Tag Archives: Michael Myers

40 Years Of The Scariest “Halloween” Movie: Halloween II

It’s been 40 years since studios practically begged Carpenter for a sequel to his monumentally successful Halloween movie; and an unforgettable one at that. I realize this might be a hot take dubbing Dick Warlock King Myers over his amazing predecessor Nick Castle- but I’ll die on this hill. Warlock scared the ever-loving shit out of me as a kid in this simply fantastic sequel more so than the original.

John Carpenter’s Halloween was everything a perfectly effective horror slasher should look like without the heavy gore effects. The film used tension-building sequences paired with genius camera work and of course, the infamous score by Carpenter himself that practically made the movie what it is today. When Halloween II came around three years later, the film allowed Myers to continue his killing quest but in a much more sinister tone; if that were even possible but hey- here we are. The sequel was Halloween on steroids (by 1981 standards anyway), with both an angrier Myers and soundtrack to accompany him during his “walk”, and it made The Shape that much scarier.

Here me out but first, enjoy the greatest pumpkin intro of the franchise that breaks apart into a grim, grinning skull foreshadowing that is a lot more evil and death was built into this installment so hold onto your kitchen knives ladies- especially YOU Mrs. Elrod!

Now, after Loomis unloads all his bullets into Michael and he simply just walks away from the scene, he slinks into a neighboring home occupied by the Elrods who are winding down from the night with a couple of ham sandwiches and a viewing of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead; or at least they think they are. Michael, in a very ballsey fashion, opens up the back patio door to the kitchen where Mrs. Elrod is preparing her sleepy husband some food, and had her back not been turned, she would have been extra meat for those sandwiches for sure. Myers just grabs the knife sitting on the cutting board and walks out, and Mrs. Elrod lets out a blood-curdling scream that would wake the dead once she sees the missing knife and drips of blood all over the counter. This then grabs the attention of her own neighbor, Alice Martin, who unfortunately doesn’t get away so lucky; and that’s when we see that Myers really isn’t fucking around in the sequel. In the first film, Myers while it was at random, set his sights on a specific group and stayed the course. Even people getting in his way, by just basically being in his path, didn’t get the slash treatment. Marion Chambers, while he scared her goddamn good, he didn’t kill her. He just needed the car and he very well could have. Same for little Lonnie- Myers seemed to get off just as well in putting a good fright into his victims while maintaining his kill course targets. BUT, Alice performing her civic duty upon hearing her elderly neighbors’ screams, got her brutally murdered in a most vicious way and we get our first real jump scare in the sequel. Why? My best-educated horror guess is because she WAS simply in his path and now we know that absolutely NO ONE is safe this time around.

It did its job too. Scared the piss out of me when I first saw it.

Moving on to a now hysterical Loomis who in the first film kept his composure throughout quite well, damn near shoots a kid because he is wearing a similar mask to Michael’s. May as well have anyway since we all know how that scene worked out. The good doctor throughout the franchise sinks deeper into madness in his fight to stop Michael and in doing so, endangers those around him. Just look what happened to poor Ben Tramer and then the deputy at the end of the film. The guy was just doing his job- he certainly didn’t ask for this shit.

That’s just terrifying.

Even more horrifying is the scene with the razor blade in the apple. Good LAWD seeing that as a child was traumatizing almost even more so than Myers on a rampage itself. The lore and urban legends swirling around Halloween night of bastards putting arsenic and razor blades in candy for kids put the fear of GOD into a lot of parents and even some anxious kids as well. Well, in Halloween II they made it real and it was real disgusting at that. Fairly brilliant writing to add that little extra tidbit in there. Also full disclosure, for years as a kid I thought this was an ice cube in the kid’s mouth until my father corrected me; and that totally blew my mind and horrified me. I’m all about transparency here.

Now, aside from a crazy Loomis, laced candy, and an angrier score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, we have to discuss the biggest sell here as to why Halloween II is much scarier than its predesessor- and that everyone is DICK WARLOCK.

Nick Castle did an absolute bang-up job as The Shape in the original, but it was Warlock’s menacing force of nature that gave Myers a more evil presence. Kind of like what Kane Hodder did for Jason Voorhes, Dick did for Michael and he nailed it as what I think, is the perfect personification of Michael Myers. Many see his moves as robotic in nature, but I think that is precisely what makes The Shape slightly scarier. As stated earlier, Myers is more focused and determined to get the job done this time around sort of like a Terminator. And honestly, would there be anything more terrifying than Michael Myers as a goddamn Terminator?! I think not… The guy walked through a glass door without hesitation without any problem to get to Laurie for fucks’ sake. Just straight through the thing! Or the fact he’s walking down a steep set of stairs without looking at his feet or holding onto anything in that mask that you and I both know is obstructive somewhat in the very least.

That’s just gangster.

Stabbing down at empty pillows, getting his hand almost caught in an elevator door, and his quick- jolt-like movements without using all of his body parts are just nothing short of brilliance on Warlock’s end. Without ever saying a word, a grunt, or even having that heavy breathing as pronounced as it was in the first movie, Warlock managed to give us a more pissed-off Myers and execute it perfectly. I just wish we would have seen more of him in subsequent sequels. But hey, we’ll always have his robotic, malevolent force in Halloween II and Season of the Witch.

Happy 40th anniversary to the scariest installment of the Halloween franchise. If you haven’t already pick up this masterpiece from Amazon. I always prefer the 30th-anniversary edition Blu-Ray from Shout Factory as it contains the bonus feature of Terror In The Aisles! Can’t really beat it for $10!

Celebrate the Season With This “Halloween 4” Neighborhood Ambience Ghoul Log Video!

Celebrate the Season With This "Halloween 4" Neighborhood Ambience Ghoul Log Video!

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.

Enjoy or I don’t want to know you!

Halloween 4 Is The GOAT For 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 in Halloween 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?

Jamie’s School

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 dΓ©cor 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.

So there it is. The GOAT for Halloween movie nostalgia. I SAID IT. If you don’t own it, pick it up for yourself; I highly suggest the new 4K version here from Amazon!