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The final film of the night is Halloween 5 and… oh boy.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Opening Rant: Director non-apologies for movie failures

Before we dive into the background information of the film, we need to address the huge, stinky elephant in the room. Joe Bob Briggs, the papa of the whole damn mutant family, gave Halloween 5 the four-star treatment. Yes, Halloween 5 is a four-star film for The Last Drive-In.


Halloween 5 released about a year after the release of Halloween 4. That turnaround alone should be bad news, even for a lower budget horror film. This is a movie that in many ways is threadbare at the elbows narratively and regarding production values. The Return of Michael Myers, at least, look nice and have some rather impressive visuals on a passable story. The Revenge of Michael Myers? Not so much.

Swiss director Dominique Othenin-Girard also served as a co-writer to the film. We also have Michael Jacobs and Shem Bitterman to blame as well. The film brings back Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis and Danielle Harris returns to reprise her role as Jamie Lloyd, the daughter of the now-dead Laurie Strode.

The film follows Myers, returning to Haddonfield again to track down and destroy Jamie (at least, maybe that is what he is after, he sort of wanders around picking off teenagers in not-so-interesting ways.

The film is, to this date, the lowest grossing film in the series and the most critically savaged, with the exception of 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. We don’t call Halloween III: Season of the Witch, here, because it is not part of the Myers story line, and it also was a far better film than 5 or Resurrection.

Perhaps the most damning thing I can show you to illustrate just how off the rails this series became is the following:

“How do you like my neck flare?”

Michael Myers, in an ill-fitting mask, in complete daylight, standing not-so-menacingly in a closet. Keep in mind that she had just pulled something out from that closet. It’s almost like a parody of the iconic closet scene in the original Halloween.



There is not a whole lot I can recommend regarding Halloween 5. Even as someone who deeply loves the icon that is Michael Myers. Halloween 5 is just bad, bad, bad. I cannot, in good conscious, award it anything higher than a one-star rating. It completely abandons a potentially fascinating ending of 4.

Instead of Jamie being the next Michael Myers, which would have been an interesting direction, she merely attempted to murder her step-mom. Loomis’ obsession with Michael goes above the pale, resulting in many scenes of Donald Pleasence screaming at children. It also ultimately betrays the character of Loomis by choosing to have him use a child as bait for Michael.

Let’s not even get into the fact the most of the kills are boring, which is absolutely sinful for a slasher. Michael doesn’t even wear the iconic mask for a portion of the film. This movie is just a misfire on a whole different level. It even attempts to paint Michael as vulnerable in a moment where his niece reaches out to him, which is an absolutely foolish direction to go.

Best Line: “Cookie woman?!” – An increasingly unhinged Dr. Loomis grilling Jamie about Michael’s whereabouts.

Looking for the Haunted MTL Drive-In totals? You can find those on the review of the first movie of the night.

With that being said… we have to leave the Drive-In, but let’s keep the lights on for the next marathon… in December!

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”



Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Silenced



Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Mandrake, a Film Review

Mandrake is a 2022 supernatural horror directed by Lynne Davison and written by Matt Harvey, starring Deirdre Mullins and Derbhle Crotty.



Mandrake is a 2022 supernatural horror directed by Lynne Davison and written by Matt Harvey. This film boasts a cast that includes Deirdre Mullins, Derbhle Crotty, and Paul Kennedy. It is currently available for subscribers in DirectTV, Shudder, Amazon Prime, or AMC+.

Cathy Madden (Deirdre Mullins) is a probation officer tasked with the most vilified case in her town, Mary Laidlaw (Derbhle Crotty). When a child goes missing, all eyes turn to the infamous Bloody Mary. Cathy, always believing in the best of people, tries to protect Mary. But evidence begins to mount, and Cathy finds herself in increasing danger.

Derbhle Crotty as Mary Laidlaw
In the forest
Derbhle Crotty as Mary Laidlaw

What I Like

Deirdre Mullins and Derbhle Crotty add weight to the film in their performances. Cathy proves resilient against the challenges she faces, while Mary can make any actions intimidating.
To not spoil anything, the ending is bittersweet in the best of ways, showing Cathy grow and mend relationships.

The atmosphere around Mary Laidlaw brings about the intimidation that earns the nickname Bloody Mary. It becomes easier to see why a town would fear this woman as we find her motives sinister.

Mandrake Cover Art: A mandrake behind Deirdre Mullins' Cathy Madden
Deirdre Mullins as Cathy Madden

What I Dislike

While there may be external magical elements, I found people obeyed Mary Laidlaw a little too easily for a vilified woman. There wasn’t enough for me to be convinced she intimidated them to action or magically charmed them. Or perhaps the performances felt underwhelmingly passive?

There was an irritating moment where a stalker helped save the day. The assistance is minor, but it still irritates me.

The daytime scenes of the film are bland. Perhaps it’s intentional, but the night scenes are stunning, making the contrast greater. While this film focuses on its night scenes, I couldn’t understand why it looked so bland, and sometimes poor quality, in the day.

Kraken eating a boat icon for Zeth M. Martinez
Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Mandrake can be a frightful enjoyment, especially when set at night where the details work. However, many elements left me wanting more or better. If you’re looking for a witchy tale, I’d say there are better options, but Mandrake can keep you entertained.
2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

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