Halloween II (1981)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Dick Warlock, Charles Cyphers
Plot: The events of John Carpenter’s Halloween continue, as Michael Myers continues to stalk and try to murder the shit out of Laurie Strode, who (spoiler circa 1981) is revealed, for seemingly no reason, to be his sister.
Review: I refuse to compare Halloween II to its predecessor. I won’t do it. I think it should be judged based upon its merit as a film. Plus, I don’t really remember anything about the original. You might actually say that I can’t compare the two. At any rate, I can honestly say that I didn’t carry any bias with me into this viewing experience. Unless you count my bias in favor of predictable slasher films. I also learned that I have a bias in favor of actors named Dick Warlock. I don’t know who he played, but that’s a hell of a name. Hell of a name.
I thought that this Halloween sequel was pretty fucking enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong; it is generic as shit. The only things separating it from every other slasher I’ve ever seen are Carpenter’s score (which I’m pretty sure they recycled) and the cinematography. Who ever thought a dude laying down in a puddle of blood could look so gorgeous? Sure, a bunch of sick weirdos, probably, but they don’t count.
There is one big problem I had with this movie, and that was the quality of police work displayed in the film. A police officer negligently hits a man they suspect is Myers with his car, pinning him to a van which explodes and burns him beyond recognition (spoiler: they didn’t kill the movie’s antagonist in the first twenty minutes). The cops react as if they just put a bow on the case and can rest easy for the rest of the evening. They are ready to shut the book on a case involving multiple homicides because they accidentally murdered someone who loosely fit the description of their suspect. That is some goddam awful police work. Michael’s psychiatrist is the only one who thinks they should maybe…I don’t know…identify the fucking body before calling it a night. I was angered on behalf of the good people of Haddonfield. I don’t want to get too ‘bleeding heart’ about this, but if an officer of the law accidentally runs someone over in their car, even if through sheer happenstance it turns out to be a suspected murderer, they should lose their badge; or at the very least confined to a desk for the rest of his career and have their driver’s license revoked. Jesus.
The shrink also pulls a gun on an officer several times to coerce him into investigating the doctor’s wild hunches. I’m not saying his insight into the mind of a patient he’s been with for over a decade isn’t valuable. Of course it is. Be that as it may, somebody should have told that asshole that under no circumstances should you pull a gun on a cop. He is a public servant just trying to do his job. Granted, the cop never really seemed bothered by being held at gunpoint, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Despite some questionable character motivations; I loved Halloween II. It’s a cut above most other slasher films. It’s also proof that sequels aren’t always disappointing (only almost always). What I don’t recommend is watching this and then proceeding on to Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Trust me, that movie is dogshit. Much like the cops in this movie…you’re better off without it.