HALLOWEEN 6: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS

Also sometimes known as just “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (without the “6”), and originally advertised as “The Origin of Michael Myers”, this 1995 film was written by Daniel Farrands and directed by Joe Chappelle, neither of whom was involved with the previous film, which I find interesting because that film ended on a pretty big cliffhanger. So this new writer and director had to come up with an explanation for who was that mysterious man in all black who killed a bunch of cops to break Michael out of jail, and why he and Michael had identical tattoos on their wrists. This film is…ambitious, I will give it that. Otherwise, I don’t have all that much positive to say about it.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this one. Basically, Farrands tries to present an explanation for how Michael keeps surviving all of the life-threatening injuries he has sustained over the years, including literally dozens of gunshots, explosives, fires, stab wounds, and blunt force, and returning to Haddenfield, and why he is so obsessed with killing members of his family. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, or necessary. As I said in regards to John Carpenters Halloween sequel, I thought Michael was scarier when we thought he just targeted Laurie at random. His brute strength and seeming invulnerability could just be chalked up to the fact that he was insane. Like someone high on drugs who doesn’t feel any pain. Explaining his motivations risks watering down his appeal.

The explanation Farrands came up with is that Michael is the result of an ancient Druidic curse, where every generation a ritual is performed to put all of the evil in a village (I guess the place that eventually became Haddenfield, but don’t quote me on that) into a newborn baby. A cult, called the Cult of Thorn, is in charge of selecting a new baby each time, and then watching over him as he or she grows, making sure this vessel of evil does…something…I’m not even sure, I could barely keep it straight. But the figure from the last cliffhanger is a member of that cult, eventually revealed to be Dr. Terence Wynn (Mitch Ryan), a former co-worker of Dr. Loomis’ (Donald Pleasence, in his final film role, he died shortly before this movie finished filming) who now runs the mental institution where Michael was kept as a child. Supposedly he and his cult have been manipulating Michael all along.

After breaking Michael out of jail, Wynn also kidnapped Jamie Lloyd (now played by J.C. Brandy), and has been keeping her secretly locked away all these years since the last film. As the film opens, Jamie (now 15 years old) has just given birth to a young boy, in a hospital run by the cult. I don’t recall if it’s stated outright, or just implied, that she was purposely impregnated with Michael’s baby (EWWWW!). This child is to be the latest sacrifice for the cult, but a sympathetic nurse helps Jamie and her baby escape. Michael kills the nurse and goes after Jamie, catching up with her and killing her, but she somehow managed to hide her baby first.

Meanwhile, Paul Rudd (in what may be his first big screen role) stars as Tommy Doyle, the young boy that Laurie Strode was babysitting on that Halloween night in 1978 when Michael came after her. Tommy has grown up obsessed with studying Michael Myers, and figuring out all he can about him, in order to stop him for good. He finds Danielle’s baby (in a bus station locker!) and names the boy Steven. A new Strode family, cousins of the family that adopted Laurie, have moved into the old Myers house (why hasn’t that thing been torn down yet?), and Paul tries to warn them that Michael is returning. The daughter, Karen (Marianne Hagan) has a young son named Danny, and Tommy is convinced that Danny will be the next in line to inherit the curse and become the new vessel of evil…or something. Seriously, this is all just too much for me to keep track of.

Tommy and Dr. Loomis team up, along with Karen, they track down the cult back to the Sanitarium, face Michael, who slashes a bunch of people, including eventually turning on the various cult members and slaughtering them. In the end, Tommy faces Michael and injects him with some kind of poison and then beats him with a lead pipe, leaving him laying (dead?) on the floor. As Tommy, Kara, and her son leave, Dr. Loomis tells them to go on without them, because he has some business to attend to, and they drive as Loomis heads back into the Sanitarium. The final shot is back in the Sanitarium, where we hear Dr. Loomis screaming in the background (Pleasence had passed away by the time this scene was filmed), as we get a close-up shot of Michael’s mask laying on the floor. THE END.

I don’t know what the heck most of this was about, and don’t really care. The only reason I don’t give this film a flat-out F is because, as I said, it was ambitious, and I can kinda of respect what the studio was trying to accomplish here. Coming up with a “curse” to explain Michael’s background is a way to make this franchise officially “supernatural,” something John Carpenter himself hinted at in his sequel. And this film tried to refer back to its own continuity by bringing back characters like Tommy Doyle and Dr. Wynn. But stuff like that really only appeals to hardcore obsessive fans, who pour over the minute details of stuff like this. For a broader audience, it’s just unnecessarily complicated. I mean, it could have worked, to appease both fanbases and give us a coherent story, but this script didn’t manage to pull it off. No wonder the studio became determined to go back to basics after this.

GRADE

Available on Amazon

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