Halloween II (Rick Rosenthal, 1981)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
Picking up right where the original left off, Laurie Strode is pursued by the seemingly unstoppable Michael Myers at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where she has been taken to treat her injuries. close behind is the never faltering Dr. Loomis, hell-bent on stopping the evil once and for all.
Razor88: Well what can I say, It’s fucking Halloween II! I know it’s kind of cliché to review Halloween on Halloween, so we picked part 2 because we’re all original like that. I want to start off by saying that I love how it picks up directly after Halloween and fits together so well, it’s kind of like one long movie, albeit you can tell that this one was definitely NOT made for TV with the inclusion of the titties and prevalent gore effects. You can really see where the 80s American slasher archetype has really taken shape here. One thing I noticed was the long brooding shots down hallways and alleys… it really makes the viewer seem like a voyeur in a way and I think that really adds to the overall tone of the film. This technique is used a few times in the film and it’s always very effective, providing an overall feeling of malaise and tension.

Nom DePlume: It’s actually interesting ’cause Carpenter apparently refused to direct & asked the art director of the first Halloween to take over but he declined. It was then offered to Rick Rosenthal who had never made a feature before & he was saddled with the “responsibility & restraints” of following the first film in direct continuation. He wanted to do more of a thriller than a slasher movie & says that the decision to include more tits & blood were Carpenter’s who was trying to keep up with the competition. Also, in the original you don’t see so much direct face to face time with Michael, I like that in this film you see him frequently in the background. I love the scene in the poorly-lit Dr’s office when the little candy striper is finding out that the Dr. is dead & Michael slowly appears from the shadows & grabs her.Halloween-II-11

R88: Yeah from what I read Carpenter had to fix the film because before he got his hands on it, it was “as scary as Quincy”. Tits and blood are a must, and seeing as they upped the budget for the sequel a LOT it makes sense. The effects here are excellent and we’re even treated to a full body burn at one point. Albeit implausible at times (there’s NO WAY a syringe will puncture a person’s temple like it was butter) the kills are inventive but not to the point of absurdity. I love the amount of face time we get with The Shape and his mask in the sequel just looks like he’s really pissed off, instead of the sort of creepy emotionless visage from the first. I know you read that Debra Hill confirmed it’s the selfsame mask but like you I’m not sure if I believe it. It sure looks like it’s been altered somehow. That scene with the candy striper is fucking brilliant. It’s so perfectly done, Myers just sort of bleeds out of the darkness and takes her out. By far one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I’d also like to add since we’re talking about the beginning of the movie – who the fuck puts mayonnaise on a ham sandwich? I love the bit where the wife is in the living room talking to her husband and you can see Michael in the kitchen in the background just standing and staring like a creepy motherfucker. And that’s also what’s always worked for me with the character (at least in the first 2 films) is that he’s just this creepy unflinching murderous statue. There’s nothing there but evil.Halloween-II-15
Nom: It’s awesome that you mention a hypodermic to the temple being implausible over picking a person up by a scalpel 2 ft in the air & her instantly dying?! It’s great though, we grew up with this movie, it’s not like we watched it @ 25 or something…we were like 6 & 7 watching this shit new so it totally shaped (ha!) us. Honestly, how many thousands upon thousands of children have that tight close-up profile image of the lil pirate kid going into the emergency room with a fucking razor blade jutting out of his face? That scared the *shit* out of me for countless trick or treating expeditions! AND since we’re mentioning key moments in the film I’d like to note the POWERFUL delivery of the line “One of ’em was ANNIE!” by Deputy Hunt to Sheriff Brackett, an emotional sense-memoried performance if ever there was one. I’d also like to take this time to say that ALL NURSES ARE SLUTS! I think every nurse in Haddonfield Memorial easily looks like they were ripped right out of Emmanuelle’s TLC: A Smalltown Sexual Odyssey. Although I will admit I could possibly be biased as I have a nurse fetish & a bit of a hard on for Nurse Bailey’s tits. Hubba hubba. P.S. I like mayo on my ham sammies.Halloween-II-4
R88: I could point out all the inconsistencies and ridiculous bits but we’d be here till NEXT Halloween. And I surmise the scalpel pick up was fueled by PURE HATE and therefore not only plausible but awesome. Also, the therapy bath kill scene was kind of bizarre seeing as Michael’s victim has her face pretty much boiled off and yet he was holding her in the scalding water with his bare hand: Harness the power of PURE HATE!!!!! That razor blade scene has also haunted me for years. if I ever received a piece of fruit in my spoils of trick or treating I would immediately freak out and discard it which I’m sure would have been amusing to watch. Deputy Hunt was as wooden as can be and the way he stumbles over his lines over and over just adds to the charm of the film. It certainly didn’t hurt that all the nurses here look like they could have been borrowed from a porn set. Sadly they do wear sensible shoes but OMG could you imagine how hot it would have been to see them click click clicking their way down those hallways in a nice pair of pumps? *DROOL* Nurse Bailey in particular was hot as fuck. Those tits are delightful, I have to agree. I’m pretty sure everyone has a hard on for those. And what about that creepy thumb suck scene? Certainly a highlight in my book. I really liked the pacing to the film as well… it keeps up the tension throughout and never grows tiresome or repetitive. It makes sense to me that the series was supposed to end after part 2 as it’s capped off perfectly. I read that Carpenter was intending to turn the series into a sort of horror anthology utilizing completely unrelated storylines and that’s where we get Halloween 3 from. It’s too bad they were unable to run with that and the wrong people got involved, making Michael Myers into an undying cartoon character for the subsequent films to follow. I did enjoy part 4 & 5 but they were completely unnecessary. In a lot of ways I actually prefer this one to the original. The characters and motivations are set up and this one just gives us the gore and titties. I love the original, don’t get me wrong… but part 2 is pretty fucking amazing.Halloween-II-12
Nom: Agreed & all the implausibilities included, I adore this movie. We are again agreed on the shoes thing, I would shit twice & DIE if all of those whores were walking around begging for it in heels. *boing* I love that you bring up the finger/thumb lick/suck scene…Michael has been bleeding people on a 2 day goddamn rampage & you KNOW that motherfucker wasn’t washing those bitches. On feel alone any lady knows her man’s hands but…to taste that much murder & not notice?! For shame! One thing that always kinda bothered me about this movie, and maybe I just didn’t get it or I’m not accessing my suspension of disbelief appropriately enough…but Laurie has this dreamy-hallucination about her adopted mother saying that she isn’t her mom…then walking in to Michael’s room at the sanitarium…then she fakes (or actually has a reaction to the meds)..cut to: she’s placed pillows in her bed to fake her lying there & starts the trek away from her room. So. She knew by some sort of blood-link weirdo hallucinatory inclination that he was her brother & started getting the fuck out of dodge OR..??? That never quite made sense to me. I’m all about letting shit slide here & there but that kinda seems like a significant enough plot point that needs clarification. I also always had an issue with (are you sensing a pattern here?) him breaking into the school (across town) stabbing a child’s family portrait directly in the “sister” & then writing SAMHAIN on the chalkboard. What on EARTH would be his motivation for this?! He hasn’t communicated in 15 yrs & THIS is what he says? Also, Loomis mispronounces it.
R88: Yeah that bit where Laurie has the premonition/memory/fever dream makes no fucking sense at all. I’m assuming the reaction to the meds was real because she was examined by nurse blondie (who I assume knows WTF she’s doing) & she notices that Laurie’s eyes aren’t PERL and the fact that Laurie is all fucked up and woozy in the hallway when she sees blondie get back-raped by that scalpel of HATE.  I’m glad you mentioned Loomis mispronouncing Samhain. He does this in the classroom AND in the car while pontificating his wisdom about the history of the Druids and shit. And after he even blatantly points out that it’s a “Celtic word”… so maybe pronounce it properly so you don’t sound like a complete assclown? Anything that guy would have told me about Samhain would have been a moot point as soon as he displayed such ineptitude. Also there’s that finale bit where Laurie is protecting herself with the gun given to her by Loomis and manages to shoot out not one, but BOTH of his eyes. WTF??? was this bitch target shooting every day after school for the last 15 years? So here you have Michael stumbling around completely blind… just leave. What’s the fucker gonna do? Chase you with bat sonar? Maybe in part 4. I suppose Loomis just wanted to end the whole legacy with a bang.Halloween-II-17
Nom: Haha! What’s so brilliant about this film & perhaps we’re mutually biased with our age & having grown up with it, but despite its many flaws & outright ridiculousness it’s a fucking fantastically fun movie! & I still haven’t mentioned how much I love the score! Or the fact that the guy playing “The Shape” was named DICK WARLOCK! which is probably one of the most awesome accidental porn names I’ve ever run across! OR the fact that when Nurse Bailey doesn’t wanna drive her girlfriend home she asks “Can’t you get a ride with Eddie Lee?” & as the credits are rolling on my beloved fantas-magorically-awesome-shit-pile-fucking-SWEET-ASS-MOVIE… I notice that none other than Eddie Lee Voelker was the “Transportation Coordinator”  & I just can’t help but laugh deep inside thinking that Halloween II…Oh. My. You have won me over for LIFE. <3



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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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