Obtain your tickets to see Halloween at the Alamo Drafthouse here.
He's been slaying since '78 – returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois to wreak havoc and sometimes hunt down his siblings (depending on which sequels you choose to include as canon) or their offspring (again: contingent on which movie you're currently watching/enduring). Michael Myers (nee The Shape, if you're nasty) is the ultimate killing machine, moving like a shark from home to home, offing the innocent without a single instance of feeling or remorse. Now, he's back, as David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have decided to resurrect the Halloween franchise by simply ignoring all the sequels and just making their own follow-up to John Carpenter's timeless original. That takes some brass ones, for sure.
But what were the best of the best kills contained in those now discarded pictures? Well, take a quick stroll with us down memory lane, as we highlight five moments of superlative carnage Michael left in his wake over the years...
Bob [Halloween, 1978]
Poor Bob (John Michael Graham). My man was just looking to get laid and grab a beer afterwards (and who wouldn’t, if you’re dating PJ Soles' hyper-cute Lynda?), yet ended up getting pinned to the cabinet door by Michael's butcher knife. While this kill may pale in comparison to Myers' later work, it's arguably the most iconic moment of violence from Carpenter's slasher granddaddy (not involving Laurie and a closet, of course). The way Michael admires his own, uh, “art” is chilling, and his super strength (lifting a grown man up with one hand and then stabbing straight through him) only reinforces what an otherworldly presence The Shape was in the original Halloween. There is no man here; only Death Himself.
Karen and Bud [Halloween II, 1981]
If we're being completely honest, Haddonfield might have owned the most inept, cranky hospital staff in the history of modern medicine during the late ‘70s. Unlucky for them, it seems like Michael agrees, and takes a break from offing horny, doped-up teens to kill, well, horny, doped-up adults. After naughty EMT Bud (future Gotti scribe Leo Rossi) sneaks off with sexy nurse Karen (Pamela Susan Shoop), Michael takes a dip with them in the hydrotherapy tub. After choking Bud out in the background (via a classic Carpenter homage from Rick Rosenthal), Karen gets dunked and held under the literally scalding waters, the dignity of simply drowning marred by her face's flesh being melted off. Goodnight, scummy lovers. Had you survived the night he came home, you probably should've been fired, anyway.
A Bunch of Anonymous Doctors/Thorn Cult Members [Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, 1995]
For whatever reason, Michael does some of his best killing in medical institutions. Such is the case with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers' somewhat infamous "hospital massacre" set piece, which is a bright spot (for weirdos like me, that is) in an otherwise muddy movie. I'm not going to try and sum up all the Thorn Cult business for you (arguably the oddest continuity turn in a series riddled with odd continuity turns), nor am I going to try and explain why Tommy Doyle (baby Paul Rudd) is involved in the shenanigans, but do know that Myers' fifth massacre peaks with the strobe-lit destruction of several evil operators, looking to pull off a procedure that will keep the serial killer’s cycle of evil going (or something; again...it's complicated). Director Joe Chappelle was skilled at crafting these sorts of moments, which Dimension Films would repeatedly butcher in the editing bay (see: Hellraiser: Bloodline for further proof). Sorry, Joe.
Jen and Jim [Halloween: Resurrection, 2002]
There's not a ton to like about Halloween: Resurrection, though this writer certainly counts the Busta Rhymes kung-fu kicking reality television take on Halloween as something of a guilty pleasure. Nevertheless, there's one bona fide great murder in the movie, as Michael emerges and takes out a few of the Dangertainment participants, first by cutting off the head of poor Jen (Katee Sackhoff), and then crushing the skull of equally ill-fated Jim (Luke Kirby). It's a great moment in an otherwise lackluster installment that couldn't even make the death of Laurie Strode – who'd survived the insanity of Halloween: H20 only to find she chopped off the wrong dome at the end of that awful reunion – remotely exciting. In short, for a Resurrection, Rick Rosenthal's return to the franchise isn't very rousing.
Howard [Halloween II, 2009]
Love or hate Rob Zombie's Halloween II (we don't speak of his remake in this house), one thing can universally be agreed upon: the hillbilly horror auteur brought the brutality with reckless abandon. Perhaps the most gratuitous instance of carnage (an award that's truly difficult to narrow down during the movie's 105 minutes) belongs to Howard (regular Zombie player Jeff Daniel Phillips), who has his head stomped in until there's practically nothing left but grey pulp. Being the consummate cadaver maestro, Michael naturally strings him up using rope-lights inside the strip club where Howard worked, before unleashing total Hell upon the sleaze pit's other employees, all while Zombie paints the scenes in his trademark garish colors. Because in his two Halloween pictures, this is a universe of greasepainted pain.
David Gordon Green's Halloween is in theaters this weekend. Pick up your tickets here!