Time to saturate my blog with yet another Halloween post and no fucks are given at this point- especially when it come to Halloween 4.
In the spirit of the spooky season, Halloween “ghoul logs” have become a popular ambience effect added to our seasonal mood-enhancing routines modeling after the infamous Yule Log. Horror’s favorite channel Shudder recognized this need with their now addition to the Ghoul Log to the site’s streaming service; adding several options with a typical scary Jack-O, and the Trick R Treat effect. However, Youtube offers other options for those who choose to go another direction- like Brandon Tobatto who has uploaded a glorious piece of ambience you can stream directly to your computer or TV via the Youtube app. And yep, you guessed it- It’s all about Halloween 4.
I’ve gone off several times about how much I enjoy the sinister ambience of The Return of Michael Myers, and I’m just glad someone who feels the same way I do, decided to put this beautiful hour and thirty-three minute long neighborhood mood setting from the film into a Ghoul Log of it’s own. The Windy streets, subtle hues of black and blue, along with all the houses Rachel and Jamie encountered on their fateful night of trick or treating are all featured in a continuous slide show of peaceful yet sinister Halloween nostalgia.
I’m slightly obsessed with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers as this is the Halloween film I probably watched most as a kid on VHS. Growing up with a father who saw the original in theaters and is just as obsessed with the series, fate would have it that this love for the franchise would trickle down the gene pool as well. Hell, I even find a bit of charm in Dangertainment for fuck’s sake. That’s commitment; and I’ll fight you to the death if you utter any slight against Season of the Witch. However, as much as I love all the films and the original is an untouched classic that will forever hold the top spot as Halloween cinema champion, Halloween 4 is the GOAT for retro Halloween fuzzies and the best film in the series to put you into that spooky season feeling.
The opening credits
I’d be hard pressed not to say this might be the BEST opening in the entire franchise. Had Loomis not screamed, “You don’t know what death is,” and had a skull pumpkin intro inHalloween II, well then shit there would be no contenders. The opening sequence here to the long-awaited return of the Shape after fans booed Halloween III into the pits of cinematic hell (only to be resurrected beautifully later), is the perfect stage of sinister Autumn ambience set in the silent, yet spooky Midwest. The simplicity of this adds an uneasiness to the air, that something evil is lurking and foreshadowing the chaos to come. And that’s something the 80s’ is infamous for via the Halloween holiday. The simplicity of it all with janky homemade decor strung about that adds a slight edge over any animatronic you might find at any Halloween superstore. It’s eerie as fuck and captures the setting of a 1988 Halloween small Midwestern town perfectly. As a matter of fact, this opening alone needs all the awards. Can we make make that happen already?
The scenes’ in Jamie’s school are both frustrating and beautifully nostalgic. While you want to punch the shit out of these kids for saying these awful things to this poor kid, the scenic atmosphere that rings all the nostalgic bells in my Spidey Senses go off at a flashgun rate. From the noisy plastic costumes with the Ben Cooper masks, to the die-cut Halloween décor plastering the halls of the school, it makes for one HELL of a nostalgia-fest; including the bullying aspect. We’ve all been there- hopefully not to this extent, but we all know kids can be ruthless bastards.
Vincent’s Drug Store
Aside from the opener, Vincent’s Drug store scene is my absolute favorite part in this movie. My Goddess it’s like a wave of childhood memories drowns me in my own nostalgic mojo goo. Aside from all that, it’s a fairly crucial scene as this is where Michael picks up his mask for the movie. Dwight H. Little did an excellent job here much like with the rest of the film, capturing the ambience of a 1980s’ Mom and Pop shop during the Halloween holiday season. I’ve studied this scene dozens of times. it’s a fun little activity if you’re bored, and there are a TREASURE TROVE of Halloween memories found within Vincent’s Drug. Apart from the cool wall of masks, I’m sure most fans of the film have seen what I’m talking about it here, but in case you need a refresher…
Like a Garbage Pail Kids plastic costume!
Halloween Blow-Molds!*Upper right corner*
And of course the infamous dangly spider we all had along with a Nightmare Makeup Kit!
And finally, the 80s’ ambience of trick or treating
Aside from Halloween III, the Halloween films don’t really focus on this all important aspect of the holiday. In H4 however, we got a whole part of the movie dedicated to it as a set-up to the looming evil that is following Jamie and Rachel. Something about the gloomy blue and black hues scored with a bunch of kids running around in their garbage bag costumes just gets me feeling fuzzy about the whole thing. Also, the Halloween decorations (again) give into that nostalgic feeling of happiness. Numerous jointed skeletons are found in this movie. And I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Halloween 4 was released theatrically around the time I was old enough to comprehend that a NEW Halloween film with Michael Myers was within my grasp. Being as how yours truly was 6-years-old at the time, apparently the maternal parental unit didn’t think it was a great idea to take me to the theater for the long-awaited return of The Shape. With the unfortunate flop of Season of the Witch, fans bitched and whined enough to bring back their pale-faced Haddonfield homicidal maniac. Now, again I was six, and none of that shit ran through my head as I had only seen the prior films with my Dad- the biggest Halloween fan in the universe. And I didn’t give two shits about any of that fanboy/girl bullshit. I just really wanted to see this film! Alas, pretty sure the mother didn’t want to deal with the dirty looks from theater patrons and opted for Oliver and Company instead.
BULLSHIT. K, it was an ok movie but it was lacking some serious George P. Wilbur malarkey.
Anyways, I got my fix a few months after the release at a birthday sleepover. My older, and very snotty cousin was turning eleven. Myself, being only six, stuck out and clearly didn’t belong there with the pre-teen crowd. However, because of family politics she was forced to invite me. Which was fine with me because I was hanging out with the big girls! Upon my arrival, my uncle pulled me to the side and had stated he stopped at the video store for some late-night entertainment for us girls. He pulls out A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and: TADA! Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; stating that he had heard I was really wanting to see this and got it JUST FOR ME!
And I’ve watched it about 600 times since.
Now, let’s get down to business. If you’ve seen Halloween 4 as many times I have, you know of what I speak when it comes to the scene that sticks out like a sore thumb. Ahh yes, the blonde-haired Michael Myers in the schoolhouse that it seemed everyone in the audiences caught immediately yet somehow got past the cast, crew, and everyone in the editing studio. However, just in case you need a refresher, here’s the clip in question:
If you ever wondered what in the bleach-blonde fuck that was about, you’re definitely not alone and have the mystery solved for you. Several stories have made the rounds giving an explanation for the California fun- in- the- sun Myers, however, the one that rings the most truth is that it was simply a mistake from the crew and budget restraints didn’t allow for a reshoot. According to the January 88′ issue of Gorezone magazine and then confirmed via Michael-Myers.net, Don Post Studios was commissioned to make a slew of Myers’ masks for the movie. I’m guessing the people in charge had never seen a Halloween film, which actually sounds really irresponsible if that were the case, because the studios had sent the film a set of “pink masks with white hair”?!
Any who, the make-up coordinators paint over this pink monstrosity with white paint, (which explains the really PALE version this time around) and the hair brown to get the desired look. In regards to the school-scene, what you’re seeing is the ACTUAL unconverted mask. Why it was just sitting around on set, and no one had noticed that, “hey, this doesn’t look right“, might be the biggest mystery here.
But that boils and ghouls, is pretty much the sum of it. Just a blunder from the production crew and restricted shoot guidelines. Even so, it still serves as a fun, little laughable moment in what is a truly great sequel in the franchise.
Now that you’ve made it this far, I’d like to to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading and sharing my crap for the past few years as Nightmare Nostalgia has been honored by gracing Feedspot’s Top 100 Horror Blogs and Websites For Horror Fanson the Internet! What I do is from pure passion and my desire to use the blog scene to spread positivity, fun things to read and reminisce on, and talk about horror film culture is my total pleasure and will be doing it until life says I can’t anymore. Thank you everyone and Happy Halloween Month!