31 Days Of Horror: Halloween 6

We complete the ‘Thorn trilogy’ with Halloween 6 (1995), generally considered to be one of the worst films ever.  While it is pretty daft, there’s a lot to like in this one.

Halloween 6 DVD
They actually officially dropped the numerals with this one, but I’m still using it for clarification’s sake.

The film opens with the teenage Jamie Lloyd (now played by a different actress) in labour – she’s been kept prisoner by a weird cult for five or six years.  Once she’s given birth, the creepy cult take the baby away to be used in some bizarre ceremony.

The midwife who delivered the baby has a change of heart about the cult, helps Jamie escape, and is almost immediately killed by Michael, who is seemingly allowed to wander around the cult’s headquarters at will.  Either that, or the fact of it being Hallowe’en has woken him up again.

Jamie escapes in a truck.  I’m not sure where she learnt how to drive, given that she’s been kept prisoner since she was nine!

The Myers house has now been refurbished and has a new family living in it – the young boy in the house, Danny, is being psychically influenced by Michael somehow.

Paul Rudd shows up in his first film appearance, playing the character of Tommy Doyle from the first film.  Like everyone else in town, he’s listening to a local radio station that’s doing a show about Michael Myers.  I love the radio show, as it provides a bit of comic relief with all the nutters phoning in with their theories.

We see Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence in his last film appearance) is still about too (also listening to the show, obviously)!  He’s visited by ‘old friend’ Dr Wynn at this point, who wants him to come back and work at Smith’s Grove sanatorium again.  Dr Wynn was one of the people who didn’t listen to Loomis in the first film, so I’m not sure why Loomis considers him such a good friend!

Jamie pulls up outside the empty bus station and wanders around there for a while, rather than just driving somewhere where there might actually be people who can help.

The radio show is a good way of setting up the subplots, including the group who want to take Hallowe’en in Haddonfield back from the Michael Myers narrative.

Jamie calls the radio show from the bus station in the hope that Dr Loomis will hear her, which is very ‘Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi’.  ‘Dr Loomis?  Can you hear me, Dr Loomis, are you out there?’

A car chase between Michael and Jamie results in a crash, and Jamie wanders around a creepy deserted barn before Michael eventually kills her.  ‘You can’t have my baby, Michael,’ she says as she dies, and indeed he can’t at the moment.  Returning to the truck, he finds that Jamie has swapped the baby for rolled-up towels and has hidden him somewhere.

The family in the Myers house are quite nice except for the abusive father.  They turn out to be Strodes, relatives of Laurie’s adopted parents. The parents are called Debra and John after series creators Debra Hill and John Carpenter, which is a nice touch, though I’m not sure how John Carpenter would have felt about having such a nasty character named after him!

Tommy, who has been obsessed with Michael Myers since 1978 and whose room is full of newspaper clippings and recording equipment, tracks down Jamie’s location during her call to the radio station by playing the segment back and hearing a bus noise in the background. He goes down to the bus station to check his suspicions.

Why has nobody noticed or cleaned up the blood in the bus station toilets?  You’d think someone would have complained.  Anyway, it means that Tommy easily finds the baby, who has been hidden in a cupboard.

Loomis and Wynn hear that Jamie’s body has been found, and go down to investigate the barn.  Michael has burnt the Thorn symbol into the hay, and Loomis somehow knows all about it now.

More unknown local bands doing the soundtrack, this time playing mid-’90s indie music!

Danny is drawing the Thorn symbol too, along with a creepy picture of his family all getting stabbed.

Tommy conveniently bumps into Loomis at the hospital and infodumps a load of backstory about Jamie not being the last Myers relative and the Strodes having moved into the Myers house.  As a result, Loomis shows up at the Myers house and gives Debra Strode the full poetic/crazy speech about Michael’s evil – unusually, she actually listens to him.

Danny’s backwards baseball cap takes me right back to ’95!  He bumps into Tommy and drops his pumpkin, which splits everywhere, a nice callback to a similarly broken pumpkin in the first film.

Debra calls her husband at Strode Realty to tell him she’s getting the family out of the house, and receives an earful of abuse for her trouble.  She realises John hid the house’s background from the family and bought it himself because he wasn’t able to sell it to anyone else in town.

John turns out to be an alcoholic too, getting his bottle of whisky out as soon as he hangs up!  Lovely guy.

Unfortunately, Michael catches up with Debra before she can warn the family.  The Strodes’ daughter Kara (Danny’s mother) arrives home to a seemingly empty house, but Danny has made friends with Tommy, and she finds them both upstairs.  Tommy tells her they need to leave the house, and so they go to Tommy’s place across the street (super safe and far away!), where he rents a room in Mrs Blankenship’s boarding house.  While Kara is busy being freaked out/intrigued (it’s not clear) by all of Tommy’s newspaper cuttings, Danny sees Michael out of the window in another neat callback to the first film, when Tommy was constantly spotting Michael outside the window.

Tommy’s ’90s computer makes me all nostalgic for Windows 3.1/Windows ’95 graphics!  He’s done a lot of tinfoil hat research about the Thorn symbol – it’s a druidic thing and a constellation that appears around Hallowe’en, apparently.

Mrs Blankenship is a bit ‘Conal Cochran’ about Samhain, which should give us some indication that she shouldn’t be trusted.  ‘He hears the voice, you know – just like the other boy that lived in that house,’ she tells Kara, thus providing a (fairly poor) explanation for why Danny is drawing creepy pictures and pulling knives on people.  She also claims to have been babysitting Michael Myers the night he killed Judith in 1963, which (a) is not really something to brag about in terms of babysitting skills and (b) contradicts the first film, in which Judith believes Michael to be ‘around somewhere’ in her own house and thus must be (poorly) babysitting him herself.

Barry the radio DJ comes to do a show in the park in Haddonfield, and is a right prat who is obviously not going to last long.

John comes home to the Myers house drunk, and soon meets up with Michael, who electrocutes him in the garage.  The effect of his head exploding is pretty silly.

More ’90s nostalgia from Barry’s dodgy old primitive mobile phone!  As expected, he meets his end at Michael’s hands before he can go and meet Kara’s brother Tim and his girlfriend Beth to do a radio show live from the Myers house.  Tim and Beth return to the house and completely ignore the warning signs of the power cut and missing family members, choosing sex over sense, and we all know how that ends in these films.

‘It’s raining red,’ says the little kid who is getting blood dripped all over her, ’cause for some reason Michael has put Barry’s body in a tree.  Loomis catches up with Tommy at this point, and they head back to find the baby.

Tim takes a post-coital shower, and Michael hands him a towel and waits for him to come out before killing him, for some reason (maybe the filmmakers didn’t want to get sued by the Hitchcock estate).  Michael then kills Beth while she’s on the phone to Kara (who can see her from Tommy’s window) – this provides quite a cool moment with Kara frantically trying to warn Beth.  Of course, Danny has gone over to the Myers house while Kara was on the phone, irresistably drawn to Michael/the house/the voices/something.

Kara follows Danny into the house, and at least has the sense to arm herself with a poker!  After a round of find-the-body, the two of them escape, and there’s yet another callback to the first film as they bang frantically on Tommy’s door, having to wait until the very last moment for him to open it.

The baby is gone, and Loomis realises that there’s only one other person who knew that Tommy was looking after him.  It’s Dr Wynn, who turns out to be the man in black from Halloween 5!  Mrs Blankenship is helping him, which is wholly unsurprising.  Loomis and Tommy are drugged and left in the house, but the cult take Kara and Danny with them.

Loomis and Tommy give chase towards the cult’s headquarters, which turns out to be Smith’s Grove sanatorium.  Tommy rescues Kara, while Loomis confronts Wynn and gets knocked out for his trouble.

Wynn and his team prepare to carry out some unspecified procedure on the baby, but Michael comes in and wipes them out, which is quite well deserved.  Kara and Tommy take advantage of the confusion to rescue Danny and the baby.

Tommy tricks Michael by pretending to offer him the baby, and drugs him, then Kara whacks him with a steel bar.  This doesn’t have much effect on Michael, and he comes after Kara.  He can kill most people in a single second, but even strangling Kara for ten seconds isn’t enough to hurt her – she’s right as rain after a moment.  The power of the final girl!

Tommy really goes to town on Michael, managing to beat him unconscious.  He, Kara and Danny prepare to drive off, but Loomis chooses to stay behind.  ‘I have a little business to attend to here,’ he says, but we never find out what that is – we get a shot of the discarded mask on the floor with Loomis screaming in the background as he realises Michael’s escaped again, then a shot of a lit pumpkin lantern, then the film ends very abruptly.  Bizarre and unsatisfying!  Apparently the director’s cut rectifies this, but I’ve never been able to track down a copy of that one.

Another break from Halloween tomorrow!

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