Reviewed by Mike Ferraro
Perhaps the coolest thing about Halloween 5 I can recall deals with a certain theatrical adventure from my childhood. It was 1989 and technology had not yet ruined the planet. Drive-in theaters were a lot more common than they are today, but they were still dying out even in that time. I was 8 years old and my parents took me to see a double feature. The bill? Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, followed by Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
At the beginning, my level of excitement was off the charts. Then, as the films progressed, this level all but disappeared into a state of sadness. It didn’t matter to me the order of which they played, because they were both equally disappointing, and I haven’t watched Halloween 5 since.
Danielle Harris returns as Jamie Lloyd, the infamous niece of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis from the first two Halloween films). She now resides in a mental institution, as the events of the last film no doubt put her there (she did attack her stepmother with a large pair of scissors during the big twist ending).
Michael Myers survived the infinite amount of gunshots a vicious gang of police and rednecks blasted into him during from the end of Halloween 4 and was in a coma for an entire year, only to wake up on – you guessed it – Halloween! How fun it must be to write scripts with so many surprising twists and turns like that! Great job Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard (who also directed this installment), and Shem Bitterman.
Jamie’s psychic visions from Halloween 4 are back with a vengeance. She now dreams of Michael and his killings, and can even pinpoint where he is at a certain times. Too bad it doesn’t help her save her poor friends, but then again, what would a slasher film be without the slashing?
If Halloween 4 was made to bring back a beloved character from a franchise that John Carpenter was trying to kill (again, see Halloween III – it isn’t as bad as people tell you), then Halloween 5 is a great reminder as to why Carpenter wanted it to end. It’s lazy, anti-climatic, rushed, and tedious. Producer Moustapha Akkad is definitely to blame here; after part 4 was such a success, he did his best to essentially make the same film again. But what happens when you technically remake a film that wasn’t very good to begin with? You make an even worse film.
Halloween 5 was followed-up 6 years later with The Curse of Michael Myers, and follows the Jamie character (although played by a different actress) to her conclusion. While that film had more production troubles than just about any film in history, it’s the last time the franchise ever mentions these characters – and for good reason. In next installment, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, they completely ignore everything in the franchise but the first two entries.
Much like the new Halloween 4 blu-ray released by Anchor Bay, some of the special features from the DVD have carried over (promos and a trailer). There are 2 new audio commentaries – one with actor Don Shanks (Michael Myers) and author Justin Beahm and another with director Dominique Othenin-Girard, Danielle Harris, and Jeffrey Landman. The Shanks-Beahm commentary is the most fascinating, as Beahm – the Halloween aficionado he is – guides the commentary with a naturalistic interview feel.
Visually, the print looks a lot crisper than the DVD release, only, just like Halloween 4, the colors often fall flat. The disc also has a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and sounds just as good as you’d expect.
So what is the historical impact of Halloween 5? Well, to date, it is the least successful of the franchise (how sad it is when Halloween: Resurrection makes more money than you?). For fans that simply have to own everything that has to do with Halloween and Michael Myers, nothing anyone can say will sway you away.