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Thread: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

  1. #121

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #29
    Title: Pet Sematary
    Country: United States/Canada
    Year: 2019
    Directors: Kevin KŲlsch and Dennis Widmyer

    As a doctor and his family move away from the big city for a quiet country life, but life wonít be so simple once they learn the secrets of their new property.

    My god, could this be any harder to see?!

    Fuck it, here's the title screen for the original movie since you can at least see it.

    My unpopular Stephen King opinion is that Mary Lambertís Pet Sematary isnít good. While it tends not to be ranked among Kingís very best adapted films, I still typically see horror fans praising it as a really good movie and occasionally you can come across some odd folks who name it as their all-time favorite King film. Iíll admit that the minor character of Zelda is mad creepy and even I canít deny the fact that The Ramonesí theme song isnít an absolute banger. Yet, other than those two elements, the only enjoyment I get out of the original Pet Sematary is my fan theory that Louis Creed was crazy and most of the events of the film post-Gage death are delusions in the mind of a greatly troubled grieving father. Itís because of this that when news broke that Pet Sematary would be the latest horror movie receiving a remake, not only did I not have a problem with it, but I was interested to see if this could finally make me care about the property.

    Then the initial trailers came out and the world of horror was outraged, disappointed, and just confused. The remake would feature the gigantic change of having the daughter, Ellie, be the one killed instead of Gage, like it is in both the novel and the original movie. Even as someone with zero love for the original, this seemed to be such an odd move by the marketing team for this film. Most fans seemed to agree that regardless of your opinion on Pet Sematary being remade, it seems counterproductive to give away the fact that the film made such a major change in the marketing. Wouldnít it have made more sense to keep that alteration a surprise for theater goers, who were already going into the movie expecting to know everything that would be happening? While I agree with these settlements, it was responsible for increasing my curiosity in the remake. After all, if Iím so disinterested in the original, reveals that there had been major changes for the remake could potentially mean that this version of Pet Sematary may be my kind of jam. Everything up to this point in the review had been written prior to watching any of Pet Sematary. Although I had reasons to have some anticipation for this film, thereís also a part of me that just assumed that it was going to be awful.

    Now, upon watching the remake, I can safely say that Iím pleasantly surprised. Not only was it not the train wreck that many fans of the original worried it would be once the initial trailers began to be released, but I can easily say that I firmly prefer this over the original. By a lot. The biggest advantage that 2019ís Pet Sematary has over its thirty year old predecessor is that it clears up so many of its plot holes that forced me into the theory that Louis had to have been going crazy, becoming an unreliable narrator in the process because itís the only thing that made sense. For starters, and this is a small thing, but the remake completely removed the portion of the funeral scene in which Rachelís father created a scene directed at Louis only for things to magically be improved upon a few scenes later. Thereís no need to believe that the apology doesnít seem realistic when it no longer happens. In the original, I had a lot of issues with Jud bringing Louis to the Indian burial ground beyond the Pet Sematary when he knows what happens to those dead creatures that are buried there and that being that Church was so close with Ellie, itís putting Ellie at risk. In the remake, Jud is essentially compelled to explain what can happen on the Indian burial ground to Louis, even fully recognizing that itís a terrible thing to do. Heís not in control because of some control that the power from the Indian burial ground has on him. The character of the nanny, who provided for a weird sub-plot in the original that felt unnecessary to me is completely written out of the remake. Lastly, the whole impracticality around a toddler doing all of the killings and somehow staging bodies is entirely removed all because of the trailer spoiling change of fate for the children.

    Speaking of which, I love the change from having Gage killed to now it being Ellie. Although it is devastating seeing such a young child like Gage killed, thereís so much more opportunities available when you have the older Ellie killed instead. Once Ellie returns, sheís able to speak to her parents. The result is that you see a part of the old Ellie still in there, but now everything is so much creepier when Ellie wants to perform innocent actions that she had done while alive pertaining to hugging her parents. I know that thereís some that donít find little kids or dolls scary in horror movies because they seem like such an easy threat, but a young child like Ellie felt a lot more convincing of a threat than Gage was in the original. The film doesnít hold back either once Ellie got her hands on a knife, going to town on stabbing fools. Even better is that this film doesnít insist on having Ellie try to position the victim's bodies as if sheís Michael Myers preparing for the climax reveal.

    My problems with the film are pretty minimal. Itís vague, but the film doesnít get as good as many of the recent Stephen King films that Hollywood had been churning out at a rapid pace. It doesnít drag like the original does for me, but I donít quite care about the characters as much as Iíd like to. Jud especially is a disappointment because not only was he such a critical character in the original, but heís now played by the amazing John Lithgow. It should be an easy slam dunk. Instead, Lithgowís portrayal lacks the iconiness of the original. I did like how Rachelís connection to her older sister, Zelda, was expanded on here to make it mean something in the context of the story rather than feeling like it was tact on at the last minute for a scare. Mind you, Zelda in the original is legitimately scary and the best aspect of the movie, but she also feels irrelevant? Itís a small thing, but around the middle of the movie after the dead Church scratched Ellie, but she told her father that she wanted to go ďHomeĒ. This stood out as being odd to me because it didnít seem like she had been disliking her new home/town. It seemed like she quickly found new friends as evident on the Halloween day scene, and she never made any negative remarks on her house up to that point. When it came to the trailer giving away things, while I ended up loving the switch to Ellie being the one killed rather than Gage, I was left disappointed that the children wearing masks shown prominently in the trailer proved to essentially only be seen in the movie in a single scene. The moment in the trailer gave off The Wicker Man vibes and I was excited to see how it would play out in the movie. Oh well. It still looked interesting in the trailer.

    Overall, over the last few years, it seems as if horror remakes have been so hit or miss. Every time thereís a new one announced, thereís some natural concern. However, much like Childís Play or IT Chapter 1, Pet Sematary ended up not dropping the ball. I loved most of the changes in this version compared to the greatly flawed original. Although I recognize the issues with the trailer giving away so much, I think it can also be argued that by giving so much away in the trailer, the movie went out of its way to inform viewers that this will be greatly different. The characters are a little forgettable though with Jud standing out as the biggest disappointment, but overall I had a great time watching it. All hail Pet Sematary 2019 and down with the lame 1989 movie!

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:



    Coming up next, itís time for the annual family friendly horror and how do we know that this horror movie is appropriate for the whole family? Itís rated PG. It has to be okay for the kiddies if itís rated PG, right? RIGHT?

  2. #122
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    I will watch this movie only for John Lithgow. A freaking legend!

  3. #123

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #30
    Title: Gremlins
    Country: United States
    Year: 1984
    Director: Joe Dante

    After Billyís father finds him a new pet, what starts off as an adorable romp ends in the town in shambles. If only Billy had followed the rulesÖ

    Back in the early 80s, muppets were a huge force in childrenís entertainment. The Muppet Show had just wrapped up its television series with a new movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, set to be released in mid 1984. Elsewhere, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock were currently entertaining children still on television. Clearly, if you put muppets on TV or send them off to the movie theaters, youíre set to make some money. So in June 1984, when a new muppet looking movie was set to be released and it was rated PG, it made complete sense for parents to take their children in droves to see what this other muppet movie could offer.

    And what did that other muppet movie have to offer? Mostly nightmares. Sadly, I was too young to go see Gremlins when it first came out (And by too young, I mean I wouldnít be born for another couple of years), but I canít imagine the surprise both the children and those parents that thought that Gremlins would be a safe movie experience for their little darlings. This reality plays a major part in the legacy of Gremlins that lives on to this day. Back when Gremlins first came out, there wasnít a PG-13 rating. So either your movie was going to be PG or it was going to be extended all the way up to R. Along with another 1984 hit, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the backlash from parent groups over the violence in Gremlins was apparently strong enough that the MPAA came together and settled on a new rating that would be implemented for the first time just a couple of months later in the creation of the PG-13 rating. So any time youíre frustrated that the latest horror movie is going to be rated PG-13, you can blame Gremlins for that.

    Speaking of a lasting legacy, the other change that Gremlins was responsible for was the launch of the muppet-like horror movies. Considering the popularity of Gizmo and company, other movie studios were quick to try and cash-in on the fad. This includes a previous Fright Fest entry, 1986ís Critters. In addition, there was Ghoulies, Troll, Munchies, Hobgoblins, The Gate, and likely others that are even more obscure that Iím not even aware of them all. In fact, could these muppet-like creatures also be responsible for even larger tiny terrors boom that resulted in the creation of Childís Play and Leprechaun? If thereís so many imitators, what is it about Gremlins that allows it to stand out so when all of these other movies have been able to stand back, interpret what worked for Gremlins and what didnít?

    One advantage should be really clear. Gremlins was made by a major studio in Warner Brothers and was given all of the natural advantages that major theatrical releases receive. How can some low budget tiny terrors movie compare when the budget for Gizmo and Mogwai designs may have been as much money as the imitators had for its entire budget? The Mogwai all look great, whether in their adorable Gizmo form or reptilian gremlins form. At no point do they just look like a cheap fur ball. Something else that the imitators fail to focus on is not just focusing on creating scary looking little monsters, but also spend some time manufacturing at least one that can simply be cute.

    Because hereís the thing, I donít care who you are or how manly you believe you are. When Gizmo is on the screen doing something adorable or uttering a few words in his Mogwai speak, itís fucking adorable. In the last couple of years, Baby Yoda had been causing butch men to go aww, but Gizmo garnered the same reaction more than thirty years ago. The heart of Gremlins matters and over the course of the film, it becomes evident that both Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus have their hands in the making of the film because both men were known for accomplishing this same feat. Part of the charm of Gremlins has nothing to do with the Mogwai, but rather the lively town and its residents. If youíre a fan of films with a rich cast of minor characters, Gremlins is your kind of movie. Some are likable, while others are so rotten that you canít help but feel delight when the gremlins begin messing with them. The best example of this being in the form of mean old Mrs. Deagle. Any time sheís on the screen, sheís nasty towards anyone who makes the mistake of being too near. So when the mischievous gremlins rewire her stairs extending chair to send her flying out of her second story window, itís a total joy to watch.

    One of the more memorable scenes in all of Gremlins was a scene that ultimately didnít serve any real purpose in the framework of the script. Yet, itís the scariest scene in the entire film. An old host of a podcast I listened to referred to Kateís Christmas story as being a satellite story. Once you learn the term, you begin to realize that satellite stories are a lot more common than you may realize. One example Iíve always thought about was the story of Charlie Bowles over in Russellville as told by the graveyard keeper to Dr. Loomis in the original Halloween. In Gremlins, after Billy learns that his love interest, Kate, doesnít celebrate Christmas, the truth eventually comes out as to why. Some years earlier, Kateís father had gone missing on Christmas. After a few days, the police found Kateís father dead in their chimney. It seems as if Kateís father was feeling a bit extra and decided to celebrate Christmas by donning a Santa Claus costume and repel down the chimney with that yearís presents when he got stuck and eventually died. Even though this story is scarier than anything the gremlins did, it doesnít actually serve a purpose other than revealing to Billy that Christmas has a dark side to it. Itís chilling and my belief is that itís one of the examples of why the film would have benefitted from being rated PG-13 rather than PG.

    Once Gizmo ends up producing offspring, of sorts, with those Mogwai then transforming into gremlins, the hijinx could finally begin. Gremlins managed to succeed in finding a nice balance between the horror of their acts against the residents of the town and having it be seen as comical antics. Thereís certainly comedy, but I wouldnít say that they hammed it up much. A scene where the gremlins sing Christmas carols is then immediately transitioned into the same gremlins terrorizing the poor soul who answered her door. Now Gremlins 2, released in 1990, went about this in a much different way, likely upon realizing just how popular Gremlins had been with children that it ends up feeling like a straight up dark comedy rather than exploring any horror in that tale. Although Gremlins 2 ditches the horror, it still has some charm to it as it fully embraces its stupidity and it went out of its way to create individual personalities and characters for all of the Mogwai, something that the original Gremlins only briefly touched on. Besides, Gremlins 2 also features a fourth wall breaking gag involving then-WWE World Champion, Hulk fín Hogan. Itís a bit rad.

    The rules of how to care for a Mogwai remain the filmís most glaring plot holes. Simply put, the rules are so incredibly vague that there might as well not even be any rules. The first rule is to not expose the Mogwai to light, especially sunlight. If you do so, it can kill the Mogwai. This rule is the most fair as weíre shown signs of it throughout the movie whenever Gizmo is exposed to a light thatís brighter than low room light. Gizmo freaks out, but will be otherwise unharmed. Meanwhile, the head of the evil gremlins, Stripe, is ultimately killed at the end of the movie when a skylight exposes full-on sunlight onto him. The other two rules arenít as straightforward though. The second rule is to not let your Mogwai come into contact with water. As seen in the movie when Tommy Jarvis himself, Corey Feldman, accidentally spills a glass of water onto Gizmo, it causes the lovable Mogwai to multiply. Itís not completely explained, but itís suggested that these new Mogwai are going to be a bit more wild than...natural Mogwai? How much water does it take for this to happen though? Billy had a dog who Gizmo affectionately called ďWoof-woofĒ at the end of the movie. What would have happened had the dog slobbered on Gizmo? Would that have been enough to produce additional Mogwai or does it have to be a sizable quantity? Does pure water work or can spilling Kool-Aid on a Mogwai result in the same problem? The final rule is deemed the most critical - do not feed your Mogwai after midnight. If you do so, your Mogwai will transform into full fledged gremlins and your entire town is now in danger. This is the most problematic rule as there aren't any further details on the rule. If you canít feed Mogwai after midnight, when can you feed them again? Technically speaking, noon is after midnight. What about timezones? What happens if youíre on a rocking roadtrip with your Mogwai buddy, but you happen to cross over to EST from CST at the time of the Mogwai munching away at a gas station burrito when it was just 11:11 PM before the time change? Do the Mogwai know about time differences? Itís believed that they came from China, but if theyíre now in America, how does that affect them? Sure, am I overthinking things to a crazy amount? Absolutely, but itís not as if Iím the only one that has questioned the rules told in this movie.

    Overall, Gremlins probably doesnít receive enough attention for being one of the most important horror films of the 1980s. It played a vital part in not only the creation of the PG-13 rating, but also the subsequent slew of imitators hoping to terrorize children with their own versions of cute awful creatures. Due to the adorability of Gizmo, some horror fans tend to look down on Gremlins for being a childrenís film, completely missing the horror elements. Whether itís the gremlins terrorizing the town or Kateís amazing satellite story. Although the original Gremlins is more intense than its sequel, I feel both would be suitable as being gateway horror to indoctrinate younger viewers into experiencing the horror genre for the first time. I do feel as if my interest wanes a little in the second half, but with each subsequent viewing, I gain a little more appreciation for this landmark movie. Ever since falling into this gimmick of dedicating the 30th day of the month to a family friendly horror for Fright Fest, Iíve been on a continuous hunt for what else could be included after blowing through the obvious picks from my own children. Despite starting this gimmick way back in Fright Fest 2, a full decade ago, Iíve somehow missed the most obvious pick for a family friendly horror. The horror movie that terrified unsuspecting children so badly that the MPAA was forced to change their own rating system. Gremlins is truly the ultimate example of a family friendly horror for it's the one that scared the children the most.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:



    Coming up next, before Fright Fest 12 can conclude, we ought to stop by the little town of Haddonfield to see an old buddy.

  4. #124
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Gremlins one is a fantastic movie and i was scared shitless of it when i first saw it. Great effects and lots fun parts. The theater part and the bar part are so great.

    Phoebe Cates is ridiculously hot in this too
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  5. #125
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    I love Gremlins so much

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  6. #126

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #31
    Title: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer's Cut)
    Country: United States
    Year: 1995
    Director: Joe Chappelle

    After a new family moves into the old Myers home, Michael returns to once and for all finish what he started so that his curse can be passed onto another.

    Throughout the history of Fright Fest, I have divulged my own history with the Halloween franchise, here and there, whenever I was given the chance to do so. It was catching John Carpenterís Halloween playing on the USA Network one Halloween night in the 90s that made me into a horror fan in the first place. It was being scared enough of the closet scene that I switched the channel to MTV, where coincidentally Rob Zombie had been on the screen, but I was compelled to switch back to Halloween because I just had to know if Jamie Lee Curtis was going to survive or not. Soon afterward, I began taping any horror movie that would be airing on cable and whenever I had the spare cash, either going to the video rental store or going out to buy some horror VHS tapes. The first horror video tape I bought was Halloween 4, which I proudly displayed on my old entertainment center only to later feel a sense of discomfort having Michaelís mask staring at me at all hours of the night. Naturally, I moved that video tape out of sight.

    The horror fandom grew from there as this was just about the time in which I was getting online for the first time. Through happenstance, I discovered the official Halloween message board, which became my first online home to talk with others. That board, which was killed off at least twenty years ago, proved to be a highly beneficial place to be when it came to getting into contact with a guy who had a copy of Curtis Richardsí novelization of the original Halloween. For just a few bucks, a beat-up copy from 1983 was in my mailbox not long afterward. Nowadays, even an used copy goes for hundreds of dollars. Yet, what I remember most about this random guy from this long dead Halloween board is that he had something even more enticing in his collection. For he had what was long considered to be the Holy Grail of the Halloween franchise - a shitty dub of the Halloween 6 Producerís Cut. Due to our previous business dealings, he was willing to send me a copy for absolutely free. For many years, that VHS was my prized possession in my horror collection.

    To understand the significance of the Producerís Cut, one must dive into the history of Halloween 6. Following Halloween 5ís release in 1989, the series went into hiding again with the recently created company, Dimension Films, purchasing the distribution rights for the Halloween franchise going forward. Self admitted Halloween megafan, Daniel Farrands, was tasked with coming up with the script. Reportedly, this script was heavily praised for its scares and connection to the prior movies. However, thereís a reason why the film was ultimately entitled, ĎThe Curse of Michael Myersí. Once the project went into production, it became a nightmare. Director, Joe Chappelle, who fully admitted to not even being a fan of the Halloween franchise, didnít care for Farrandsí original script forcing massive changes. Then, after production seemingly wrapped up and we were left with what became the Producerís Cut, initial test screenings did not go well, causing Chappelle to bring back the cast and film new content, including a new ending that was written on the fly. This proved to be problematic as the stalwart of the Halloween franchise - Donald Pleasence, had just died in between the wrapping of the original production and the reshoots beginning. Luckily for Chapelle, he thought Pleasenceís portrayal of Dr. Loomis was boring, so he could get away with bringing in a lookalike whenever they needed to capture the back of Loomisí head for a new shot. Just in case Chapelleís competency isnít already in question, he decided that when the reshoots bean, heíll find a new guy to play Michael Myers out of belief that the actor who had played Myers thus far in the movie, George Wilbur (Previously had played Michael in Halloween 4 as well) was too bulky for the role. So when you watch the final act of the theatrical cut of Halloween 6 and Michaelís size seems different, itís because itís a completely different actor. This is just a summary of the problems with the production of Halloween 6. There were plenty of additional problems, including Dimension Films believing that the original actress for Jamie Lloyd, Danielle Harris, wasnít worth her asking price, thus they recast the character with an older actress, but this gives you the jest of the problems. After all of this trouble, when Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was finally released, it wasnít a hit, failed to reach #1 for the week like Halloween 4 had done, and was generally regarded as the weakest Halloween thus far. Even worse was the fact that it was an incomprehensible mess all because of the reshoots changing up so much.

    Hereís the thing about Halloween 6 - itís a stupid story. Part of the appeal of the original Halloween is that we donít know Michaelís reasoning for killing. Even when we learn that Laurie Strode was his sister in Halloween II, it may explain his fascination with her, but not why he feels the need to go after family members, including eventually his niece, Jamie. No one wants or needs an explanation, let alone some absurd explanation as told in The Curse of Michael Myers that Michael is compelled to kill because of some constellation that appears in the sky on certain Halloweens and heís been helped and protected by a Cult of the Thorn all of this time. Up to this point in time, Michael and the Halloween franchise was not like Freddy Kruegerís A Nightmare on Elm Street or even Jason Voorheesí Friday the 13th. Myers was grounded in some level of realism. That realism is thrown out the window with this preposterous idea that Michael had been inflicted with some ancient curse.

    Now, with that being said, if you are going to have a stupid plot about Michael being controlled by an ancient curse and protected by a cult, you might as well go all in with the idea. Thatís where Chapelleís butting in got in the way. What we got in the theatrical cut is this mess where we get little snippets of cult behavior, but then the rest is just classic Michael and it doesnít mesh. Part of the reason why the Producerís Cut was such a highly sought out item in the Halloween fandom is because itís a superior cut of the movie. Maybe most still wonít consider the movie to be good, but at least it makes sense.

    If youíve only seen the theatrical cut, then youíve more or less know what happens in the first hour of the Producerís Cut. The Producerís Cut features the original title screen which includes the number Ď6í that was left out of the official marketing of the film. Instead of Paul Ruddís Tommy Doyle (In Ruddís film debut) opening narration, itís instead done by Pleasenceís Loomis. Thereís a flashback to 1989 to show Jamie Lloyd (Showing footage of Danielle Harris) walking into the police station after The Man in Black had shot up the place, only to be kidnapped by The Man in Black and driven away by the Thorn cult with Michael. The soundtrack is entirely different, ditching the rock and weird sound effects that were added in the theatrical cut. Instead, the movie relies on just the original Halloween soundtrack. Personally, I prefer this as I disliked the theatrical soundtrack as it didnít feel as if it belonged in the Halloween franchise. Jamieís death is different. She still gets hunted by Michael at the farm, but rather than being killed on some farming machinery, sheís just stabbed, but ends up living. Later on in the film, Jamie has some dreams taking us back nine months to insinuate that the father of her baby, Stephen, was in fact...Michael. In the theatrical cut, itís poorly edited that itís never fully explained, but itís hinted at that Stephen had been a test tube baby. Jamie is then killed after The Man in Black visits her in the hospital, shooting her. The rest of the deaths happen as they do in the theatrical, but sadly John Strodeís death does not result in his head exploding. As previously mentioned, it was the final act that was completely reshot. Instead of this big battle with Tommy beating Michael to death with a pipe until Michael oozes green, itís a non-confrontational ending as Tommy rescues Kara from being sacrificed as they managed to run away from the cult (Revealed to be nearly everyone in the town we had met in prior scenes) with Karaís son, Danny, and Stephen. In order to stop a not far behind Michael, Tommy pulls out some protective runes to place on the ground and once he completes a small ritual, Michael is frozen into place. Yes, this is absolutely dumb, but at least itís playing into the curse plot. All of this nonsense about cults and ancient curses now has meaning, unlike in the theatrical cut. Just like in the theatrical cut, Tommy, Kara, Danny, and Stephen drive off to safety while Loomis rejects their offer to go along with them for he has business left to complete inside. The producerís cut actually shows you what happens when Loomis screams at the end of Halloween 6. In the theatrical cut, itís presumed that he was killed by Michael. In reality, when Loomis went to find Michael, he found Myers now lying on the floor inside of the circle Tommy had created out of the ruins, but when Loomis removed Michaelís mask, it was The Man in Black, Dr. Wynn, instead. Wynn is confused as to what happened, realizing that Michael has survived and is somewhere out there. The film concludes with Wynn passing on his own Thorn mark to Loomis, forcing Loomis to do the unthinkable and become Michaelís new protector, illicating a scream out of Loomis as the camera cuts to Michael dressed as The Man in Black, leaving the facility.

    Iíve always preferred the Producerís Cut as it embraces what itís set out to be. An easier way to describe both versions of the movie is that the theatrical cut is the Michael movie while the Producerís Cut is the Loomis film. Due to Chapelleís disinterest in Pleasenceís acting, a lot of it ended up on the cutting room floor. Itís a shame too because thereís a great mixture in that acting. At times, you can tell that Pleasence has aged quite a bit since the filming of Halloween 5 and was near death with his raspy, weak voice. Throughout the film though, we keep getting these glimpses of Pleasence finding life again and itís as if weíre seeing classic Loomis again. Chances are, the scenes where Pleasence was vocally weak were the days where his failing heart was struggling. The unfortunate thing about the Producerís Cut is that Michaelís role in the film is greatly diminished. Not only do we miss out on that big murdering spree of the doctors in the theatrical cut, but itís kinda sad seeing Michael just standing around, completely at the mercy of being the Thorn cultís minion. Itís a bit sad that youíre forced to choose between Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis, but thatís Halloween 6 for you.

    Back in 2018, I covered Halloween 5, a film that relies on the mystery of a new stranger in Haddonfield - The Man in Black. It took six years, but Halloween 6, both the theatrical and Producerís Cut, finally revealed who this man is. Although I love the initial mystery of this stranger, the reveal is a letdown. Dr. Wynn, a minor character who appeared in a single scene with Dr. Loomis in the original Halloween, returns here as a clear sign that Daniel Farrands was such a Halloween fan that he just had to pick some obscure character to return to the franchise. I canít fault Halloween 6 when it comes to this disappointment though as the production behind Halloween 5 didnít bother coming up with their own answer for who The Man in Black was to be. There was a lot of talk about it being Michaelís long lost brother, since both Michael and The Man in Black had been played by the same actor, Don Shanks, in Halloween 5. If nothing else, the reveal of Wynn being the one behind all of Michaelís support does clear up a lot. For starters, the long questioned mystery of how Michael learned to drive a car seems easily answered now if we are to believe that Wynn had become Myersí protector way back in the 70s. Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon, Grosse Pointe Blank) was probably one of the better actors who had been in the Halloween franchise, at that point in time, so at least The Man in Black was played by someone who did a great job at projecting that vile personality that was so wrapped up in being Michaelís protector that he relished in cursing his long time friend with being the new protector.

    Overall, in a subsequent edition of Fright Fest, I will dive deeper into The Curse of Michael Myers with a review of the theatrical cut. This review was not that though. This review was dedicated entirely around the mythology of its highly sought after Producerís Cut. I once believed that some crappy dub of the movie on VHS, something barely even watchable, had been my most prized possession in my horror collection. For years, I can remember e-petitions urging Dimension Films to finally release the movie so that the Producerís Cut would not only be legally owned, but we could finally get it in good quality. In 2014, that finally happened as part of Shout! Factoryís impressive limited edition of the (then) complete series. If youíre like me, the price tag was a bit too much, so you settled on the more affordable ten disc set instead. That set ended up not containing the Producerís Cut, but a year later, Lionsgate would release a bare bones standalone Blu-Ray. For just a few bucks, I was able to buy what was previously a highly sought after item. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray has since been discontinued, resulting in prices skyrocketing, however; you can still rent or buy the VOD on your streaming site of choice. If youíre a fan of the Halloween series, but havenít caught this bizarre cut of a Halloween sequel with a disastrous backstory, I think youíre missing out. Fright Fest originally began as a way to embrace and celebrate my own love of the horror genre. Halloween 6ís Producerís Cut represents that early fandom and connecting with similarly minded people on the internet for the first time. Perhaps without discovering that Halloween message board all of those years ago that allowed for securing my own copy of the Producerís Cut, Fright Fest may have never been created years later on an entirely different message board.

    Grade: C

    Fright in Motion:



    And thus, Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs concludes. For anyone who stopped by to check out a review or share thoughts, thank-you and I hope that you enjoyed yourselves. This may be the first Fright Fest ever without a single late review.

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