Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a 1989 American slasher film and the fifth installment in the Halloween film series. It was directed and co-written by Dominique Othenin-Girard and starred Donald Pleasence, who again portrayed Dr. Sam Loomis, and Danielle Harris, who reprised her role as Jamie Lloyd. The film takes place exactly one year after the events depicted in Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers. Michael Myers has returned to the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois to murder his niece, Jamie, who is now mute. Dr. Loomis tries to save the day with the help of Sheriff Meeker.
The film’s on-screen titles do not display “The Revenge of Michael Myers” subtitle which was used in all of the promotional material, TV spots, trailers, and merchandising; it simply says “Halloween 5”. A sequel, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, was released in 1995.
On October 31, 1988, Michael Myers (Don Shanks) is shot and falls down a mine shaft. The state police drop dynamite down the shaft to ensure Michael’s demise, but he escapes into a nearby creek. He stumbles upon a hermit who bandages him up. Michael falls into a coma, placing him in the hermit’s care. One year later, on October 30, 1989, Michael awakens, kills the hermit, and returns to Haddonfield, where his niece Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) continues to live after nearly being killed by Michael the year before.
Jamie has been admitted to a children’s hospital, having been rendered mute due to psychological trauma suffering from nightmares and seizures, and being treated for attacking her foster mother under Michael’s influence, but exhibits signs of a telepathic link with her uncle. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) becomes aware of Jamie’s psychic link with Michael, and tries to convince Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) that Michael is still alive. Meanwhile, showing signs of a metaphysical connection to Jamie, Michael tracks Jamie to where she’s been placed after their previous encounter. He kills Jamie’s sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell) by stabbing her in the chest with a pair of scissors, and begins stalking their friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan), also killing Tina’s boyfriend Mike (Jonathan Chapin) with a sharp rake to his head. He nearly kills Tina while she’s at a gas station, but Jamie is able to speak enough for Dr. Loomis and the deputies with him to understand what she is trying to say and dispatch Haddonfield police and Illinois State Troopers to Tina’s location to protect her from Michael, who flees until another opportunity presents itself.
Later that night, Tina and her friends Sam (Tamara Glynn) and Spitz (Matthew Walker) go to a Halloween party at a farm. Sensing that Tina is in danger, Jamie, having regained her ability to speak, goes to warn her; her friend Billy goes with her. While Sam and Spitz are having sex in the barn, Michael murders them. Spitz is impaled with a pitchfork and Sam is sliced across the chest with a garden scythe. Michael then leaves the barn and kills two deputies that Loomis had asked to keep an eye on Tina for her protection. After the party, Tina goes to the barn and discovers the bodies. Michael chases Tina, Jamie, and Billy with a car. During the chase, Michael fatally stabs Tina in the chest. Loomis, Sheriff Meeker, and the police arrive on the scene and rescue Jamie and Billy. Jamie finally agrees to put herself in danger to help Loomis stop Michael for good.
With Jamie’s help, Loomis lures Michael back to his abandoned childhood home. In the old Myers house, Loomis and the police create a set-up. Jamie senses that Michael has arrived at the clinic and Billy is in danger, which causes Sheriff Meeker, along with most of his backup, to leave the Myers house. Eventually, Michael arrives at his old home and kills the two remaining officers. Loomis tries to reason with him, but Michael subdues him and then goes after Jamie.
Jamie hides in an old laundry chute, but she is forced to abandon it after Michael finds her and repeatedly stabs the chute. She races upstairs to the attic where she finds a coffin that was stolen from the cemetery earlier, and the bodies of Rachel and Mike. Michael finds Jamie, but before he can kill her, she tries to appeal to her uncle’s humanity. At Jamie’s request, Michael takes off his mask. However, Jamie touches Michael’s face, sending him into a fit of rage. Loomis appears, using Jamie as bait, and lures Michael into a trap to weaken him with a tranquilizer gun. After beating Michael unconscious with a wooden plank, Loomis suffers a stroke and collapses. Michael is locked up in the sheriff’s station, to eventually be escorted to a maximum-security prison, where, Meeker says, he will remain “until the day he dies,” to which Jamie responds, “He’ll never die.” After Jamie is escorted out to be taken home, a mysterious “Man in Black” arrives and attacks the police station, killing the officers, including Sheriff Meeker. In the aftermath, Jamie walks through the station, and discovers her uncle’s cell empty, prompting her to begin sobbing in terror.
Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis
Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd
Tamara Glynn as Samantha Thomas
Wendy Kaplan as Tina Williams
Ellie Cornell as Rachel Carruthers
Beau Starr as Sheriff Ben Meeker
Jeffrey Landman as Billy Hill
Jonathan Chapin as Michael/”Mikey”
Matthew Walker as Spitz
Betty Carvalho as Nurse Patsey
Troy Evans as Deputy Charlie Bloch
Frank Como as Deputy Nick Ross
David Ursin as Deputy Tom Farrah
Don Shanks as Michael Myers / The Man in Black
The success of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers had revived Michael Myers’ fame as the 1980s slasher movie craze had begun to subside; 1980s-started film series like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street were also in decline. While the previous film was still in theaters, Moustapha Akkad had already laid out plans for Halloween 5. The producers wanted to screen the film in October 1989, just one year after the previous sequel.
The first draft of the script was written by Shem Bitterman. Bitterman’s idea was that Jamie Lloyd would become evil after stabbing her stepmother while The Shape was after her. This idea was rejected by the studio and Akkad, who brought in Michael Jacobs to write the script. After reviewing the script, director Dominique Othenin-Girard added some new aspects like Jamie’s inability to speak and her visions.
Veteran actor Donald Pleasence had disagreements with Akkad and Othenin-Girard, citing that Jamie should have been portrayed as “all-evil” after stabbing her stepmother. Akkad disagreed, thinking that fans wanted to see more of The Shape. In an interview, Danielle Harris explained what she thought of the idea. Harris said,
The way Halloween 4 ended, I thought I was going to be the killer. I thought it would have been fun to come back as the killer, or Michael’s sidekick. Scary, but fun.
The Hermit, who was shown in the beginning of the film as living in a quiet shack outside of the river with his parrot, was originally supposed to be a young man who tried to bring The Shape back to life after finding him. His shack was supposed to be filled with ancient runes, tablets, and other items for resurrection. This scene was filmed, but was re-shot with an old man, instead of a younger man.
The script included “bumbling” cops, Deputies Nick and Tom, with their own “clown theme” to pay homage to Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left.
Ellie Cornell was keen on returning as Rachel in Halloween 5, although she became disappointed to learn that her character would be killed off early in the film. Originally, Michael was to shove the pair of scissors down her throat, but Cornell felt that this would be too gruesome, and requested that the writers change it; as a result, she is instead stabbed in the chest.
Returning from Halloween 4 was veteran actor Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, along with Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, and Beau Starr, as Jamie Lloyd, Rachel Carruthers, and Sheriff Ben Meeker, respectively. Starr would later appear in an un-aired Halloween 5 television spot.
Karen Alston, who portrayed Darlene Carruthers in the previous film, reprised her role in the beginning of the film showing the anonymous person in the mask stabbing her as she falls into the bathtub of water. Her voice-over was recorded by Wendy Kaplan. Kaplan won the role of Tina Williams, the loud and wily friend of Rachel’s. After Rachel’s demise, Tina inherits the role of Jamie’s protector.
George P. Wilbur, who had portrayed The Shape in the previous film, did not express interest in returning to play the role (although he did work as a stunt player on the film). Don Shanks was cast to play the speech-less, white-masked murderer. Shanks had already played a similar character in the first two Silent Night, Deadly Night films. Shanks also played the Man in Black. Wilbur, who had to wear hockey pads to appear to have a bigger build, would later portray the Shape again in the next installment, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Shanks did not have to wear the hockey pads because he already had a larger build.
Max Robinson would play Maxwell Hart, the doctor who assists Jamie when she is having one of her nightmares in the beginning of the film. Betty Carvalho appears as his assistant, Nurse Patsey, who has a “motherly” feel to Jamie. Jeffrey Landman portrayed Billy Hill, Jamie’s best friend, who has a stuttering problem. Landman worked with a coach who taught him about stuttering to help him prepare for the role.
Newcomers such as Tamara Glynn, Matthew Walker, and Jonathan Chapin appear as Samantha Thomas, Spitz, and Mike, who are friends of Tina and Rachel. Walker would later appear in another slasher film, Child’s Play 3 (1991).
Debra Hill, who had written and produced the first two films, had sold her and John Carpenter’s rights to the series before Halloween 4. She had met director Dominique Othenin-Girard at the Sundance Film Festival and liked his style.
She arranged a meeting with Othenin-Girard and Moustapha Akkad. Akkad liked Othenin-Girard and he became the director. This was Debra Hill’s last involvement in the franchise Othenin-Girard wanted to bring the franchise closer to the original, but wanted more blood in the film. The original uncut version of the film featured more explicit blood and violence. Akkad did not like this decision, as he felt that the original and Halloween 4 had worked better without showing as much detail.
After filming for two weeks, Donald Pleasence gave his much bigger trailer to Danielle Harris once he left set. Harris’ mother had been complaining about the small size of her daughter’s trailer and Pleasence decided that she should have his.
Danielle Harris and Don Shanks became good friends over the course of filming, reportedly spending a lot of time together while off set.
The film began production on May 1, 1989, and was filmed in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, just like its predecessor. The bus that the Man in Black gets off of stops outside exactly the same store where Jamie and Rachel went to get a Halloween costume in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
Unable to find a small Victorian house like the Myers house in Halloween, the filmmakers chose a bigger, more mansion-like house because they needed a house that could provide wide rooms, hallways, an attic, a basement, and a laundry chute. Donald Pleasence accidentally broke Don Shanks’ nose on the set when they were filming the scene where Dr. Loomis beats The Shape with a 2×4 block of wood.
Don Shanks was also injured when he was filming the scene where The Shape crashes Mike’s Camaro into the tree. Othenin-Girard had forgotten to yell “Cut!” and fire was beginning to emerge from the car (Shanks put this down to Othenin-Girard being sidetracked by seeing stunts take place during his first major directing job). Finally, stunt coordinator Don Hunt told Othenin-Girard to finally yell “cut”. Wendy Kaplan was also injured in this scene, as the car almost ran over the top of her. She was uninjured as seen in Halloween: 25 Years of Terror.