Dash 8s…Halloween Films

Hey kids, it’s Dash Jordan! With only two days left until Halloween, it seems only right to talk about something that has always remained synonymous with the spookiest of holidays, and something that has been on my mind for quite some time now. Of course, one may wonder why I’ve been waiting until now to talk about this. I’ve been meaning to get this off my chest for quite some time now. You see…many years ago, I was told of this one particular series of horror films. Most of which was about a man who had no reason, no conscience, no understanding…and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this 37-year old franchise that starred a man with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes.

I’ve spent the last twenty years trying to cherish each film for what they were, and then I’ve spent another twenty-nine days trying to keep my opinions to myself because I realized that what lies behind all of the comments is purely and simply…evil.

   What? All I said was…nevermind. Anyway, today we’re gonna look at my personal favorite entries from the ‘Halloween’ franchise, all of which featuring the Granddaddy of Slasher Villains, Michael Myers. As always, I must remind you that this is my list and is all my personal opinion. Which is why this is not an official Top Ten like usual…Trust me, you’ll understand later. Now, let’s get started.

#8-Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers

I know, I’m starting off REALLY weak. But listen, I still found this movie fairly enjoyable despite its shortcomings. It had a few decent scares and the whole “Curse Of Thorn” had a lot of potential. But, of course, not a lot of people like to talk about it. So, I guess we’re just gonna have except the fact that Michael Myers is immortal because…why not, right? Hell, maybe he’s a Time Lord!

You know what else? This film also happens to be one of the first movie roles for actor Paul Rudd(Anchorman, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up & Ant-Man) who plays an adult version of Tommy Doyle from the original. Speaking of original, this was also the final performance of Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis. Even at the age of of 75, Pleasence still offers another great performance as the frail yet determined psychiatrist trying to put a stop to his fail patient once and for all. There’s also a long and complicated history behind the “Producer’s Cut” of the movie, but unless you want Michael Myers/Jamie fanfiction, just stick with the theatrical cut.

#7-Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers

I’ll try to keep this spoiler free…after the events of ‘Halloween 4’, Jamie Lloyd(played by Danielle Harris) is traumatized and catatonic, but can sense her uncle still alive and coming after her. Hmm…a quiet child who shares a telepathic bond with a crazed killer, who just so happens to be her uncle. Are you sure this movie wasn’t written by Stephen King?

   Anyways, a lot of people may consider this entry to be one of the worst. However, there is still enjoyment to be found here. Especially from Donald Pleasence and young Danielle Harris. Yes, I said it! I actually enjoy a child actor. Because, I’ll be honest. Harris is actually one of the few who is truly talented. If anyone disagrees with me…here’s a wallet-sized photo of a grown-up Danielle Harris for your enjoyment:

You’re welcome!

#6-Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Or as I like to call it, ‘Halloween 7: The Return Of Laurie Strode’. The creators basically pulled a ‘Superman Returns’ by having this movie act as a direct sequel to ‘Halloween 2’, completely ignoring events and characters from 4, 5 and 6; a.k.a. ‘The Thorn Trilogy’. While I may disagree, I will agree that this was a well-made entry into the series. Especially, since the film was released on the 20th anniversary of the original. How do we celebrate? By watching Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers duking it out like it’s a Last Man Standing Match!

The majority of the movie shows Curtis’ character coping with the events of “The Night HE Came Home”, trying to settle down with her new life and reminding herself that Michael Myers is dead. A few thrills here and there, but it all makes up for it in the final act. The last twenty minutes of the film is an all-out fight to the death between the two. This moment helps the character of Laurie Strode come to full circle as she’s officially done running, and is looking to put an end to the nightmares. Just the image of Jamie Lee Curtis walking through that school with a fire axe looking for Michael…GLORIOUS! Screw The Undertaker vs. Sting! Give me Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers!

Classic!

#5-Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers

I’m sure A LOT of people back in 1988 were happy to see and hear those words. “The RETURN Of Michael Myers”…well, you know the old saying. Be careful what you wish for…Why yes, that is an inside joke that the rest of you will understand all in good time. Looking back however, I kind of wonder why this movie had so much negative feedback. Sure, it’s just the same, tired, old slasher formula that doesn’t try anything new. But, I’ve quite enjoyed it.

I remember when I sat down and watched each of the first few movies for the first time as a kid, each movie came on each night to celebrate Halloween. I’ll admit, I did feel a chill from the ominous opening credits scene AND when they played John Carpenter’s iconic theme. You also have Danielle Harris in her first movie role, Donald Pleasence still awesome as Dr. Loomis, and probably one of the most…confusing yet shocking endings in the series. In case you’re wondering, no…Danielle Harris does live in this movie. Speaking of Danielle Harris…

“You’re not about to do what I think you’re gonna do, are you?”

Oh baby, yes I am!

#4-Halloween 2(2009)

Oh, keep your damn pitchforks down for a second! I need to settle something right now with you people. No, I’m not defending Rob Zombie just because I’m a fan of his music, nor am I defending him because he directed ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ and ‘Lords Of Salem’. I’m gonna defend Rob Zombie because he gave us something that we’ve not seen from the ‘Halloween’ franchise in a long time…a fresh perspective.

No problem…for one, Zombie made Michael Myers a legitimate threat again. Sure the creepiness of the character maybe gone, but he instead makes up for it with sheer brutality when he kills his victim. When this version of Michael stabs someone, you can feel it! I’d also like to comment on Michael’s look in this installment…Holy Hell! The tattered hoodie and ripped-up mask just looks really badass, and I’m surprised no one has ever mentioned that before. It was something different and I liked it. I mean, look at Michael! He looks like the @#$%ing Grim Reaper!

   Not to mention, you also have the new Laurie Strode played by Scout Taylor-Compton. I will admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of her in ‘Rob Zombie’s Halloween’…but in the sequel, we see this new Laurie go completely mad! Not only is she still traumatized from the events of the last movie, but we see her slowly losing what’s left of her mental stability. Especially, when she learns the truth of who she is. You also have Malcolm McDowell doing another great job as the new Dr. Loomis grown-up Danielle Harris as Annie, Brad Dourif as Annie’s father and of course, the obligatory cameos of Rob Zombie’s regulars. Which is never a bad thing.

“Let the drinking game commence.”

#3-Rob Zombie’s Halloween

Yeah, I ain’t done with Rob Zombie just yet. I’ve already mentioned this movie in my Top Ten Horror Remakes, so I’ll try not to go into to many details over again. Of course, I’m sure most of you are ready to crucify me for liking Rob Zombie’s vision of the ‘Halloween’ franchise.

Hmm…you know what, Prince? You’re right! Anyways, out of all of the modern remakes of horror classics, this was the one I was most excited to see. Mostly because of the declining quality of the franchise. I’ve stated before that this version of Michael Myers is a towering powerhouse. It was great seeing this darker and more violent vision. If anyone could make Michael Myers cool again, it’s Rob Zombie. So in that regard, show some respect!

Now that I’ve signed my own death warrant, let’s finish up this list.

#2-Halloween 2(1981)

Ahh yes! The One True Sequel! Why do I consider this to be the superior sequel? Because it literally picks up where the first film left off, continuing the night HE came home. It may not have been directed by John Carpenter, but it was handled by mostly the same crew as the original. Especially with John Carpenter and Debra Hill still penning the script. In other words, there should be no reason why you haven’t seen this movie yet. It’s the same as the original but with twice the budget and twice the violence.

Taking place immediately the first movie, we find that Laurie Strode has been transported to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis and the police are still chasing after Michael Myers who(of course) is still alive. The entire movie has about the same level of tension and eeriness, all coming to a head as we see Michael coming even closer to Jamie Lee Curtis; gruesome kill after gruesome kill. not to mention, one of the most unique twists in horror film history. I don’t even need to mention what that is, but this is the sequel that started it all.

What’s that, Michael? Just get it over it? Oh, alright then!

#1-Halloween

Really had you guys on the edge of your seat, didn’t I? What were you expecting? It’s the definitive classic, arguably the very first “Slasher” film, it’s one of the greatest horror films of all time, it’s one of John Carpenter’s best films, it was the film that made John Carpenter a household name, it’s the film that turned Jamie Lee Curtis into a star! Michael Myers was THE reason for guys like Freddy, Jason and Chucky! It’s friggin’ ‘Halloween’!

  Blah, blah, blah, broken record, whatever! It’s friggin’ ‘Halloween’. What will you watch on Halloween night? Oh, ‘Trick ‘R Treat’? Yeah, that’s cute. It’s Friggin’ Halloween! One of the most important horror films of all time, and is still one of the greatest independent films of all time. The Horror genre probably wouldn’t be where it was today if it wasn’t for “The Night HE Came Home”. This Is ‘Halloween’!

A very Happy(early) Halloween to all of you guys, thank you again so much for all of your feedback and patience. I know that this blog may be a little late and please forgive me. I feel that I have been one hell of a trooper, pushing out horror reviews and other horror-related stuff literally every day. That’s why some of my closest friends and some of my family consider me “The TRUE Spirit Of Halloween”! When I celebrate Halloween, I like to go all the way and I’d like to go out with a bang! However, writing everyday for you guys, I feel like it’s finally starting to catch with me. I generally like to keep my personal life and my work separate but I had something going on. You guys have been so great to me, lending a new-timer like me a few minutes of your time and now I’m rambling! It’s nothing bad or even serious, really. I was in the process of moving to a new house, which is why my little Halloween celebration started on October 6th rather than the first day of the month. I felt like I had A LOT of catching up to do. I came this far, so I just couldn’t let my adoring public down. That’s why I’ve been working so hard this month, but it’s starting to affect my personal life and I would not be surprised if I ended up staying away from the computer all next month, just so I can recharge. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. I’ll make sure I don’t have to do that! Because, I friggin’ love this job! I’m so grateful to have so many people enjoying and even, anticipating what I put out next. I truly am, eternally grateful.

   Now…as I’m writing this, it is officially Devil’s Night, Mischief Night, the night before Halloween. Be safe out there, kids! Go have fun, stir up some trouble…but please, no human casualties! Save that for the horror villains. He he he he! Oh yeah, I almost forgot! The big question…Why did I decide to make a “Top 8 Halloween Films” when there is exactly 10 films in the franchise? Well, I can answer that. Firstly, it looks as though there may actually be ELEVEN films in the franchise pretty soon. In case you guys don’t know, there will be another ‘Halloween’ film titled ‘Halloween Returns'(already, I love the title), and it’s supposed to be a standalone film that may very well pick up where the original ‘Halloween’ and ‘Halloween 2’ left off. There’s no word on it yet as it’s been put on hold. I promise, I will try everything I can to keep you guys posted. If the film does indeed happen, and if it’s good…I MAY come back to this list.

Oh yeah, there are still two more ‘Halloween’ movies, aren’t there?…stay tuned, kids! Until then, Gotta Dash!

Written by Shane Moose

Videos & Photos:

Halloween(owned by Compass International Pictures & Falcon International Pictures)

Halloween 2(1981)(owned by Universal Pictures & Dino De Laurentiis Corporation)

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers(owned by Galaxy International Releasing, 20th Century Fox & Trancas International Films)

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers(owned by Galaxy International Releasing & Magnum Pictures)

Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers(owned by Miramax Films, Dimension Films & Nightfall Productions)

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later(owned by Miramax Films, Dimension Films & Nightfall Productions)

Rob Zombie’s Halloween(owned by Dimension Films, Screen Gems & The Weinstein Company)

Halloween 2(2009)(owned by The Weinstein Company, Dimension Films, Spectacle Entertainment Group & Trancas International Films)

Spongebob Squarepants(owned by United Plankton Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Viacom International Media Networks & Paramount Television)

Doctor Who(owned by BBC)

The Simpsons(owned by 20th Television, 20th Century Fox Television, Film Roman & Gracie Films)

Hatchet 2(owned by Dark Sky Films & ArieScope Pictures)

Under The Cherry Moon(owned by Warner Bros.)

The Mask(owned by New Line Cinema & Dark Horse Entertainment)

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