Halloween III was a social failure. Sure, today it is looked back on as a Cult Classic. It's the one entry to the Halloween series that strays far from the Michael Myers motif. But, when it came out Moustapha Akkad had different plans for the series. He wanted it to be like a sort of anthology series. A different antagonist for each picture. This didn't happen. Fans wanted Michael Myers to return and that is just what happened. Disagreements with John Carpenter would unfortunately lead to his departure from the films, thus making Halloween 4 the first in the series to not have anything to do with Carpenter. Kind of a shame really.
Last we saw Michael Myers before this point would be back in Halloween II. Laurie Strode and Dr. Loomis had seemingly made it away from the monster when they exploded a hospital on him. But that didn't kill him. Myers survived and ended up being detained in a coma at a very high security medical prison. He escapes during a mis-handled prisoner transfer in search for his niece, Jamie Lloyd in Haddonfield. Dr. Loomis returns to help in the fight against this psychopath.
It's a pretty standard, late-eighties slasher movie. The promiscuous teenagers paying the ultimate price and dying off one by one during the night. Michael Myers is painted as a brutal and indestructible force. He actually resembles Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th franchise more than the usual Michael Myers that we have all come to fear. The Shape. That may be a downside for most folks. But for me, this only leads to some really creative deaths.
The effects are good. John Carl Buechler, the director of Friday the 13th actually came in and did a few things for the movie too. He provided some really gruesome scenes including one where a persons head gets ripped off of their body as they are driving. The only thing that bothered me is Michael's ability to teleport. He did it way too much. I know he doesn't actually teleport in the film. That isn't a power or anything. It's just an example of poor planning from the director. Nothing too horrible though. It doesn't become unwatchable. Everything else checks out. Nothing is too amazing and nothing drags it down.
This may be the best of the Halloween sequels. It is definitely one of the most brutal, with only the Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Directors Cut, surpassing it. This movie is not okay for kids to watch. They will have nightmares. It's pretty vicious. So far, Halloween 4 has been one of my favorites. I like the Jamie Lloyd character and I am always a fan of Michael's. Check it out.
Dwight H. Little
Alan B. McElroy, Danny Lipsius, Larry Rattner and Benjamin Ruffner
Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris and Michael Pataki
Trancas International and 20th Century Fox
October 21, 1988
Did ya know:
Series creator John Carpenter wrote a treatment for this film that had a more ghostly psychological approach to the Michael Myers mythos. It concerned the town of Haddonfield and what effect the events of the first two films had on its citizens. This concept was later rejected by the producers in favor of the typical slasher fare, at which point Carpenter bailed out of the film, making this the first in the series to have no participation from him.