Monday, August 27, 2018

Halloween II is the greatest movie of all time

Halloween II. Got myself my first pumpkin beer of the season so it's that time. Gonna start with these and hopefully gonna make my way through them all in time for the new one that comes out in October. The new one, by the way, ignores all the sequels including this one. Loved all these as a kid, we'll see if it holds up. Sooo, this one. The one that made Michael Myers and Laurie Strode brother and sister. The one that started the franchise down the path that would eventually take us to the Mark of Thorn that completely derailed the series. But we are a ways away from that. Last one with Jamie Lee Curtis until Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. John Carpenter/Debra Hill wrote it. Guy named Rick Rosenthal directed. Carpenter hates it. Critics hated it, too and it got horrible reviews when it came out. A lot of those focused on this being a continuation of the first one that doesn't stand up on it's own (which is somewhat valid). But this is overall a pretty solid movie. In fact, greatest film of all time.

Pros: This is where we get The Shape's movements down (assuming you like him not looking down when climbing stairs and stuff). JLC and Donald Pleasence are both great though not in the movie as much as you'd remember. Pretty tense but less so than the original Halloween movie. Genuinely pretty scary.

Cons: Starting to feel more like Jason Voorhees than Mike Myers at this point. Also get the sister stuff which is what it is. There is also a fair amount of bullshit in this movie with the razor blade kid, Ben Tramer getting hit by a car and exploding, and Sheriff Brackett blaming Loomis for letting Michael out, which totally didn't happen.

Picking up directly where the 1978 Halloween film left off, slasher Michael Myers goes back after survivor Laurie Strode--killing many nurses and doctors and such, maybe two EMTs, and one random girl along the way--who was taken to the hospital following the traumatic events of the first flick. Dr. Sam Loomis, meanwhile, searches desperately for his former patient whom he sees as pure evil. This was supposed to be the last of the films featuring The Shape, and the first time I saw it as a child it was, but as we know that changed 1988 with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you will see, followed an unrelated story as the franchise was supposed to be more of an anthology type. Apart from JLC and Pleasence you'll probably really only recognize the two EMTs from the movie. They are Lance Guest from The Last Starfighter and Leo Rossi who was the serial killer from Maniac Cop 2 and a million other things.

Lots of pretty ladies in this one. Have JLC who is universally considered a hotty. Then there are the nurses. There is Ana Alicia who is the dark-haired nurse who doesn't know how to use a walkie talkie, she did warn the security guard in her defense, and could have prevented the whole thing. Super cute but dumb. Tawny Moyer who is the short-haired blonde and my fave. Pamela Susan Shoop who is the one that goes to the bone zone with Budd (played by Leo Rossi) who got her face melted off in the hot tub. Pretty sure that can't happen.

Favorite line is "His wife’s always picking on him. He probably got angry and decided to start beating her…Big deal!" Oh casual domestic violence. Always hilarious. Big deal indeed. No. This is in reference to Alice who hears a scream coming from next door at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Elrod.

Some pretty alright kills but my favorite is the one with the nurse played by Moyer. In that, Laurie is out of bed running around and this clueless nurse--everyone in the hospital is dead by that point--is like "What is going on? Where is everyone? Get back in bed." That is when Myers pops out and scalpels her in the back, lifting her high in the air. It isn't so much the kill as what happens afterwards that made this my favorite as her little white nurse's shoes pop off and clang against the floor.

Best scene of the movie is when Michael Myers has chased Laurie into the basement of the hospital and they get to the elevator. This whole bit is easily the most intense point in the film and arguably the scariest. Finally gotten ahead of Myers a bit, Laurie is backed into the end of a hall with an elevator. She sees Myers coming and smashes at the button. It finally gets there and Myers is closing in. That is when she smashes the close door button repeatedly which works just as he gets to the door, sticking his hand in. You think that the door is going to pop back open as it would with a new elevator, and likely one then as well, but it doesn't and she gets away safe.

There is some shit in this movie... At the beginning of the movie we see this kid going into the hospital with a razor blade in sticking out of his lip. This is based on that urban legend of people putting razors in apples and poison in candy on Halloween. There has never been a documented case of the first and while the second did happen, it was a piece of shit dad that poisoned his kid, not a person that randomly poisoned trick or treaters. We later see them leaving with the mom saying they will go home and play board games and stuff. No going to the police and none show up, I mean, they are busy and all but still. So not only do they have to deal with Michael Myers, now they also have this psycho out there trying to kill kids by putting razors in candy. But that is of little concern in this universe.

The real Myers, up in flames... Totes survivable
We also have Ben Tramer, Laurie's crush from the first one, get hit by a car and explode before the car even completely crashes. The whole scene is fucking insane. First Loomis spots him wearing The Shape mask. He runs at him, waving his gun around like a wild man, stops and points it, about to shoot. Tramer starts looking back at him like WTF when a police car comes out of nowhere and pins him to a van with crash and burn. The cop gets out of the car and protests that the guy came out of nowhere. After more explosions and such, the deputy comes and whisks off Loomis and Brackett, tell Brackett that his daughter is dead. They get in the car and go but the guy involved in the crash is just standing there like an idiot. No big, just an officer caused fatality.

Which brings us to the whole bit where Brackett blames Loomis for Myers is insane and has always sort of irritated me. When Brackett is told that there are three dead kids and "one of them is Annie," he turns his anger toward Loomis. The conversation is basically "you son of a bitch. What have you done?" Loomis is like, "uh, I'm sorry. I haven't done anything." Brackett, losing his shit, "You let him out!" Which totally doesn't happen since Loomis always believed him to be evil incarnate and all and responds "I didn't let him out. I gave orders for him to be restrained." So you know. The opposite of that.

And lastly, the ending of the movie is pretty definitive with Loomis sacrificing himself by turning on all this flammable gas and shit and blowing himself and Myers up by flicking his lighter which he got from Marian Chambers, the nurse that he was rolling with in the first one and who picks him up to take him out of Haddonfield on orders of the governor (uh, what?) in this one. Michael is definitely some sort of supernatural being to survive this shit as he gets shot point blank in both eyes and then completely torched... But as we see in the later installments, he and Loomis both survive. It was a miracle, apparently, but obviously this was, according to Carpenter's script, supposed to be the end of The Shape.

Found a Monstervision segment for the movie which is dope. Love me some Joe Bob Briggs. Linking that shit below. Learned some crazy shit from it as well. Basic gist is that a year after the movie came out, this guy in California named Richard Delmer Boyer stabbed this elderly couple to death whilst high on PCP whereupon he hallucinated he was in this movie and killed this couple. What the fuck, bro? The jury was then subjected to this film which seems pretty unnecessary. No idea. But the defense didn't work and the dude got sentenced to death.

MVP of this movie is a tough one. Doesn't seem that JLC was in the movie enough to get MVP status but I think you have to go with her. Pleasence is pretty close but going to JLC because of that elevator scene and the one where she goes outside and hides in the car. When Pleasence and company show up to find her and she tries to scream but can't, that shit is gold. Also, how exhausted and traumatized she seems. Very much how I think a real human would be at this point. MVP performance right there.

But yeah. Movie was pretty solid. No John Carpenter's Halloween or anything but it is probably the third or fourth best movie in the franchise. Still have a little ways to go before the wheels totally come off.

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