I speak, of course, of "Halloween: Resurrection," the movie that in a sane world would kill off the Michael Myers franchise forever.
Perhaps we should look at it from a different point of view. Is it worse than "Halloween III," previously famous as the worst sequel in horror history, with the possible exception of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3"?
Yes, I'm afraid it is. At least those two failures were trying to break new ground. Despite having Jamie Lee Curtis in an opening sequence as Laurie Strode, imprisoned in an insane asylum where she pretends to be catatonic and plots to kill the same Michael Myers that we thought she killed at the end of "H20," this whole movie seems to be made in some kind of psychological time warp, as if all the "Scream" movies that made fun of the "Halloween" conventions didn't exist.
Yes, they trot 'em out once again. Couples who have sex must die. The most virginal and practical of all the women must be the only survivor. (They cheat a little on that one.) And they don't even bother to figure out where Michael Myers has been or how he got loose again, although they're apparently expecting us to believe that he's been living in the secret basement of the original killing house in Haddonfield, Illinois, all these years. Whoa.
This is the movie that asks the question, "What would happen if Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks had an idea for an Internet reality show in which six people are chosen to live in the house where the Michael Myers murders occurred?" (Gee, wonder what happens.)
At first you think it might be some kind of ultra-cool multiple-camera shaky-cam digital video thing, a la "Blair Witch," but they can't decide whether to use the lipstick cams or lose 'em. At any rate, they don't provide any new perspectives or visually stunning "kills." Instead, we've got nine people wandering around a not-too-interesting house, and one of 'em happens to be the chalk-faced Michael Myers.
Bianca Kajlich draws the black bean as the heroine of this resume killer. Her main job for the first half is to sell a bunch of "false alarm" scares -- the only one they DON'T use is the cat jumping into the piano -- and fortunately she has a hand-held wireless computer (yes, that's what I said) so she can get instructions like "HE'S IN THE HALLWAY" from an e-mail admirer who happens to turn the show on while attending a Halloween party.
Apparently none of these hip twentysomethings has one of those new-fangled cell phones.
I would say the killings are by-the-numbers, but that would be an insult to the numeric notation system. What's odd about this is that Rick Rosenthal directed, and he's the director of "Halloween II," which is probably the best previous sequel.
Apparently he spent the last 20 years watching the Lifetime Network or something.
The producers have made no attempt to replace the late
Donald Pleasence with some other psycho-shrink who could say "He's eeeeeeeee-vill. Pure eeeeeeeee-vill." In fact, there's no real attempt by authorities to stop Michael Myers at all. He comes, he kills, he fries, he stirs again. He's about as scary as Perry Como.
OK, let's check those totals and put this baby out of its misery:
Thirteen dead bodies. Two breasts. Slicing. Dicing. Bayonet through the neck. Garroting. Impalement on a metal grate. The old bloody-head-in-the-laundromat gag. Brain-squeezing. Heads roll. Gratuitous Tunnel Cam. Gratuitous costume party. Gratuitous fake body parts. Kung Fu. Electrocution Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Jamie Lee Curtis, for the best performance in the flick, as the haunted psychotic ex-babysitter who says "I'll see you in hell!"; Bianca Kahjlich, as the Jungian psychology student who can scream like the dickens, for saying "I so did not sign up for this"; Busta Rhymes, as the reality TV "dangertainment" producer with an affection for kung fu movies, for saying "We're done dancing for the cameras"; Tyra Banks, for having nothing to do in the movie but doing it well; Luke Kirby, as the obligatory scruffy guy, for saying "You know, Donna, you've got great legs -- when do they open?"; and Daisy McCrackin, as the loosest girl in the cast, for saying, "Having sex with a music major would be tantamount to lesbianism."
Zero stars. Joe Bob says ... it's up to you. Web site for "Halloween: Resurrection": dimensionfilms.com/halloweenresurrection/index.html.
(To reach Joe Bob, go to www.joebob-briggs.com or e-mail him at JoeBob@upi.com. Snail mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.)