It’s December, and that can only mean one thing. Yes, it’s Slovenian Independence Day on the 26th.
As a warm-up to that big occasion, there’s also a smaller event on the previous day called Christmas, where families come together and give each other presents and eat food and get fat and get miserable for the next eleven months until they lose the fat then they decide to lose more weight because they know they’re probably going to get fat again next Christmas. It’s good fun.
Starring: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy, Alf Humphreys
“Roses are red, violets are blue, one is dead… and so are you.” (killer’s note, My Bloody Valentine)
Valentine’s Day can be a pain in the arse at the best of times.
If you’re single it can be a thoroughly depressing affair as you hear countless tales of lovebirds wooing each other with gifts and other tokens of their adoration.
Meanwhile, being one of said lovebirds is no picnic either, what with the stress of having to buy your partner a present and hoping it’s the right size, or the right colour, or the specific type they asked for.
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Keir Dullea, Marian Waldman
Also known as: Silent Night, Evil Night (USA title)
“Little baby bunting, daddy’s went a-hunting, gonna fetch a rabbit skin to wrap his baby Agnes in.” (The Killer, Black Christmas)
Although Halloween is credited as the film that kicked off the slasher genre and Friday The 13th is the considered the one that inspired a slew of imitations, Black Christmas pre-dates them both by nearly half a decade.
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Charles Cyphers, Dick Warlock
“He was my patient for fifteen years. He became an obsession with me until I realised there was neither reason nor conscience or anything about him that was even remotely human. An hour ago I stood up and fired six shots into him and he just got up and walked away. I am talking about the real possibility that he is still out there.” (Dr Loomis, Halloween II)
Everyone (including me) always goes on about how incredible the first Halloween was, and with good reason. It was a landmark in horror history and one of the first true pioneers of the slasher genre. It’s understandable then that its sequel doesn’t get quite as much recognition but it’s a shame because while it isn’t quite as innovative or genre-defining as its predecessor it’s still a strong slasher and a decent conclusion to what John Carpenter had only ever intended to be a two-film story.
Carpenter only wrote Halloween II, this time passing the directing duties to newcomer Rick Rosenthal. The film’s first five minutes are a recap of the last five minutes of its predecessor, reminding us of the final confrontation between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers, and the eventual saving of the day courtesy of Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance). After the original film’s ending, with Loomis firing six shots into Myers (though some dodgy editing means this time he actually shoots him seven times) and “the Shape” legging it, the rest of the film then takes place from that immediate point on and shows what happens over the rest of the night.
As Laurie is taken to the nearby hospital to be treated for her injuries from her scrap with Myers, Dr Loomis and the Haddonfield rozzers continue their search for him. While in theory this shouldn’t be too hard – after all, they just have to look for the guy with six or seven gunshot wounds – it turns out they’re wasting their time, because Myers is actually at the hospital, trying to find Laurie and kill her. Continue reading “Halloween II (1981) review”→
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Wendy Foxworth, Don Shanks
“I prayed that he would burn in Hell, but in my heart I knew that Hell would not have him.” (Dr Sam Loomis, Halloween 5)
While Halloween 4 wasn’t the greatest slasher ever made, it did at least have a cracking ending that suggested the inevitable fifth film would take the series in a twisted new direction. This makes Halloween 5 all the more frustrating then, because not only is it a pile of pish but its predecessor had practically spelled out how it could have done it better.
(spoiler alert for Halloween 4 in the next paragraph, folks)
Halloween 4 ended with young Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) going a tad mental and stabbing her foster mother while dressed up in a clown outfit, much like young Michael Myers did at the start of the original Halloween. Many took this to mean that Jamie was going to follow in her uncle’s footsteps and continue his killing spree. Instead Halloween 5 decides that her foster mum survived and Jamie was sent to a children’s psychiatric hospital, where she recovered. Bottlers.
(spoilers end now, innit)
When we join Jamie at the start of Halloween 5, she’s been in a psychiatric hospital for the past year. The trauma of the events in the previous film have led to her losing her voice, but her foster sister and her friend Tina (the annoying Wendy Foxworth) visit her regularly to bring her gifts and the like. She’s also got a little friend, a fellow nine-year-old called Billy who’s clearly trying to get fired in even though she’s not much of a talker. Good man Billy, beggars can’t be choosers. Continue reading “Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989) review”→