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The Pot of Gore: Leprechaun Origins

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As The Church of Chang’s foremost lepologist, it’s my duty to review any Leprechaun movie out there. I first heard of a new Lep movie a couple of years ago, when the production company drank in my local boozer. They had the rights and were attempting to get Warwick back to bring us some more zany high-concept Lep fun. Sadly, they lost the rights and it passed on to WWE Studios- who instantly promised to reboot the series. Alarm bells began to ring at this point, if I’m honest. Nevertheless, WWE pressed ahead, and delivered unto us Leprechaun: Origins, and it’s now my sorry duty to bury the corpse of my favourite Horror franchise.

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Halloween 2 (2009): Ending on a low note.

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It’s been long noted in the 5 years or so that we’ve been doing this that I’ll watch anything, and can usually find some enjoyment regardless of how wretched the subject matter. I’ve taken on series such as Children of the Corn that would have had the brain of a lesser man melting through boredom, and I’ve reviewed 165 schlocky low budget b-movie efforts. Therefore, when I say that I’ve struggled with this series, and damned nearly abandoned it, you get an idea about how awful this film is. I started this fucking series A YEAR AGO, and came within a gnat’s pubic hair of binning it as a rancid idea. But now I can say with some confidence that I’ve done it- I’ve now finished the Halloween films.

And it’s been a real struggle.

Contains mystifying sub-Lynchian dream sequences and spoilers below.

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Here we go again- Halloween (2007)

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You want to know what this film is? No? Well, I don’t care, I’m telling you anyway. It’s cinematic necrophilia.

Resurrection had killed the series, again, but much like it’s protagonist it simply couldn’t stay dead. The concept still made money, so there was a desire to continue it in some way. Thankfully, Busta Rhymes v Myers was so piss poor that it killed the idea of a sequel in that continuity stone dead, but there’s one thing Halloween has always done: latch on to current trends. Sadly, the trend in the second half of the last decade was driven by Platinum Dunes and involved heinously awful plastic remakes of classics (or otherwise) of the genre. We’ve had Nightmare on Elm St, The Fog, Dawn of the Dead (obligatory fuck you Snyder), Day of the Dead, Prom Night, The Hitcher, Hills Have Eyes, The Crazies (arguably the best of the trend), The Omen, Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and so on and so forth. What this dismal list has in common (aside from that a significant number of them were date based slashers spawned by the original Halloween), is that only The Crazies is a decent film, and most of them not only miss the point of the originals, but manage to be shiny, polished but ultimately entirely boring entries into the genre.  Read More…

Halloween: Resurrection. Or as I like to think of it, the series returning to form

 

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I’m sick to death of the sight of this review so I’m publishing it. Sorry about the rough state of it.

Who on earth thought this was a good idea? Come on, own up…

After the relative critical and overwhelming cash success of H20, the inevitable happened: another sequel. I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that in no way did H20 warrant a sequel. Particularly not one with Myers in it- as the Laurie Strode storyline had been completed with her grabbing a chopper (c.f Leslie Vernon) and taking it to her murderous sibling. Case fucking closed. Nevertheless, cash registers had chimed, so sequel time it was. Except this time, it was after the turn of the century, so the trend had changed. Around about 2000, give or take, a number of hidden camera/ internet/ found footage films appeared. Almost all of them (honourable exception to My Little Eye) are total garbage, but this trend was going strong, and for some reason the writers of Halloween 8 decided to incorporate Myers into it. This, frankly, is a terrible idea, but not quite as bad as the one to cast Busta Rhymes as a media mogul.

Spoilers and the deeply annoying survival of Busta Rhymes ahead.  Read More…

Reboot attempt number 3 with added postmodernism- Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

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Back in the early 90’s it was wisely observed that slasher movies were dead, and in no small part the Halloween series was noticed standing over the corpse saying “It’s a fair cop, officer”. The relentless parade of sub par sequels, and mindless killing machines, delivered  without an iota of charm or wit had quite simply killed not only slashers, but horror in general. We were all set to bury the corpse, and move on to maybe sci-fi horror (the likes of Event Horizon weren’t far away), but a funny thing happened on the way to the funeral. Wes Craven, one of the godfathers of the genre came back with Scream. Now, Scream was seminal at the time, not only was it a good film in its own right, but it gave the entire genre a shot in the arm. Admittedly, it did also usher in the age of postmodernism, but that’s not its fault. With the brave new dawn of “clever” slasher movies upon us, the decision was made to have another look at the Halloween films, and maybe update them to the 1990’s. The result was Halloween H20.

Contains the very welcome return of Jamie Lee Curtis and spoilers below

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Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (on any mug that’s stupid enough to watch it)

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Halloween 5 was a disaster on every level. It was a disaster for the people that made it, a disaster for the people that watched it, and a disaster for the cynical producer types that sadly had their “KER-CHING” curtailed. In fact, to be fair, a lot of the problems with Halloween 5 stem from the fact that it was originally meant to be part of a quickly released double with this film. That it tanked so hard meant that there was a serious delay between releases and therefore Part 6 was delayed by 6 years rendering Part 5 incomprehensible and boring.

That’s not the real tragedy of Halloween 6, though. The real tragedy is that once the final credits roll, there’s an in memoriam message to Donald Pleasance. This shite was his last screen appearance. Top that one, Euripides.

Contains hatred of the series and spoilers below. Read More…

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (on the audience)

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Why won’t this bloody series die? I’ve now long passed the point where I wish I hadn’t started it, and I now actively resent the increasingly boring, turgid and unimaginative dreck with The Shape, robbed of all menace, tiresomely killing identikit teenagers. Halloween 5, to my mind, should represent the nadir of the series, as surely it can’t get any worse from here.

Contains your humble reviewer suffering from a nervous breakdown due to boredom, inexplicable attempts at explaining the mythology and spoilers below.  Read More…

Halloween 4: or how I learned to stop worrying and hate the series

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Halloween 3 made some money. This is fact. However, despite this, it was generally perceived as a failure for not making enough filthy moolah. The tragedy of this is that the idea of simply using the date as a launch point for a horror series of stand alone movies is a cracking one, and Halloween 4 was originally conceived as a ghost film. A large part of me wishes that they’d gone through with this idea, because if they had had the balls to do it, then there’s a high chance that the ghost installment of the franchise would have been far more interesting than this dull, unimaginative and frankly annoying piece of shit. But no, creativity lost the battle with the balance sheet, and instead we got the return of Michael fucking Myers that absolutely nobody was clamouring for.

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How not to do a franchise- Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

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Halloween 3 has an appalling reputation, and I think it’s mostly unmerited. Given the phenomenal success at the box office of the first two films, this was clearly a series that was never going to be unmolested, and yet they went to enormous lengths to kill off Michael Myers at the end of the second film. Seriously, he’d been stabbed, shot, blinded, set on fire and even blown up. He’s dead. He is an ex-Boogeyman. There is absolutely no way he was coming back. However, the series had to continue, so the solution that John Carpenter and Debra Hill came up with was a clever one: focus on the day itself and turn the franchise into a series of one-off stories that if successful enough could spawn mini-franchises of their own. There was no way the studio wasn’t going to jump at this idea, and they could practically hear the KER-CHING of imaginary cash registers.  The result was the very underrated Season of the Witch, a good idea that was catastrophically unloved by the legions of Halloween fans who merely wanted to see Myers turn up to julienne more babysitters. Except possibly with added nudity and gore.  Read More…

3 Years later, but still the same day: Halloween 2

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After the stunning success of Halloween, John Carpenter then carried on with his creative hot streak. However, in the interim a plethora of Halloween clones appeared on the big screen and made a vast amount of cash. Thus, it was inevitable that they would return to the seminal original to try to milk the cash cow’s teats. Therefore, it was absolutely no surprise to anyone that Halloween 2 would limp out of the blocks to wow absolutely nobody. What was more of a surprise, however, is that they would continue the story on the same night- no unexplained break here, we’re simply watching part 2 of Halloween. Read More…