I may catch hell for this, but Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is in no way as bad as some make it out to be, and quite frankly speaking, one of the better installments in the franchise series. Personally, I rank The Return a close second to Season of the Witch – another one I constantly get shit on for loving way too much but that’s another bag of dicks for another day – with of course the original two Halloween films tied for that top spot. However, this is all just my own little worthless, humble opinion and I surely expect for many to disagree, which is exactly how this should work. The wide world of the interwebs would be incredibly boring if we all agreed on everything, now wouldn’t it my fellow Pilgrims?
Because of my weird obsession along with the sacred blood oath I’ve taken to defend this movie until peace on Earth commences, and with the glorious awakening of fall that this installment so beautifully catches in the opening credits, I figured what better way to officially kick off the Halloween season with a few fun facts on Halloween 4. Hey, you’ll most likely be watching it several times courtesy of AMC’s Fearfest, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new and see the film through a new set of peelers!
10. Halloween 4 screenwriter Alan B. McElroy penned the entire script in under eleven days, just in time before the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike took effect- the longest recorded strike in WGA history lasting 155 days. McElroy also has a cameo in the film, serving as one of the state troopers at the ambulance crash site seen below on the right.
9. Melissa Joan Hart of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” fame auditioned for the role of Jamie but was ultimately beat out by newcomer Danielle Harris who made her big screen debut in Halloween 4. Had Hart been chosen, Clarissa would have had a whole more explaining to do.
8. Speaking of debut roles, Ellie Cornell who plays Jamie’s foster sister Rachel Carruthers, was also the actress’s first acting credit. Cornell also auditioned for another role that same year in a fellow little infamous horror franchise you may have heard of. Ellie had eyed and auditioned for Alice Johnson in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, but was beat out by Lisa Wilcox.
7. Vincent’s Drugstore, which served as Brady’s after school job and THE go-to-place in Haddonfield for the hippest Halloween costumes, was also used in Stephen King’s The Stand miniseries in 1994 and The Sandlot the previous year; making the mom and pop market sort of a historical filming location for awesome childhood films. Yes, The Stand television event is totally a childhood relic to me.
6. Dennis Etchison, who had written novelizations of Carpenter’s Halloween classics, originally wrote the first script for Halloween 4 in conjunction with Debra Hill and John Carpenter. The unused story placed Halloween 4 ten years after the events in Halloween II placing focus on Tommy Doyle and Lindsay Wallace in a sort of Footloose–style plot where Halloween is banned from Haddonfield. Of course, that doesn’t stop from Michael Myers showing up and showing the townsfolk what a real Halloween Havoc looks like- take that WCW.
However, of course, Carpenter and Hill left the project over differences with the studios and Etchison’s script never came to be.
5. In Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, we got to see that adult version, and kind of creepy, Tommy Doyle. However, we never fully got an adult Lindsay Wallace like we may have seen in The Return. Not only was she the main character in Etchison’s unused script, turns out Rachel’s friend Lindsay who drove the trio to Vincent’s Drug was actually supposed to be revealed later in the film to be that Lindsay Wallace, and initially had more scenes written for the character but was cut for budget reasons. Well, technically it is her, the film just doesn’t acknowledge it and I’m sticking to that story.
4. In the schoolhouse scene when you see Jamie and Dr. Loomis scurrying up the stairs, there’s an awesome albeit a bit fuzzy shot of a paper cutout of Michael Myers on one of the classroom doors of the second floor. * I really tried to get a good shot for you readers. Unfortunately, I’m a much better rambler than a photographer.
3. Sheriff Meeker was originally supposed to die in the film via Man vs. Myers in a combat battle in the basement of the Meeker residence. The struggle would have resulted in a knocked over furnace engulfing the house in flames, which in turn put Jamie and Rachel on the rooftop. However, the effects deemed too much for the film’s budget and were cut and Meeker’s screen life saved in the process.
2. If you’ve seen Halloween 4 at least 100 times like I have, you know of what I speak when it comes to the scene that sticks out like a sore thumb with that blond-haired Michael Myers in the schoolhouse. That one little scene, in particular, is the one shot of George P. Wilbur in a backup “Ben Tramer” Myers mask that was leftover from the Halloween II film. Several stories have made the rounds giving an explanation for the California fun in the sun Myers, however, the one that rings the most truth is that it was simply a mistake from the crew and budget restraints didn’t allow for a reshoot. This is all according to Gorezone magazine via the January 1988 issue.
1. There’s a long lost deleted opening scene rumored to have been shot but never finished for Halloween 4 that explains Loomis’ rescue and survival of the hospital fire at the end of Halloween II by being blasted out of the building. It’s also said to contain a shot where Loomis attempts to stop the firemen from extinguishing Michael by yelling at the men, “Let him burn!”
I would pay all the money in the world to see that ladies and gents. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, maybe $20; and $20 well spent I’d say.
Maybe you knew some of this stuff, or perhaps you caught some new knowledge of the underrated Halloween installment today! Either way, let’s discuss below if you have some more trivia tidbits regarding the night he came home….again!