Sunday, October 15, 2017

I Shot Him SIX Times!




I knew going into Sunday night that I wanted to start including films from the Michael Myers franchise. I purposely delayed this for about two weeks so that I could really build my anticipation for Carpenter’s film on the 31st. In Octobers of years past, I found myself quite fatigued by the time Halloween came around so I thought I would delay starting them to see if that would help. Of course, going into this year, I have watched the Halloween films (especially the first five) quite a bit. You just can only get so much out of films you watch so many times. This year, StarzEncore has Halloween II (1981), and I caught it on about 5:58 pm, as odd a time as that is, I seemed to be in just the right mood for it. I think last year I just wasn’t and my critical side just picked it apart, finding the flaws so glaring and annoying. This year I grooved to Cundy’s cinematography, even forgiving the obviously implausible dark hospital (and lack of staff and patients considering the kind of night Halloween can often be) and Michael’s ridiculously slow walk in pursuit of Laurie (limp and all; and she had been damn near cataleptic right before Michael stabs her bed, believing she’s finally his to kill). I also really LOVED this one scene I find myself often forgetting about…or maybe I’m just sometimes not present enough after countless viewings of the film since I was a kid to really notice it specifically. Hunter von Leer is Deputy Gary Hunt, pretty much having to take over once a distraught Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers, getting good billing for essentially five or ten minutes of actual screen time) finds out about his dead daughter, and he continues on with Loomis in the pursuit of Michael Myers. They visit the old Myers house, and many of the locals are gathered to pelt and bombard it with whatever objects are available to get their hands on. Loomis talks to him of a tribe reacting to the death of one of their own, this reaction being their “wake”. And Loomis explains to Hunt what Brackett simply refused to listen to when blaming him for letting Michaels escape. That Loomis knew something was quite wrong, that Michael became his obsession. That Michael was the ideal patient, keeping quiet and just biding his time, patiently. Loomis shares with Hunt his belief that there simply was no psychiatric help, no mental rehab available to salvage Michael. To Loomis, Michael was pure evil and to even think of letting him (he refers to Michael as “it”) out was unimaginable. Halloween II (1981) furthers that opinion as the hospital staff (and another teenage girl surprised by Michael as he prowled the neighborhood) becomes additions to his body count. This dialogue scene, for me, is a nice companion to the most famous Loomis monologue to Brackett about just what Haddonfield is up against inside the Myers’ house in Halloween (1978). Hunt remembering the murder in ’63 as Loomis once again reprises it, and just how the conversation is set against the crowd unleashing their rage on the symbol of Myers’ initial outing as tot psycho; I just really responded to this scene. It is a film with its share of logic/plot problems, but I was more into the style of it tonight than the bad screenplay by Carpenter and Hill. I just really admire Cundy’s work in the sequel, and I think he does indeed give it the same aesthetic riches Carpenter took advantage of in the ’78 film. Oh, and Michael engulfed in flames before falling at the very end is such a badass stunt; I fail to often mention how cool this is when I talk Halloween II.








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