Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Genre Horror, Thriller
Director Joe Chappelle
Film series Halloween film series
Country United States
|Release date September 29, 1995 (1995-09-29)
Based on Characters by John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Writer Debra Hill (characters), John Carpenter (characters), Daniel Farrands
Featured songs And Fools Shine On, Horses & Needles, Hung on a Rope, Disconnected, 20/20 Faith
Cast Donald Pleasence (Dr. Sam Loomis), Paul Rudd (Tommy Doyle), Marianne Hagan (Kara Strode), Mitchell Ryan (Dr. Terence Wynn), Kim Darby (Debra Strode), Bradford English (John Strode)
Characters The Shape (George P Wilbur), Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Jamie Lloyd (J C Brandy), Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan)
Similar movies Halloween, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, First Blood, Halloween: H20, Halloween II
Tagline Haddonfield is ready to celebrate Halloween.... so is Michael Myers!
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is a 1995 American slasher film and the sixth installment in the Halloween film series. Directed by Joe Chappelle from a screenplay by Daniel Farrands, the plot involves the "Curse of Thorn", a mystical symbol first shown in The Revenge of Michael Myers and revealed in the film to be the source of Michael Myers' immortality. The cast includes Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle, a returning character from the original Halloween film, and Donald Pleasence reprising his role as protagonist Dr. Sam Loomis in his final film appearance. Jamie Lloyd's appearance in the beginning of the film ties up loose ends from The Revenge of Michael Myers.
- Track listing
- Box office
- Critical reception
- Home media
- Alternative versions
- Producers Cut
The film opened to a respectable $7.3 million on September 29, 1995, coming in second to the New Line Cinema seminal serial killer thriller Seven. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and the Thorn plotline would be rendered non-canon in succeeding installments, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection. However, the 2001 Halloween comic book series published by Chaos Comics—and based on Farrands' concept for the eighth Halloween film—attempts to bridge the continuity between The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.
Haloween 6 was released 6 years after 5, marking one of the longest delays in the franchise. The sixth installment is known for its controversial behind-the-scenes history, suffering from re-shoots demanded by The Weinstein company. As well as numerous cuts and arrangements made in the editing room which resulted in the cast and crew disowning the final version released. The workprint of the film, with 43 minutes of alternative footage, including a different ending, was eventually discovered by fans of the series. This version, dubbed "The Producer's Cut" (as it was the original intended version of the film) developed a strong cult following, with bootleg DVD copies sold on eBay and online petitions targeting for an official release of it. In 2014, The Producer's Cut was officially released on Blu-ray.
On October 31, 1989, Michael Myers and his niece Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) are abducted from the Haddonfield Police Station. On October 30, 1995, Jamie (J.C. Brandy) has been impregnated and her baby is born, being taken away by the "Man in Black", the leader of a Druid-like cult. Later, a midwife (Susan Swift) helps Jamie escape with her baby and is soon killed by Michael (George P. Wilbur). Jamie and her baby flee in a stolen pick-up truck. Stopping briefly at a deserted bus station, Jamie makes a call to a Haddonfield radio station to warn them that Michael is about to return home, only to be ignored by the radio D.J. Barry Simms (Leo Geter).
Meanwhile, the retired Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is visited by his friend Dr. Terence Wynn (Mitch Ryan), the chief administrator of Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where Michael had been incarcerated as a boy; Wynn asks Loomis to return to Smith's Grove. They overhear Jamie's plea for help on a local radio station. Later, Michael finds Jamie, and she crashes the truck into an old barn. He kills Jamie, but finds that her baby is not in the truck.
Back in Haddonfield, Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), whom Laurie Strode babysat in 1978, now lives in a boarding house run by Mrs. Blankenship (Janice Knickrehm). The family living in the Myers house across the street are relatives of the Strode family: Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), her six-year-old son Danny (Devin Gardner), her teenage brother Tim (Keith Bogart), caring mother Debra (Kim Darby), and abusive father John (Bradford English). Ever since seeing Michael as a child, Tommy has been obsessed with finding the truth behind his motives. He finds Jamie's baby at the bus station, takes him into his care, and names him Steven. Tommy runs into Loomis and tells him about the Strode family living in the Myers house. The two believe Michael has returned to Haddonfield.
Michael enters his home and kills Debra. Later, Tommy, Kara, and Danny go to the boarding house, where Tommy reveals that he believes Michael has been inflicted with Thorn, an ancient Druid curse. Long ago, one child from each tribe, chosen to bear the curse of Thorn, must sacrifice its next of kin on the night of Samhain, or Halloween. Tommy believes that Steven will be Michael's final sacrifice. While Tommy goes out to look for Loomis, Mrs. Blankenship reveals to Kara that she was babysitting Michael the night he killed his sister, and that Danny is hearing a voice telling him to kill just like Michael did, indicating Danny also possesses the power of Thorn. Meanwhile, Michael kills John, Tim, Tim's girlfriend Beth (Mariah O'Brien), and Barry Simms. After Tommy returns home with Loomis, the Man in Black reveals himself to be Wynn. The cult take Kara, Danny, Steven, and Michael to Smith's Grove. There, Loomis confronts Wynn, who reveals he wants to control and study the power of Thorn.
Tommy finds and frees Kara, Danny, and Steven, while Michael kills Wynn and his staff. Tommy, Kara, and the children flee from Michael and hide in a laboratory. When Michael breaks into the room, Tommy injects him with a corrosive liquid and beats him unconscious with a lead pipe. As Tommy, Kara, Danny, and Steven leave, Loomis refuses to come with them as he has "a little business" to attend to. Back inside the building, Michael's mask is seen lying on the floor of the lab room and Loomis is heard screaming in the background, leaving the fate of both characters unknown.
After the less than enthusiastic response to Halloween 5 which came out only a year after Halloween 4, producer Moustapha Akkad put the series on hold to re-evaluate its potential. Akkad felt Halloween 5 had strayed too far from Halloween 4 and the box office response was much lower than expected. In 1990, screenwriter and long-time Halloween fan Daniel Farrands set out to write the sixth entry in the Halloween series. Farrands gave his horror movie scripts to the producer of Halloween 5, Ramsey Thomas; impressed by his writing, Thomas set a meeting for Farrands with executive producer Moustapha Akkad. Farrands described the meeting:
Although the producers at the time had already sought to make a sixth Halloween film, a series of complicated legal battles ensued which delayed plans for a sequel; eventually Miramax Films (via its Dimension Films division) bought the rights to the Halloween series.
In 1994, several screenplays from different writers had been deemed insufficient. Farrands has said his initial intent for the fim was to "bridge the later films (4-5) in the series to the earlier films (1-2) while at the same time taking the story into new territory so that the series could expand for future installments".
Donald Pleasence returned as Dr. Loomis, in his last performance; according to Farrands, Pleasence "loved the script for 6, however, and told me that he felt it was the best story since the original." Danielle Harris asked to reprise her role as Jamie Lloyd, but Dimension could not come to an agreement over her salary and ultimately did not want to pay Danielle more than she received in Halloween 4. Harris herself admitted to "not caring for the script" and that upon meeting with director Joe Chappelle, did not see "eye to eye" on things. She also stated that she did not like that Jamie would be killed in the beginning of the film, because her character was no longer important to the series. She ultimately opted out of reprising the role, and J. C. Brandy was cast instead. The producers wanted Brian Andrews to reprise his role as Tommy Doyle. However, without an agent, they could not get in contact with Andrews.
The leading female role, Kara, was given to Marianne Hagan; however, Hagan has since stated that Miramax did not favor her, and made aesthetic criticisms about her being "too thin" and her chin being "too pointy".
For the role of Dr. Terence Wynn, Mitchell Ryan was cast; Farrands originally urged the producers to cast Christopher Lee, having had the veteran horror actor in mind when writing the character. Denise Richards also auditioned for the part of Beth, but the studio passed on her, giving the role to Mariah O'Brien.
Stunt performer George P. Wilbur, who portrayed Michael in the fourth installment, reprises his role as the silent unstoppable killer in the film. However, once reshoots took place, Wilbur was replaced by A. Michael Lerner as director Joe Chapelle found Wilbur too bulky. This resulted in continuity error as the last third of the film features a slimmer Michael Myers.
Fred Walton (director of When a Stranger Calls and April Fool's Day) was originally attached to direct the film but dropped out.
Filming started in October 1994 and was shot mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah; the city was experiencing an early winter at the time which proved troublesome for the production company. Producer Paul Freeman and director Chappelle reportedly rewrote the ending on-set, even from shot to shot as production deadlines loomed large. Freeman also sent the crew home when crucial scenes needed to be shot; deleted scripted scenes indiscriminately; rewrote dialogue and action sequences; and assumed the responsibility of directing second-unit shots and the supervision of post-production of the original cut. These complications with the films production resulted in Miramax taking control of the film, and ordering many of the reworked sequences to be reshot.
In early 1995, after filming and editing was completed, Halloween 6 was given a test screening which, as described by actress Marianne Hagan, "consisted primarily of 14-year-old boys." During the Q&A afterward, one of them expressed great displeasure at the ending of the film, which entailed a Celtic ritual and the passing on of the Curse of Thorn to the Dr. Loomis character. As a result of the audience's disapproval toward the film's finale, the movie was rushed back into production, this time without Donald Pleasence, who died on February 2, 1995.
Some violent footage was also edited out for fear of an NC-17 rating. This included several extra seconds of Jamie being impaled on the drills, with more blood pouring from her mouth and extra closeups of the drills going through her body. The other major edited scene involved Michael ramming the doctor's head through the bars in the hospital until his head is gorily mashed through and pulps of his skull hit the floor.
The original music score is composed by long-time Halloween contributor Alan Howarth, his work in the series dating back to his collaboration with John Carpenter on Halloween II. However, Howarth's score was redone by music editor Paul Rabjohns when the film went through reshoots. A soundtrack album was released by Varèse Sarabande, and is an unusual combination of the music featured in the original cut of the film, as well as that of the final theatrical cut.
The music of Alabama-based rock band Brother Cane was featured throughout the movie. The music came from their 1995 release Seeds on Virgin Records. The album's hit single "And Fools Shine On" can be heard when Kara, Tim and Beth arrive at school in their car. The song is also heard during the closing credits. Three other Brother Cane songs (all from the Seeds album) are featured in the film: "Hung on a Rope", "20/20 Faith", and "Horses & Needles".
"Disconnected" by the group I Found God is also featured in the film.
The soundtrack for the film was released on August 24, 1995, a month before its movie theater release.
All tracks written by Alan Howarth.
An earlier teaser trailer of the film employed the title Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers, which according to Daniel Farrands, came before an official title had been decided, and that the trailer title was a combination of an earlier script titled The Origin of Michael Myers by another writer, and Farrands' original script titled Halloween 666. At one point, executive producer Moustapha Akkad asked Farrands for a title, who suggested The Curse of Michael Myers due to the troubled production. Although Farrands was half-joking, Akkad took the name to heart and decided upon it. Farrands also adds that this coincidentally made the subtitles similar to those in The Pink Panther films, which also used Return, Revenge and Curse subtitles as Halloween's fourth, fifth and sixth films, respectively.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was released on September 29, 1995 in the United States, and brought in a $7,308,529 opening weekend gross, coming in second to serial killer thriller Seven, being the first film in the series to beat Halloween II's opening weekend gross. The film went on to gross a total of $15,116,634 at the U.S. box office, from an estimated $5 million budget.
Overall, the film received poor reviews from film critics. It is the lowest reviewed Halloween movie on Rotten Tomatoes. Daniel Kimmel of Variety called the film "tired" and "run-of-the-mill", while Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said the film lacked suspense and said that "not even the presence of the late, gloriously histrionic Donald Pleasence can liven things up". It currently holds a 6% "Rotten" rating on the film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews which makes Halloween 6 the lowest rated movie in the series. Screenwriter Daniel Farrands generally dislikes the film, due to its deviations from his original script. Although Farrands thinks both versions are poor, he considers the Producer's Cut to be the superior version.
The film was first released for home media on VHS on October 7, 1996 from Buena Vista Home Entertainment. A DVD followed on October 10, 2000. In January 2010, the film was released for the first time on Blu-ray in Canada from Alliance Films alongside Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection with no bonus material. The film was released on Blu-ray and again on DVD in the United States on May 10, 2011 by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, once again with no bonus features. Anchor Bay Entertainment and Shout! Factory once again released the film on Blu-ray on September 23, 2014 as a part of their 14-disc box set containing the entire series. This release also contained extensive bonus features, such as a commentary from writer Daniel Farrands and composer Alan Howarth, interviews with producers Malek Akkad and Paul Freeman, actresses Marian O'Brien, J. C. Brandy, and Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur, makeup artists John Carl Buechler and Brad Hardin, as well as Howarth, in addition to deleted scenes and archival behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, and a tribute to Donald Pleasence. Lionsgate released yet another standalone Blu-ray on September 15, 2015 containing the producer's cut, but without any of the bonus features featured on the 14-disc release.
While the film was initially released on VHS in Australia with a rating of MA15+, the DVD was not released until October 8, 2014, with no extras
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is notorious among Halloween fans for having multiple versions. The Producer's Cut is the best known; however, a Director's Cut also exists with most of the footage cut for the R-rating restored. The theatrical version was the only version commercially available—with the Director and Producer's cuts existing as low-quality bootlegs—until the Producer's Cut was included in the official Complete Collection box set from Scream Factory and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Copies of the original version of the film (known as the "Producer's Cut"), without the changed ending, have long been floating around in bootleg/collector circles. In addition to featuring a different ending which was intended to keep Donald Pleasence's character in the films, it also features longer scenes in several parts of the movie, as well as different music at times. Major plot points differ between the two cuts. For example, in the Producer's Cut, Jamie Lloyd is not killed by Michael's attack in the barn; she is wounded only to be killed later on in the film by the "Man in Black" after having a dream about how she was imprisoned in Smith's Grove. In the Producer's Cut, Jamie's child is revealed to be the inbred son of Michael Myers. There is also a flashback to Halloween 5 that shows Jamie and Michael kidnapped by the "Man in Black". On September 23, 2014, the Producer's Cut was officially released for the first time as part of the Halloween Complete Collection Blu-ray box set released by Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory. On September 15, 2015, the Producer's Cut of the film was released as a stand-alone release through Miramax Home Entertainment.
A few select scenes from the Producer's Cut can be seen in the television version of the film. The scenes were re-inserted to increase the running time of the film (originally a scant 88 minutes).
On the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD, it was stated that Dimension was trying to plan an official release of the Producer's Cut; Fangoria also reported that the Producer's Cut may get an official release. However, Lions Gate Entertainment/Miramax, who owned rights to the film (though the theatrical cut of the film was retained by Disney), decided not to give an official release.
At midnight on October 27, 2013, the first official screening of the "Producer's Cut" took place at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. Screenwriter Daniel Farrands was present for a short Q&A, in which he stressed that there was still a major push in the works to get this version a proper release. He also said that the studio allowing this version to be screened in public for the first time, and the overwhelmingly positive response, were both huge steps in the right direction. The first official release followed the next year as part of the Halloween "Complete Collection" release.
Lions Gate Entertainment and Miramax released the Producer's Cut by itself as a solo release on Blu-ray on September 15, 2015.
ReferencesHalloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Wikipedia
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers IMDb Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers themoviedb.org