Halloween 5 (1989)
Directed by: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Written by: Debra Hill, Dominique Othenin-Girard, John Carpenter, Michael Jacobs, Shem Bitterman
Starring: Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell
Reviewed By Ross Hughes
HALLOWEEN 5 The Revenge Of Michael Myers
I love Halloween and its franchise, but I just can not help when viewing this, weep at the missed chance to make something unique……..
And so, the shape did not die after all!
Of course, how could he, despite being shot numerous times, falling into a mine shaft, and then blown up, this unstoppable force of nature, manages to drag his limp body out, onto a stream, in which a hermit living in the woods grabs him, then takes care of him for a full year, well until the night Halloween comes along. To thank this old man, Michael gets up, puts on his mask and then does what he does best, kills this helper, and trots off, for another night of mayhem in the small town of Haddonfield.
Its here we see the young Jamie (still Danielle Harris) who for the past year is a resident of the local hospital, in which she is now mute from her ordeal in part IV, and also, and yes, to change the planned storyline developed in that film, those visions of her Uncle is now explained by the fact that she has this telepathic bond in which she mirrors what her Uncle does. Err yes! hey, if Widow Brody can have a mind bond with a shark in Jaws IV then surely its more plausible that niece and Uncle can have the same!
The truth is, the studio got really scared on what was planned for this film. No matter if you were one of the fans who had no time for the fourth chapter, the film itself played a blinder with its shock climax, that had Jamie, wearing that clown costume, and what then suggested slaughtering her step mother. The look on Loomis’s face alone was worthy of the film, when he realised that the evil of the shape may have been finally stopped, but it has been passed on to his own blood living relative. Amazingly, the fifth film was to be all about Jamie and her lust to kill. There was talk of a “no Michael” show, and the plot would just concentrate on this young girl, and a new terror, a plot that for this Halloween fanatic had me relishing with expectation. Harris herself signed on for another film under the impression that she would be the bogyman. Donald Pleasance who again reprised his role as Dr Loomis was frustrated and at odds with the writers throughout the making of this chapter, he too wanted the original planned storyline to bare fruitarian but for producer Moustapha Akkad he only wanted more Michael, believing maybe after Halloween III, the franchise just does not do well without him! The sense of annoyance is shown throughout by good old Donald, who really acts like he does not want to be there!
Of course, who ever got cold feet and decided not to run with that storyline, made the franchise lose the only one aspect that could have made it stand out. Lets put it in perspective. This was released in the year 1989, a time when the slash genre had all but run its course. Fans had began to get tired of the ever returning Jason despite his impending trip to Manhattan, and Freddy himself was beginning to have one nightmare to many. When original creator John Carpenter decided to kill off The Shape once and for all at the end of the second film, other films who copied the blueprint, took over the mantle. Halloween maybe the daddy to which all slash films inspire too, but the likes of Friday 13th had the better success of a franchise, only because they released sequel after sequel during the slash boom! Halloween waited too long to jump on the bandwagon, its noble attempt at a different slant in Halloween III may be admired, but to jump on the money train now with their returning original bogyman was a tad too late, unless they done something different. But refusing to follow their own plan in which Jamie Lloyd took over the mask proved their undoing, because what Halloween V offered to the fans was nothing short of abysmal.
As I wrote earlier, we see Myers alive and well, its a year later from the events of the previous, even though somehow we are told that Jamie has now aged two years???, while struggling to overcome the “attack” on her Step mum, she is bed rest, with the always dependable Loomis, watching over her, because he knows that Michael will be back, even though he said at the end of Part IV, that he is finally dead! We are greeted to one of many laughable scenes in which Jamie jumps up from the bed in blind attack, and starts waving her hands in the air. We cut to Myers, putting on his mask which has somewhat changed dramatically it an oversized and overweight Willam Shatner face, we then see Jamie mimic his every move, which is the cue for all those around to know that the mad man is returning.
One of the unforgivable aspects of Halloween V is the treatment of certain characters. While Harris stole the show in the Return Of Michael Myers, the fans also found affection for her Step Sister Rachel played by the lovely Ellie Cornell. She reprises her role here, but in what proves to be a total lack of respect to the fans of this franchise, gets to become the first victim of Myers. This at the time made me angry and it still does when watching. Here we have a character who we invested and cared for and survived her ordeal in part IV, get slaughtered so quickly in a clumsy fashion. And for what? So she gets replaced by the episodes new heroine Tina (Wendy Kaplan) who is probably the most annoying character in all of this franchise. Sorry, that title must go to the two policemen who turn up now and again with their own theme music. A tune of clown slapstick that if you have never seen this before, it really is a sickening and surreal stupid moment that suggests director Dominique Othenin-Girard was really taking the piss throughout, which shows right at the beginning has we see his own name spelt wrong in the credits!
So after the death of Rachel, the film drags on, we meet a new gang of meat for the Bogyman, who in many laughable scenes, stands in the background, watching them all. When I say stand around, you see him peeping around a tree and walking with his arms like a monkey! Believe me, I am not joking here, if this reads bad, then watching it will seem worse.
Having wait an age for some deaths, they finally come but nothing to write about. The teens that look over the age of thirty get killed, there is a comical scene of two teens having sex and Myers appears with a rake. Of course any hope of being scared is ruined within this scene when those two cops turn up, with their own damn theme music.
Being one of the huge fans of this franchise, I can only say after rewatching them all back to back, this is probably, minus Rob Zombies H2, the worst of the franchise. There is no tension or scares, just a feeling of missed opportunity! Leaving poor Jamie mute throughout most of the running time, ruins the character, because when she finally gets her voice back, so does the film, in a set piece that seems out of place in a poor horror! Myers closes in on his niece and when he has her with nowhere to go, she reaches out and calls him Uncle! Its seems just for a moment, that Jamie manages to do something that no one else has been able to do, and get inside the man who hides behind the mask. Its a touching moment, has a tear rolls down the cheek of the now unmasked killer, but soon the rage returns and Jamie is running again, this time into an airshaft, in which Myers starts stabbing. Again this is a wonderful horror moment that just about makes me say its worth the watch alone!
As for Loomis, his apparent battle with all those involved in the making shines through. He really acts like he wishes he was somewhere else. Even here, the writers decide to change the personality of one of horror’s greatest characters. For a Doctor, who tried his best to save Laurie and Jamie, why the heck in this is he so willing to put the daughter of Laurie’s in so much danger. His willingness to put his need to capture Myers regardless of who gets hurt, is an insult to a character who we all love! To show his disdain at the movie, Pleasance said that “the story is a bit stupid and there is a lot more blood. They are obviously taking the Halloween series in a different direction, I do not know if I am thrilled with that direction, but I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference since I won’t be around!”
Halloween V also contains that “ending!” which confused all fans has it involved a man in black wearing cowboy shoes. You have to watch it to see what I mean!
I love Halloween and its franchise, but I just can not help when viewing this, weep at the missed chance to make something unique. The decision to change script before shooting shows throughout. The pace is uneven, the characters uninteresting, and wastes the characters of Loomis and Jamie. There are brief moments of pure Halloween, but for a franchise that had a classic original, a great sequel and a decent fourth, they really could have pulled something out of the bag! The chance was there, especially with ending that the fourth presented, but to sell out to the horror formula, not only made Halloween just a standard slash franchise, but also insulted all those fans, who really expected something special…….
OVERALL: WHY? If they stuck to their plan then I could be reviewing something really good, sadly though all we have is typical 80’s slash fare which the knife like the film was sadly going blunt
[pt-filmtitle]Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers[/pt-filmtitle]