Icon of Horror

Michael Myers

Here we have another Icon of Horror, this time it is an individual which every horror fan should have heard of, due to his film, Halloween, being an amazing landmark in horror cinema. This week I am talking about Michael Myers (played by Tony Moran). The emotionless white-mask wearing, kitchen knife wielding bogeyman who has terrified audiences since 1978.halloween-film-posterMichael Myers was first introduced to us in the late 70s by the horror film directing mastermind John Carpenter. Through Halloween, Carpenter delivered a film which gave audiences something else to fear on Halloween night rather than just ghouls and goblins, and a superb soundtrack to go with it.

Although Myers was not based on a true killer, like Leather-Face, the story, acting and camera shots are what brought this killer to life. The film starts with one of the longest opening shots in horror, we (the camera) are taken around a house, before entering it and moving up the stairs to find a young woman brushing her hair. It then becomes apparent that we are looking through the eyes of 6 year-old Myers, right before he slaughters his older sister with a kitchen knife. After realising their son is a murderer, Myers’ parents stick him in a mental hospital – because where else can you get over your murderous thoughts than in a mad house. Fast forward 15 years and Myers is escaping from the loony bin and out on a murder bender with his little sister – Laurie Strode – in mind.

What follows is a magnificent tale of imaginative murder techniques, eerie long-shots and giving a reason why babysitters should not work in Haddonfield, Illinois. Although his killing methods are on top form, it is the sheer creepy vibe which Myers gives off which really makes him stand out from all others. He is constantly popping up around every corner as Laurie walks home from school, whether it’s hiding behind bushes or somehow in the car which rolls past, he is always present and watching her every move, killing the odd person on the side of course.

His main aspect which really sends the shivers down your spine though is the fact that he is so calm about everything, even whilst killing. In the process of chasing you in his blue boiler suit he just suavely walks behind and still manages to catch up with his victims. These things are not what make him a bogeyman however, as he still seems human. It’s the fact that he just won’t stay dead, no matter what you do to him, whether you shoot him, run him over or even stab him with his own knife. The latter making for the best scene in the film, after Laurie stabs him and he falls to the floor, she kneels in the doorway catching her breath. Unknowing to her – but not the audience – that in the background Myers sits up and turns his head towards her. A beautiful Scene!myers1

Halloween and Michael Myers kick-started the Hitchcock inspired slasher genre, and after 8 films and 2 remakes, they still have the same effect on our trembling hands as they did when we first saw them.

Original Film Tag Line: The Night HE Came Home.

Film Franchise List:

Halloween – 1978

Halloween 2 – 1981

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch – 1982

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers – 1988

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers – 1989

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers – 1995

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – 1998

Halloween: Resurrection – 2002

Halloween – 2007

Halloween 2 – 2009

Shocking Saturday: Doomsday

This Shocking Saturday film comes to you on a Sunday because I couldn’t get the DVD to work. Nonetheless, this week’s film is ‘Doomsday’, a personal favourite of mine, mainly due to the fact that it is a British horror and stars some great British actors like: Bob Hoskins, Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell and Adrian Lester.doomsday-2

Set in the dystopian future of 2035, 25 years ago an infection called the ‘Reaper Virus’ began to spread in Scotland. Fearing for the country, England built a giant wall and quarantined Scotland off. The wall worked, the infection did not spread to England, however because of the decision the country made, all diplomatic lines from other countries were cut off, including the USA.

Unfortunately the Reaper Virus has resurfaced in London, and the government has had the bright idea of sending two APC vehicles with eight men over the wall to find a doctor named ‘Kane’, because rumour has it that he had found a cure.

Believing that the majority of the population had died out, this mission seemed like a piece of cake. Go in, find the doctor, retrieve the cure and then save the country. What they did not take in to account is what happened to the people who had survived the infection. Splitting up into two communities, the people who had resided to the countryside and returned to the medieval age, and the people who had stayed in the cities and became crazed, blood-thirsty cannibals. Unlucky for our characters, they run in to both sides.

One of the best aspects of this film has to be the costume department, if not for the ancient knights-of-old armour of the medieval realm, then definitely for the cannibals who look as though they are at a massive punk-rock show, with humans for a pre-show snack. The violence is also top-notch when it occurs, though usually it is people being crushed by cars, nevertheless, the audience are treated to buckets of blood.

The film was directed by Neil Marshall, who is also famous for directing some other great British horror films; Dog Soldiers and the film which scared the life out of everyone when the night vision was turned on, The Descent. With a bigger budget than his previous films, Marshall, used the movies which had influenced him when creating this picture. ‘Escape From New York’ (1981) by John Carpenter and ‘Mad Max’ (1979) by George Miller, he even named two characters ‘Carpenter’ and ‘Miller’ in tribute to the film makers.

Through this film we see what the British government are willing to give up without a second thought just to save their own arse, and it was good to see a horror film which made me question the English government and their decisions.

Doomsday ends as fast-paced as it began, with an incredible car chase between the remaining characters and the cannibalistic crazies, which provides some amazing explosions and deaths, with the odd head flying off.

Tag Line: Survive This.

Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O) (:-O)

Star Rating: