The most ghoulish
mass murderer in history has been in a coma for ten years. But tonight,
he's awake - and Halloween has never been more terrifying. While being
moved from a maximum security prison for the criminally insane Michael
Myers regains consciousness and escapes. A trail of carnage leads Dr. Loomis,
a medical professional all too familiar with Michael's case, to the small
Illinois town that was the scene of Michael's ghastly crimes in the past.
"You talk about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago."
- Dr. Loomis
Halloween IV was marketed as the ten year anniversary of Myers'
first killing spree at least as much as it is marketed as the return of
Michael Myers to the Halloween series, or the Halloween series'
return to itself, you might say. Halloween III was not so
bad, but a lot of people were understandably put off because it had nothing
to do with its predecessors. In this installment, almost everyone is back
except for Jamie Lee Curtis, who is replaced as an intended victim surprisingly
well by Myers' niece, Jamie Lloyd, played by ten-year-old Danielle Harris.
The movie starts off years after where Part II left off (except that Myers
and Dr. Loomis have been brought back to life, having clearly died at the
end of part II), and Myers is finally being transferred out of the guarded
hospital where he has been kept catatonic all these years. All of the employees
at the hospital are relieved to see him go, because he gives the all the
creeps. The situation gives the feeling that Myers is being kept like some
kind of alien that they can't figure out how to kill. Some explanation
for why he was ever kept alive in the first place would have been in order,
I should think.
During the transfer, as is to be expected, Myers comes alive and kills
everyone in the ambulance transferring him. Accident investigators on the
scene later, immediately assume everyone is dead despite not being able
to find all of the bodies, and illustrate their investigative competence
by more than once referring to the ambulance as a bus. What follows is
a Halloween installment that is sufficiently dark and gloomy, but
that is really not much more than a series of death scenes. The electrocution
scene, for example, is so obviously contrived that it could just as easily
have been installed just about anywhere in any of the other Halloween films.
The film concerns Laurie Strode's niece, Jamie, and Strode's foster sister
Rachel, who is, of course, having boy trouble. Her troubles may be a little
difficult to understand, however, because not only is the object of her
affection amazingly goofy looking, but he is also a complete idiot and
a total jerk. In only one example of his lack of cognitive function, he
doesn't know who Michael Myers is. That's like someone in Waco, Texas having
no idea why their town is famous. The difficulty I had in mourning or caring
about his death was matched only by the ease with which the fate of his
relationship with Rachel could be predicted.
One of the only people involved in the original Halloween and the
first sequel is Donald Pleasance, who always performs wonderfully but here
is given nothing more than a lot of lines where he talks about pure evil
and he's not human and you don't know how to stop him and he's right here
in this town you have to believe me, etc. etc. etc. Given that such an
important part of the series agreed to come back, after Jamie Lee Curtis
and John Carpenter declined to join, it would seem that they would put
a little more effort into his part.
In one scene, the movie threatens to go in a bad direction, when Loomis
gets out of a police car and prepares to shoot down Michael Myers, only
to discover that he is surrounded by Myerses. The horror at the thought
of Michael having multiplied is clear on his face, but as he and the shocked
officer with him prepare to fire, the kids pull off their masks and run
off into the night, hooting and hollering about how funny they are and
how great that was. These kids are so monumentally stupid that I wish at
least one of them had been shot.
Later in the film, after most of the police force has been killed off in
their own police station by Michael Myers, the local rednecks decide to
take matters in their own hands. Myers has been here before, killed too
many kids, and now the police station is in ruins because of a single lurching
man who doesn't even use guns (at one point in this movie he is even holding
a shotgun pointed at a girl, and he stabs her with it rather than shoot
her, a classic Myers move). I'd get my shotgun, too. Not that I have one.
But if I did, I'd be a little more discriminating as to when I'd take a
shot. In a scene soon thereafter, the men see some movement in the bushes
and they all unload on it, killing one of their friends. Nice. I love their
strategy - everyone get their shotguns, and let's all pile into Earl's
pickup truck and blow the hell out of anything that moves! Or Steve's truck,
or Bill's, or whoever's it was. The best part was that when they got within
shooting distance of Myers, they all gave up and decided to leave it to
However, it should be noted that the tripe with which Halloween IV is filled is followed by a VERY impressive ending, which is the best ending
that this movie could possibly have had and is also a tremendous homage
to the original Halloween. It is very difficult for horror movies,
especially when they are already getting up there in sequel numbers themselves,
to have an ending that leaves the story open for yet another sequel. Most
of the time a high-numbered sequel with an open ending makes me think something
like Oh god, they're gonna do another one. Halloween IV, for all
its flaws, not only doesn't do that, but it has such a good ending that
it almost makes up for the rest of the garbage in the film. Were the rest
of the movie as good as the ending, this would have been another classic.
girl who drove Rachel and Jamie to the costume store was named Lindsey
and is approximately 17 years old. In Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis
babysat a seven year old named Lindsey.
- Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Jamie.
shoot lasted about 41 days and Ellie and Danielle were required to be on
set for 36.
- During production of the roof-top chase Ellie Cornell was injured
by a protruding nail as she slid down the roof. After a quick trip to the
local hospital Ellie finished the scene with her bandages in place. According
to Danielle it didn't even phase her.
- Alan B. McElroy wrote the script in 11 days and beat the writer's
strike by mere hours.
- Mike Lookinland of The Brady Bunch was the production assistant.
His wife played the dead waitress.
- Leaves had to be imported and squash was painted to look like
- The gaffer (Garlan Wilde) was seriously injured while the filming
of the Michael and Brady confrontation. Garlan was putting up a light and
fell and cut his wrists; he was quickly rushed to the hospital.
- Dwight H. Little did extensive research on the history of Halloween
and many of its harvest images were put in the creepy opening sequence.
- After viewing a rough edit it was decided that the movie was too
soft, so they brought in special effects wizard John Carl Buechler for
one day of extra "blood" filming. The thumb in the forehead and the redneck's
head getting twisted were both done by him.
- The drug store set was also used in Stephen King's The Stand.