|Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers|
|Directed by||Joe Chapelle|
|Written by||Daniel Farrands|
|Music by||Alan Howarth|
|Editing by||Randolph K. Bricker|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release||September 29, 1995|
|Running time||Theatrical cut|
Producer's cut(TV version)
92 min. (43 minutes of footage is alternate)
Original Producer's cut 131 Min.
|Preceded by||Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers|
|Followed by||Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later|
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers aka Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers is a 1995 horror film and the sixth installment in the Halloween series. Directed by Joe Chappelle from a screenplay by Daniel Farrands, the plot involves the "Curse of Thorn", a mystical symbol first shown in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and revealed in the film to be the source of Michael Myer's evil. The cast includes Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle , a returning character from the original Halloween film, and Donald Pleasence reprising his role as protagonist Dr. Sam Loomis for the final time.
Opening to a respectable $7.3 million on September 29, 1995, coming in second to New Line's seminal serial killer thriller Se7en. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and the Thorn plotline would be ignored in succeeding installments, 1998's Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later and 2002's Halloween: Resurrection. However, the 2001 Halloween comic book series published by Chaos Comics - and based on Daniel Farrands' concept for the eighth Halloween film — attempts to bridge the continuity between The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20.
The sixth installment is known for its controversial behind-the-scenes history, suffering from re-shoots in production and numerous cuts and arrangements made in the editing room; the workprint of the film, with 43 minutes of alternate footage including a different ending, was eventually discovered by fans of the series. This version, dubbed "The Producer's Cut" (as it was the original intended version of the film) developed a strong cult following, with bootleg DVD copies sold on eBay.
The Birth of Steven and Demise of JamieEdit
The sixth film in the series opened with a 15 year old Jamie Lloyd pleading, gasping, and screaming as she was wheeled on a stretcher down a long underground corridor by masked physicians. [The location was eventually revealed to be the basement area of Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium.] She was hallucinating that her crazed, psycho serial-killer uncle Michael Myers was terrorizing her with a large butcher knife. The trench-coated Man in Black was also visible. Jamie was laid on her back, with her arms and legs tied, surrounded by a candle-lit altar with burning torches during a mysterious ceremony of satanic cultists. She then was seen in labor delivering a male baby, that was immediately handed to the Man in Black - she cursed him as her baby was taken away.
(voice-over, during the credits, later identified as Tommy Doyle) "When Michael Myers was six years old, he stabbed his sister to death. For years, he was locked up in Smith's Grove Sanitarium, but he escaped. And suddenly, Halloween became another word for mayhem! One by one, he killed his entire family, until his nine-year-old niece, Jamie Lloyd, was the only one left alive. Six years ago, Halloween night, Michael and Jamie vanished. Many people believed them dead, but I think that someone hid them away. Someone who keeps Michael, protects him, tries to control him. And if there's one thing I know, you can't control evil. You can lock it up, you can burn it and bury it and pray that it dies, but it never will. It just rests awhile. You can lock your doors and say your prayers at night, but the evil's out there waiting. And maybe, just maybe, it's closer than you think!"
Since the previous film, The Man in Black, over the previous six years, had kidnapped and cared for both Michael Myers and Jamie, during which time she was impregnated by Michael. On Halloween Eve in 1995, she delivered a male baby, marked on its stomach in blood with a rune symbol, and used on the altar in a ritual. That night, Jamie was rescued with her newborn by Nurse Mary and aided in an escape to save her baby - Jamie feared that she wouldn't be allowed to keep the baby. When Mary left her at the exit, masked Michael Myers grabbed her by the throat, choked her, picked her up, and impaled the back of her skull into a protruding sharp metal spike high on the wall . With Michael in pursuit, Jamie fled to a nearby road where she took the driver's seat of a vacated truck. The angry, drunken driver yelled at her: "What the hell are you doing in my truck?" and then had his neck violently twisted around and snapped. She drove off in the stolen truck into the rainy, thundery night.
In Haddonfield, Illinois, the old Myers home (at 45 Lampkin Lane) had been sold, by Strode Realty, to the Strode family. The young boy Danny Strode , who slept in Michael Myers' bedroom, was experiencing nightmares of a knife-wielding Voiceman ("He says things, bad things"), and was comforted by his single mother Kara Strode, Laurie Strode's cousin. The broadcast of a WKNB radio show called Back Talk, hosted by shock-jock Barry Simms, was airing a special Halloween edition of its show on Halloween Eve. Simms announced that their next night's show would be broadcast live from Haddonfield at the Halloween Harvest Fair, where Halloween had been banned since 1989, "when infamous serial killer Michael Myers and his niece, Jamie Lloyd, and about a dozen cops were killed in an explosion." [This was an obvious falsehood - Jamie did not perish in the explosion, and neither did Myers.] Living directly across the street from the Strode house on the second floor of a boarding house, grown-up Tommy Doyle was using a camera telephoto lens to spy on the Strodes.
25 year-old Tommy phoned the talk-radio show, explaining how he saw Michael Myers when he was eight years old. He considered himself one of the lucky ones: "I survived." Tommy also asserted: "Michael's work isn't done in Haddonfield. And soon, very soon, he'll come home to kill again. But this time, I'll be ready." He seemed obsessed about the Myers legacy ever since he was a boy.
The "just very-much retired" Dr. Loomis, Michael's psychiatrist, was also listening to the show in his isolated country home. He was joined by Dr. Terence Wynn, an old friend and colleague, for a drink. Wynn stressed that he had chosen Loomis to return to Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Loomis refused, claiming he had buried the "ghosts" in a manuscript.
Jamie drove up to the local bus depot, as she listened to the broadcast on the PA system inside the darkened and empty terminal (a sign at the desk read "Back in 20"). Another female caller, from Haddonfield Junior College, spoke about a planned Halloween rally (and the radio broadcast) on the campus to revitalize the town after six years of banned celebrations. From a depot pay phone, Jamie called the 1-800-YOU-SUCK number to the radio station, and as Loomis and Tommy listened, they heard Jamie weeping and warning of Myers' imminent return: "They're coming. They're coming...Michael. Michael Myers." She asked for help, mentioning Dr. Loomis by name, but was regarded as only a wacko. Jamie's uncle relentlessly pursued her into the bus depot's bathroom, outside to her truck, and then followed her in a stolen van. After running her off the road near an old barn in the Haddonfield area where she crashed the truck into a pile of pumpkins, he followed her into the barn, grabbed her by the neck, and impaled her stomach through the spikes of a corn thresher. He pushed her further onto the spikes, as she gurgled and choked to death before his eyes. She muttered her final words to him: "You can't have the baby, Michael," before he activated the thresher's controls, causing the thresher to rip Jamie's insides apart. Only the baby's blanket was found in the truck.
Michael hunts down StevenEdit
The next day, HALLOWEEN, in HADDONFIELD, We are introduced to all the members of the troubled and dysfunctional Strode family, including struggling single mother and red-haired college student Kara Strode and her six year-old son Danny, who had both returned to live with her parents in the household, after being away for five years. Kara's parents included a caring mother Debra, and an extremely abusive father John, who called Danny a "bastard" boy. He hates Kara for some unknown reason. He believed she had brought bad luck to the household. Also there was Kara's teenaged brother Tim, Danny's uncle, who was dating girlfriend Beth. Beth lived across the hall from Tommy Doyle in the boarding house across the street from the Strode house. Hard-of-hearing, elderly Mrs. Blankenship managed the boarding house.
At the Smith's Grove Sanitarium, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Loomis learned that Jamie Lloyd's body had been discovered near Haddonfield. The rune symbol or mark, tattooed on Michael Myers' wrist, and on the stomach of Jamie's baby, was seen at the crime scene painted (or burned) in black on bales of hay. Dr. Loomis interpreted: "It's his mark...He's come home."
Meanwhile, Tommy Strode listened intently to his reel-to-reel tape recording of Jamie's radio interview, and figured out the call came from the bus depot. Blood droppings from the pay-phone booth led to the downstairs restroom, where he found Jamie's baby crying in a wooden cabinet - he took the infant with him. The imaginative, young Danny Strode had drawn a prophetic picture of the Strodes: Mommy, Uncle Tim, Grandma and Grandpa, all with bloody knives sticking into them, as they stood next to a black object labeled "THORN." In the emergency room of Haddonfield hospital, Tommy was carrying Jamie's baby when he spoke to Dr. Loomis and introduced himself, and corrected his misconception about Jamie being the last of Myers' bloodline, now that Michael had come home ("No, Dr. Loomis, she's not the last"). Loomis was told about the Strodes, now living in the Myers old house. Tommy took the baby into his care for protective safe-keeping from harm, and names it Steven.
When Debra was in the Strode home struggling with a malfunctioning washing machine in the basement, she suspected someone else was in the house, but it was only Dr. Loomis who claimed he wanted to help the family. He warned her of the violent force inside serial killer Myers that contaminated his soul: "It was pure evil," and that he would return to his childhood home that was "sacred to him...with all his memories here." Loomis' tale terrified Debra with his rantings about the haunted house and all the terrible things that had happened there - and she understood the reason why her husband's brother couldn't sell the house and why they were living there. As she expressed her fears to her husband on the phone and then prepared to vacate, Myers stalked her, and then hacked her up in the backyard with an axe, and splattering blood onto her freshly-hung laundry on the clothesline.
Suspecting that the entire Strode family was in danger from Michael, Tommy befriended Danny, and led him and Kara back to his boarding house room for safety, although she thought he was crazy. She became more convinced of his sincerity when she saw the evidence of years of his collected newspaper clippings about Myers and the murders. He explained about the runes symbols and the meaning of Thorn: "Runes are a kind of early alphabet that originated about 500 B.C. They were symbols carved out of stone or pieces of wood used in pagan rituals to portend future events and invoke magic. Among the ancient Druids, Thorn represented a demon that spread sickness, brought death to hundreds of thousands of people. According to Celtic legend, one child from each tribe was chosen to be inflicted with the curse of Thorn, to offer the blood sacrifices of its next of kin on the night of Samhain [Halloween]. The sacrifice of one family meant sparing the lives of the entire tribe." Tommy felt that might be the contaminating force or reason that compelled Michael Myers, marked with Thorn, to commit evil - the method behind his madness.
He continued, explaining how Michael was seeking the baby, his next of kin, for a blood sacrifice (to save the tribe), and why he kept reappearing year after year - especially when the stars were aligned into a Thorn symbol: "The Druids were also great mathematicians and astronomers, but the Thorn symbol is actually a constellation of stars that appears from time to time on Halloween night. Whenever it appears, he appears. Coincidence? I think that's why these people, whoever they are, are after Jamie's baby. To make it Michael's final sacrifice." Tommy left to seek out Dr. Loomis, warning Kara never to return to her house.
In the boarding house parlor where she was watching the classic film on television The Phantom of the Opera, Mrs. Blankenship explained the origins of celebrating Halloween to Danny: "A long, long time ago, it was a night of great power when the days grew short and the spirits of the dead returned to their homes to warm themselves by the fireside. All across the land, huge bonfires were lit. Oh, there was a marvelous celebration. People danced and they played games, and they dressed up in costumes, hoping to ward off the evil spirits, especially the boogeyman." Then, she told Kara that her son could also hear the "voice" - "just like the other boy that lived in that house." She revealed that she was babysitting in 1963, 32 years earlier, when little Mikey Myers lived across the street, and he heard a voice the night that he murdered his sister: "It told him to kill his family." She was implying that Danny, who could also hear a voice, was the next "child" to be cursed with Thorn, if Michael succeeded in killing his entire family.
When John Strode returned home, he found everyone gone. Suddenly, the lights inexplicably extinguished, and he laughingly pondered: "It must be the boogeyman." In the basement, as he investigated the cause of the power outage and the loud, chugging and leaking washing machine, he found a bloody sheet inside. When he turned, Myers murdered him by stabbing him in the stomach with a butcher knife, lifting him up, and pinning him against the fuse box, where he was electrocuted - his face fried and then exploded.
At the Halloween Harvest Fair, Beth was interviewed by DJ Barry Simms in front of the crowd, asserting: "We will no longer let the powers that be control our minds. For years, Halloween has represented everything that's wrong with Haddonfield. But Michael Myers is long gone. There is no Boogeyman." Tim was surprised to learn that he lived in the notorious Myers house, once occupied by the "most brutal mass murderer in history." As a publicity stunt, Simms promised to move the shock-fest show to the Myers house: "Ten minutes in that house and I'll have every fruitcake medium in the country calling in, trying to channel the spirit of that pussy, Michael Myers." In his vehicle as Simms prepared to drive to the Myers house, he was knifed in the chest from behind. [Later, his half-naked body was wrapped in lights and strung up in a tree - his dripping blood was misinterpreted by a child as red rain.] Beth and Tim found themselves alone in Myers house when Barry didn't show - she spooked him by recreating the night of the initial murder. They kissed in the darkened house and then proceeded to make love in Kara's bed while surrounded by candles. After showering and then standing in front of a foggy mirror, Tim's throat was slit with a butcher knife, and Beth is stabbed to death by Myers, and Kara witnesses through the window inside the Blankenship's house. Kara then looks down and sees Danny entering the Myers House. Kara races over to the Myers House, and upon entrance, she witnesses her son going upstairs into darkness-where Myers is lurking. Kara brandishes a fire poker and creeps upstairs after Danny. She discovers Tim and Beth's bloody corpses and then finds Danny in the opposite room. Kara and Danny flee after Michael arrives and Danny runs downstairs, while Kara stays upstairs to fend off Michael. She manages to strike Michael in the head with the fire poker and send him down the stairs. As Kara goes back downstairs to retrive Danny, Michael comes to life and breaks Kara's ankle. She manages to hit him in the arm with the poker, and Kara and Danny run out of the hosue and back to the Blankenship's house, where several masked men appear, and it is revealed Mrs. Blankenship is part of the Thorn Cult! They come for Kara, but she is forced to leap out a window and is knocked out. Kara is sent to the Thorn Cult's hideout, and old asylum, where Tommy searches for Kara and the two children, and found Michael prowling the hallways too, having already knifed one of the Sanitarium patients in the stomach. The lunatic dying mental patient spooked him: "He walks amongst us, brother. He's come back and he's very angry. How does it feel to be damned?" before dropping dead. He then finds Kara locked in a room in the maximum security ward, just as Michael appears before stopping him for a moment. Afterwards they continue on to find Danny and Steven.
In the hallway, they see Dr. Wynn and several surgeons, some still wearing their Thorn Cult robes, talking about the genetic engineering experiment they're working on. They then walk into an operating room and Tommy and Kara walk into the room next to it, where they find the children. They watch through a two-way mirror as Dr. Wynn and the surgeons prepare to perform an operation. But Michael interrupts the procedure, walking in with a surgical machete in hand and promptly slaughtering them all. Tommy, Kara, and the kids run with Michael in hot pursuit until they come to a locked gate. With nowhere to go, the group hides in a high-tech med lab. Inside the lab, Kara notices some tanks with what looks like to be baby fetus' inside each one of them, with a chart underneath it with the ancient runes translated into scientific letter codes next to them. As what it appears to be, the Sanitarium crew are not the "Cult of Thorn" but doctors trying to recreate Michael's curse using in vitro fertilization on the women of the institution, including Jamie. As Wynn tells Loomis earlier in his office: "I've had my failures but this baby, Jamie's baby! We are at the dawn of a new age!" The fetuses are actually failed attempts of the crew to engineer a new child to harness the evil power of Thorn (the crew have possibly kidnapped Kara to test their experiments on her).
Michael breaks into the room and out of nowhere. Tommy walks up to him saying: "Michael. You've won. (he chuckled, then walked forward) He's yours." As he handed over Steven, he stabbed a cluster of large hypodermic needles (filled with corrosive chemicals or tranquilizers) into Michael's neck, and beats him into unconsciousness with a lead pipe. Dr. Loomis aids Kara's, Danny's, and Steven's escape in an elevator, and Tommy joined them. But when they were ready to drive away in a red Jeep, Dr. Loomis said: "No, I-I have a little business to attend to here." when Loomis goes back Inside the building, Michael's mask is lying on the floor, and Loomis is heard screaming in the background, implying that he knows that Michael is still alive or Michael snuck up behind him and killed him.
Wind whistled around the Myers house - causing a jack-o-lantern's candle on the porch to flicker and extinguish - cutting to black. The next screen read: "In Memory Of DONALD PLEASENCE" before the closing credits.
- George P. Wilbur as Michael Myers
- A. Michael Lerner as Michael Myers (Archive Footage)
- J.C. Brandy as Jamie Lloyd
- Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle
- Donald Pleasence as Sam Loomis
- Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode
- Mitch Ryan as Terence Wynn
- Kim Darby as Debra Strode
- Bradford English as John Strode
- Keith Bogart as Tim Strode
- Devin Gardner as Danny Strode
- Mariah O'Brien as Beth
- Leo Geter as Barry Simms
- Susan Swift as Nurse Mary
- Janice Knickrehm as Mrs. Blankenship
- Hildur Ruriks as Dawn Thompson
- Alan Echeverria as Dr. Bonham
- Sheri Hicks as Paramedic
- Tom Proctor as Motorist
- Bryan Morris as Amtrak Attendant
- Lee Ju Chew as Nurse
- Raquelle Anderson as Ballerina
- Kristine Summers as College Coed
- Elyse Donalson as Lunatic
- Jimmy Chunga as Drunk College Student (uncredited)
- Fred Lerner as Smith's Grove Doctor (uncredited)
- Barry Simms
- Danny Strode
- Dawn Thompson
- Debra Strode
- Dr. Bonham
- Jamie Lloyd
- John Strode
- Kara Strode
- Laurie Strode (mentioned)
- Michael Myers
- Mrs. Blankenship
- Nurse Mary
- Sam Loomis
- Terence Wynn
- Tim Strode
- Tommy Doyle
In 1990, screenwriter, and long-time Halloween fan, Daniel Farrands had set out to write the sixth entry in the Halloween series. Farrands gave his horror movie scripts to the producer of Halloween 5, Ramsey Thomas; impressed by his writing, Thomas set a meeting for Farrands with executive producer Moustapha Akkad. Farrands described the meeting:
“ I spent weeks preparing for the meeting and came in with a huge notebook filled with HALLOWEEN research – I had the entire series laid out in a timeline, a bio of every character, a “family tree” of the Myers and Strode clans, as well as all of the research I had compiled about the runic symbol (Thorn) that was briefly shown in “Halloween 5.” I then laid out how I thought all of this might be explored in HALLOWEEN 6. ”
Although the producers at the time had already sought to make a sixth Halloween film, a series of complicated legal battles ensued which delayed plans for a sequel; eventually Miramax Films (via its Dimension Films division) bought the rights to the Halloween franchise.
In 1994, Akkad called Daniel Farrands for him to write the sixth Halloween film, after several screenplays from writers were deemed insufficient. Farrands has said his initial intent for Halloween 6 was to "bridge the later films (4-5) in the series to the earlier films (1-2) while at the same time taking the story into new territory so that the series could expand for future installments." Daniel Farrands had written several drafts to the film. His final draft, originally titled Halloween 666, went through eleven different drafts.
The writer and filmmakers' intentions with the script were to ultimately unveil what had kept Michael Myers alive, and his reasons for killing. They decided upon using the "Curse of Thorn"-angle, which is the concept that Myers had been under the influence of an ancient Celtic curse that drove him to murder all family members in his bloodline; once this task was completed, the curse would be passed onto another young child.
Donald Pleasence returned as Dr. Loomis, in his last performance; according to Farrands, Pleasance "loved the script for 6, however, and told me that he felt it was the best story since the original." Danielle Harris was asked to reprise her role as Jamie Lloyd, but she and Dimension could not come to an agreement over her salary and ultimately did not want to pay Danielle more than she received in Halloween 4. Harris herself admitted to "not caring for the script" and that upon meeting with director Joe Chappelle, didn't see "eye to eye" on things. She ultimately opted out of reprising the role, and J. C. Brandy was cast instead. It was said that the producers wanted Brian Andrews to reprise his role as Tommy Doyle. However, without an agent, they could not get in contact with Andrews.
The leading female role, Kara, was given to Marianne Hagan; however, Hagan has since stated that Miramax did not favor her, and made aesthetic criticisms about her being "too thin" and her chin being "too pointy".
For the role of Dr. Terence Wynn, Mitch Ryan was cast; Farrands originally urged the producers to cast Christopher Lee, having had the veteran horror actor in mind when writing the character. Denise Richards also auditioned for the part of Beth , but the studio passed on her, giving the role to Mariah O'Brien.
Stunt performer George P. Wilbur, who portrayed Michael Myers in the fourth installment, reprises his role as the silent unstoppable killer in the film.
Filming & ReshootsEdit
Fred Walton (director of When a Stranger Calls and April Fools' Day) was originally attached to direct Halloween 6 but dropped out.
Filming started in October 1994 and was shot mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah; the city was experiencing an early winter at the time which proved troublesome for the production company. Producer Paul Freeman and director Chappelle reportedly rewrote the ending on-set, even from shot to shot as production deadlines loomed large. Producer Paul Freeman also sent the crew home when crucial scenes needed to be shot; deleting scripted scenes indiscriminately, rewrote dialogue and action sequences; and took it upon himself to direct second-unit shot as well supervised the post-production phase of the original cut and made a series of blunders that resulted in Miramax taking control of the film, ordering reshoots.
In early 1995, after filming and editing was completed, Halloween 6 was given a test screening which, as described by actress Marianne Hagan, "consisted primarily of 14-year-old boys." During the Q & A afterward, one of them expressed great displeasure at the ending of the film, which entailed a Celtic ritual and the passing on of the Curse of Thorn to the Dr. Loomis character. As a result of the audience's disapproval toward the film's finale, the movie was rushed back into production, this time without Donald Pleasence, who died on February 2, 1995.
The film's ending was excised from the original cut that had been shown in the test screenings, and an entire new ending was shot that nearly dropped the film's "Curse of Thorn" concept entirely. Additionally, over twenty minutes of other footage was removed from the film during the re-editing process.
Some violent footage was also edited out for fear of an NC-17 rating. This including some extra seconds of Jamie being impaled on the drills, with more blood pouring from her mouth and extra closeups of the drills going through her body. The other major edited scene involved Michael ramming the doctor's head through the bars in the hospital until his head is gorily mashed through and pulps of his skull hit the floor. The current theatrical cut only shows the first few seconds.
The original music score is composed by long-time Halloween contributor Alan Howarth, his work in the series dating back to his collaboration with John Carpenter on Halloween II. However, Howarth's score was redone when the film went through reshoots. A soundtrack album was released by Varese Sarabande Records, and is an unusual combination of the music featured in the original cut of the film, as well as that of the final theatrical cut.
The music of Alabama based rock band, Brother Cane, was featured throughout the movie. The music came from their 1995 release Seeds on Virgin Records. The album's hit single And Fools Shine On reached number one on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks. The song can be heard when Kara, Tim and Beth arrive at school in their car. The song continues to play as they go to class and sounds as if it's coming from a lo-fi radio, but the source of the music is never shown. It stops suddenly mid-scene while they examine Danny's drawing. The song is also heard during the closing credits.
The movie also featured the following songs from Seeds : Hung On A Rope, 20/20 Faith and Horses & Needles.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was the first film in the series that incorporated a hit song into its soundtrack. It was also the only film in the series to feature a single band almost entirely throughout its soundtrack. The only non-Brother Cane song was Disconnected by the group, I Found God.
Release & ReceptionEdit
An earlier teaser trailer of the film employed the title Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers, which according to Daniel Farrands, came before an official title had been decided, and that the trailer title was a combination of an earlier script titled The Origin of Michael Myers by another writer, and Farrands' original script titled Halloween 666. At one point, executive producer Moustapha Akkad asked Farrands for a title, who suggested The Curse of Michael Myers due to the troubled production. Although Farrands was half-joking, Akkad took the name to heart and decided upon it. Farrands also adds that this coincidentally made the subtitles similar to those in The Pink Panther films, which also used Return, Revenge, and Curse subtitles.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was released on September 29, 1995 in the United States, and brought in a $7,308,529 opening weekend gross, being the first film in the series to beat Halloween II's opening weekend gross. The film went on to gross a total of $15,116,634 at the U.S. box office.
While the film was a financial success, it received poor reviews from film critics. Daniel Kimmel of Variety called the film "tired" and "run-of-the-mill", while Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said the film lacked suspense and said that "not even the presence of the late, gloriously histrionic Donald Pleasence can liven things up". In general, most critics had negative reactions to the film.
Screenwriter Daniel Farrands generally dislikes the film, due to its deviations from his original script. Although Farrands thinks both versions are poor, he considers the Producer's Cut to be the superior version. In January 2010 was released on Blu-Ray in Canada
"The Producer's Cut"Edit
The original cut of the film which was shown during test screenings is the version that has now come to be known as "The Producer's Cut". This version of the film contains 43 minutes of alternate footage that was either cut entirely or replaced in the theatrical release of the movie.
The 43 minutes of alternate footage consists of various shots and additional scene exposition, including more dialogue between characters, and a scene in which Jamie, who dies in the beginning of the theatrical cut of the film, survives the ordeal, and is later murdered in the hospital while lying unconscious in her hospital bed. The musical score is also entirely different, featuring the Halloween theme song much more prominently.
While a good portion of the alternate footage takes place in the beginning and middle areas of the film, half of it takes place during the film's finale; the Producer's Cut features an entirely different ending, which goes as follows:
Kara is kidnapped and made to take place in a ritual involving the cult of Thorn. While she is tied up and awaiting the beginning of the ritual, there is dialogue between Tommy and Dr. Loomis as they go to Smith's Grove Sanitorium, where the cult members have gathered. Following a confrontation between Loomis and Dr. Wynn, Tommy stumbles in upon the ritual as it is taking place; just before Jamie's infant is about to be sacrificed (and the Curse of Thorn is to be passed onto Danny), Tommy seizes Dr. Wynn and assists Kara and Danny in escaping. They are chased by Michael down the hallways of the hospital, and Dr. Loomis takes Kara and Danny to the bottom floor via the elevator; as this is taking place, Tommy uses a rune to stop Michael from attacking, and subsequently escapes with Kara and Danny. Dr. Loomis tells the three to leave Haddonfield, and he proceeds back upstairs as they drive away. In the hallway, he finds Dr. Wynn lying on the floor, dressed in Michael's clothing and bearing his mask. As he takes the mask off of him, Wynn grabs Loomis' hand, and tells him that Michael is gone, and it is "his game now". Loomis examines his wrist, where the symbol of Thorn materializes. The film ends as Loomis screams in fear, and the final shot displays a lit jack-o'-lantern on the front porch of the Myers house.
Copies of the original version of the film (known as the "Producer's Cut"), without the changed ending, have long been floating around in bootleg/collectors' circles. While featuring a different ending which was intended to keep Donald Pleasence's character in the films, it also features longer scenes in several parts of the movie, as well as different music at times. Major plot points differ between the two cuts. For example, in the Producer's Cut, Jamie Lloyd is not killed by Michael's attack in the barn; she is wounded only to be killed later on in the film by the "Man in Black" after having a dream about how she was imprisoned in Smith's Grove and impregnated with Michael's child.
Several scenes from the Producer's Cut can be seen on the television version of the film, seen in the U.S. on AMC's MonsterFest, which plays annually throughout October in celebration of Halloween. The scenes were re-inserted to increase the running time of the film (originally a scant 88 minutes).
On the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD, it was stated that Dimension was trying to plan an official release of the Producer's Cut Fangoria reported that the Producer's Cut may get an official release. However, Disney owns the rights to the film and decided not to give an official release
- Dr. Wynn was seen in the original Halloween film telling Dr. Loomis that Michael can't drive a car. It is highly likely that Wynn, as the leader of Michael's cult and a doctor at Smith's Grove, was the one who taught him how to drive.
- As Michael is shown raping Jamie in a flashback in the Producer's Cut, Stephen is shown to be his son.
- Dr. Loomis' unknown fate at the end has been speculated by some. Some fans think that Loomis has been killed by Michael, and others think he was screaming because Michael was gone, or, as the voiceover from the alternate ending was necessary, it could have been something completey different and unknown.
- The movie is dedicated to Donald Pleasance before the ending credts appear.
List of deathsEdit
|#||Name||Cause of Death||Killer||On-Screen Death?||Notes|
|1.||Nurse Mary||Head impaled by a metal spike||Michael Myers||Yes|
|2.||Motorist||Neck snapped||Michael Myers||Yes|
|3.||Jamie Lloyd||Impaled and ripped apart by tractor harrows||Michael Myers||Yes||Shot in the temple with a silenced pistol by Dr. Wynn in the Producer's Cut.|
|4.||Debra Strode||Hacked up with an axe||Michael Myers||Yes|
|5.||John Strode||Pinned to a fuse box with a butcher knife and electrocuted; head exploded||Michael Myers||Yes|
|6.||Barry Simms||Knifed in the chest||Michael Myers||Yes|
|7.||Tim Strode||Throat slit with a butcher knife||Michael Myers||Yes|
|8.||Beth||Stabbed in the back multiple times with a butcher knife||Michael Myers||Yes|
|9.||Sanitarium Patient||Knifed in the stomach||Michael Myers||No|
|10.||Doctor Bonham||Hacked up with a machete||Michael Myers||Yes|
|11.||Doctor||Hacked up with a machete||Michael Myers||Yes|
|12.||Doctor||Hacked up with a machete||Michael Myers||Yes|
|13.||Doctor||Hacked up with a machete||Michael Myers||Yes|
|14.||Doctor Terence Wynn||Hacked up with a machete||Michael Myers||No||Debatable/Dies in Producers Cut|
|15.||Doctor||Head bashed against metal bars multiple times||Michael Myers||Yes|
There are two other characters who may have been killed, but have a higher chance of survival than Wynn. Michael Myers was beaten by Tommy Doyle with a metal pipe after being injected with a corrosive chemical. His fate or whether he dies remains unknown, as his mask is left on the floor with the needle that was in his neck. Also, Dr. Sam Loomis went back to Smith's Grove to attend to "unfinished business" before Michael's mask was shown on the floor and Dr. Loomis screamed. Both their fates are left up to speculation, though the most common theory is that Michael survived and killed Dr. Loomis.