Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Directed by Dwight H. Little

Starring Beau Starr Danielle Harris Donald Pleasence Ellie Cornell

Moustapha Akkad, who financed the first Halloween films, carried on the series. Jamie Lee Curtis didn't want to star, so they wrote her out of the story, saying she'd been killed in a car crash. This time, Michael Myers is going after her daughter, apparently obsessed with killing everyone in his family. (Curtis' character was his sister.) The daughter is named "Jamie." Pretty clever. On Halloween she just happens to buy the same clown costume that Myers wore as a child in the first film.

Pleasence returns as Dr. Loomis, on Michael's trail after he once again breaks out of a mental asylum. It was basically just an inferior retread of the first two films and a big hit at the box office. But given the impossible task of making a Halloween film without Jamie Lee Curtis, screenwriter Alan McElroy was able to make lemonade out of lemons, delivering a fairly suspenseful story set in Haddonfield 10 years after the events of the first two movies. Myers shows up, manages to shut down all the power in the town, and holes up the town sheriff and his last surviving relative in a house as a lynch mob searches for him in other parts of town.

It's great to see Pleasence back in the role horror fans will remember him for, delivering monologues about the evil of Myers with the same seriousness he had in the first two movies. People still won't believe him when he says that Myers is back in town for more carnage. Kathleen Kinmont plays the film's major sexpot--the daughter of the town sherriff who wears a T-shirt that says "Cops do it by the book." She also played the title role in "Bride of Re-Animator." Not to spoil anything, but in this movie she's stabbed with a shotgun.

This film came out as the horror genre was waning in the late 1980s, when the bulk of the good fear films were being produced seemed to be either "Hellraiser" or "Nightmare on Elm Street" sequels. Fans went nuts when a fourth "Halloween" film was made bringing back the now iconic Michael Myers. Despite its overall success, the film has some weak moments: In one particularly amateurish scene, Myers' hair is white, when throughout the rest of the film it's black.

That didn't stop the film from being a huge (for its size) hit, which would be followed just one year later by "Halloween 5."

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


Posted by on December 6, 2010

Posted by Vesus on February 18, 2011
The mask is absolutely awful in this one. They didn't even try to replicate the original. And then they teased us by putting the original mask on the box! Good movie hurt by a terrible, terrible mask.

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