Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Hype For Halloween 6


It took 6 years for us to find out what the hell happened to Jamie, Michael and this Man In Black following the police station shootout/explosion in Halloween 5.  In 1990, production was set to to go with Daniel Farrands having the "dream come true" of getting to be a fan penning an official installment of a franchise.  Farrands is on record saying he left Halloween 5 and told his friends "I am going to write Halloween 6".  The guy was 20 years old at the time and no credits to his name.  Yet, through some turn of events found himself in a room with Moustapha Akkad agreeing to write the next installment of the series.  Moustapha wanted it all connected and the questions to be answered in this next one.

Unfortunately, the Halloween then ran into some lengthy legal battles regarding rights and such, causing a holdup of six years.  Sound familiar to another franchise I covered?  Incredibly both Michael Myers and James Bond took a break after 1989, both returning in 1995.  Let's make that the answer of a trivia question someday, eh?
The rights eventually setting with Bob & Harvey Weinstein who were making a Dimension Films horror branch of their Miramax label.  Things picked up again, but Farrands was not brought back.  Instead there was the usual revolving door with scriptwriters and directors.  But one set that almost came through was Quentin Tarantino and Scott Spiegel.  Tarantino had come in back in 1990 when the film was originally being put into production and managed to have a return visit when things were with the Weinsteins whom he has been doing business with since the 90s.  Moustapha ended up not really liking their script and didn't see Spiegel fit as a director.  You can read that whole scenario in more detail HERE.
Eventually, Daniel Farrands was brought back.  After going through 11 rewrites, he was set to go.  Fred Walton of When A Stranger Calls & April Fools Day fame was brought on to direct, and was almost a handpicked choice of Farrands.  However, things took too long to get going and he ended dropping out.  The future director of "Yo, Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo", Joe Chappelle, was brought on to direct what would be his second feature.

Personally, I could not wait for this film.  It felt like forever to get Michael back.  Freddy and Jason had both been "finished" and there was Michael left...and with this damn cliffhanger too.  And back in the day, when this movie finally started its production, there was an actual real legitimate mainstream hype surrounding the film.  Entertainment Tonight had covered it in on set visits and interviews many times.  The Halloween franchise always seemed like it was taken more seriously or was more prestigious than the others for some reason when it came to the press.  Plus there was the backing of the Weinsteins that always helped.

Then, came a surprise during a weekend rental.  I always tell people I saw this when I rented Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.  Upon, my research I find that would have been completely impossible.  That movie apparently opened just weeks before Halloween 6 theatrically.  There's no way I could have rented it on VHS. I forget things as each year goes by, I can't tell you what it was I rented.  At this time in my life, I can almost guarantee you it was horror.  As I was soaking up everything I possibly could in the genre.  Anyway, this trailer popped up.  Featuring the film's original "placement holder" title.

Holy hell, I loved it.  Whatever movie I rented was not going to be as good as this.  And to the no longer in business Dave's Video in Ft. Wayne, IN - I'm sorry if I wore the hell down on your tape ruining it for renters to come after me.  I watched this thing over and over and over.  Yeah, I was a fan and I was obsessed.  I even slow-mo'd and went frame by frame studying it.  This is back before you could just pop on YouTube and get a trailer.  And not a lot of trailers were on the internet.  And if they were, the video quality was shit.

Speaking of trailers back in the day, my anticipation for this movie was so great, My uncle Mark and I went and saw a movie just for the sheer fact that the new Halloween 6 trailer was attached to it.  This is something you did back in the day.  And there weren't 90 trailers for a movie either.  There usually maybe 2.  You taped Entertainment Tonight for exclusive trailers or you went to the theater to see it.  I'm not discounting the convenience and instant availability of today's methods, but things certainly felt a little more special back then.  What was that movie?  The Christopher Walken-led The Prophecy.  And you know what, I remember it kind of being a little over my head but liking the movie.  I'll be honest, I've not seen the film since that screening.  But, I really would like to go back to it someday.  It did spawn 4 sequels, so maybe a franchise retro somewhere down the line?
I was grubbing up every issue of Fangoria, digging and hoping for any tiny bit of info regarding Halloween 6.  A picture or just seeing it in print was enough to satisfy.  Adding to this hype was the excitement that this would be the first Halloween film I would get to see in the theater.  It was kind of a really big deal.  This was going to be a big one.  Myself and my friends all couldn't wait for this release.  Monday at school was gonna go for some good conversation between me and my little clan of horror loving buddies.

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