Oh, man. You just gotta love those taunting yet glorious 1-900 numbers nestled in between your favorite programming that would cost you your left nut if you dared to dial and rack up a $500 phone bill for some unsuspecting parental units. I love to refer to it as, the forbidden fruit of our youth.
Thanks to the slasher-boom in the ’80s that reared horror to not only appeal to adults but young kids as well with Saturday morning cartoons featuring the likes of The Cryptkeeper and Toxie from The Toxic Avenger, it was inevitable to see 1-900 horror hotlines popping up all over the place trying to lure kids in while going in bone-dry raping your dad’s wallet. Unfortunately for me, I had already felt the unholy wrath of the seven layers of Hell for previously causing a $280 phone bill for that damn beautiful 1-900 FRED hotline that aired through EVERY COMMERCIAL BREAK in Freddy’s Nightmares. You have to admit, however, that it is sure as shit gave you an odd sense of living dangerously while no doubt sprouting a few strands of pectoral hair on your chest if you actually mustered up the balls to call the “$2.99 a minute and $0.99 for each additional minute” retro hotlines. You felt about as bulky as Myers seemed to look in Halloween 5. And of course, even that film had a promo hotline for you to attempt a sneaky listen on that wonderful rotary phone.
Ah, 1989; the year a relentlessly angry Michael Myers took his revenge for the fifth time. Directly following the events of Halloween 4, one of my personal favorites of the franchise, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers never fully lived up to its predecessor with that awkward storyline of a little traumatized and halfway through the film, mute Jamie’s psychic connection to Uncle Boogyman. An aging Dr. Loomis is screaming at the kid for what seems like the entire duration of the film, and the good doctor’s intentions have turned obsessive and maddening at this point in the franchise. Also, let us never forget about the confusing as fuck Man in Black bullshit that doesn’t get an explanation until a full movie later.
For some reason or another, I just can’t HATE this movie. Could it have something to do with the fact I dragged my parents to take me to see this movie on Christmas Day in 1989 at my local, old-fashioned brick-built movie theater? Maybe. Nostalgia fuels a lot of passion in me(obviously). But given all the flaws I see in this movie now as an adult, I did love it as a child, so you can’t just crush down those initial feelings. I also remember this installment had a HUGE set of promos prior to its release back in 1989, one of them being a goddamn Halloween 5 hotline. And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I begged my parents to call it. But alas and per above, I was forever banned from calling any of these fun hotlines, so I never got to hear this one. However, per a lucky family member, here’s what I was told what happened once you dialed:
Dialing 1-900-860-0700 prompted you to guide a potential victim of Michael’s to safety while making you feel like a damn horror hero. The hotline itself aired directly after the end of television promos for the film. The voice on the other end would give you a variety of places that could be found in said film, like the Tower Farm or the Children’s Clinic, to send Michael’s prey for safety. However, any of these Haddonfield hot spots could just be a death trap so you could be very easily sending this character to the hack ‘n’ slash hotel. In which case, I think would have been more fun anyway.
Do you remember this little diddy and did you ever call it? If so, and you have a story, please comment below and share! Shout out to Dinosaur Dracula for uploading this diddy to YouTube for the rest of us to bask in all its cheesy glory!
3 thoughts on “Horror Hotlines: Did You Save Michael’s Victim Via the 1-900 Halloween 5 Number?”
Yes I remember getting my ass grounded with no allowance, no spending the night at my friends house, no phone in my room and my dad made me clean the barn we had in our backyard for a week. I spent the night at my punk friend Johhny’s house because his parents weren’t home, so when he went to the corner store for a video, I called the number when he took off. Honestly, it was really cool cuz we were gonna see it the following Saturday, but when his parents found out, they called my dad and made him pay for it. Whatever. The call itself was some creepy guy on the other end asking which victim I was gonna save and where! To save Rachel: press 1. To save Jaime: press 2. To save Dr. Loomis: press 3 etc. Remember…your call can help save only one life! Then it kept you on by asking where will Michael take his next victim?! Where do you think your victim should hide safely? :The tower farm: press 1, The Childrens Clinic: Press 2, The Myers house: press 3. blah, blah, blah. It asked you so many other questions just to keep you on the phone it was scamming at it’s best. But I fell for it and got my ass kicked for it in the end. I never told my buddy about it and his parents thought it was him. He found me at school and punched me in the gut cuz he knew it was me and he got in trouble anyways. Oh well. The good ol times. Needless to say my parents ripped my phone outta the wall in my room. Damn them.
Keep in mind that phone call was the least of my folks problems…that month in October was the major 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and that did tons of damage to our house and NOBODY had a phone then. Nobody had cellphones at that time so all we had were old school tube t.v’s to watch outside for news and information. Power lines were down and tons of people looting the stores.That was the big one for us. 7.1.
I almost forgot…my victim lived. It was Dr. Loomis cuz he showed up in part 6.