Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Ten years ago HE changed the face of Halloween. Tonight HE'S BACK!
Year of Release: 1988
Running Time: 88 minutes (1:28)
Director: Dwight H. Little
Donald Pleasence ... Dr. Sam Loomis
Ellie Cornell ... Rachel Carruthers
Danielle Harris ... Jamie Lloyd
Beau Starr ... Sheriff Ben Meeker
Sasha Jenson ... Brady
George Sullivan ... Deputy Logan
Michael Pataki ... Dr. Hoffman
George P. Wilbur ... Michael Myers
A decade ago, he butchered 16 people trying to get to his sister. He was shot and incinerated, but still the entity that Dr. Sam Loomis calls "Evil on two legs" would not die. Tonight, Michael Myers has come home again… to kill! This time, Michael returns to Haddonfield for Jamie Lloyd – the orphaned daughter of Laurie Strode – and her babysitter Rachel. Can Loomis stop Michael before the unholy slaughter reaches his innocent young niece?
Halloween 4, remindin' us that there's somethin' to be said for keepin' things simple. I mean, by this point we've pretty well established that Mike's an unstoppable zombie killin' machine, so really he could be out doin' just about anything with complete impunity if you stop an think about it. He could try knockin' over Fort Knox, maybe swim around Loch Ness for six months tryin' to find Nessie, or work on gettin' his law degree so he could do some *serious* damage, but that's just not Mike's style. Mike's a simple man with a simple plan, an a plan that anyone who's ever had a date over for Thanksgivin' dinner while their crazy uncle's goin' on an on about how AIDS is God's punishment for the "rampant faggotry" in today's society can really get behind. He just wants his family dead, that's it. No big plans for world conquest or breedin' a race of super zombie slashers, no way, not our Mike. I dunno about the rest of you, but in these complicated, topsy turvy times it makes me feel good knowin' that at least one thing in this world of ours'll remain constant an familiar.
An speakin' of simple men with simple plans, Skunky Hernandez got it into that moldy cabbage he calls a head that he was gonna clean up that old barn he's got an rig it up fulla Fred Olen Ray style horror movie props outta the Dollar General discount bin an make a quick buck offa the local kids with his own version of a spook house. I tried tellin' 'im that if he really wanted to scare 'em he aughta just leave it as is since the bull castrator paired with all the cow pelvises (or's that pelvi?) that look like Phantom of the Opera masks layin' everywhere seem a lot scarier'n any of that crap he'd stolen outta the good will donation box last month but he wasn't havin' it. He also didn't find it all that funny when I asked if he was gonna go fill up his old water trough with that stuff from the frackin' site next door that looks like watered down Food of the Gods gruel an get his wife to stand around stirrin' it, but it was still a heck of a lot better suggestion than what he came up with next. See, Skunky's always wanted to have a corn maze, cept that ground out there don't produce nothin' but sage brush an genetically stunted yard monsters, so Skunky spent the next few days settin' up his Sage Maze an promisin' it was gonna be the greatest thing this town'd seen since Aesop Marlin shot that two-headed buck an successfully lobbied to have it mounted over the entrance to the courthouse. I told 'im this whole thing was a terrible idea... well, what I actually said was that he's dumber'n that ole coon hound that chases the Topaz every mornin' on my way to work an keeps takin' a header into my bumper when I hafta stop at the train tracks, but the point is that I was tryin' to do the right thing. But Skunky was a man with a dream, so he soldier'd on an I'll give 'im this much, he got word of mouth workin' overtime for 'im an by openin' night he musta had 300 people waitin' to go through this thing. But that was the only thing that went right that evenin', cause I dunno if you've ever been in a sage brush field before but if you haven't, here's a short list of what you'd be likely to encounter; jagged rocks, rusted out metal car chassis fulla .22 holes that've been sittin' in the rain since 1959, rattlesnakes, badger holes, ticks the size of a dime, an absolutely no way of knowin' about any of 'em on account of it bein' dark an the fact that the guy in charge of this one had about as much foresight as the half eaten chili dog stuck to the floorboard of my Topaz. Needless to say, Skunky's gettin' sued from here to Cowflop, Wyoming for everything from Tetanus shots to future baby delivery fees, plus whatever the final tally the state police come up with after they're able to locate the eight people that're still unaccounted for out there three days after the fact. He still owes me $8 for fishin' one of Bambi Pankins' triplets outta that well too, but I don't wanna get pushy about it cause he seems a little on edge the last few days. There may be a moral in all this but I sure dunno what it is, an I still don't regret goin' cause even after all that trouble it's still a lot less frightenin' than what you're liable to end up takin' home at last call after 14 shots of Wild Turkey.
Anyway, despite the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis got all stuck-up on us an wouldn't come back to get chased around by Michael Myers like she used to, Halloween 4 is still a pretty good sequel an the more time goes by, the better it gets. Though that's mostly just because our current cinematic offerins seem to get ranker an stankier every year. So here's a few things they meant to teach us in the first two movies, but just couldn't quite fit into the scripts an still come in under 90 minutes. First, doctors tend to get just a teensy bit upset when you transfer their patients without tellin' 'em. This point gets multiplied by a factor of about 100 when said patient is concentrated evil which said doctor had to shoot approximately 47 times an blow up with natural gas on two separate rampages. Second, always be sure to secure your pulley after elevatin' somethin' with an engine hoist, cause were it to come loose, an airborne corpse could scare the bejezus outta any crusty old men in the general vicinity. An if it's an engine out of a 1987 Toyota 4x4, you don't want that sucker fallin' on anybody an havin' its 103 ponies tramplin' 'em into a pile of meatsauce. An third, if any of you see a hobbled Donald Pleasence thumbin' down the highway, would you please just pull over an give the guy a lift? Cripes almighty, could we please try not bein' completely horrible to each other for a change? I really don't think I'm askin' too much here... yeesh. But the big thing that caught my attention about this one, which is somethin' I know I've personally been neglectin' for a long time, is the importance of tryin' new things with our appearances. Gets kinda stale lookin' at people who flat out don't care how they look or who never try anything darin' with themselves don't it? That scene where Mike pitches Donald out the window like a drunk on St. Patty's Day was a real eye opener, an not just cause of the obvious notion that it gets old starin' at your girlfriend's same ole soup can curls. No that ain't all, though really that aughta be enough; the other thing that scene illuminated was just how easy it is to make a big change on the fly, like Mike did. So I don't wanna hear about how soul suckin' an time consumin' it is, cause I just watched Mike take literally two minutes outta his pursuit to hit a beauty salon an get a blond dye job so that when he pitched Donald outta that window, Donald would feel special. Kinda like what was old is new again. An at that moment Donald knew the cat an mouse relationship he shares with Mike is still important an still worth fightin' for. So lets all try takin' a page outta the Michael Myers book of couth an show our significant others that we still think they're worthwhile after all these years, even if it's just puttin' your hair in pig tails or prunin' your facial hair back to "garden hedge" status, alright? Heck, you might even like it.
The movie begins on the night before Halloween with an ambulance pullin' into a sanitarium an this guard who looks like he's had his head squished with a pipe clamp like Peter Lorre explainin' to the meat wagon crew what happened in the first two movies in case they were too busy with med school to check 'em out. So once we're all caught up they load Mike up into the ambulance an start headin' out, only Mike musta cheeked his elephant tranquilizers cause pretty quick he sits up an puts the Iron Claw on the guy an squeezes his skull so hard that his brains start comin' out of his nose like a Play Doh fun factory. Elsewhere, Jamie (the daughter of Laurie Strode from the first two flicks) is havin' some adjustment problems with 'er new family an can't seem to get over the fact that the writers killed off 'er Mama, so 'er new sister (Rachel) comes into 'er room an tells 'er not to be sad cause some day when 'er Mama has a mid life crisis she may decide to come back to the series. This helps a little, but Jamie still can't sleep, so she heads for the closet an starts goin' through 'er Jamie Lee Curtis memorabilia an starts blubberin' like those Gamergate bromosexuals when they found out the guys designin' their beloved games told 'em how pathetic they are. Then she stashes 'em back in the closet an starts sayin' 'er prayers, which is particularly timely since about that time this arm grabs ahold of 'er an tries draggin' 'er under the bed like Howie Mandell in Little Monsters. But it's even worse than that, cause apparently some sick S.O.B. decided it'd be a good idea to clone Mike, an when she tries to run he's also waitin' outside the door for 'er an eventually 'er foster parents hear 'er goin' apeshit an come find 'er cowerin' in the closet like a Russian florist. The next mornin' (Halloween), Jamie's 2nd string Mama gets a call sayin' 'er babysitter's outta commission after O.D.in' on Reese's cups so she tells Rachel she's on deck an Rachel gets pissy an tells 'er she's just destroyed the space time continuum cause she had a date with the man she was gonna marry an now she's gonna die saggy, single, an with 18 cats that're all named Brady. Course, Jamie overhears the exchange an when she runs off Dad tells Rachel she's just about the most selfish person on Earth for wantin' to go out on Halloween an that he'll see 'er after he gets back from his Halloween get-together. So now Rachel has this look on 'er face like she just found 'er goldfish floatin' belly up in its bowl an hasta buy Jamie off with ice cream since she's got nothin' to lose now that she's sure 'er boyfriend's gonna trader 'er in for a bustier model. Meanwhile, Donald Pleasence, who somehow managed to survive bein' blown up like an unattended suitcase at JFK International Airport an now bears an uncanny resemblance to a personal pan pizza with extra sauce, is headin' for the hospital administrator's office.
Donald's P.O.'d somethin' fierce an hits the administrator's office demandin' to know why in the name of Prince's perverse proclivity for preposterous purple pantsuits he wasn't told about Mike gettin' shipped out like a pallet of bootleg Beanie Babies, an about that time somebody calls up the admin an tells 'im there's been a little accident in transit an Mike's runnin' around freer than O.J. Simpson before he decided to push his luck. So once Donald gets done givin' the administrator the Red Forman scowl they head to the scene an Donald wades out into the river where the upturned ambulance is gettin' a suntan on its undercarriage. Unfortunately, he finds no sign of Michael an once he congratulates Administrator Clownshoes on a job well done an explains just how profoundly screwed they are, he tells 'im he'll be in Haddonfield cleanin' up the mess his six-figure-salary earnin' ass caused. Not too far away, Mike's hoofed it over to a gas station where he ends up havin' to pop the hood on this mechanic til Donald shows up an gets P.O.'d about the lack of full service for the handicapped. Then he heads inside an finds the mechanic strung up in a chain hoist like an engine ready for transplant, an when he looks inside the dinin' area he sees it's gonna be a pretty tall order to get the short order cook's body presentable for an open casket funeral. Eventually he spots Mike washin' up in the storeroom for his shift workin' the grill an Donald tells 'im that if he's still upset he can just take him an give Haddonfield a break, an when Mike refuses to negotiate Donald hasta blow the shit outta the the dinnerware to work out some of his unresolved anger. Then Mike takes off in a tow truck an clips one of the pumps on his way out an blows up half the station an Donald's company vehicle while Donald sits there tryin' to figure out how many years it's gonna be before he can afford both car insurance an his Vicodin prescription again. While that's goin' on, these three children of the scorn're givin' Jamie the business an teasin' 'er about 'er dead Mama an the fact that 'er uncle's a mass murderer, just to be absolutely certain nobody snaked their respective places in Hell when they weren't lookin', til Jamie ends up fleein' to the relative safety of 'er relative. By now, Jamie's about had it with the classholes at school an tells Rachel she wants to go trick 'r treatin' to spite 'em, so they head over to this costume shop where Rachel's boyfriend (Brady), who looks like a long lost Lawrence brother, works an she hasta explain to 'im that there ain't gonna be no Hershey's for 'im tonight unless he plans on goin' door to door in a costume for it.
A few aisles away, Jamie's finally picked out a costume she likes which just happens to be a clown costume with a proud family heritage, only right behind 'er Mike's also found his way inside an managed to secure the last remainin' Shatner mask so he can finally shake the feelin' of nekkidness he's had since he went into the insane asylum, an when Jamie sees 'im she freaks out an starts breakin' mirrors like the Ferguson, Missouri police department after their perp ducks into a carnival fun house. Meanwhile, Donald decides to head out on the highway lookin' for adventure an somebody with enough decency to stop an give a cripple a ride, an eventually scores one with this guy who looks like Crazy Ralph from Friday the 13th after bein' liberated from Auschwitz. Unfortunately, the guy's about as well grounded as a bald eagle on a Red Bull bender an he won't quit talkin' about how he totally beat his library fine cause evil apparently used an illegal foreign object behind the referee's back in its "loser leaves town" match with good an ended up gettin' the pin. Which means the end times'll be comin' up any day now, an Donald gets this look on his face like he's lookin' at his future if he don't start gettin' out more. So later that evenin' Rachel's parents leave for their completely not selfish engagement while Rachel an Jamie head out to beg for Milk Duds, just as Donald finally makes it to the sheriff's (Meeker) office to take that familiar walk of shame an once again soak up all the blame for Mike escapin' so the massive screwup won't affect any management performance bonuses. After an initial bout of skepticism, Donald's conviction an cauterized complexion wins out an Meeker agrees to help 'im catch Mike so long as Donald promises to quit pointin' the side of his face that looks like burnt lasagna toward 'im, an they head out to find Jamie before Mike does. Elsewhere, Jamie an Rachel're waitin' in line to score some sweet stuff at this bimbo's house (the bimbo's Meeker's daughter), only once Rachel gets a good look inside the place she sees Brady in there an she gets this look on 'er face like she's pretty sure the bimbo's already worked over Brady's snickerdoodle an gets huffier'n a tweaker in the Home Depot paint aisle. He can explain though, an it ain't nothin' like what she's thinkin', he just had somethin' come up while he was mindin' his own business starin' at 'er sweater silos an hadda drop by 'er house to get 'er to help bring down the swellin' on the affected area, that's ALL that happened.
But while that's goin' on the sheriff's deputy gets a news bulletin up on TV tellin' everybody to clear the streets, an once this beer schlepin' tap jockey sees it an realizes his candy corn flavored homebrew profits're about to hit the toilet quicker'n his patronage after tryin' the green St. Patrick's Day beer, he rallies his fellow neckbeards an heads over to settle Meeker's hashbrowns an sausage links. Only Meeker ain't there cause he an Donald're nosin' around Jamie's room makin' note of the Jamie Lee Curtis mementos bein' spread out on the floor like a frat house harlot an the family dog havin' been turned into German Shepherd's pie while Donald sits there with this "how come I'm never right about anything good?" look on his face. Then Mike heads over to the electrical substation to give somebody a piece of his mind about his recent rate hike, 'cept the electrician on duty starts gettin' belligerent an Mike hasta hurl 'im into the grid like a javelin til the power goes out all over town an the place ends up smellin' like burnt meatloaf. Meanwhile, Jamie's wandered off with some other kids an ditched Rachel while she was listenin' to Brady's harrowing tale of narrowly avertin' the self-service checkout line at Pohl's, til Mike shows up an Rachel hasta run like a toddler's nose durin' the Polar Vortex. Fortunately, Rachel finds Jamie before too long, an about that time Donald an Meeker pull up an plant 'em in the back of the police cruiser like pot on an Occupy Wall Street protester til three guys in Shatner masks step into view an wait for the last possible opportunity to yank their masks off right before Donald starts installin' extra orifices in their heads. Then everybody heads back to the station which's been trashed worse'n David Hasselhoff on home movie night an all the employees've been mutilated worse'n Hamlet bein' performed by the cast of The Blue Collar Comedy tour. As if that ain't bad enough, then the bar patrons show up an start demandin' answers an deep fried cornbread til Donald tells 'em that Mike's runnin' around town on a secret mission from Obama to confiscate their guns. This scares the bejezus out of 'em, so they all jump back in their pickups an immediately blow the shit outta this gazebo an the guy prunin' the hedges, an once they realize it ain't Mike they start fumblin' around in their flannel for Wayne LaPierre's number to try an get recommendations for a good defense attorney. Elsewhere, Donald an the gang head over to Meeker's house where Brady an the bimbo daughter're makin' the sign of the autistic tweaker beetle, an they hafta run around frantically searchin' for their unmentionables an prayin' the Hoover Stainmaster lives up to its reputation.
Then Meeker has 'em start boardin' up the place like a Whole Foods in Backwash, Mississippi cause nobody realizes that Mike hitched a ride over in the back seat of the deputy's car an has already gotten in like Ted Nugent in the back of the Jailbait tour bus. So while Donald heads over to Jamie's house assumin' Mike'll eventually drop by to serve the adoption papers as her next of kin, Meeker gets on the radio an tells the staters he's up to his ass in unpreparedness, an after he talks to them he hears the rubes talkin' over their CBs about standin' their ground against the landscaper an Meeker tells Rachel to wait for the staters to call back cause he's got some Kentucky Fried ass to kick. Then Meeker's daughter, who was tragically born with an oxygen tank for a brain housing, goes to take the deputy some coffee an finds 'im hacked up like a wad of lung tar in a truckstop toilet an pretty quick Mike steps outta the shadows an puts the deputy's double barrel through 'er midsection an gives 'er the roughest penetration she's experienced since she took on the entire basketball team after the state championship game. Eventually, the staters tell Rachel they'll be over as soon as they finish interrogatin' some punks they caught TPin' Kelsey Grammer's house, an when she goes to tell the deputy, she finds him an the bimbo studyin' the common corpse curriculum on the livin' room floor. Then Mike steps out into the open an twists Brady's head around like a Gumby doll after he forgets his double barrel isn't full auto, givin' Rachel an Jamie a slight reprieve from the cleave an time enough to get out onto the roof an marvel at all the brittle old used condoms stuck to the shingles. But Mike ain't far behind an once he gets out there Rachel hasta try lowerin' Jamie down to the ground with the TV cable while Mike's swingin' his kitchen knife at 'er like Julia Childs after havin' 'er show cancelled. Unfortunately, Jamie gets stuck halfway between the roof an the ground an ends up danglin' like Sly Stallone in Cliff Hanger til she an Rachel both end up hittin' the grass harder'n a Colorado sorority house. But after about half a minute of smackin' Rachel like a tapped out Ketchup bottle she's still dead to the world an Jamie hasta run for it an ends up findin' Donald, who takes 'er to the one place that's even more traumatic than the house of a dozen corpses. Only by this point in the series, Mike's perfected the Crystal Lake teleporter pioneered by Jason Voorhees an he's already inside the schoolhouse waitin', an by the time Donald finds a safe place to stash Jamie he grabs ahold of 'im an hurls 'im out the window like a Wall Street bigwig on Black Tuesday. That's prolly about far enough, since it's particularly rude to spoil popular movies.
Alright, well, the idea that there could be another Halloween after they roasted both Michael Myers and Donald Pleasence like pigs on a spitfire at the end of the second movie is a little silly, but never underestimate the influence of a potential payday. I guess it probably wasn't all that hard to swallow in 1988, after the movie-going public had already seen Jason rise from the dead no less than 4 times by then and particularly since, in a way, a lot of horror fans kinda needed this sequel. I mean, after the third movie pissed so many people off, part 4 is essentially cinematic Preparation H that was necessary to soothe the tremendous butthurt that'd run rampant through the fanbase. And even then, one has to wonder if it would have been enough without Donald Pleasence returning, because really, you've got no Jamie Lee Curtis, no John Carpenter, and no Debra Hill, so as far as I'm concerned Donald singlehandedly keeps this one outta the toilet. They'd actually written an opening shot that was to have taken place at the end of the second movie, wherein they show Donald being thrown from the explosion so as to explain his survival, but they couldn't afford it and scrapped the idea. Which is unfortunate, because that would have not only tied it in a little better, but would have helped to explain something that otherwise doesn't make a whole lotta sense. Technically, with regard to Carpenter, he was originally on board and did write a screenplay, but it was wildly different from what people were already used to and the studio rejected it, choosing to stick with the slasher angle that had already worked so well for the franchise. Obviously, Carpenter bailed, and at that point both he and Debra Hill sold their remaining interests to Moustapha Akkad. Though it's unfortunate that Carpenter didn't want to stick around, I'm inclined to agree with the studio on this one, because when you start screwin' with what works you end up with Hellraiser: Bloodline, or Seed of Chucky. Later on, they do begin to approach that level of bullshit when they have to explain that Jamie Lee Curtis' character entered the witness relocation program to hide from Michael. Which of course means that she opted to keep a son with her (as she has one in H20), but not her daughter, and that it actually somehow stopped Michael from finding her, despite how easy it was for him to find Danielle Harris' character. Granted, she's living in the same town from the first movie, but he's on her doorstep within a day of escaping the mental hospital and finds her despite her not having the last name of Strode, and being with a foster family who has their own last name. Probably reading too much into this, but that problem I just mentioned is only attributable to Halloween: H20, due to part 4 having established the canon beforehand. By H20, they're literally pretending parts 3 - 6 never happened, which is something I have very little tolerance for. It's cool that Jamie Lee Curtis returned to do more Halloween movies later on, but as far as I'm concerned, when Donald Pleasence died, the series should have ended, because Donald was the glue that held everything together up to that point.
Okay then, lets put a shotgun barrel through this thing's intestines an see how much shit plugs 'em. I'm not gonna go into whether or not it would've been better with Jamie Lee Curtis returning, because speculation is a waste of time. We've got adequate linkage back to the story from parts 1 & 2, and though it would've been better if there were a little more of that, this is sufficient. At this point, so far as we know, Jamie Lee Curtis is dead and we're continuin' on with her daughter and the returning Donald Pleasence for another round of the slasher cycle. So basically, a few characters change, but we've pretty much got the same story we had in the first two movies, so there's no problems thus far. Just keep in mind it's pretty standard slasher fare, and not much different from the first two flicks. The acting is pretty good where it needs to be, with Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence turning in exceptional performances, and the rest of the characters not being particularly interesting. Considering how important her part was, you could probably say that Ellie Cornell is somewhat underwhelming as Rachel. The rubes in the supporting cast were decent as well in their stereotypical neckbeard roles.
Here's who matters and why, sides Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence, whom any horror fan should already be familiar with: Ellie Cornell (The Thirst, Room 6, The Darkroom, House of the Dead 1 & 2, Halloween 5), George P. Wilbur (Halloween 6, Cast a Deadly Spell, Remote Control, The Running Man, Firestarter, The Clonus Horror), Michael Pataki (Death House, Dead & Buried, Graduation Day, Love at First Bite, Dracula's Dog, The Bat People, The Baby, Grave of the Vampire, The Return of Count Yorga, Dream No Evil), Beau Starr (Final Days of the Planet Earth, Halloween 5), Kathleen Kinmont (Monsterpiece Theatre Volume 1, Dead of Night, Bride of Re-Animator, Roller Blade Warriors), Gene Ross (Friday the 13th Part IV, Keep My Grave Open, Don't Open the Door!, Scum of the Earth, Encounter with the Unknown, The Legend of Boggy Creek), Carmen Filpi (Ed Wood, Alligator II, Beetlejuice, The Ice Pirates, Escape from New York, The Lord of the Rings 1978, Garden of the Dead), Raymond 'O Conner (Shark Swarm, Serial Killing 4 Dummeys, Cast a Deadly Spell, Dr. Alien), Jeff Olson (Unearthed, Neon City), Karen Alston (Halloween 5), Nancy Borgenicht (Neon City, The Deliberate Stranger, Silent Night Deadly Night), David Jensen (Species), Richard Jewkes (The Stand, The Philadelphia Experiment), Stephanie Dees (The Creature of the Sunny Side Up Trailer Park, The Collingswood Story), Richard Stay (It Came from Outer Space II, Neon City), Michael Flynn (The Cell 2, I'll Always Know What You Did Las Summer, The Darkling, Asteroid), Beverly Rowland (Neon City, Berserker, The Returning), George Sullivan (Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare), Michael Ruud (The Philadelphia Experiment, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 1980, Hanger 18, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Time Machine 1978), Eric Hart (The Deliberate Stranger, Silent Night Deadly Night), Donre Sampson (Firestarter 2, Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare, The Stand, Halloween 5), D.L. Walker (Ground Zero, Mind Trap, Elves). You less bloodthirsty geeks out there may know Michael Pataki better as Nicoli Koloff from Rocky IV, and Beau Starr would likely be best remembered by the general public as Lt. Harding Welsh from the TV series Due South.
The special effects are okay for what little you get, but after the volume of gore we got in Halloween II (the first one wasn't all that bloody, in reality), part 4 doesn't really deliver. And this was even after they hired John Buechler to come in and add some effects. Seriously, the volume here is pitiful, and the camera tends to cut away before you ever see anything; it's pretty disappointing. What we've got, is a little blood on a forehead while Mike's puttin' the Iron Claw on the ambulance guy, a dead dog (which is a pretty obvious fake, barely on screen, and difficult to discern cause of death by looking at), a crushed head that you don't get to see hardly any of, a pretty bad dummy getting hit by a truck, a shotgun impalement that shows very little, and a few cuts here and there. The only effect in the whole movie that you get to see for any extended period of time is probably Donald Pleasence's facial prosthetic, which is okay, though nowhere near on the scale you'd expect from what happened to him at the conclusion of the second movie. In all honesty, if you scissored out the shot where you see about three quarters of Kathleen Kinmont's hooter, this could probably be shown on basic cable without any cuts. They also used the wrong mask on Michael Myers when he throws Donald Pleasence out the window and it's really, *really* obvious. Shooting locations are okay, nothing special though. It doesn't capture the autumn season as well as the first movie did, and doesn't feature a lot of exterior residential neighborhood shots that're necessary for establishing the mood needed in this particular franchise. I mean, they're okay, but that's it, just okay. The police station seems a bit big for a town of this size, you've got no Myers house, and it's really just kinda "meh." It just doesn't have that authentic feeling of small town America that the first one had. The soundtrack is prolly gonna be the high point, which is kinda pitiful, but it really is a good score and not just the high point because the other aspects are mediocre. The classic Halloween theme composed by John Carpenter, while iconic and catchy, gets expanded upon with somewhat more modern musical equipment and interpretation, making it even more catchy and even more atmospheric than what we saw in the first two movies, which essentially used the same score. Here, we've got tweaks and twists on an already great score which, in my opinion, does more for this movie than the original soundtrack did for the original. That said, the original had much better execution in many other important categories, cinematography being a pretty big one in addition to what I've already mentioned, and is still a much better movie. Overall, not much here for the gorehounds, but a decent entry in the series and a fun continuation on the Michael Myers mythos. If you liked the first two, you'll probably like this one as well, but be advised, the series is at no point going to make any improvements from here on out.