Like a line from that old Grateful Dead dirge, what a long, strange trip it’s been. After much waxing nostalgic, we have reached the final chapter in our Halloween retrospective. Unfortunately, that final chapter is Halloween: Resurrection. Perhaps a better title would have been Halloween: Let’s Get This Over With. The Doctor leaves no stone unturned, however, in my ceaseless quest for truth, justice, and the perfect Eggs Benedict, so I forced myself to watch the damned thing again. As Cade would say, You’re Welcome.
THE FILM – HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION
A contractually-bound Jamie Lee Curtis briefly reappears as Laurie Strode, who is now incarcerated in a mental institution. Laurie’s current situation – and the subsequent return of Michael Myers – are explained in a hackneyed conversation between two nurses that is accompanied by a flashback sequence. Prior to the denouement of H20, Michael apparently switched places with a paramedic after crushing the poor bastard’s larynx, conveniently rendering him mute but somehow still alive. When Laurie lopped off the masked man’s head with an axe, she therefore killed an innocent man. Michael, hiding in plain sight while dressed in the paramedic’s uniform, nonchalantly walked off into a forest of spruce trees, living to kill another day. And the answer to your question is Yes, this explanation is universally reviled by Halloween fans.
Laurie has only been pretending to be a mute vegetable, hiding her medications inside a Raggedy Ann doll while waiting for Michael to eventually come for her. There is no mention of her son John Tate from H20, although one of the other bin loonies refers to four students of the Hillcrest Academy having been murdered by Myers, so I guess John is now supposed to be dead? It doesn’t matter. Michael does indeed return, his mask now resembling something constructed specifically for Madame Tussauds house of wax. He dispatches a pair of security guards and then Laurie herself in a longwinded sequence that delivers nothing in terms of suspense and even had the audacity to include a few slow-motion moments. I need a drink.
Haddonfield is transformed into a college town for Halloween: Resurrection and we are transported to the heretofore unmentioned Haddonfield University. I could accept Haddonfield playing host to a rinky-dink community college as it does in Part 6, but this new development seems like a stretch, and a mostly nonsensical one at that. Instead of representing Anytown USA in middle America, Haddonfield now has highway motels and a brimming university. It’s 2002 and clearly this aint your granddaddy’s Halloween. Or your daddy’s Halloween or your ne’er-do-well uncle’s Halloween. Shit, I need another drink.
A fledgling media entity known as “Dangertainment” produces a live internet show. Several Haddonfield University students have been selected to participate in the latest installment which naturally is scheduled to take place inside the old Myers homestead on Halloween night. Cameras have been strategically situated throughout the house, but each participant will also be equipped with a tiny shoulder camera so that the audience can follow along with their movements. I suppose that it wasn’t a terrible premise, although it seems severely limited in scope. The “found footage” phenomena that began with The Blair Witch Project probably had something to do with it; starting at this point in the movie, far too much of Halloween: Resurrection is viewed through a grainy camera image. The performers of note who make up the college students and internet show’s participants include Sean Patrick Thomas, Bianca Kajlich, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Katee Sackhoff. These are all relatively well-known performers with long resumes who are still working in film and television today, so the fact that none of them are even the least bit memorable in Halloween: Resurrection is a mildly interesting phenomenon. The “Dangertainment” showrunners are played by hip-hop artist Busta Rhymes and the lovely former supermodel Tyra Banks. Busta, for his part, brings energy and enthusiasm to his role of “Dangertainment” creator/producer Freddie Harris, although there is nothing endearing about the character. Banks is given very little to do other than smile and look good in the few scenes that she appears in*.
We know that Michael Myers always eventually makes his way back to his family’s old house when the rotary club and the bowling alleys have closed for the evening and there is nowhere else for him to go and kill deserving assholes, so the inevitable conflict awaits. And await it does. Nothing happens for an interminable stretch of the film as we are forced to watch largely uncompelling characters stumble around through their respective camera views. The now-primitive technology isn’t the problem; the problem is that nothing exciting or dramatic is happening and I am having a hard time summoning the ability to care. The idea is introduced that the Myers house was a medieval torture chamber where the infant Michael was chained to his high-chair and subjected to all manner of mental and physical abuse by his parents. It is even intimated that Michael has been living in the house for long stretches while subsisting on a diet of rodents. Whatever.
A group of Haddonfield U students attending a Halloween costume party inexplicably gather around a computer screen to watch the proceedings, cheering on what they assume are fake killings. Let me get this straight: you are at a college party where the booze flows and the co-eds are dressed in French maid attire, yet rather than party with youthful abandon you are glued to the “Dangertainment” internet production? Well, it is the dawn of the reality TV era, so I guess anything is possible. It just comes off like bad writing to me. The “Dangertainment” crew has planted numerous props and fake scares to further entice the participants and the viewers, turning the Myers home into something that resembles a Halloween Haunted House for teenagers. The piece de resistance being Busta Rhymes dressing up in a Michael Myers outfit… with the actual Myers lurking about. When Busta becomes aware of the real Myers presence and starts fighting him with a series of Kung Fu kicks and shouts “Trick or treat motherfucker!”, it’s time to stick a fork into this regrettable turkey.
I wrote that Halloween 5 was a bad movie that even diehard Halloween fans do not like, but it still serves a purpose in the Jamie Lloyd context and the overall continuity of the original Halloween storyline. No such claim can be made about Halloween: Resurrection. It’s an amalgamation of bad ideas and worse execution. It bears repeating that several of the performers are notable for many other things, both before and after this picture. But make no mistake about how I feel with regards to Halloween: Resurrection, which is that it sucks. Don’t waste your time. On a much brighter note, I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting my all-time favorite horror movie series, and I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it as well. Happy Trick or Treating.
*It is easy to imagine a ton of cutting room floor material left behind with this film, yet one must always remember that is what they left OUT. Nothing left on the floor can improve this movie, but some of the characterization might possibly make more sense. This is a general rule, and not specific to Halloween: Resurrection, although this movie certainly is a case of “let’s throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.” Having said that, your favorite Doctor has absolutely no intention of subjecting myself to the alternate endings on the DVD or, God help us, a Redux Director’s Cut. I am safe from the latter, as it does not exist. And even yours truly probably can’t get drunk enough to engage in the former. At least not this year…
ACID KUBA KUBA by DREW ESTATE
When I first had the idea of reviewing all of the Halloween film entries leading up to the most recent release this October, I planned on pairing each movie The Doctor reviews with a premium cigar that for whatever reason struck a chord with me as far as connecting to each individual movie. It could be a faint tie-in at best, but it would be personal and the pairing would make sense TO ME as a lifelong devotee of the Halloween series. That’s all that mattered as far as my thought process. As we began this jump into the mythological world of Haddonfield, I soon realized that this would be a perfect time to discuss and review some Drew Estate cigars that we had acquired throughout 2018 on our many adventures working for DE on the road doing various video and editing work for the company. So I will be reviewing a Drew Estate cigar within each of these initial posts (I imagine that I’ll be mixing in some non-DE offerings down the line but we shall see… there are no rules) AND I may break with TNCC tradition by rating some of the cigars as I go along. Why? Because it’s Halloween, my favorite time of year, and I’m the boss so I can do what I want. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as we are going to enjoy sharing them with you.
I hated Halloween: Resurrection so much upon my initial screening that I fell asleep in the theater. That never happens. Upon additional viewings my hatred for this film has only grown. It’s a direct slap-in-the-face to fans of the franchise and, while debatable, Acid Cigars are seen by many in the cigar community as offensive outsiders who don’t deserve a place at the table as well. They’re different and, to be honest, I’ve maybe only smoked a half dozen or so Acids over the years. So tonight I’ve decided to pair my least favorite Halloween movie with my least smoked Drew Estate cigar. While Halloween: Resurrection has failed me repeatedly I wonder how the Acid Kuba Kuba will be received by yours truly, will it be a cruel Conal Cochran-esque trick or a surprising treat…
Size: 5 x 54
Wrapper: Indonesian Sumatra
Price: $7.18 to 9.85, shop around!
Our good friends at Famous Smoke Shop describe the KUBA KUBA as follows: “THE standard-bearer for far-from-ordinary smokes, it’s Kuba Kuba that’s led the charge as the top choice among infused cigars. This ACID comes with all the bona fides: a unique taste and aroma via a diverse mix of tobaccos from the Drew Estate stock, all of them choice selections on their own; but DE one-ups the game, imparting big flavor and bigger aroma through a sweet, botanical concoction derived from a mix of over one hundred and forty herbs and essential oils. All said, Kuba Kuba is a mild to medium cigar that smokes easy, but does a number on all your senses in a way that only ACID can.” That’s as good a place to start as any! I’ve never put an infused cigar under the TNCC microscope, so this should be… interesting? That alone puts it far ahead of the dismal piece of crap that is Halloween: Resurrection.
The cap clips off easily with my scissors and I’m immediately overwhelmed by a cold draw featuring sweetness and a plethora of floral components. I do love a quality Sumatra leaf and the Kuba Luna’s light brown wrapper feels coarse and remarkably dry considering all the essential oils and botanical extracts used in the creation of this cigar (supposedly the #1 best selling cigar in the world!).
There’s a very mild tingling spice on the nose upon ignition, with sweetness and the floral flavors front and center on your palate. None of my usual cigar descriptives come into play here, this is a different animal altogether. Lick your lips after each pull on the Kuba Kuba, you’ll thank me later. I’m actually surprised in the early goings that I’m not overwhelmed by flavors, the traditional spicy retrohale is the standout and the melody of aromatic and floral components are far from turn offs (I’m going to be using that term “floral” quite a bit, I suspect).
Construction has proven to be impeccable, with a perfect smooth draw and a solid stack-of-nickels ash hanging tough from the straight burn line. It looks like a normal cigar, it’s behaving like a normal cigar, but…
I’m getting a slight sense of chocolate now on the draw but it’s encased in a myriad of floral flavors and other oddball Christmas cookie notes such as cinnamon and gingerbread. Where as Halloween: Resurrection thought it was giving us the same ol’ same ol’ because that’s what it thought we wanted (when in fact it didn’t know how to give us anything close to anything resembling entertainment or “Dangertainment”), the Kuba Kuba has the balls to at least give us something completely out of our comfort zone as experienced premium cigar smokers. To grow we must tear down and rebuild occasionally, where as tonight’s movie did neither of those necessary steps this sucker is at least taking a chance. But then again, Halloween 5 took a BIG chance and look where that got us…
I don’t know what the hell is right or wrong anymore so I’m going to take The Doctor’s professional advice and keep pouring drinks until something makes sense in this crazy world.
In the Kuba Kuba’s final third, it takes on the disguise of a seemingly “normal” cigar. The chocolate is still there and the retrohale spice is still present as well, but the floral component and baking spices have died down considerably. The strength increases slightly as well. Perhaps if you’re a diehard traditionalist and the Kuba Kuba is the only stick you can get your hands on, just clip off the first two thirds and enjoy the last act. I was expecting far more “Willy Wonka” zaniness to this cigar, when at the end of the day it’s just a slightly different, creative variation on rolled up leaves that we set fire to on a cool October night… The Kuba Kuba begins to burn a little hot on the lips towards the end so I drop it down into the stinky ashtray and lick my lips one last time.
Would I give a visiting seasoned cigar smoker a Kuba Kuba at the house while we sit around for some after dinner smokes? No, I would not. Would I give my cousin Samantha from Ohio, who’s never smoked a cigar in her life, a Kuba Kuba? Yes, yes I would. This cigar ain’t for everybody but it sure-as-shit beats the hell out of a movie that was literally made for nobody.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s Halloween / Drew Estate retrospective of ours as much as we’ve enjoyed delivering these joint reviews to you. You’re welcome. There’s only one more adventure of Michael Myers to go and you can find the TNCC’s take on it right here tomorrow as Halloween 2018 finally arrives!