From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Halloween H20 (1998)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  We are getting so much closer to our big Halloween update and with this being 10 Years of Rotten Ink I knew that a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update was needed and that it had to be about my favorite mainstream horror movie series, Halloween! And did you readers know that Halloween H20 had a comic that took place in its timeline, if not, you soon will as that is the comic that we will be covering for this update. There’s something about the Halloween film series and its killer Michael Myers that keeps us film goers going back to the cinema to see what bloody rampage he will go on next, and in 1998 he did that just again and this time in the mood and feel of Scream, the then new kid on the block when it came to slasher films. So grab a plastic pumpkin and put on a spooky costume as it’s time for us to travel to California and not Haddonfield as Halloween this year is coming to the Golden State.

Halloween H20 1

So let’s take a look at Michael Myers and his ways of killing in Halloween H20! Michael Myers is a normal man who has an urge to kill his siblings and anyone that stands in his path of murder and will use many weapons to do so including ice skates, corkscrew and of course a massive knife, and he will brutally slice and stab his targets until death occurs. His appearance also strikes fear into the heart of his victims as he wears a white mask and coveralls making him a very blank slate embodying the faceless horrors we all fear. He is also very strong and has above human strength as he can easily pick up, break and impale a human with brutal power. He is also very stealthy and can attack his target before they even see him coming, as he is cold and calculated. As far as weakness goes, Michael has very few but I would say his slowness could work against him and leave him open for counter attacks.  He also seems to only kill on a cycle making one safe for most months minus October for the most part. Being stabbed and the use of brute force can slow him down and while not be killed by these things, it does give you time to get away. As you can see, Michael Myers is a killing machine that cannot be stopped and will come back again and again to kill and butcher.

Halloween H20 2Halloween H20 3Halloween H20 4

So as you can see, even the Halloween H20 version of Michael Myers is a killer that is at the top of the heap when it comes to dealing death to his victims. And now that we have taken a look at Michael Myers, I think that it’s time that we now take a look at the film this version is from. Just a reminder that the film’s write up will be taking from our friends at IMDB and after that I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts on it, so with that let’s head to Hillcrest Academy and see if we can spot Michael looming behind the trees and shadows.

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Halloween H20 (1998)

“Twenty years after Michael Myer’s massacre in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode faked her own death, traveled to California, and took on the identity Keri Tate. Michael discovers Laurie’s new identity and travels to California to kill his sister. Laurie must now take on her brother with her son’s life at risk.”

The seventh film in the Halloween film series started being worked on during the pre-production of “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers” and was being worked on by Daniel Farrands with the working title “Michael Myers: Lord Of The Dead” and would have taken place right after the events of the sixth film and would have had the whole town of Haddonfield being part of trying to control Myers and its up to Tommy Doyle to stop them, but after the bad reviews, fan reaction and displeasure of Farrands on the finished film of part 6, the seventh film was in limbo. The next attempt was by Robert Zappia as he wanted to make the seventh film a direct to video film that would have had a copycat Michael Myers killer killing woman at a boarding school and during one draft would have even added Laurie Strode to the mix and was originally being called “Halloween 7: Two Faces Of Evil” and would also be called “Halloween: Blood Ties” and this film as well was scrapped. And after these failed to see production, Kevin Williamson the creator behind the Scream films was brought in to work on a story idea and was going to follow the other films in the series and was called “Halloween 7: The Revenge Of Laurie Strode” and would have had Jamie Lee Curtis return to the role of Laurie and at one point they tried to get John Carpenter back to direct, but he wanted $10 million dollars and a three picture deal with in order to come back, he was quickly replaced with Steve Miner. And from there after some rewrites and changes to the script by both Williamson as well as main script writers Robert Zappia and Matt Greenberg. The film ended up cutting all ties to Halloween 2-6 and acted as a direct sequel to the 1978 film. When casting the film names like Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Janet Leigh and Josh Hartnett (who was also filming the film The Faculty at the same time) were brought in to play lead parts. And Chris Durand was hired to play Michael Myers with his mask being done by many production houses. The films score was done by both John Ottman and Marco Beltrami with it being a mix of both men’s work with the changes done upsetting Ottman. The films budget was $17 million and it opened in theaters on August 5, 1998 and would be meet with mostly positive reviews from critics and fans alike and was the highest grossing film in the franchise at the time of its release brining in $75 million. In 1998 the film was # 41 at the American box office and beat out such films as “Mighty Joe Young”, “Practical Magic”, “The Faculty”, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Urban Legend”, “Bride Of Chucky”, “Psycho”, “John Carpenter’s Vampires”, “Species II”, “Disturbing Behavior” and “Phantoms” to name a few. And still to this day Halloween H20 has a big and loyal fan base that rate it as one of the best sequels in the series. Oh and during this film many different Michael Myers masks were used as they could not find the right one to use as some had to big of eye holes, some were reused ones from part 2 and even at one point it was touched up with CGI!

When I found out that a seventh film in the Halloween series was being made I was really looking forward to it, but when I heard that the film would wipe away all the sequels in order to be the new “official” part two I was super annoyed and then when I found out that Kevin Williamson was the writer I again was a little shaky on if the film would be good or not. But the film was all over Fangoria Magazine, TV with ads and even our local paper Dayton Daily News seemed to be hyping it up and with it being a new Halloween film and my then best friend Andrea wanting to also see it we headed to the theater opening weekend and both of us were ready for a good old slasher film on the big screen! I can remember the theater was packed and we found good seats and with our candy and drinks in hand we watched Halloween H20 on the big screen with a roomful of people who all loved every second of it as they cheered along to the kills as well as when Laurie Strode had enough and took the fight to Michael. And in the end when Laurie chops Michaels head off the room stood up and cheered and clapped so loud, and while Andrea liked the film, I was not a fan as in my opinion the film took away the elements that made Michael Meyers scary from all the films that came before it and I felt at times Jamie Lee Curtis just over acted! I was however impressed by Michelle Williams who was not only beautiful but also I feel the best actor in the film next to Janet Leigh who just had a small cameo role. Plus I felt that throughout the film Michael Myers starts off as a killer and by the end Laurie Strode knocks him around like he was part of the Three Stooges or even a robber in a Home Alone film and his threat level drops. And it took me years to finally warm up to the film and while it still would be low on my list it is not as bad of a watch for me now. And for fans of Kevin Williamson, the dialogue with the teen characters has his style and charm so you should really enjoy the film. I should say that some of the kills are really good in the film and they do bring back Dr. Sam Loomis well at least his voice as well as Nurse Marion Chambers so it does have the classic Halloween feel. So to sum it up while it’s not my favorite sequel and at first I really disliked it over the years I have lightened up and enjoy watching it from time to time.

Halloween H20 8

Halloween H20’s version of Michael Myers to me is one of the least brutal in the series and by all accounts really does get beat up by his middle aged sister throughout it…but even if this version of Myers is flawed it’s still the iconic character and apart of his cinematic universe. Now it’s the part of this update that we take a look at the comic and this one was made for a Halloween convention that took place in California back in 2003 and it looks like the comic in part was made by Rehab54 a production company that made a documentary about Halloween. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic for having this rare comic in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s have One Good Scare and read this Halloween comic.

Halloween One Good Scare Comic 1

Halloween: One Good Scare # 1 ***
Released in 2003     Cover Price None     Rehab54     # 1 of 1

Doctor David Loomis is the son of Sam Loomis the famed doctor of serial killer Michael Myers, and he is following in his dad’s footsteps and meets a new patient named Lindsey Wallace who survived Myer’s attack in 1978 and he is looking to help her as well as get answers about his father as she claims the Boogeyman is coming for her. David while treating other patients and Lindsey is digging deep into his father’s papers and learns that his father was obsessed with Michael Myers as he knew that he was evil and something just was not right. While walking the grounds with Lindsey she tells David about a night that took place a year ago were Michael Myers was in her home and all of this was after they found the body of Laurie Strode. David is finding himself getting in to deep with the thought and case of Michael Myers and this also has him building a bond with Lindsey, and when Halloween comes around she loses her mind and is medicated and David stays by her bedside, and promises her that he will not let anything happen to her. Michael Myers shows up to the Asylum and kills an orderly as well as two nurses before he sees his target Lindsey! David and Lindsey try and run away but find that they are trapped inside and while David hides in fear Michael Myers comes for and kills Lindsey and sends David a message that he needs to live in fear as some Halloween seen he will be the target of his rage.

This Michael Myers tale is dark as he after getting revenge on Lorie Strode he sets his sights on going after Lindsey Wallace, the young woman who survived his night of terror in 1978 and this time she is under the help of David Loomis, the son of Sam Loomis, who wants answers to why Myers has ruined and tormented so many lives over the decades. Lindsey Wallace is now grown up and has had a bad life that has been filled with drugs, bad behavior and going in and out of asylums all because of Michael Myers who seems to be her true nightmare and is now stalking her to finish what he started back in 1978, and she is write he really is after her and sadly she does not survive once he comes calling. And he of course kills her brutally with a knife and even leaves her body to be found like a sick piece of murder art. And it’s a shame as Lindsey’s life has been lived in fear all over a killer who is the one that ends up ending hers. Doctor David Loomis is trying to understand his father’s work and why he was so obsessed with one patient that ended up being a crazed killer and many people blamed for not making sure he never escaped the asylum that kept him, and while he acts like a hero he clearly is not as when he is faced with evil he freezes and hides like a coward and lets the woman he failed to protect die without even trying to help her. Michael Myers is as cold blooded as ever and torments and slaughters his target and also murders a few people that are in his way along the way, he seems to enjoy putting fear into the hearts of his victims and even likes to leave calling cards on who he will be coming for next. The comic has violence but is not the super bloody and does a ok job of capturing the slasher and mental games aspect of the film its based on. The cover is pretty cool and very eye catching for fans of the Halloween series as it showcases a mix of a jack-o lantern and Michael Myers mask. The interior art is done by Peter Fielding and while its good, its not my style at all and while Michael Myers and the feel is very dark I just like my art a little more lively, but keep in mind the art is good for it’s style. Over all this is an entreating Horror Comic read that does fit in with the film it’s based on and if you are a Halloween H20 fan I would say give this a read. Checkout the artwork below to see the style of Fielding used in this issue.

Halloween One Good Scare Comic Art 1

Halloween: One Good Scare # 1 was supposed to kick off a comic series that just never came about, and I am not sure why I would guess it came down to rights issues or just lack of interest from the creative team to continue on with it. And while it’s not the best Halloween comic, I would say that it was a very entertaining read and I am always game for a comic book that features Michael Myers. But for our next update, we will be leaving the world of Horror Movies behind and will be heading back to the Rotten Ink Arena to talk about a Wrestling Legend and one of my favorite Horror Themed wrestlers at that, the voodoo master Papa Shango will be the next update and will help lead us to our Halloween update! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a spooky time in the squared circle.

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