Season of the Mask 4: Retcon Alert

NOT the Scariest Halloween of them all!Term: retcon

Stands for: retroactive continuity

Definition a) trying to tie together errant continuity slivers into one narrative to erase nagging questions when writers of a TV series or theatrical franchise went somewhat astray in dropping red herrings over several years/several sequels; b) making sense of total bullshit.

When it was decided to resuscitate the Halloween franchise in 1995, it was decided that Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers would be the ‘final’ effort wherein all the head-scratching issues from prior sequels would be addressed. When the film was released, it had already been overhauled, most notably with a new ending. The reshoots, however, did not reduce the film’s new premise: that Michael Myers was central to a Celtic cult with incestuous practices, and their quest to keep Evil alive on Earth.

Neither the Theatrical Cut (available on DVD) nor the much-discussed Producer’s Cut (archived on YouTube) can be broken down into a simple synopsis because both versions are narrative disasters. The filmmakers tried too hard to make sense of continuity issues that were recklessly introduced (mostly in Part 5) with no foresight or logic. Most franchises use a bible to keep track of things, whereas Halloween's guardians, from Parts 2-6, used something much bolder: whim.

Not even executive producer Moustapha Akkad knew the meaning of ‘the Man in Black’ – not a good sign when the guiding hand of one of the most profitable and beloved franchised was allowing this sacred cow to be bludgeoned to death by really stupid creative decisions.

Is it the worst sequel in the franchise?

YES – but here’s the full disclosure: I’m watching the films in the order of their theatrical releases. That means I have yet to savor the fine nuances in Rick Rosenthal’s media satire, Halloween: Resurrection, or see if Rob Zombie’s reboot of the original film adds or violates the purity of John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s original film.

However, those still curious about Part 6, and the chief differences between the Producer and Theatrical versions, should read my review. It’s long and windy, but it’s far easier to spend 200 words on a turkey and apply terms like inept, idiotic, and crapulastic than trace the serious breakdowns where both versions transform the simple concept of a slasher into something hypnotically awful.

So check out the review, and if you manage to stick through to the end, there’s some helpful links worth investigating, including a pair of candid interviews with screenwriter Daniel Farrands, who later went on to direct the chilling Amityville documentaries that are part of MGM’s Amityville 1 thru 3 boxed set, and more recently co-write the terrifying adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door.

Now that's a killer movie.



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