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A Look Back at Halloween II – More of the Night HE Came Home

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I know, I know… How many times can this one be written or read about? Well, the fact is Halloween II wasn’t my first pick to revisit this go-round.

I was torn betwixt this:

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Then the unseasonably warm weather here in Louisville finally dropped enough degrees to warrant taking walks around the block, hoping to spot pale-masked men peeking at me from behind neighbors’ hedges.

Unable to muster the inspiration to type a word about any film not starring Michael Myers, I quickly realized that I had to delve into More of the Night He Came Home.

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

My passion for this sequel probably starts with that artwork. Born the same year this fine film was released, I certainly took in the VHS art plenty of times before taping the flick off USA ,October 31st, 1990. VHS cover art aside, I gotta confess: I will always adore any film poster that proclaims its “All New” status at an uphill slant – but this flick’s poster takes the cake. As if that grinning Skull-O-Lattern wasn’t enough to get you jazzed about Michael’s latest flesh wreckage, the brains behind the ad campaign also wanted to remind you that Halloween II is both frightening and fresh out of the oven.

There are plenty of fun things to reminisce upon in the series’ other entries, such as the beautiful opening credits in part 4:

But on the whole, I get pretty cranky at every entry after part II, and tend to avoid any reason to get upset with Michael Myers this close to the 31st. Oh sure, I can watch portions of 4 and 5 without getting too bitchy on All Hallow’s Eve – they get sort of a pass. But sit me down to watch anything from part 4 to part Zombie any other time of the year, and I start barking discontent at anyone in the room like my old man watching the Cardinals fuck up a field goal.

Now, I’m aware of Michael’s murders and the film’s tone being altered by the infamous “collaboration” between director Rick Rosenthal and John Carpenter. That business has been and can be investigated elsewhere. What I’m interested in here is what we SEE on the screen. As such, I deem two aspects of II to be the most delicious: it picks up right where the last one left off, and Michael’s attitude hasn’t changed one bit after being shot six times by loopy Dr. Loomis.

When the marvelously operatic opening credits are over (Alan Howarth’s choice of irksome synth for the score is certainly redeemed by a hefty layer of fiery church organ), the film resumes with Myers’ POV shot, once again zooming around Haddonfield’s friendly streets. This prompt continuation of the story makes me as giddy as receiving a full-sized Snickers instead of fun-sized as treatage. If I can never enjoy watching Indiana Jones recuperate in real time from his previous adventure before beginning another, I’m perpetually thankful that I was at least permitted to see Michael Myers do such.

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Mike steals a butcher knife from an old couples’ home without killing them. I get that – he picks and chooses his victims. Then he decides to waste a young gal jabbering on the phone to a friend. Makes sense, no? Michael prefers to damage young skin – always has. Additionally, Mike’s sense of humor is still in tact.

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

There’s a moment from the first film that properly illustrates Michael’s enthusiasm for a good joke. Here are three examples of the masked one’s hijinks in the sequel:

1. Mike decides to look for Laurie at the local hospital she’s resting in. While he’s there, he leaves a trail of broken padlocks throughout the hospital’s maintenance property for a security guard to follow. Once the security guard finds Mike, Mike rewards his investigation by planting the claw of a hammer into his balding noggin. He could’ve politely smacked the guard from behind like Jason did to a similarly mustachioed and heavyset cop in Friday the 13th Part 2:

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

But no… Mike steps right in front of the guard to give him a good look at his last sight, which is the last thing anyone would want to see. HA! Get it?

Skip to 2:30 in for the funny:

2. Mike lets two irresponsible hospital employees get snuggly in the therapy room’s hot tub. The girl, played by the lovely Pamela Shoop gets uncomfortably toasty once Mike is turning up the heat in a separate room. Mike strangles the boyfriend when he goes to check the temperature, then dupes the girl into thinking he’s her boyfriend by gently touching her shoulder from behind. Seems Mike’s in the mood to pull the I’m-your-boyfriend gag again, which ends in him forcing Pamela to bob for death in the now boiling-hot water. Ha! The Boyfriend Bit always gets ‘em, right Mike?

3. Mike slashes the throat of bitchy yet well-meaning Nurse Alves. Then, for kicks, pops a catheter tube into her arm so she can drain blood all over an operating room’s floor. One can only hope that Michael was nearby when innocent ambulance assistant Jimmy (Lance Guest) slips hard on Nurse Alves’ blood and smacks his head on the floor. A prank pulled off that well deserves to be seen by the prankster.

Michael kills plenty of others in the flick once he enters the hospital harboring Laurie Strode, and they’re all murdered with medical supplies he finds, which is also funny to me. Why kill a drunk doctor with a knife when you can jab him in the eye with a syringe full of air? Why kill a nurse checking on the drunk doctor with a knife when you can jab her in the temple with a syringe full of air? And why kill another nurse with a knife when you can jab a tiny scalpel into her back then hold her aloft for a while?

The entire film doesn’t tickle my funny bone, though. In fact, I’ve thought quite hard on it before. There’s always been controversy about Reagan’s possible involvement in the mentally ill being deinstitutionalized, though some theories believe this practice began in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m not sure who primarily is to blame for what would eventually lead to the disturbing homeless situation we saw take place in the 80’s, but I can’t ignore the fact that hordes of unstable people roaming the streets may have affected horror’s human-vs.-human answer to cinematic terror in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Did this strange notion possibly subconsciously influence Rob Zombie’s own Halloween II?

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

I have no idea, but it’s interesting to consider.

Regardless of your thoughts on that odd bit of history,1981’s Halloween II remains a powerfully freakish story.

To witness a once committed inmate returning to a hospital of any kind to use tools intended for human repair as weapons strikes a chord deeper than watching any backwoods throwback use a woodshed staple to crack a skull or split a stomach. For as silly as Halloween II can be and as cozy Michael has become for us, a serious queasiness can be felt from the sequel: in this film, you’re not only unsafe in your home, but also the hospital you retreat to for care once you’ve been assaulted. Your neighbors can’t even be trusted, as evidenced in the first film by fellow suburbanites ignoring Laurie’s screams then more freakishly demonstrated in part II’s horrific razor-blade-in-the-candy scene. And the ultimate good guys – the cops? Not only do they fail at protecting the innocent, they shed innocent blood themselves.

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

The movie doesn’t rest until the entire community of Haddonfield is smoldering in a very real Hell. The calculated eeriness that permeated the first film gives way to angry, tragic chaos in the sequel. That’s why I can never turn off “Mr. Sandman” when it comes on the radio – its haunting cheerfulness takes me right back to Haddonfield every time, and it hurts so good.

Whew…

Now. Let’s put on our devil-may-care caps and whimsically skip over the mumbo jumbo about Laurie being Mike’s sister so we can discuss the flick’s wicked bastard of a finale.

It’s down to Laurie, Loomis and Michael, who gets shot in both eyes by Laurie. POP-POP!

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Then Loomis uses gas and his lighter to turn Michael into this:

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Which means in part 4, he should probably look like this under those bandages and not have any eyeballs:

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Which also means whoever decided to give him this much hair in part 5 is as much of a boob as whoever decided to give him back his eyeballs in part 4:

A Look Back at Halloween II - More of the Night HE Came Home

Whoops! Getting away from part II – bad news. Better wrap things up, eh? I feel a tantrum coming on, and we’ve come too far to let one of those things ruin a good time.

Here’s to the original Halloween II and here’s to your Happy Halloween, my friends. Be sure to check your candy and let me know your own thoughts on this nasty holiday horror.

Yours,

Chris Haberman

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

halloween and germany

Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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User Rating 3.25 (12 votes)
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