Over the past Halloween weekend, I watched “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” (1988) and “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” (1989). I watched them on VHS, so it wasn’t a thoroughly charmless affair. I had seen the movies before but I couldn’t remember them. I can just barely remember them now.

Survivors. Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis and George P. Wilbur as Michael Myers.

Survivors. Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis and George P. Wilbur as Michael Myers.

“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” was directed by Dwight H. Little and credits four writers. I’ve had enough day jobs to know that when a task that can be accomplished by one person is undertaken by a group, the result often lacks conviction, direction, and clarity. Such would seem to be the case here.

Sasha Jenson as Brady. A kid at my middle school had a beard.

Sasha Jenson as Brady.

Sasha Jenson is in it though, and he’s good. He’s the guy who played Don Dawson in “Dazed and Confused” (1993). In “Halloween 4,” his character, Brady, gets blown off on Halloween by Rachel, the main girl, so he hooks up with Kelly, who is written to be trashy and devious. However, Kelly is way more likable than Rachel, and the movie is only compelling when Kelly and Brady are on the screen. They have good chemistry. I really found myself rooting for them.

Kathleen Kinmont as Kelly. Likable.

Kathleen Kinmont as the likable Kelly.

Donald Pleasance is fun at first. And, if you’re wondering how Dr. Loomis survives the hospital explosion at the end of part two, spoiler alert: he just does. Apparently, like Michael Myers, he’s also some sort of indestructible man-monster. He certainly chews the scenery to bits.

Dr. Loomis does his thing.

Dr. Loomis does his thing.

How awesome is it that Saha Jenson played a teenager in 1988 and 1993? He looked maybe a little old to be a teenager in “Dazed and Confused” (he was 29), but I guess there are some teenagers like that. Dylan McKay, some of his friends.

Jenson in "Dazed and Confused." A kid at my middle school had a beard.

Jenson in “Dazed and Confused.” A kid at my middle school had a beard.

My copy of “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” never had a box, which only seems appropriate. What happened to the box? Who knows? Who could possibly care? Similar questions will recur once the tape is rolling.

“Halloween 5” came fast on the heels of the “Halloween 4,” which, although terrible, made money. Part five was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard and was co-written by him and two other writers. It was probably a pretty funny scene in the producer’s office with all of them trying to spread the blame around, pointing fingers at each other in a Mexican standoff of defensiveness and shame.

loomisdrinks

Loomis rides with danger.

The little girl, Jamie, cries constantly, and Dr. Loomis raves like he’s been on a strict diet of booze and spray-paint since we last saw him. As an unfortunate point of distinction, “Halloween 5” has the single most ridiculous component of any of the films in the bloated franchise: the comic-relief cops. For some reason, there are two stupid policemen that seem like they walked in from an Ernest movie, complete with cartoon sound effects. No kidding. The point is obscure. Confusion abounds. What happened to the box? Who knows? Who could possibly care?