Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers was a troubled film. It came at a time when slasher films were at their lowest point in history. The well had run dry for ideas at the time. Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers left off on a bit of a cliffhanger. The so-called “Thorn” trilogy had some decent ideas for the beginnings of Michael Myers. But by the time we got to the end of the trilogy, it was too far gone. There are two versions of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. There’s the theatrical cut and the Producer’s cut.
For a long time, the Producer’s cut was somewhat of a holy grail for collectors. It was only available in a shoddy quality video. That cut of the film had an additional 45 minutes of footage and a different ending to the film. This version of the film was shown to test audiences and it was panned. So it necessitated reshoots on the film. From those reshoots came the theatrical cut.
The ending of the Producer’s cut is vastly different to the theatrical cut. By the time reshoots came around, Donald Pleasence had sadly passed away. So they didn’t have that titanic performance to add to the reshoots. In addition, Michael Myers was recast. A. Michael Lerner replaced George P. Wilbur. This change was due to the studio wanting Michael to look less bulky, but it ended up making tons of continuity errors in the third act of the theatrical cut.
Both Films Are A Mess On The First Look
The ending of the Producer’s cut is convoluted and scattershot. It brings in the idea that a cult was the reason behind Michael’s power and drive. Which is nice. It’s a cool idea. But then it also brings in the idea of incest between Michael and Jamie. Which is not nice. The ending of the film also leaves much to be desired. It set up another cliffhanger sort of ending, though not as bad as Halloween 5. Michael is seemingly defeated by the Celtic ritual that Tommy and Dr. Loomis perform. Loomis takes off Michael’s mask to make sure it’s him, and it’s actually Dr. Wynn. The real Michael and him switched places. In one of the coolest shots in the series, you see the silhouette of Michael in Wynn’s outfit.
The sign of Thorn shows up on Loomis’s wrist and he cries out in pain, knowing he’ll be the one to have to take care of Michael until he dies.
The theatrical cut ends with Paul Rudd’s Tommy Doyle beating the ever-loving crap out of Michael with a lead pipe. It also has more violent deaths for some of the characters like Mr. Strode. His head doesn’t explode with electricity in the Producer’s cut.
Jamie Lloyd Is A Missed Opportunity
Additionally the role of Jamie Lloyd in the Producer’s cut is more beefed up and she lives longer. It’s a shame that the producer’s wouldn’t get their crap together and just have Danielle Harris reprise her role in the sixth film. She made a push including becoming emancipated from her parents to play the part. It was all for naught, and they wouldn’t budge on paying her.
Her having a bigger part in this film might have been interesting. Instead in the theatrical cut, she’s not given the time of day and dies rather quickly.
Perhaps Adding Them Together Would Have Been Better
Overall, my opinion on both versions of Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers ranges from meh to a fun extra bit of Halloween. It’s a shame that Donald Pleasence’s last film role was used in this film, instead of something of higher quality. Still, he remains the best part of both films. His performance as Dr. Loomis across the series is still probably his most lasting and influential. There are bits and pieces of the two cuts of the film that could add together for something that’s better, but that would be pretty hard to edit together. It’s like two wholly different movies amongst the two of them.
You have the Producer’s cut which is more visceral and gothic styled. The theatrical cut is the classic gore-fest that would have made tons of money earlier in the slasher life-cycle. The final product feels very much like something that’s being pulled in a bunch of different directions. In fact, that was the case. Producer Malek Akkad stated this in the past on the documentary included with the Collector’s Edition box-set for Halloween.
He explained the film’s lack of a cohesive “vision” being the result of director Chappelle “answering” to the visions of the distributor, Dimension Films; Moustapha Akkad’s production company, Nightfall Productions; and writer Daniel Farrands.The Cursed ‘Curse’. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers: The Producer’s Cut (Documentary)
The Producer’s Cut Might Have Had A Bit Of Unwarranted Fanfare
For years, like I mentioned, the Producer’s cut was a mythical thing. It was finally screened publicly at the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles, CA in 2013. It was released on Blu-Ray with the Halloween box-set from Scream Factory in 2014. Now that more people have seen the finished product in actual high-quality, it’s still got that mythical quality to it. It’s basically like seeing a whole new Halloween film, that was lost to time. We can tell there were lots of different ideas for the Halloween franchise, including this one about the beginnings of Michael Myers from earlier in Fright-A-Thon.
At the end of the day, the Producer’s cut is really only for superfans of the series. It’s not a groundbreaking, hidden masterpiece, lost to meddling from the studio. It’s just another version of the film that has a slightly different tone from the Theatrical cut of the film. If you want more Michael Myers in your life, it’s perfect to watch. Otherwise, you’re better off not worrying about it.
For me, watching it was a treat, because I love all things Halloween, even Halloween: Resurrection. It’s not as bad as that film though. It makes the Rob Zombie remakes look like Citizen Kane however. So, watch with caution for your own good.
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