Butcher Block is a weekly series celebrating horror’s most extreme films and the minds behind them. Dedicated to graphic gore and splatter, each week will explore the dark, the disturbed, and the depraved in horror, and the blood and guts involved. For the films that use special effects of gore as an art form, and the fans that revel in the carnage, this series is for you.
Of all the detours and artistic liberties taken with Michael Myers’ story in the Halloween franchise, none of the films are as strange as the sixth entry of the series. Coming on the heels of the universally panned Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, the franchise seemed to be at a crossroads. Then there were legal battle issues over the series, eventually leading to Dimension Films purchasing the rights. From there, several scripts were rejected until the hiring of writer Daniel Farrands, who expanded the Cult of Thorn in depth from its brief mentions in previous films. Michael Myers then became less of a boogeyman and more of a mindless murder puppet by way of evil curse placed upon him from his youth thanks to the mysterious Cult of Thorn.
The Curse of Michael Myers didn’t just completely alter Myers’ motivation and trajectory, but it also wasted no time killing the protagonist from the previous two films, Jamie Lloyd. Dimension didn’t really care if actress Danielle Harris came back for the role, so Lloyd was played this time by actress J.C. Brandy. The move lessened the impact of Lloyd’s unceremonious demise in the film’s first act. Farrands’ extensive Cult of Thorn mythology seemed to be at odds with the film Dimension Film had in mind, which was in turn at odds with that Moustapha Akkad’s production company had in mind, leaving director Joe Chappelle trying to appease everyone.
The lack of cohesive vision and departure from the formula fans had long been familiar with, the test screening obviously didn’t go so well. Attendees of that screening took major issue with the ending, in which the Curse of Thorn guardian role was passed on to Dr. Loomis. As a result, the film was then rushed into reshoots. Thus, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers became two movies; the original Producer’s Cut in all of its Cult of Thorn glory (or infamy), and the cut that was released into theaters, with the gore and slasher elements emphasized and a lot of the cult stuff trimmed out.
The first major change between the versions was the death of Jamie Lloyd. In the Producer’s Cut, Michael stabs her and leaves her for dead. She survives long enough to be brought to the hospital, where her coma dreams reveal more cult exposition and that Michael is the father of her baby. Yup, they went there. She never wakes from her coma. In the theatrical cut, Michael impales Jamie on a corn thresher. When she taunts him that she won’t give him the baby, he turns the thresher on in a gruesome, violent disembowelment death.
Pretty much all of the deaths in the theatrical cut unleash the gore. The death of jerk father John Strode (Bradford English) may win the prize for the series’ most over the top death of all as the inexplicable impalement on an electrical box that proceeds to electrocute him until his head explodes. This death was the favorite to create by special makeup effects artist John Carl Buechler (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood) and Brett Hardin (Hatchet). They acknowledge it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s a really fun kill regardless. Hardin can be spotted in the climax on screen as a doctor getting brutally slaughtered by Michael.
John Carpenter’s original films were minimal on the bloodshed, though, which means that if you’re a purist the theatrical cut doesn’t work either for its emphasis on bloodlust. The Curse of Michael Myers is a strange film, no matter which version you watch. The exposition-heavy dive into the weird world of cults that changes everything we knew about Michael Myers, or the exposition-lite slasher where Michael Myers is at his goriest but narratively unfocused. What does make worth the watch, at least once, is Donald Pleasance committing fully once again to series’ pillar Dr. Sam Loomis. Even when battling illness through what would become his final film, Pleasance always gave Loomis his all, no matter where the story took his character.
Where do you sit on this sequel? Team Producer’s Cut or Team Theatrical? Or neither?
Well, the film held onto the top spot with an estimated $35.7 million, dropped just 55% in its second weekend as the film’s domestic cume now totals $143 million.
Internationally, Venom remained the #1 film delivering an international cume now totaling $235.3 million.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Venom stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. It’s currently infecting theaters near you.
Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.
Get ready to grab a crucifix and some holy water as Sony has just released the official trailer for The Possession of Hannah Grace.
The trailer reveals an exorcism that has gone awry, with a young woman losing her life. We then see a new employee named Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) who is working the graveyard shift in the morgue. Late one evening she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver and all hell breaks loose.
Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, and Stana Katic star in the film written by Brian Sieve and directed by Diederik Van Rooijen.
The film is set to premiere on November 30th. Keep it locked to Horror News Network for more news on The Possession of Hannah Grace.
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Fortune has a report that Venom has stood tall at the box office for the second week in a row. While reviews of the film have been mixed, fans still are coming out in droves to support the beloved character. Venom earned an estimated $35.7 million this weekend and topped First Man, Bad Times at the El Royale, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, and A Star is Born.
Based in the Sony Universe, Venom is unlike most of its fellow Marvel titles adding more of a gritty feel with more chaos and carnage. While that could be a recipe for disaster as most comic book fans love anything with a cape, Sony announced that the movie raked in $378.1 million globally.
Keep it locked to Horror News Network for more news on Venom.
Welcome horror fans, This is the first episode of No More Room In Hell. Mike Maryman, Mr Venom aka Jerry Cortes, & horror podcasting legend […]
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With 1978’s Halloween currently in theaters (the film returned to cinemas on September 27th via CineLife Entertainment/Trancas International Films/Compass International Pictures), we’re continuing at HalloweenMovies.com our celebration of the John Carpenter classic via a series of essays on the subject. Culled from
Horror movie release dates keep on shuffling as today we word via Deadline reports Sony has just moved The Taking of Deborah Logan director Adam Robitel’s Escape Room from February 1 to January 4.
Escape Room (aka The Maze) is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to survive.
Directed by Robitel from a script by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik, the film stars Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani.
On its new date, Escape Room will go up against LD Entertainment’s upcoming remake of Adrian Lyne Jacob’s Ladder. Adam Robitel’s Escape Room hits theaters January 4th.
We’ll let you know when we hear more!
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