REVIEWED BY ROSS HUGHES
The unseen version is a pretty decent sequel, its a shame so many have missed the chance to see it
Its probably one of the biggest shame in horror that only one of ten Halloween fans have seen Halloween 6, as it was intended. The Producers cut is now one of the most infamous sequels in any horror franchise, not available for release, but copies on bootleg are floating around the Internet, I myself got lucky. Working one day, I was talking to a gentleman about horror films when he mentioned that Halloween was the best horror ever made. Of course this excited me, and an hour of talking about the franchise while ignoring all the requests of my customer, he happened to mention that he had seen the much talked about producers cut, while I added that it was my sadness that I had not and probably never will. The very next day, he came back into my shop and said with a grin, “Here you go!”, and then walked out. In my hand was that very copy, and like one of a few, all those annoying questions lingering over from the awful fifth chapter was hours away from being answered, and also the fact by this strange twist of fortune, my Halloween collection was fully complete.
Its quite strange and ironic that only a few days ago, a few on my thread were discussing the fact that I do not include spoilers in my reviews. Well for this, I have too. Its impossible not to review this film without discussing the changes from the theatrical cut that would you believe for one week kept Se7en from the top spot at the box office, to what we see in the Producers cut, because believe me, the changes are massive, its like watching too different films, the answers of that man in black cowboy figure that baffled all those in the climax of Halloween V is answered here, and of what happened to poor Jamie Lloyd, even though with much regret, Danielle Harris failed to return to the role. We also get to what Myers is and why he kills, even though that may not be a good thing.
The main thng though is I have to mention some scenes that maybe those who just can not be bothered to track down this version need to know about. There is one in the unseen version that blew my mind, a moment that belonged in the much popular H20, as its simply a spell blinding set piece that instantly made me fall in love with Halloween 6, and that was something I could never say before.
So lets start:
There is only one place to begin and that is with the name of Daniel Farrands, a man who like myself was a massive fanatic of the series. He really wanted to write a Halloween and when he wrote the sixth chapter, his mind was to help the fans get some knowledge to where the story was going towards the end of the last film. If you remember, the fifth ended with Myers in prison and Jamie who was still a young girl, happy that the nightmare of her uncle return was over. While she was set to be taken home, we see that man in the cowboy suit, arrive at the police station, kill all the police officers and for unknown reasons, free the masked killer. It was a dumb and stupid cliff-hanger and made no sense, more so when the camera kept lingering on the wrist of Myers who had this now weird symbol tattooed on it.
Farrands had an impossible job to try and make sense into what was going on, while also hark back to the tradition of what made Halloween such a success and crowd favourite. To his full credit, the producers cut shows the love that he had with the series. Not only did he manage to gain some sort of story to the mess he was left with, but at times you swear that John Carpenter is behind the cameo and not Joe Chappelle. From all the sequels and I include H20 in this, there are times when it touches the class of Halloween the original, yes that may shock a few people reading this, but its true, and yet I can not go into it more until I get to the version that all fans have seen, because then maybe you understand what I mean….
HALLOWEEN 6- THE CINEMA VERSION: Is a mess. I really do not have to put that in big bold writing if you have seen the film. Its edited badly, scenes jump from one to another. With a storyline that makes no sense from the beginning and somehow manages to get worse as it goes on, you can see why this is considered the worst of the franchise. We start a few years after the end of part V and there is no explanation of what happened. We now see a much older Jamie (J.C. Brandy ) who has just given birth to young boy, in what seems an underground lair, who then escapes, with Myers chasing her by foot. Who is the father, well sadly its never explained in this version, and for those in despair that Harris failed to return to the fourth most important character of the franchise, do not shed a tear, because despite surviving parts IV and V, she is quickly killed, not before though phoning a Haddonfield radio show, with pleas for help, Her cries are heard across the radio waves from the returning Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and a mighty disturbed Tommy Doyle, who if fans recall, was the young lad that good old Jamie was babysitting way back in 1978. Doyle played by the now comedy icon Paul Rudd, is obsessed in finding the bogeyman, and his reintroduction to the franchise was made for the reason that he was going to take over the mantle of Loomis as the arch enemy for Myers in any further sequels. Tommy traces the call to the local transport system and its here where he finds the baby of Jamie, he then bumps into the good Doctor himself, introduces himself and then for then for no unknown reason that will baffle all fans, says to Loomis to meet him tonight while he rushes out with the baby in tow. This is a young man who has waited for years for the return of Myers and Loomis, but runs off?? Of course, from then on, sequences do not make sense, we have killings at the old Myer house in which relatives of Laurie now live. Kara Strode (Mariianne Hagan) has a son Danny who is beginning to see the mystery all in black Cowboy man who is telling the young lad to kill his family, again for reasons never explained, We have less Pleasence which is always a bad thing, a rock theme of the infamous music giving all fans an headache.
Then we get to the climax. The reveal of who the mystery cowboy is, well its done in such a poor way that it just confuses you more, we then see more bad edits in which Kara, Danny and the baby are taken to Smith’s Grove for again reasons you can only speculate. It seems that there are this cult that have been helping Myers over the years and Danny is the next boy to take over the killings. Where Jamie and her baby comes in to all this is a mystery along with the jars of baby foetus, that are clearly shown around the place. Of course, even though this cult has managed to have Myers safe and well, Myers then just decides to kill them which begs the question, why he did not do it earlier, and then the final battle against Tommy which involves some mystery injection of chemicals and a pipe battering that finally kills the bogyman.
We get to see Pleasence who had vanished for a good half an hour turn up out of the blue and tells Tommy and the saviours to go because he has “unfinished business!”, they drive off, and then we get the final shot which is more confusing than anything number five offered…..
So before I get to the other version, the reason for lack of Pleasence in the last half is because of his sad death when the film was originally completed. What we see in this version for the last quarter, is reshoots, demanded by the studio which explains the massive plot holes and gore. The stupid head explosion in this is the worst death scene in the franchise, and it pains me that most fans have only seen this version….which if I had to rate, would be a 0 out of 5
Which brings me to HALLOWEEN 6 -THE UNSEEN VERSION- Which from the off, is a marked improvement. A Pleasence voice over tells you what has happened in the gap between V and 6, and we also get a flashback which goes into more detail of the climax of the last film, which means a brief cameo from Harris at the police station. Its here that we see the best efforts of Farrands trying to achieve the link between all sequels. Of course, because this is not an official release, the added scenes are very grainy, its perfectly watchable, but do not expect a the film to run smoothly. At times there are severe jumps in the film when it loops from old stock footage to the one shown at the cinema. But then you be so engrossed at the changes, that it does not really matter.
Shock horror, we also get the first major change…..Jamie Lloyd does not die (yet), she escapes with her baby, but instead of being brutally slaughtered by her Uncle, she is knifed and left for dead in which Loomis finds her and takes her to the hospital. Ok, Tommy still tracks down the baby, and meets Loomis, but his insane rambling that made him seem so unhinged, is actually more plausible here, and he is given more depth to run as a character. Jamie does get murdered, later on, but not how you think, or by her masked uncle……..
We also get the grunge theme removed and Carpenter’s old theme is in full swing. It now actually feels like a Halloween movie and there are two sequences to prove how much Farrands loves and respects this franchise. When Kara is walking away from college, its shot exactly like the stroll that Laurie and her friends made in the original, its a great trip of nostalgia, especially when you see the shape following her. Also I have too mention the scene that made me instantly love this adaption. We see a young couple in the Myers house who decide to have a bit of sex upstairs. The camera shot is exactly like the original where Judith Myers stood with her boyfriend on the stairs. This time its Beth and her young stud standing there, and she mentions that this was the house that the young boy killed his sister, on a night like this, when they laugh and run upstairs. The camera pans into the living room where you see a now adult Myers standing. Its like history repeating itself and when the full theme plays, it made my horror tingles rejoice.
Which gets to the story. Yes everything is revealed. The cowboy man to even the father of Jamie’s baby which that part I have to say is very wrong indeed….(come on think about it!) It seems that Myers was born under this star line which only occurs once in a while, and this cult are his protector. He is at his strongest when the star line is full which happened on the years, 63, 78, 88, 89 and 95 which if you can work it out, when each film was made. I will not go into any more detail, but the tattoo on his wrist is explained has well…..in fact everything that all Halloween fans are confused over is here. The last half is totally different to everything you have seen, it really is an open mouth experience…….
Even the ending to part 6, the cinema version is explained here, It also has Pleasence right in the centre of the action, he is not treated with a lack of respect like the other version, he plays an important part through out, the film ending on him, in a twist of fate that you could only wish to see carried out in the next film, but of course that was impossible, but at least this film deserves to be watched to see his final portrayal as one of horrors best creations.
The Unseen version is not perfect, but its much better than anything Part 5 offered, even Resurrection. The story is so far removed from what Carpenter set out, but at least we get to see what the plan was after the set up in the previous sequels, unlike the jumbo mess we had given to us officially. There are many fans who rate the Producers Cut quite highly, and while the overall theme of star signs and cults, will be not for anyone’s taste, if you going to watch Halloween 6 then it has to be this version, because its a huge step up in quality and a proven case that the majority of times, the film studios, just do not know what the fans actually want. Will this ever see the light of day? Well because Disney own the rights, at the moment there is no plans sadly, I can one day see it happen, when they have finally milked the last drop out of this franchise, this will probably be the last thing left to make them money…..that day can not come quickly enough, because the unseen version is a pretty decent sequel, its a shame so many have missed it……..