Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ranking The HALLOWEEN Franchise

Holy friggin' crap.  We're here! Day 31 of 31 Days Of Halloween.  I can't believe it.  This has probably been the most involved and biggest retrospective yet (and maybe ever).  James Bond may have had more movies, but I also had a lot more time (3.5 months).  This has been an awesome undertaking and one of the franchises I always wanted to do when it came to retrospectives.  I want to thank all my guest writers who submitted pieces to enhance and class up this joint.  You guys were all great and didn't even half ass anything when you could have.  It truly means a lot and I am full of gratitude.

I don't really have much more to say, being as I've been talking about this stuff for 31 days now.  At the bottom and at the top of this will be no surprise, but I'm sure there will be a shocker or two here as I don't see eye to eye with a lot of the "safe" rankings of this series by a majority of the fanbase.  I discovered this film and series on my own and I'll do my rankings own.  Happy Halloween, and don't forget to scroll to the end for a tease of November's MUCH smaller retrospective.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My 10 Favroite Kills Of The Halloween Franchise

Okay, so I thought this would be some fun.  He's not as masterful as Freddy or as creative as Jason, but Michael has had some great kills in his run.  Halloween I think is known more for its suspense than its kills for a majority of the series run.  However, they weren't shy about dabbling in what was making its imitators more famous.  This was a bit tougher than I imagined.  If Michael was this tough, I don't know if I'm ready to spend many hours thinking about Jason and Freddy.  There were some omissions that I'm sure you'll point out, but trust me, I thought of them.  I also tried to stay away from deaths that were callbacks to other murders.  I want to point out that these are the ones I enjoyed quite a bit and stuck with me THIS time around (and no..."#1 Tina - Just because" isn't how this list is gonna go).  Opinions, tastes and favorites tend to rotate quite a bit in this life.  I could make this same list and 6 months and I'm sure there'd be some changes and alterations.  And folks, remember with lists like this, its not so much the order, its what's in them that's important.

In Memoriam: COW!!!

              ~Gary Scott

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween II: A Rob Zombie Film (2009) - Guest Article

Halloween II
Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, Brea Grant, and oddly in her 2nd movie in this retrospective Margot Kidder
Rated: R

I'm a little confused, are we talking about the "Austin Powers" Mike Myers or is this someone else?
                        ~Weird Al Yankovic

When I asked writer/author Randy Shaffer to do a guest spot for this retrospective, we quickly found out we both share something very uncommon amongst Halloween and horror fans in general.  Both of us have a love for this very weird almost arthouse slasher that is Rob Zombie's second Halloween film.  We agree that is highly misunderstood and very much unfairly slammed. Randy wrote what was intended be an "In Defense Of" piece to go with mine, but I enjoyed it so much and was going to cover the exact same bases myself that I decided to sub his in for mine here.  Know that I agree 100% with his assessment of Halloween II.  The first time I saw this film I felt there was something there with this one, then when I saw the Director's Cut (see THIS version if you watch it) things started to work even better.  I enjoy this film more and more with each subsequent viewing.  I have some other things that I'll brush over when I rank the films.  So here's a first here on Naptown Nerd, someone else doing the actual movie piece.  Its fantastic, enjoy!

In Memoriam: Ismael Cruz

Hey mikey, how you doin? Look, you can't let those walls get you down... believe me I know. I spent a little time behind walls. I know they can drive you crazy... you gotta look beyond the walls, you know, learn to live inside your head.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween, Halloween 4 & Halloween 5 Back In Theaters This Weekend!

Hey folks!  Just in time for its 35th anniversary and...the week of Halloween, Screen Vision and Compass International are bringing the original Halloween and 2 of its sequels to the big screen.  They've had a couple showings this month already of these, so I think part of the screenings this week are an encore presentation for those of you who couldn't make it.  Seeing the original Halloween on the big screen is something you just kinda gotta do.  Hopefully you don't get stuck with a shit audience.  The special thing here often do we ever see a revival of Halloween 4 & 5!  Pretty cool to see little Danielle Harris chased by Michael again!  Anywho, check out the link below for theater times near you and preorder yourself some tickets!

Enjoy the show!

Michael Myers: From Slasher To Hobo - I STILL Love You! (GuestArticle)

Today, I'm proud to provide a guest piece from the owner of Why So Blu? himself, Brian White!  He is the man I have dubbed "Blu-ray Jesus" as the man blesses us writers not only Blu-rays to review but stellar reviews and unboxings!  Brian provides us a positive look at the effects and history of his personal adventure of loving both Carpenter's original vision of Halloween and Rob Zombie's.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween: A Rob Zombie Film (2007)

Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon, Tyler Mane, Scout-Taylor Compton, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, Danny Trejo, William Forsythe
Rated: R

Seriously though, on a scale from one to


More plus 11.

     ~Bob and Linda

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Michael Myers Death Stare (Guest Article)

I'm extremely happy to have Aaron Neuwirth of Out Now With Aaron & Abe fame, Why So Blu? fame, The Code Is Zeek fame and The IchaPod CraneCast fame entertain us on this Saturday before Halloween.  Aaron is one of the best young (to me young, that is) minds of cinema around and someone who's truly helped me big time with a break or two in the criticism field.  Before we move on to his reimagining, let's take one last look at what made Michael tick and work in the original.  I hope you enjoy his first guest appearance here on Naptown Nerd.

Friday, October 25, 2013

In Memoriam: The Original Series' Canon

There's not a single person or word left I'd like to write about regarding Halloween: Resurrection.  However, it did make one big notable kill; the original franchise's storyline.  Yes, there were (to keep things simple) 2 different stories, but they all stemmed from the first 2 films.  Resurrection did open solid and made its money back, but things were much notably down from H20's take.  Plus there was plenty of fan backlash.  Moustapha Akkad pledged to truck on with a further sequel to the franchise.  Akkad vowed never to have remake of the original film.  There were many ideas floating about on how and where to take this film after Resurrection.  There was a popular script that featured Michael Myers in prison awaiting his trial or death row or something.  Another idea was to explore Michael's past as a child through a prequel.  I think another idea kind of combined both of those.  I don't think bringing Busta Rhymes back was ever in the cards.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Halloween: Resurrection
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Bianca Kajlich, Katee Sackhoff, Ryan Merriman, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas
Rated: R

Trick or treat, motherfucker!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How HALLOWEEN Became The 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Of Horror Franchises (Guest Article)

Folks, this is kind of a big deal here on Naptown Nerd.  The tables turn here, as I am proud to give you FORBES writer Scott Mendelson's first guest article for the site.  As you all probably know, I got my start doing guest pieces for his old blog Mendelson's Memos.  

In Memoriam: Jimmy Howell

Jimmy's been suspended five times already for gettin' a little crazy with the STICK!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween: H20 (1998)

Halloween: H20
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, LL Cool J, Jodi Lynn O-Keefe, Nancy Stephens
Rated: R

I can't, I'm having my nipples pierced.
            ~Will Brennan

Halloween Water? hahahhahahahahah
            ~Every jackass in 1998 who thought they were telling an original joke.

As the stock in this series was seriously plummeting, luck struck the Halloween franchise's side.  Scream came out and resurrected interest and acclaim in the slasher film.  The film also played as a love letter to films like Halloween.  Also, Halloween was happening upon its 20th anniversary.  This brought Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter back out of the woodwork to try and give this thing another go in celebration.  Shit was about to get real.  Dr. Loomis might not be around any more but Laurie Strode was coming home!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Collection Of Some Terrible Michael Myers Masks

 When Halloween 7 went into preproduction back in 1997-98, an Michael Myers mask photograph leaked to the web.  It caused quite the uproar.  It was a nice looking mask, except for one thing; it had distinctly blue lips.  Horror fans don't tend to ever like change, so this was a catastrophe.  Nobody knew where the image came from, but it was thought to have come from the prop department on the film.  They were going to change Michael up!  Heavens no!  Same same same same!  Apparently, however, the image came from a costume store developer and that was to be one of their masks the following fall and had nothing to do with Halloween 7.  But, who knows, maybe it was a cover up story after the studio heard the fan backlash.  It wasn't like Halloween 7 wasn't afraid to change or try a different mask midshot either. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Retropolis: Halloween & The Midnight Movies

The great Jim Dietz returns with another terrific guest spot here in the Halloween Retrospective.  This was originally published last week on Jim's blog, but he slid it my way to be an inclusion in this retrospective.  And thank you, Jim for that.  This is a great look back at his experiences with midnight movie revivals and his first taste of John Carpenter's Halloween.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween:The Curse Of Michael Myers, Part III (The Producer's Cut)

I see only one bastard in this house.
          ~Kara Strode

The Producer's Cut of Halloween 6 is not a great film by any means, but its an important one.  It does help that its heads and shoulders above what was released theatrically.  The 90s was a weak time for horror, and for some reason all the horror icons being villains wasn't enough.  They all apparently needed to have some sort backstory and retcon to the truth of the original.  Freddy started it, Jason and Leatherface followed suit and Michael Myers couldn't even escape it (a could months later, Pinhead too would join in).  Things as they were weren't good enough.  There was always something "behind the evil" or "this is what it REALLY is".  The evil in all these needed to be explained where no explanation was necessary.  Mythologies were being forced where the makers didn't realize they had spent the previous decade creating one on their own.  But, these are movie monsters and these mythologies did attempt to make them more classical in a sense.  They're attempts at taking the characters into different places and its different, but not in all cases does it work.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween:The Curse Of Michael Myers, Part II (Acquiring The Producer's Cut)

He hears the voice too, you know.  Just like that other boy who lived in that house.
                          ~Mrs. Blankenship

This part of our story takes place in 1996 when I was 14.  Things were very different back then.  You kids nowadays can get this thing pretty damn easy.

Halloween 6 came and it went for most people.  But for fans of the series, this movie would never ever leave our consciousness.  Shortly after the film opened, people started realizing that there were things in the trailers, promo images and behind the scenes pictures that never happened in the movie.  On the old message boards of yore me and fellow obsessives began wondering about this.  And finally, Fangoria reported on the extensive reshoots and elements that had been removed from the film.  There was a whole other version of this movie that we were not shown.  As fans, we wanted to see it.  Badly.  This apparently wasn't your run of the mill, delete a scene or two either.  Apparently, this thing had 45 minutes of footage giving the film a different feel and story.

Friday, October 18, 2013

In Memoriam: Jamie Lloyd

There's no kind way to say this.  Jamie's life kind of sucked.  And it wasn't a long life either.  She died on Halloween night 1995 at around the age of 15.  The only positive experience in life she was in her first 8 years.  There was so much this young girl didn't get to fully appreciate and experience.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween:The Curse Of Michael Myers, Part I

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers
Director: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul STEVEN Rudd, Marianne Hagan, Mitch Ryan, Kim Darby, Bradford English
Rated: R

A long, long time ago, it was a night of great power. When the days grew short, the spirits of the dead, returned to their homes to warm themselves by the fire's side. All across the land, huge bonfires were lit. Ohhh, there was a marvelous celebration. People danced, and they played games, and they dressed up in costumes, hoping to ward off the evil spirits. Especially the boogey man.
                                                  ~Mrs. Blankenship

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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween 4 & 5's Legendary Cut Scenes

Both Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 have each an excised sequence that has become kind of a thing of legend and maybe that "holy grail" type deleted scene for fans akin to Ripley finding Burke cocooned.  Nobody aside from those who made the films have seen them, and for all intents and purposes they likely could be destroyed at this point.  So people shouldn't steer anger toward Blu-ray/DVD distributors because they can't produce something that they don't have/hasn't been recovered/doesn't exist anymore.  But anyway, I thought it'd be cool to touch upon each one briefly here.

In Memoriam: Mikey

The biggest sin Mikey likely ever committed in life was dating Tina.  That little fact might overshadow his vanity a tad.  Mikey was an old school greaser living in the very wrong time.  The 1980s.  I suppose you could say he had "friends", but this muscle car loving leather jacket enthusiast was his own lone wolf pack.  As long as he had himself, his car and some beer, Mikey was right where he wanted to be.  With all this...he didn't need Tina.  And as much of a bad boy as he was...he could have had the pick of the litter in Haddonfield.  Why oh why of all of them did he decide on Tina?  I pose this same very question of the producers, casting director and Dominique Othenin-Girard. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers
Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Beau Starr, Ellie Cornell, Wendy Kaplan, Tamara Glynn
Rated: R

I prayed that he would burn in hell.  But in my heart I knew that hell would not have him.
                                   ~Dr. Loomis

Oh boy...Halloween 5.  I feel like we've got  A LOT to talk about with this one.  While this very very much a lesser entry into the series, I find discussing it pretty fascinating.  It's an interesting film to say the least.  But we'll get into all that.  I'll just start going with this and hopefully it weaves its way into some sort of narrative.  I'm sure Dominique Othenin-Girard probably said the same thing when he sat down to write the film.  I'm going to start with a compliment.  I think hands down, Halloween 5 has the best poster of the entire franchise to date.  So, at least you are the best at something, Halloween 5.  Also, your opening credits pumpkin carving is pretty badass.

The Ballad Of Bucky

It was the night of October 31, 1988
Bucky had just got to work
Things were quiet
This night was going to be great

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers
Director: Dwight Little
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Sasha Jenson, Kathleen Kinmont
Rated: R

We're not talking about any ordinary prisoner, Hoffman! We are talking about evil on two legs.
                                ~Dr. Loomis

The title wasn't just literal for the film, it was an announcement to those scared off by Halloween III.  This is the sequel you wanted.  Tom Atkins would not be returning.  The only mask of importance would be that of the pale faced Shatner.  And here it is, in time for the 10th anniversary of the original.  The film plays as a loving tribute to Carpenter's classic while also carving its way as something of its own being.  To make ties stronger with the first two, Donald Pleasence was also back to reprise his role of Michael's Van Helsing, Dr. Loomis.  Halloween 4 would also return the series to its roots of being a full fledged independent film.

Friday, October 11, 2013

John Carpenter & Debra Hill Depart The Halloween Franchise

Surprisingly, John Carpenter was not against doing Halloween 4.  Following their release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (a very underrated horror-comedy), Canon Films wanted to resurrect another figure of horror's past, Michael Myers.  Jason Voorhees was big business and Freddy Krueger was on the rise.  The slasher genre was experiencing its second wind.  Canon approached John Carpenter to write and direct the film.  Carpenter and production partner Debra Hill still were involved in II & III, just from producer standpoints (and in Carpenter's case serving as composer).  They also shared rights (and much less of them) with the financier of the original, Moustapha Akkad.

In Memoriam: Ellie Grimbridge

 Relax, I'm older than you think.

We got to know Ellie during her final days.  And while we are having a memorial here in here honor, we really have no idea how she met her end.  We know how her robot clone met its end, but Ellie's fate was never revealed to us.  Ellie was snatched up by Cochran's robots, never to be seen again.  We're told she's being kept in a room in the factory, but once rescued we find that she is one of the robots herself.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch REVISITED! (Guest Article)

Fellow colleague and one of my favorite people to discuss movies and movie history with when given the opportunity (listen to our commentaries!) has stopped by to take the guest mic here at Naptown Nerd.  Jim Dietz of the HHWLOD Podcast Network is here to weigh in some more on the topic of Halloween III: Season Of The Witch and give his take on this fascinating black sheep entry in the Halloween franchise!

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacy Nelkin, Dan O'Herlihy, Nancy Kyes, Wendy Wessburg
Rated: R

Where do you want to sleep, Dr. Challis?

That's a dumb question, Miss Grimbridge.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Terror Train (1980) - My Fave Non-Halloween JLC Slasher

Terror Train
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, DAVID COPPERFIELD, Ben Johnson, Sandee Currie
Rated: R

We're getting to Terror Train one of these days, I promise!
                    ~Brandon Peters from the Supergirl retrospective piece

If you've been paying attention, this film getting attention here should come as no surprise.  Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

That Bizarre Television Version Of Halloween II

I'm not a fan of watching movies on TV.  At all.  That's probably part of what helped make me become the film collector I am today.  Once my kid-self had discovered movies were being chopped to bits on television, I found it a total waste of my time and unfair to the film itself to watch it on TV.  Especially with horror.  All the good gory bits and such are chopped up.  Where's the fun and effectiveness in that?  I'll admit, sometimes the substitute dubbing for swear words can be funny as most will make not a lick of sense. The tension in movies is sliced when it hits a commercial break.  I don't think we need to even get started on the cropping and pan-and-scanning of them either.  To me, watching a movie on TV, ESPECIALLY back in the 80s and 90s was just horrible to me.  Nowadays it still sucks too.  And its a damn shame that movie channels that should be airing them correctly ARE STILL cropping movies.  Yeah, it fits your 16x9 television, but they are butchering beautiful photography that is to displayed in 2:35.1 and the like.  Its 2013...we shouldn't still be whining about black bars people.

In Memoriam: Bud

Amazing Grace, come sit on my face.  Don't make me cry, I need your pie.

Bud was just a guy looking to have a good time at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital on Halloween night 1978.  He was a dirtbag in the finest sense of the term.  Michael Myers was out on a killing spree, but it didn't bother him one bit.  Even if they had the girl who survived the attacked as a patient, it wasn't going to affect him.  He just wanted to kick back, smoke some weed and hook up with his honey, Nurse Karen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Say What? Dana Carvey Was In HALLOWEEN II?

Yep.  Comedian and SNL alum Dana Carvey made his feature debut in the second October 31st slashing.  Carvey paired up first with serial killer Michael Myers before "slumming it" with the comedic one.  This has been a trivia question regarding this film for many years.  For my younger readers who may be wondering "What the F is a Dana Carvey"...well, he's most notable for his years on Saturday Night Live.  He was a talented impressionist and had his own unique characters (most notably the church lady).  His big impression that carried over past his years was that of George Bush Sr.

Halloween II (1981)

Halloween II
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Leo Rossi

He was my patient for fifteen years. He became an obsession with me until I realized there neither reason nor conscious 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

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halloween: The Television Cut

Back when Halloween was to make it's debut on television, the edited cut made the film too short to air in the 2 hour time slot.  Funny enough, Halloween is laughably tame compared to today's television.  But alas, something needed to be done.  The original cut of the film used pretty much everything they shot.  Luckily, Halloween II was in production, so it was easy to pull some players from the first film back to do a few extra scenes.  One scene actually tied the first film in to the second's twist.  Another scene made comments made in the original pretty funny.  The other featured more Loomis.  I like these scenes, but I much much rather prefer the original cut of the film.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Because I'm Not Ignorant: BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)

Black Christmas
Director: Bob Clark
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea, John Saxon
Rated: R

Agnes, It's Billy, don't tell what we did!

What are we doing here?  Going back 4 years?  Yes.  This film should be given some respects.  While I think Halloween is the film responsible for "getting it down" or "nailing it" or whatnot, Black Christmas could indeed count as the first real slasher film.  It does and doesn't fit the whole mold.  But at the same time, this really is a fantastic little thriller, that if you haven't seen it, I think you should go back and give it a shot.  The film features some inventive kills and humor that actually gets you laughing out loud pretty good.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Girl Scout's First HALLOWEEN (Guest Article)

Naptown Nerd trivia aficionados and stat geeks, we now have the answer to the question; Who was the first guest writer on Naptown Nerd?  The answer is Why So Blu?'s latest addition, LANEY FEESER.  This will be the first of a few guest pieces that will be filling out this retrospective.  When I asked Laney to throw me something she mentioned she'd never seen the original.  I thought - BRILLIANT!  It'd be awesome to have someone freshly recollect their first encounter.  Anyways...I'll shut up and let Laney speak!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) - Part II

I met him, fifteen years ago; I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding; and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil. 
                              ~Dr. Loomis

For Part I - Click Here

In Memoriam: Annie Brackett

 Oh Paul, I give you keys...but please, my Paul.

This the first piece of a few in the HALLOWEEN RETROSPECTIVE that will deal with the less fortunate of characters from this series.  Characters who didn't make it to November 1.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978) - Part I

Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, PJ Soles, Nancy Loomis, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Stephens
Rated: R

Black cats and goblins and broomsticks and ghosts, covens of witches with all of their hosts. You may think they scare me, You're probably right.  Black cats and goblins on Halloween night.  Trick or treat!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Naptown Nerd Presents 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN

Welcome the ultimate retrospective series; 31 Days Of Halloween.  John Carpenter's Halloween turns 35this year (also making the fourth film 25 and H20 turning 15).  Not only am I giving you a retrospective look at each film in the series this time around, but I am going to do my best to bring you some sort of Halloween franchise related content every day of the month of October.  I won't be alone, as I'll be having some help along the way.  Halloween is one of my, if not the very most, favorite film franchises ever.  Its come with its share of fun, surprises and flat out disappointments.  If you know me or have been a dear friend of mine at any point in my life, it's likely I've forced you to sit through many of these films.  I'll be sharing a lot of personal anecdotes as we trudge along through this adventure.