1995 / Director. Joe Chappelle.
It's Halloween night and my family have all turned in. Time for more tasty treats. I had it in mind to watch one of the HALLOWEEN sequels and after deliberation (far too long) I zeroed in on part 6. I've seen the other films more times than I care to remember but 6 is the one I've watched the least. It's production is notorious to horror geeks and the final theatrical cut was a disaster. At the time it had taken a very affective and well structured franchise and turned it into something supernatural, which conflicted with our expectations. For all the years we have known Michael Myers to be a simple, stalk and kill movie villain. As his psychiatrist constantly reminded us, he simply "is evil" and his motivations are irrelevant. Some fans question where Myers disappears to between Halloweens and what he might do. It's often joked about that he plays bridge with friends and travels the world, taking in the culture. Jokes aside, what happens between his psychotic episodes is beside the point. Who really cares? We want to arrive at the start, see him kill and go home happy. And so HALLOWEEN 6 came along and attempted to fill those gaps. It introduced a pagan cult, which granted Michael immortality and cast him under a murderous spell that compelled him to kill his entire bloodline. It's stupid stuff in the context of the whole series. The film was doomed from the get go with countless re-writes, numerous directors attached and all sorts of re-shoots. Add to that the hassle of the franchise having been recently acquired by Dimension (who have fucked up several horror properties too). The end result was a theatrical cut, which confused audiences and made very little sense. Since then 3 alternative cuts have been made and none officially released. The only way to see them has been by way of bootleg. The consensus amongst fans is that The Producer's Cut is the definitive version. I would agree and when I do watch HALLOWEEN 6, this is the one I stick with. It is a much better film than the theatrical version. With over 45 minutes of alternative footage, re-arranged scenes and a different plot structure, this is a far more coherent story. The concept of the supernatural cult origins is still stupid, but this version of the film makes it more palatable. If you're willing to suspend your disbelief then there is still lots to enjoy. The film works in the chronological sense too and follows the ongoing narrative. Past events are referred to and some seemingly illogical events from part 5 are explained. Apparently when Donald Pleasance read the script he declared it to be the best since the original... I'm not sure where that information comes from but it sounds like movie-myth to me... ie something to please the fans. This was Pleasance's final appearance as Loomis and was indeed his final film. As with the previous instalment, he was the anchor. He gave credibility to the typical formula and brought some intelligence to it. As the films kept coming, his role became more manic and by the time number 6 arrived he was almost as stark raving mad as Michael Myers himself. Ha. But it sure is great to see him on screen. I miss Donald Pleasance. HALLOWEEN 6 is (imo) the weakest link in the chain, but has its moments. It doesn't ruin the legacy but it doesn't exactly help it either.
Side note: Thanks to fan campaigning, The Producer's Cut is set for a restoration and official dvd/blu-ray release. It has been screened to audiences recently with permission from Dimension.
Side Note: Director Joe Chappelle was attached as director of Hellraiser Bloodline the next year. He was eventually replaced and that film's production suffered the exact same fate as H6. Was HE the curse of Michael Myers? lol