I know what you’re thinking. He said he wasn’t going to include any films from the big franchises. But here we are. I just couldn’t help myself. The twenty-ninth entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series is the producer’s cut of Joe Chappelle’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. This is the film that gives us a young Paul Rudd as the twenty-something Tommy Doyle still dealing with the trauma of his encounter with Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978). When Jamie Lloyd (J.C. Brandy) escapes from the Thorn cult after having given birth to a baby that is to be used in a deadly ritual, she hides the baby in a bus station but is soon killed by her evil uncle. Tommy finds the baby and joins forces with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), to stop the cult of Thorn from completing their Samhain ritual. Will any of them survive?
Many regard the sixth entry in the Halloween franchise as trash. Personally, I have always found it to be a very entertaining (albeit a bit cheesy) extension of the fourth and fifth films. I love the fall aesthetic that the film creates, and the Strode house is a prime example of classic 1990s Halloween decor, which I always appreciate. The film may not make a lot of narrative sense, but it is a campy and odd journey that remains quite fun. Released a year before Wes Craven’s Scream (1996), Halloween 6 proves to be one of the final slasher films released that was not directly influenced by the meta-narrative tropes of the Scream franchise. This is the last journey of the 1980s slasher model.
The performances also make this film quite memorable. This was Paul Rudd’s first film, and while his role as Tommy Doyle is definitely not his strongest, the unintended comedy of the character is just such a hoot. Donald Pleasance also brings his A-game in his final turn as one of the series most iconic characters, Dr. Loomis. Pleasance has always been able to add a level of gravitas and quality to the films through his charismatic and incredibly engaging performances. Halloween 6 sees Loomis return to his more controlled and driven self following his quite manic turn in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989).
The Cult of Thorn has always been a bit contentious with fans of the franchise. Obviously, it is incredibly over-the-top and an odd direction for the franchise to head in, but that doesn’t take any enjoyment out of the film for me. It has quite the opposite effect, actually. There is just something wild about a robed Paul Rudd tossing ancient Celtic dice on the floor to stop Michael from completing his Samhain ritual. While this one is definitely not for everyone, I still greatly enjoy it.
Through its absolutely crazy narrative, campy performances, and the fantastic return of Donald Pleasance, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is a fun trip late in a franchise that many had thought had run its course. While it is a bit hard to track down, the producer’s cut of the film features a great many scenes that differ from the theatrical cut and really expand the story in a more comprehensive direction. It is definitely worth the watch this Spooky Season!
The producer’s cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is currently only available on DVD and Blu-ray and isn’t streaming on any platforms. The disk is out of print but is probably available at your local library.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series!