 5 - The Revenge of Michael Myers

Lava LampLava Lamp
Our rating: two lava lamps.

Information about this film in the Internet Movie Database.

Halloween 5
Dr. Loomis introduces chains into
the doctor/patient relationship.
Poor Michael Myers. It's no wonder he wants revenge -- 4 movies into his series (Halloween 3 was outside of the Myers continuity), and already they've revised the storyline so many times that it's hardly recognizable. But you just can't keep a bogeyman down, because bogeymen make money for producers of horror flicks.

So it is that Halloween 5 treats us to yet another "here's how the killer escaped death" sequence. Instead of dying at the bottom of a collapsed mine shaft, Michael (aka The Shape) finds himself escaping into a nearby river, where he is eventually rescued by some sort of hermit. In the hermit's care, our happy little maniac rests up for a year until the next Halloween rolls around. Grateful to the hermit for saving his life, Michael naturally kills the poor guy and returns to Haddonfield to continue hunting down the members of his family and anyone else who gets in the way.

Myers' niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), does not inherit the role of creepy child killer, as was chillingly foretold at the end of Halloween 4. Instead, she is psychically linked with her evil uncle and has become mute in the bargain. Jamie's adopted sister, Rachel (Ellie Cornell), who took over the role of teenaged scream queen in the last film, appears only long enough to pick up her paycheck. Because someone attractive, female, and over the age of 15 must be present to run in terror from Myers, Rachel's friend Tina (played by Wendy Kaplan) is thrown into the fray.

Halloween 5
Why, fiddle-dee-dee! I am goin' to that
pahty, Doctah Loomis! Now never you mind!
Tina, while easy on the eyes, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Despite several previous Halloween nights during which Myers slaughtered people just like her, Tina insists on going out to party on Halloween night. From the viewers' perspective, this is both good and bad. If Tina doesn't go out to the farm where all the other horny teenagers are shakin' their moneymakers, then we don't get to see the obligatory pre-marital sex scenes or the even more obligatory deaths of said teens quickly thereafter. If she does go, she's likely to get chopped to bits, and Tina is one of the few likable characters we meet during Halloween 5's ninety-six minutes.

Actually, establishing rapport with the characters is one of this movie's strong points: we lived through the last film with Jamie and Rachel, so we're already sympathetic to their plight, and their exuberant pal Tina is a great addition. She's pretty, outgoing, and a bit of a flirt. Her boyfriend's a complete jerk, but isn't that always the way? Worry not, faithful readers: he gets what's coming to him.

Also returning for the umpteenth time: Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis, guardian angel of Haddonfield and Michael's one-time psychiatrist. (Myers hasn't been logging much couch time lately, though.) Although Pleasance is normally terrific in this role, it's getting a bit old in this incarnation. Loomis looks scarier than Myers, and he spends most of his time either chastising the police or frightening the bejeezus out of Jamie in an attempt to locate Michael. (Remember? She's psychically linked with him? Awww... forget it.)

Halloween 5
"Okay! I'll say it! ...Uncle!"
One of the great constants of the Halloween films is the high production value. The cinematography is always terrific, and the direction yields some good scary sequences, even during daylight hours. (Especially during daylight hours.) None of this, though, makes up for the fact that the resident psycho is given some pretty dumb things to do. At one point, Myers tries to mow down his victims with a stolen car. Does that seem like a particularly scary thing to do? Not when the car can't catch up with running people, it doesn't.

In the end, it's the film completists who will probably get the most out of this installment in the ongoing adventures of the Shape. Got a hankering to see all of the Myers story? Step right up to Halloween 5; you'll probably get your rental fee's worth. Predisposed to dislike sequels? Then skip it, because even the ending of this film is yet another tease for the next step in this franchise's unfortunate downward slide.

Rent or Buy from Reel.

Review date: 7/1/98

This review is © copyright 1998 Chris Holland & Scott Hamilton. Blah blah blah. Please don't claim that it's yours blah blah, but feel free to e-mail it to friends, or better yet, send them the URL. To reproduce this review in another form, please contact us at guys@stomptokyo.com. Blah blah blah blah.