Halloween movies reviewed by Joe Bob Briggs

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

Halloween III, Season of the Witch (1983)

Catastrophic non-sequel with no Donald Pleasence, no Jamie Lee Curtis, no Haddonfield, Illinois, and no slasher. Producer Moustapha Akkad was trying to save the franchise after the B-movie retirement of Curtis, but this lame "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" rip-off just annoyed the faithful. Dan O'Herlihy is an evil small-town businessman who owns a Halloween mask factory run by motorized bionic dead people. He's rigging all his masks with detonators, so that every kid in America will get his head squished into Jello* on Halloween night when O'Herlihy uses a TV signal to laser their eyes out of their sockets. On the "test subject," a child gets the eye- removal treatment, and then bugs crawl out of his mouth and rattlesnakes start crawling out of the insides of his body and eating his parents.
The gore quotient is moderated by the fact that all the victims, though they appear to be human, are mere robots,
but we still have a power drill through the ear,
fingers through the eyeballs,
exploding cars,
drunk who gets his head ripped off,
fat woman lasered to death,
big mass-death scene for the zombies,
and brief nudity by the foxy Stacey Nelkin in the female lead.
Twenty-four dead bodies.
Two stars.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Michael Myers is back, and so is Donald Pleasence, the psychiatrist who's been so beat up by Michael Myers that his face looks like something the dog coughed up on the floor. The producers wised up after the disaster of "Halloween III" and went back to the original plot, in which Loomis finds out that some Rhodes Scholar doctor at the Federal Nuthouse checked out Michael Myers for a transfer to a state hospital, and pretty soon we got cops swarming around an ambulance upside down in a creek with something that looks like ravioli inside. "We are talking about ee-vil on two legs!" thunders Pleasence. The only problayma: who is left for Michael to kill? Apparently the last survivor in the whole dang family is Jamie Lee Curtis's seven-year-old niece, and her name is . . . Jamie. So Michael hauls it over to Haddonfield, the John Carpenter creepy-crawly synthesizer theme starts up, and before you know it we need a few more acres in the Haddonfield Cemetery.
Two breasts.
Eighteen dead bodies.
One dead doggie.
One motor vehicle chase.
Exploding gas station.
Pickup-and-shotgun vigilante brigade.
Thumb through the forehead.
Socket-wrench Fu.
Fire-extinguisher Fu.
Reddy Kilowatt Fu.
With Carmen Filpi as the weirdbeard pickup-driving whiskey-drinking evangelist,
Kathleen Kinmont as the sheriff's daughter with the two enormous talents,
Gene Ross as the bartender who forms a shotgun-toting lynch mob,
George Sullivan as Deputy Logan,
Beau Starr as Sheriff Meeker,
Danielle Harris as the niece,
Ellie Cornell as the nice girl babysitter,
and George P. Wilbur as Michael Myers. .
Four stars.

Halloween 5 (1989)
Your tears will do you no good! He MUST be stopped

Speaking of people that look like they've been rammed through the eyeball with a meat cleaver, our most sensitive maniac mass murderer, Michael Myers, is back for the fifth time in "Halloween 5," which is notable for being the one where Donald Pleasence TOTALLY LOSES CONTROL and decides that maybe Michael will never be cured of his desire to slaughter nine-year-old girls with farm implements. Donald is great in this one. Half his face is still horribly scarred from Halloween 4, and he's rampaging through the children's health clinic, grabbing little Jamie by the nape of the neck, saying "You MUST help me! Your tears will do you no good! He MUST be stopped!" There's one scene where you expect Donald to drop-kick the nine-year-old girl into the next county just because she doesn't express the proper enthusiasm for killing and mutilating Michael Myers.

All the other actors in Five are eminently killable. They've got that California Yupster aren't-we-all-cute jive, and they all have terminal bubblyness. My only regret is that Michael never gets a chance to scissor off a few more body parts--he's too busy searching for little Jamie, the gal they picked up in "Halloween 4" to be the "niece" of Jamie Lee Curtis. The ORIGINAL Jamie survived both One and Two, then didn't show up for Three.

Five will also be remembered for a few other things:

1) The "bad kids" have safe sex! They still get killed by the maniac while they're having sex, but at least they don't get AIDS right before they die, and, more important, they don't kill any 20-second-old fetuses.

2) The kid who buys all the beer without an I.D. is the first kid to go. This shows you what happens when you don't obey our new juvenile drinking laws. A pasty-face zombie comes to your house and rams a cleaver through your clavicle.

3) Michael Myers takes off his mask and sheds a tear. Then he remembers those box-office figures on "Halloween 3" and decides to start slashing again.

4) A new maniac, some guy in steel-tipped cowboy boots, comes to Haddonfield and springs Michael out of prison. This guy's obviously the star of "Halloween 6."
I swear I didn't do it.

Twenty-one dead bodies.
No nekkid breasts.
Bathtub stabbing.
Gratuitous mutilation of a convertible with a fresh wax job.
Packing-crate spike Fu.
Pitchfork-through-the-back Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Danielle Harris, as Jamie, for having great epileptic fits when Michael Myers bombards her brain with "rage waves";
Ellie Cornell, as Rachel, for threatening to fall out of her dress in every scene;
Wendy Kaplan, as Tina, for throwing herself on Michael Myers and not living to tell about it;
and, of course, Donald Pleasence, as the crazy Dr. Loomis, for saying "I prayed that he would burn in hell, but in my heart I knew that hell would not have him" and
"Michael, it will destroy you, too, one day, this rage that drives you. You have to fight it in the place where it's strongest. Michael, go home. Go home."
Four stars. Still the best series. Joe Bob says check it out.
Complete text of Joe Bob's review of Halloween 5

These & other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the
host of Monstervision are available at JoeBobBriggs.com

The Halloween movies are available on video and DVD

Visit Boris Karloff ... he's lonely

Or Kolchak, the Night Stalker

Return to Halloween page on Monstervision

Or TV Listings at Scifans

Click here to hear the Halloween-Mix Midi again

Or here for that delightful 1950s Mr. Sandman ditty from Halloween II and Halloween H2

What to say if an eight-foot maniac grabs your neck - there's Big Trouble in Little China

* Jello is the registered trademark of a big corporation that does not condone or endorse blowing up little kids, let alone lasering their eyeballs.

Host segments now available for the Monstervision marathon of
Friday the 13th, Parts 1,2,3,5 & 6

Text & layout Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. Is this the Shape of things to come?