Twists of fury: Halloween 5
In this feature, Vegan Voorhees examines those jaw-dropping revelations that the slasher film loves to bat our way from the blue, like a pushy parent tossing softballs at a kid who doesn’t want to learn baseball.
This month, it’s that weirdo ending to Halloween 5 (the one they pretend wasn’t suffixed The Revenge of Michael Myers) that goes under the microscope. So if you’ve still yet to see it, STOP READING HERE!
Set Up: Michael Myers, thought dead at the end of Halloween 4, which threw up its own slightly stupid twist of its own, “reactivates” as Halloween 1989 approaches, and decides to spend the season doing the usual thing of killing everyone to get at his niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris – who’s awesome).
But who’s the guy in pointy boots we keep seeing loitering?
Teenagers, family members, and numerous cops die, until Dr Loomis (also awesome) and the Sheriff set up a sting-op to capture Michael once and for all…
Twist: The sting goes successfully and Michael is banged up in a Haddonfield jail cell but just as Jamie is about to be reunited with her family, gunfire rings out inside the cop shop, she eventually ventures inside when nobody comes to help her and finds all the officers dead and Michael gone.
Pointy Boots has shot up the joint and broken Michael out. Who is he? Why does he want Michael? Do we have to wait a whole year to find out?
Problems with this revelation: No. Because Halloween 5 “performed disappointingly” at the box office, all plans for Halloween 6 went on hold. FOR SIX YEARS.
While you can almost admire the producers for trying to shake things up with this subplot, which I guess they assumed would be all exciting and lead into a whole new exploration of Michael’s origins and motivations.
When some of this stuff IS backfilled in Halloween 6, it’s insubstantial, boring, and suggests that Pointy Shoes ‘created’ Michael, despite the fact he’d killed his sister before ever coming into contact with him. Duh.
As Halloween 5 grinds on past its welcome, it’s just a shitty ending. You’re tired from the relentless screaming and running and the overlong scenes at the suddenly mansion-sized Myers house. But what else could they do? Slasher films were coming to grinding halts in terms of profit by the end of the 80s. They put Jason on a boat and had Freddy haunting a baby. Compared to that, Halloween 5 is at least grounded in some sort of reality.
Likely explanation: Exhaustion of a marginal idea. When the series is only about a guy who wants to kill his sister/niece/great-nephew blah blah blah, how long can it really go on for? How many people have died in order that Laurie, Jamie, and later Baby Stephen, survive?
More than fifty.
So we know Jason and Freddy are essentially no different; Freddy especially has a limited number of victims before he got greedy in Elm Street 4, whereas Jason is just happy to kill, Kill, KILL! without particular reason other than liking it.
Michael’s “eradicate the family” motive could only go on so long.
They tried, it sucked, Rob Zombie came along. Ugh.