Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

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Halloween 5:
The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween5poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDominique Othenin-Girard
Produced byRamsey Thomas
Written by
  • Michael Jacobs
  • Dominique Othenin-Girard
  • Shem Bitterman
Based on
Starring
Music byAlan Howarth
CinematographyRobert Draper
Edited by
  • Charles Tetoni
  • Jerry Brady
Production
companies
Distributed byGalaxy Releasing
Release date
  • October 13, 1989 (1989-10-13)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5.5 million[1]
Box office$11.6 million (US)[2]

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a 1989 American slasher film written and directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard. It is the fifth installment in the Halloween series, stars Donald Pleasence, and Danielle Harris, and continues the "Thorn Trilogy" story arc from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and concluding with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.[3][4] The film follows Michael Myers returning to Haddonfield to murder his niece, Jamie, one year after she was institutionalized for trying to murder her foster mother.

The film's on-screen titles do not display "The Revenge of Michael Myers", which was used in all of the promotional material, TV spots, trailers, and merchandising; it simply says "Halloween 5".

Halloween 5 was theatrically released on October 13, 1989, and grossed $11.6 million at the domestic box office on a budget of $5.5 million, making it the poorest-performing film in the series to date. It received negative reviews from critics upon release.

Plot[edit]

On October 31, 1988, Michael Myers is shot and falls down a mine shaft. Sheriff Ben Meeker, the lynch mob of Haddonfield's truckers, and state police toss down dynamite to finish him off. Escaping into a nearby creek before the dynamite explodes, Michael stumbles upon a local hermit and falls into a coma, placing himself in the hermit's care, and being nursed back to health. One year later, on October 30, 1989, Michael awakens, stabs the hermit to death with his knife, and returns to Haddonfield to find his niece Jamie Lloyd again, who narrowly avoided being killed by him the year before.

Jamie has been admitted to the Haddonfield Children's Clinic, having been rendered mute due to psychological trauma, suffering from nightmares and seizures and being treated for stabbing her foster mother with a pair of scissors under Michael's influence, though her foster mother survived. Jamie exhibits signs of a telepathic link with her uncle. Dr. Sam Loomis becomes aware of Jamie's psychic link with Michael, and tries to convince Meeker that Michael is still alive, nearly being choked by the infuriated sheriff when he brings up Kelly's death by Michael's hands. Meanwhile, Michael stabs Jamie's foster sister Rachel to death with a pair of scissors in retribution for attempting to kill him previously, and begins stalking their friend Tina. He also kills Tina's boyfriend Mike by stabbing him with a rake and then poses as him, wearing a mask that Tina had given to him earlier. Tina never finds out about Mike's death.

Later that night, Tina and her friends Sam and Spitz go to a Halloween party at a farm. Sensing that Tina is in danger, Jamie, having regained her ability to speak, goes to warn her. While Sam and Spitz are having sex in the barn, Michael impales Spitz with a rake and decapitates Sam with a scythe. Tina finds the bodies, and goes to warn nearby police deputies, Nick Ross and Tom Ferriah, but finds Michael has already killed them. Tina flees, but Jamie and her friend Billy Hill from the clinic arrive. Michael begins chasing Jamie but crashes into a tree. Michael exits the car, and Tina sacrifices herself to allow Jamie and Billy time to escape. Loomis arrives, and Jamie finally agrees to help him stop Michael for good.

With Jamie's help, Loomis and Meeker have created a set up at the old Myers house to lure Michael back to his abandoned childhood home. Suddenly the police receive a call saying Michael has broken into the clinic, which prompts Meeker and most of the officers to leave. However, this call is merely a diversion. Michael appears and kills the trooper sitting in the patrol car outside, before entering the house where Loomis tries to reason with him, but Michael slashes him and throws him over the stair banister. Michael kills Trooper Bloch, who was protecting Jamie, before chasing the latter throughout the house, where she hides in a laundry chute but force to abandoned it. She then goes upstairs and find the bodies of Max the dog, Rachel, and Mike in the attic. Michael finds Jamie and attempts to kill her when Jamie responds by saying 'Uncle', which causes Michael to remove his mask. When Jamie touches his face he goes into a fit of rage. Jamie heads downstairs, only to find Loomis has re-appeared and, using her as bait, they lure Michael into a trap to weaken him with a tranquilizer gun. After beating Michael unconscious with a wooden plank, Loomis collapses from a stroke falls on Michael. Meeker and the rest of the police return shortly thereafter upon realizing the deception.

Michael is then taken into custody, with Meeker showing Jamie that he is chained in a cell, awaiting transport to a prison by the National Guard where he'll serve a life sentence until he hopefully dies and never threatens anyone again. Jamie is not pleased by that and says "He'll never die.", thinking it's over Jamie is being taken home by one of the officers, when a mysterious man in black arrives and launches a surprise attack on the police station with an explosion, then continues the attack with a machine gun. Jamie goes back inside, and finds the bodies of Meeker, along with three of his men dead by the man in black. Jamie finds Michael's cell empty and the back door of the police station broken open, causing her to break down in tears as she realizes Michael is free again to continue terrorizing Haddonfield.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Drunk off the success of Halloween 4, we began production on Halloween 5.

—Moustapha Akkad on Halloween 5[5]

The success of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers had revived Michael Myers' fame as the 1980s slasher movie craze had begun to subside, leaving film series like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street as its most prominent examples. While the previous film was still in theaters, Moustapha Akkad had already laid out plans for Halloween 5. The producers wanted to screen the film in October 1989, just one year after the previous sequel.

Writing[edit]

The first draft of the script was written by Shem Bitterman. Bitterman's idea was that Jamie Lloyd would become evil after stabbing her stepmother while The Shape was after her. This idea was rejected by the studio and Akkad, who brought in Michael Jacobs to write the script.[6] After reviewing the script, director Dominique Othenin-Girard added some new aspects like Jamie's inability to speak and her visions.[7]

Veteran actor Donald Pleasence had disagreements with Akkad and Othenin-Girard, citing that Jamie should have been portrayed as "all-evil" after stabbing her stepmother. Akkad disagreed, thinking that fans wanted to see more of The Shape. In an interview, Danielle Harris explained what she thought of the idea. Harris said,

The way Halloween 4 ended, I thought I was going to be the killer. I thought it would have been fun to come back as the killer, or Michael's sidekick. Scary, but fun.[8]

The Hermit, who was shown in the beginning of the film as living in a quiet shack outside of the river with his parrot, was originally supposed to be a young man who tried to bring The Shape back to life after finding him.[6] His shack was supposed to be filled with ancient runes, tablets, and other items for resurrection. This scene was filmed, but was re-shot with an old man, instead of a younger man.[6]

The script included "bumbling" cops, Deputies Nick and Tom, with their own "clown theme" to pay homage to Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left.[9]

Dominique Othenin-Girard attempted to have audiences "relate to 'Evil', to Michael Myers' 'ill' side". Girard wanted Michael to appear "more human [...] even vulnerable, with contradicting feelings inside of him". He illustrated these feelings with a scene where Michael removes his mask and sheds a tear. Girard explains, "Again, to humanize him, to give him a tear. If Evil or in this case our boogeyman knows pain, or love or demonstrate a feeling of regrets; he becomes even more scary to me if he pursues his malefic action. He shows an evil determination beyond his feelings. Dr. Loomis tries to reach his emotional side several times in [Halloween 5]. He thinks he could cure Michael through his feelings."[10]

Casting[edit]

Returning from Halloween 4 was veteran actor Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, along with Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, and Beau Starr, as Jamie Lloyd, Rachel Carruthers, and Sheriff Ben Meeker, respectively. Starr would later appear in an un-aired Halloween 5 television spot.

Ellie Cornell was keen on returning as Rachel in Halloween 5, although she became disappointed to learn that her character would be killed off early in the film. Originally, Michael was to shove the pair of scissors down her throat, but Cornell felt that this would be too gruesome, and requested that the writers change it; as a result, she is instead stabbed in the chest.[11]

Karen Alston, who portrayed Darlene Carruthers in the previous film, reprised her role in the beginning of the film showing the anonymous person in the mask stabbing her as she falls into the bathtub of water. Her voice-over was recorded by Wendy Kaplan. Kaplan won the role of Tina Williams, the loud and wily friend of Rachel's. After Rachel's demise, Tina inherits the role of Jamie's protector.

George P. Wilbur, who had portrayed The Shape in the previous film, did not express interest in returning to play the role (although he did work as a stunt player on the film). Don Shanks was cast to play the speech-less, white-masked murderer. Shanks had already played a similar character in the first two Silent Night, Deadly Night films. Shanks also had a double role as the Man in Black. Wilbur, who had to wear hockey pads to appear to have a bigger build, would later portray the Shape again in the next installment, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Shanks did not have to wear the hockey pads because he already had a larger build.[12]

Max Robinson would play Maxwell Hart, the doctor who assists Jamie when she is having one of her nightmares in the beginning of the film. Betty Carvalho appears as his assistant, Nurse Patsey, who has a "motherly" feel to Jamie. Jeffrey Landman portrayed Billy Hill, Jamie's best friend, who has a stutter. Landman worked with a coach who taught him about stuttering to help him prepare for the role.

Newcomers such as Tamara Glynn, Matthew Walker, and Jonathan Chapin appear as Samantha Thomas, Spitz, and Mike, who are friends of Tina and Rachel. Walker would later appear in another slasher film, Child's Play 3 (1991).

Direction[edit]

Debra Hill, who had written and produced the first two films, had sold her and John Carpenter's rights to the series before Halloween 4. She had met director Dominique Othenin-Girard at the Sundance Film Festival and liked his style.

She arranged a meeting with Othenin-Girard and Moustapha Akkad. Akkad liked Othenin-Girard and he became the director. This was Debra Hill's last involvement in the franchise. Othenin-Girard wanted to bring the franchise closer to the original, but wanted more blood in the film. The original uncut version of the film featured more explicit blood and violence. Akkad did not like this decision, as he felt that the original and Halloween 4 had worked better without showing as much detail.[12]

After filming for two weeks, Donald Pleasence gave his much bigger trailer to Danielle Harris once he left set. Harris' mother had been complaining about the small size of her daughter's trailer and Pleasence decided that she should have his.

Danielle Harris and Don Shanks became good friends over the course of filming, reportedly spending a lot of time together while off set.[13]

The film began production on May 1, 1989, and was filmed in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, just like its predecessor. The bus that the Man in Black gets off of stops outside exactly the same store where Jamie and Rachel went to get a Halloween costume in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

Unable to find the original house from the first in Halloween, the filmmakers chose a bigger, more mansion-like house because they needed a house that could provide wide rooms, hallways, an attic, a basement, and a laundry chute.

Donald Pleasence accidentally broke Don Shanks' nose on the set when they were filming the scene where Dr. Loomis beats The Shape with a 2×4 block of wood.

Don Shanks was also injured when he was filming the scene where The Shape crashes Mike's Camaro into the tree. Othenin-Girard had forgotten to yell "Cut!" and fire was beginning to emerge from the car (Shanks put this down to Othenin-Girard being sidetracked by seeing stunts take place during his first major directing job). Finally, stunt coordinator Don Hunt told Othenin-Girard to finally yell "cut". Wendy Kaplan was also injured in this scene, as the car almost ran over the top of her.

Editing[edit]

The film had been fighting an X rating due to its violence, blood, and gore. Some scenes were trimmed down to keep it rated R. The scene in which Jamie climbs up the laundry chute was originally more graphic. Originally, Michael stabbed her in the leg. But due to the request of the Motion Picture Association of America, the scene was cut down.[7]

An alternative opening was filmed with the Hermit replaced by a younger man with all kinds of ritualistic items in his cabin.[6]

In April 2019, film reels were discovered which possibly contain the original lost opening.[14]

Release[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that the film was "rather like taking another swing through the same all-too-familiar funhouse", but thought it was "a bit more refined in its details than the conventional horror movie".[15] Variety called the film "pretty stupid and boring fare" and noted that the series had become "practically indistinguishable from the 'Friday the 13th' pics".[16] Richard Harrington of the Los Angeles Times criticized the film as being "a prime example of the principle of diminishing reruns" and Donald Pleasence for "a flat two-note performance", though he thought Danielle Harris was "actually pretty good" in her role.[17]

Based on 25 reviews, it currently has a 12% 'Rotten' score on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 3.67/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers finds the series embracing crude slasher conventions with pedestrian scares, disposable characters, and aimless plotting.[18]

Box office[edit]

At the US box office the film took in $11.6 million on a budget of $5.5 million, making it the poorest performing film in the series to date.[2]

Home video[edit]

The film has been released on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD. The original VHS was released by CBS/FOX. It has been released, along with Halloween 4, the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror documentary and the Blu-ray, DVD and Extended Edition releases of Halloween (1978) for the commemorative Halloween 30th Anniversary box set in 2008. A Blu-ray edition was released in the United States on August 21, 2012.[19] The film was released on DVD/Blu-ray on October 2, 2013 in Australia, and the DVD/Blu-ray extras are commentary, on the set footage and trailer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Easton, Nina J. (October 14, 1989). "A Scary Box Office Puts Fear Into 'Halloween 5' Producer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Box office/business for Halloween 5".
  3. ^ Lea, Robert (October 28, 2018). "Halloween: A franchise that won't die but will forget". Medium. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  4. ^ "Every Halloween Movie Ranked, According to Critics". CBR. September 24, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  5. ^ Moustapha Akkad (2006). Inside 'Halloween 5' documentary (DVD). United States: Trancas International Pictures.
  6. ^ a b c d Mullins, Travis (August 21, 2017). "Interview: Robert Harders' Original Pitch for Halloween 5". Dread Central. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Interview with Dominique Othenin-Girard". HalloweenMovies.com. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Danielle Harris (2006). Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD (DVD). United States: Trancas International Pictures.
  9. ^ P.J. Soles (2006). Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD (DVD). United States: Trancas International Pictures.
  10. ^ "Dominique Othenin-Girard". Halloween Movies. April 10, 2006. Archived from the original on April 5, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  11. ^ Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers commentary featuring Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell
  12. ^ a b Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD documentary
  13. ^ Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers DVD: Inside Halloween 5
  14. ^ Millican, Josh (April 2, 2019). ""Lost" Alternate Opening for HALLOWEEN 5 May Have Been Found!". Dread Central. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Holden, Stephen (October 14, 1989). "'Halloween 5' and Sinister Rustlings". The New York Times: 13.
  16. ^ "Halloween 5". Variety: 32. October 18–24, 1989.
  17. ^ Harrington, Richard (October 16, 1989). "'Halloween 5': No Tricks, No Treats". Los Angeles Times. B2.
  18. ^ "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  19. ^ "Halloween 5 Blu-ray | Free Shipping at". Deepdiscount.com. Retrieved January 28, 2014.

External links[edit]