Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) - Weasello Rating: {>>>-} (woo) {{ Prequel | Sequel }}
Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

I had to travel long and far to find this movie, being rented until eternity at my regular video store. (Quote previously from header of Halloween 5:
    The guy at the video store said "Yes, we do have a copy of Halloween 4. It is due back by October 21, 2001."

    Yes, that is about two years ago. I don't think it's coming back.
This movie is definitely worth a watch if you're seeing the series, plus it'll clear up a few things in the final movies in the series as well. Definitely a plot stepping stone.

Body count: 15 on-screen visual murders, plus one dog - which, as the DVD trivia in H20 says, is Michael's only animal kill. He also exterminates an entire police station, body count unknown (probably around 5-10). Of the 15 confirmed kills, a whopping 13 were male and only 2 female! This is the biggest sexist murderous rampage since Halloween 5 (which I watched prior to this movie).

Michael Injury Tally: Though it is never seen, Michael first opens the doors to pain by getting himself in quite the car wreck. Some time later, he is hit in the head with the butt-end of a rifle, is punched in the face once, gets thrown off the roof of a rapidly decelerating truck, is hit by said truck, and is then shot between 32-50 times by various shotguns and pistols. He then collapses into what appears to be a grave, and the dirt and debris buries him. Though this turns out to not be a grave at all in Halloween 5, we don't know that yet.

Scream Count: It's hard keeping track of screaming because I often just take it in stride and don't really notice. Several times I had to rewind to double-check. My final tally is 7 female screams and 2 male screams, totaling 9. This is interesting, considering the off-kilter ratio of male-to-female deaths.

Porn Watch: Though there is a brief sex scene, the (best/worst) that is seen is a very tight pair of panties from behind. And some man-nipples.

Outline: Though Halloween III was kind of a bust, the whole plot line became pretty ruined and disjointed from Halloween II. Michael no longer has a rhyme or reason for killing, and there's no underlying mystery to solve. The living star of the original movies is established as being dead, even though she makes a return as if nothing happens in Halloween H20. Very confusing.

In any case, this movie's basic premise is this. 10 years after Halloween II, Michael escapes the dungeon of a sanitarium (no, he didn't die) and goes on a killing spree, looking for any of his living relatives. He happens to have one left (according to this movie), a little girl that is his niece. After blacking out the entire town's power grid AND phone network, he finally is defeated in a bloody battle with police.

Unfortunately, the little girl that Michael is after touches Michael's "dead" body at one point and the evil has "apparently" transferred into her. There is a very disturbing scene where she murders her best friend and foster sister with a pair of scissors at the end of the movie. *shudders* It was very well done; but then again, children always give me the creeps when they aren't being cute-and-cuddly like they should be.

My Opinion: Though the plot is getting more and more and more thin, it is so established by previous movies that you don't really need any. They jump right into the killing and don't let up until the end. This particular movie was more like an action movie, too - not too much suspense. It really takes away from the gravity of the situation when Michael can teleport anywhere at will (see Interesting Notes). The ending, however, was excellent (though poorly acted) and I would give this movie an overall 3/4. Worth a watch if you're seeing the series.

Interesting Notes:
  • For the entire Halloween series, my girlfriend and I would shout "Ahh, Jason!," calling him the star of Friday the 13th instead of his real name, Michael. It's probably the mask, the slow walking pace, and the weapon of choice: knives.
  • Throughout the Halloween movies, Michael Myers enters many houses and vehicles through open windows. But never once have I actually seen him climbing through a window. Due to his slow, lumbering pace and his jerky, inflexible movements, I'd think it'd be quite the hilarious feat.
  • In most movies, Michael cuts the power and/or phone lines to the house he is entering. In a fit of efficiency, he takes out the entire town's power grid and phone system before killing in this movie.
  • Given the chance to shoot somebody several times with a shotgun, Michael decides to simply shove the barrel through the poor girl's chest. At least she died surprised!
  • Stephen King's "The Stand" used the same drug-store set where Ellie bought her clown costume.
  • The script was written and delivered, proofed and all, in 11 days... Just in time to beat a writer's strike that prevented any revisions from occuring for most of the shooting.
  • Though most horror movie stars have the magical ability to teleport themselves, thereby keeping them within 10 feet of their prey at all times, Michael does more teleporting in this movie than any other. And I don't just mean teleporting up to his prey - he teleports clear across town several times, and off of house roofs, and up and down stairs. Or maybe he's just super stealthy and runs and jumps whenever off camera.
Fun Quotes:
  • (Screaming girl running out of a school building) "He's INSIDE!"
    (man approaching her) "JESUS! Where?"
    (Screaming girl) "In the SCHOOL!"
  • (kids teasing little girl at school) "Where's your Halloween costume? You don't NEED one cuze your uncles the BOOGEYMAN! Yeah! And he's SCAAAAaaaAARY! Why won't you wear a Halloween costume?! {all kids chanting} JAMIE'S AN ORPHAN! JAMIE'S AN ORPHAN! JAMIE'S AN ORPHAN! HER UNCLES A BOOGEYMAN! JAMIE'S AN ORPHAN!" - - Now, I know that kids are cruel to each other, but Jebub! What the hell!? They proceeded to chase her out of the school like a lynch mob.
Lead roles: Directed by: Dwight H. Little

Writing credits: Danny Lipsius and Larry Rattner

Tagline: Ten Years Ago HE Changed The Face Of Halloween. Tonight HE'S BACK!
Sources: The oh-so-wonderful IMDB, my head, and the box.