Thursday, December 9, 2010

Something Rank (#16-15)

4 Monsters, 36 Movies, Infinite Blog Posts

Previous entries:
(#36-33) (#32-29) (#28-25)
(#24-21) (#20-17)

(#16) Halloween 4:
The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Michael's back, keeping the blood in his bloodline by trying to off his adorable niece. Little Jamie (Danielle Harris) finds herself with a family reunion just in time for the holiday season. Even if Jamie never really knew her mother Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) after her offscreen "death," there's a certain kinship that comes with watching everyone you love be violently slaughtered. Jamie is a Myers after all and homicide is just part of the gene pool.

Poor Jamie...
The only photos of her mother are production stills.

Haddonfield, Illinois's own pride and joy experiences yet another homecoming as the series reverts to its old ways after that detour into Druid territory with Halloween III. This sequel's primary goal is to capture some of Carpenter's mood and menace, and while it offers little new, it embraces and expands the legacy with at least some awareness of suspense. Donald Pleasence is back as Dr. Sam Loomis and he's all but given up on any of his other patients at this point. Their well-beings pale in comparison with trying to thwart unstoppable monster Michael Myers. Jamie's his latest target, but her childhood may mirror Michael's more than anyone could have anticipated. Donning a mask and something pointy, Jamie carves her own holiday horrors out of her adopted family in a finale as fitting as it is practically forgotten by the follow-up film.

The Face of Fear:

Killer Looks:

Michael seems to have bought stock in William Shatner's pale face knock-off costume company. They're in endless supply. If you've burnt one, you've burnt them all.

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#15) Friday the 13th:
The Final Chapter

The Friday franchise is more or less a machine -- sometimes well-oiled, sometimes creaky, and sometimes operated by a drunk without a manual. Part IV is running pretty smoothly. The careless cast fills the need for dirty deeds, nudity and needlessly graphic mutilation. Beyond that it's one of the entries to better embrace the lakeside surroundings, take pride in its body count, and just generally fare better with the obvious slice-and-dice formula. Stormy nights give way to the sacrificial slaughter of sex-starved youth that have sought Camp Crystal Lake for relief of their hormones and possibly smores. It takes the essential elements and executes them well, while executing its cast in consistently gruesome ways (thanks to gore-guru Tom Savini). To anyone critiquing the film's lack of suspense and complete void of substance? "Random roadside hippy chick who dies while eating a banana" has this to say:

Considering it's the fourth film in a franchise of twelve, it seems dubious to credit it as "The Final Chapter," but then it does pull out all the stops. Several people - and dogs - are propelled through second-story windows in slow motion, Crispin Glover dances just as you'd expect Crispin Glover to dance, and little Corey Feldman says pervy things like, "Some pack of patootsies, huh?" Not revelatory and yet not to be scoffed at either.

Faces of Fear:

Killer Looks:

1) Mama's Boy Unmasked

2) Jason Voorhees: an artist's rendering
3) Corey Feldman: a bald kid who might be crazy

My Thoughts Exactly...

Up Next: #14-13

Freddy meets Zsa Zsa Gabor!
And the slutty one from Just the Ten of Us!


Jaime Grijalba said...

I've seen this both.
I found Halloween 4 incredibly decent, but still not good enough to be recommendable. The best thing about it was the little girl, who acted really good (excuse me for not looking up, I'm just that lazy).
"The Final Chapter" (now I realized, two number 4 in this post) is one of the most loved of the franchise... but I still prefer the first one, number 2 AND number 5 (yeah... I'm weird). The thing that killed it for me was the suicidal dogs. Hilarious, yet it put me off.
By the way, me and my brother saw all the Friday the 13th movies in a summer, when we finished this one, we both looked at each other and said "well, it wasn't that good".
I think my brother liked it even less.

James Gracey said...

Great stuff! Keep 'em comin'!