Plot: Ten years ago, Haddonfield was home to a massacre of epic proportions, as Michael Myers slaughtered sixteen people as part of his attempt to murder his own sister. Now Michael is safely secured in a mental institution and with his sister out of the picture, it seems unlikely he will kill again. But when he overhears a conversation about his niece, it sets into motion that killer instinct once more. As he is transported to a new hospital, Michael kills everyone inside the ambulance and escapes, carving a path toward his old hometown and his family. Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) springs into action to stop him, but he is too late and just misses Michael, who kills again and blows up a gas station in the process. Meanwhile, Michael’s niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) is having visions of a certain masked stalker, but her foster sister assures her things are fine. The town soon realizes that someone is murdering people and locks down the streets, but will that be enough to stop Michael Myers?
Entertainment Value: After taking a break from the franchise for Season of the Witch, Michael Myers is back for this fourth installment. While the third film was a nice change of pace, it was clear fans wanted Myers and once he returned for this one, he would remain entrenched until the bitter end. This is well worn ground by this point, as this movie follows the established conventions closely, but there’s enough fun elements to keep it somewhat fresh. Loomis continues to slip further into madness, which I think is always fun to watch. I love the scene where he tries to hitch-hike, but winds up tricked by some high school kids. Danielle Harris was a great addition to the franchise, as even at such a young age, her performance is terrific. And if nothing else, having Myers back is enough to jolt a little fun into the experience. This is a by the numbers slasher movie, but few franchises do that routine as well as Halloween and as such, its hard to be overly critical of this one. It might not break new ground or take any risks, but it does what it needs to and what fans wanted. Sometimes you just want to see Michael Myers on the warpath and that movie delivers just that.
No nakedness. There’s a few nice moments of bloodshed, but not as much as some of the slashers out there. I do love the “killing people with your thumb” approach in a couple scenes, but only provides that sweet crimson. The highlight is Myers ripping the throat of a redneck, with all the juicy gore shown in full detail. A few other splashes of the red stuff, but a lot of the kills are off screen or bloodless. Still, a good amount of violence and a hefty body count, so don’t discount this one. Jamie’s hilarious scared faces are a highlight in the dialogue/performance section, as she mugs like a champ and emotes with huge, broad strokes. Loomis’ lunatic ramblings are the only real source of memorable dialogue, aside from some teen girl talk early in the picture. Even the rednecks don’t bring much to the table, which is a shame. As I’ve said, this is a pretty standard slasher and that means the insanity level is low. But I will award one point for the idea of Myers against a band of rednecks, as that is pretty cool.
Overall Insanity: 1/10