I’ll start off by saying that this is not a bad movie. Sure, the acting may not be tip-top, but hey, that’s okay. It was 1982. They were trying something new. I think a lot of people write this movie off instantly when they hear it has nothing to do with Michael Myers and his teenage murder fetish, save for the Samhain aspect, but I think that’s completely unfair. Especially when you consider the time period, the idea behind it, and the fact that the Halloween series of today was not the Halloween series of yesteryear. It was supposedly intended to be an anthology series, but once people got a taste of ol’ Michael, they weren’t about to let him go. So when this was released, everyone was disappointed, and still continue to be today. I know, this movie is not that great, definitely not on par with the rest of the series, but like I said, it wasn’t originally intended to be. Considering it was 1988 before Michael Myers returned, it was presumed that he died after the climactic end of Halloween II. Therefore, horror fans can give this one a pass; there’s a reason, an explanation. Unlike the goddamn rage-inducing, piece of shit sham that was Halloween: Resurrection, but don’t get me started.
We meet Dr. Challis, an emergency room doctor who encounters a man, ranting and raving some crazy noise about someone killing everyone. Ya know, the usual. So, naturally, he thinks he’s insane. He is soon killed by a mysterious man who also commits suicide. Challis meets the man’s daughter, Ellie, who never quite rubbed me the right way, especially considering that after enlisting his help investigating what happened to her father, they sleep together. It’s too weird, they just didn’t mesh well together, in my opinion. They travel to a town, Santa Mira, whose claim to fame is the Silver Shamrock mask company, and of whose mask Ellie’s father was clutching that night. They discover dark and sinister plots, constructed by an evil man, Cochran, who plans to use the mask’s popularity to kill every child on Halloween night by way of a device implanted into the masks and activated by that damn television commercial we know all too well by now. The mysterious guards are actually robots, and after seemingly saving the day, Challis discovers Ellie has been turned into one, also. Sadly, he has to kill his mistress-turned-robot, and knowing that the television stations are about to start playing the commercial, he ends up at a gas station and calls all the networks (somehow, he knows all their numbers? Did I miss something?) and tells them to turn off the broadcast. They all listen, except for the last….as we end with Challis yelling into the phone for them to “Turn it off!”
It’s actually not a bad story, but I think for the time, and bad choice of title, it was not that well received. It is more respected today, because we know the reason behind it, and have given it more of a chance, but I think audiences weren’t ready for this back then. To their credit, it was relatively confusing, and not that exciting, so it was hard to follow, especially since a lot of people were probably staring at their screens anticipating a non-existent Michael Myers. But the plot is decent, and the effects are pretty neat, not to mention some gross death scenes with snakes and bugs and other yucky beings. It’s worth watching, but don’t expect our mask-wearing darling in this one!
The iconic ending scene. Forget the commercial, I think he was really just trying to stop that Silver Shamrock song…