31 Oct 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Halloween II (1981)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  The slasher film (sometime generically called horror film rules)... are they true?

Halloween II (1981) starts immediately after... actually a couple of minutes before... the end of the first Halloween movie.  Does it follow the rules?

The following may include spoilers for
Halloween II (1981)
and possibly
Halloween (1978)

Rule #1 - A Warning Will Come From...

B&C:  ELDERLY & INSANE - Loomis isn't insane, but he acts it at the beginning of the film.
H:  NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - The TV and radio have the news of killings from the first film.

Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A

One of the nurses, Karen, appears topless and the man she's with Bud's butt also appears.  At the low end of Slasher film nudity.  It is, of course, gratuitous pre-death nudity so it's Slasher-style.  Laurie, it should go without saying, doesn't get naked.

Rule #3 - Death Will Be A Punishment For...

A:  SEX - Bud & Karen (almost)
B:  NUDITY - Karen & Bud.
C:  DRINKING -  Dr Mixter, had been at the country club.  Bennet Tramer (Trick-Or-Treater) was pretty drunk (it was an accidental death so it was more a punishment by fate then the killer)
D:  DRUGS -  Bud.
H:  BYSTANDER - Alice.  Bennet Tramer - although pretty drunk he was literally an innocent bystander.

Rule #4 - Never Go...

A:  DOWN TO THE BASEMENT - Laurie does go to basementy areas and survives.
C:  FOR A SHOWER - Bud & Karen in a sauna, killed in it or in the next room.  Janet sees a running shower..
F:  ANYWHERE ALONE - Pretty much everyone (except Loomis) does this.  Pretty much everyone (except Laurie) dies.
G:  ANYWHERE REMOTE - The hospital seems to be.  Flat tyres stop ... going for help.

Rule #5 - Order of Death...

A:  THE FIRST PERSON ON SCREEN - The first people to appear on screen were the survivors of the first film (in reused footage).  Skipping those, there were some random neighbours who see Loomis, then Mr & Mrs Elron who Michael could have killed but didn't.  Then he saw their young and cute neighbour and killed here.  Loomus does die at the end.  Fail.
B:  THE BLACK MAN DIES FIRST - Mrs Alves, an African America nurse.  Her murder is not shown (and what did it could have been done long before she died) and was found fairly late but certainly not the first.  Middle of Film (Fail).
C:  THE STONER - Bud does smoke a little.  Early. (Pass)
D:  THE BIMBO - Karen large breasted and was planning to have sex at work.  Janet was the dumb part (difficulty using a radio, ditzy voice, no sexual though).  Janet dies later in the film. Early + Middle of Film. (Pass)
E:  THE NERDY/FUNNY GUY - Mr Garret is neither but he's a lazy, clumsy, stupid security guard so vaguely fits this category.  Early.  (Pass)
F:  THE MACHO JERK - Bud, swearing, misogynist, etc.  Early. (Pass)
G:  THE PROTECTOR - Loomis, again.  The Marshall may count, or is more a random policeman.  Both Late in Film.  (Pass)
H:  THE SENSITIVE GUY - Jimmy, possibly [E], but we'll give him [H].  Late in Film. (Pass)
J:  THE FINAL GIRL - Laurie, obviously.  But I'm also including Alice and Jill and probably Mrs Alves.  Alice doesn't have enough screen time to do anything to be called a bimbo, so I won't.  She briefly checks on her neighbour when she hears a scream, but does nothing about it and has a pretty average phone call.  She isn't even "sluttily" dressed.  So, I'm putting her here.  Jill was blond and good looking and tried to get help but found all the car tyres were flattened.  One Early, one Late in Film, one Survives. (Partial Pass).

Order of Death:
Michael's ongoing kill count is in parenthesis after the number in this film.

1.  (6) Alice [J - could be forced intp D, but I won't]
2.  Bennet Tramer.  [Random death that looked like Michael.]
3.  (7)  Mr Garret [E]
4.  (8)  Bud [CF]
5.  (9)  Karen [D]
6. (10)  Dr Mixter [F - maybe.  Incompetent doctor anyway.]  Found murdered, but Michael still in the room.
7. (11)  Janet [D]
8.  (12)  Mrs Alvers [BJ]  Competent nurse, minority.  Found murdered (and drained of blood would have been slow so could have been much earlier.
9.  (12)  Jill [J]
10.(13)  Jimmy [H]
11.(14)  Unnamed Marshall [G]
12.  Loomis [G] *
13.  Michael [G] *

* Clearly both killed in the explosion.

Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

C:  VEHICLES - Flat tyres.
D:  YOUR OWN LEGS - Lauries is bandaged and she limps a bit while running away.
E:  AUTHORITIES - Police, security guard, the Marshall.
F:  WEAPONS - Guns were pretty useless, as Loomis shot Michael many times and he got up eventually, but it even failed to fire when Loomis needed it later.

Rule #7 - The Final Girl

Laurie Strode is the final girl.  I put two others (Alice & Jill)  in the category above (5J) because I don't think they fit bimbo (5B)
A:  FINAL - Laurie, Yes.  Alice & Jill, no.
B:  GIRL - Yes to all.
C: MASCULINE - Jill has short hair.  Other two not so much.
D:  WELL DRAWN - Alice has little time on screen.  Laurie is drugged for most to the film.  Jill is smart, etc, but has no story beyond being a nurse.
E:  VIRGINAL & INNOCENT - Laurie, yes (see previous film).  Jill & Alice unknown.
F:  WILL BE REBORN - Laurie, yes, the others, no.

Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...

A:  LOCATION - Haddonfield, where he grew up and especially the house he lived and made his first kill.  There's a riot at the Myer's house.
B:  THE FINAL GIRL - Sealed records reveal that Laurie Strode was actually Michael's sister.
C:  THE PROTECTOR - Sam Loomis was Michael's psychiatrist for 16 years.
D:  OTHER VICTIMS - No real connection
E:  FEMININITY - There is nothing noticeably feminine about the Michael character.
F:  SPECIFIC LOOK - Michael steals and wears a plain Halloween mask (of William Shatner) and a mechanic's overalls.  Unfortunately for another trick-or-treater he wore the same thing and was killed.
G:  SPECIFIC WEAPON - Knife (Alice), hammer (Garrett), strangled (Bud), drowned/burnt (Karen), stabbed in eye (Dr Mixter), drained of blood (??)  scalpel (Jill, the Marshall, Loomis).

Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...

A:  ALWAYS KILL THE BAD GUY TWICE - The film starts with him surviving gun shots. Shot many more times, including in the head.  Walk ablaze out of an explosion and finally collapses.
B:  THE BAD GUY LIVES ON - Does not occur in this film.
C:  EVIL IS IMMORTAL - Dr Loomis went on about rituals and evil living forever.  Nothing comes of it as Michael dies in the fire following the explosion.

Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic


Simplistically they're about the same, but many times the following of rules is weaker.

B:  THEY WILL BE MORE FORMULAIC - Halloween sets the formula.  The sequel is Halloween-in-a-hospital.
C:  THERE WILL BE MORE T&A - Less nudity, no sex.
D:  MORE AND BIGGER DEATHS - There were 5 deaths in Halloween, all by Michael.  There were 10 in II, all but two by Michael, or 11 if you include Michael himself.


The following rules were followed:  1. 2, 3, 6, 7.
The following rules were partially followed:  4, 5, 8, 9, 10.
~ DUG.
YEAR TWO is coming.

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