The second film of the night, sadly, was not Halloween 2 or Halloween 3. Instead, we return to Haddonfield of the late 1980s for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

Halloween 4: The Return Michael Myers (1988)

Opening Rant: Joe Bob again professes his love for the Lifetime Movie of the Week. Won’t someone get this guy a role as a villainous husband? He’s got the acting-chops.

Ah, Halloween 4: The Revenge of Michael Myers. No film in the Myers saga is as controversial, with the exception of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch to the whole of the franchise. For some, Halloween 4 is a return to what is considered key to Halloween: Michael Myers. It represents a course correction. Even then, fans of Myers have differing opinions. For some, it is a film that represents the inevitable slide into mediocrity that defined most slashers heading into the 1990s. For others, it represents the loss of a potential narrative.

So, where does Halloween 4 rank in Joe Bob’s estimation? It ranks as a 4-star experience, though he says enough during the Joe Bob breaks to call that into question. Halloween 4 has some great things going for it. It is probably the best storyline Dr. Loomis has and builds on his obsession with Michael. We’re talking Captain Ahab and his white whale, here.

We also get a fun, drunk, truckin’ preacher as well. Joe Bob had a field day with that one. The preacher, played by Carmen Filpi, is one of those recognizable faces in films. He plays a kind of crusty old street fellow quite well, and Joe Bob explained a bit of that.

The film also happened to have a chaotic group of rednecks who make the situation even worse. That actually adds quite a bit to the film, and we already know how Joe Bob Briggs feels about rednecks. I am assuming there was a redneck-multiplier at play when it comes to the rating Joe Bob provided.

Review

Joe Bob’s evaluation is, on the surface, fairly glowing. When you dive into some of his own thoughts, however, you may question the merits of the film.

I find Halloween 4 to be serviceable at best. There is a lot going wrong in the film which completely undercuts what actually works with it. At best, Halloween 4 is a two-and-a-half-star film. As a whole, the material with Dr. Loomis is some of the strongest in the series. The mob justice moments are also a pretty insightful component to the overall story as well. But none of the kills are particularly great, barring the thumb-to-the-forehead early on. The loss of Laurie Strode is most definitely felt as well. The film just feels weaker without her presence.

There is also the issue of abandoning what worked in favor of… whatever the Hell Halloween 5 was. The potential of Jamie Lloyd being the next incarnation of the Shade is an alternate reality I, for one, would love to visit.

Best Line: “Yeah, the one you’re picking up, just thinking about him gives me the willies. A decade ago-Halloween night-he murdered sixteen people, maybe more, trying to get to his sister; nearly got her, too. But his doctor, of all people, shot him six times, then set him on fire. Both of them nearly burned to death. Yeah, I’ll be glad to see this one gone. Yes, indeed-y!” – Officer Exposition


Looking for the Haunted MTL Drive-In totals? You can find those on the review of the first movie of the night. We continue our slide into non-Carpenter Halloween mediocrity later this week with the third film of the night: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. A film universally derided as one of the worst slasher sequels ever made.

It’s gonna be a spooky fun time with a spooky bad movie when we conclude the Halloween Hootenanny.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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