I like scary movies. Most of them admittedly suck, but they have a certain mystique that brings me back. Every October, I usually watch one crappy horror movie each day. Back in college, I even wrote a psychology paper on scary movies.
Halloween is a classic slasher franchise that has had its ups and downs. Lots of downs. However, this upcoming film — Halloween — which is actually the third film in the franchise to be called Halloween, looks like it’s the real deal.
Forget the garbage Rob Zombie remakes from a decade ago. This was directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green and the one-and-only Danny McBride.
Green and McBride have worked together on numerous occasions, including the wonderful HBO programs Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. Initially, I was surprised to hear that these two fellers with comedic backgrounds would be taking over the latest installment in the franchise, but then it made sense.
The aforementioned Rob Zombie reboots were not good. Bordering on murderporn, they followed the “Saw” and “Hostel” themes of that era — when gore was king.
This is a different era, though, and these kids with their SnapFace and their vapes and whatnot aren’t interested in gore. They need a little comic relief. This franchise, which has largely been dead for the past decade, needs a new vibe, and the humor of this writing team will bring a much-needed revitalization to it.
All right … props time! There are few opportunities to bet on what will happen in movies. There were a handful of props out for Star Wars Episode VIII, but the movie props market has dried up like the Colorado River since then.
- How many people will Michael Myers kill? (must be seen on screen): 6.5 (o-145, u+125)
- How many people will he kill with a knife? 3.5 (o-120, u+100)
- Will Michael Myers kill Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis?): Yes -150, No +120
Hmm. Well, the last prop is sort of up to interpretation, but the first two could potentially be solved. To do so, I went ahead and watched all 10 Halloween movies and tallied up the deaths — on screen, off screen and with knives.
I was curious as to why they specifically noted that the kills must occur on screen because there are plenty of times where a dead body shows up that he obviously killed.
Without further ado …
1978, 91 minutes, 93% Rotten Tomatoes, 7.9 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 4, Off Screen Kills: 1, Knife Kills: 3
Marky’s Notes: The OG “Halloween” is a classic. Not overly entertaining or anything, and largely non-violent. This will serve as the direct prequel to the upcoming film, which ignores all of the storylines in every other sequel.
1981, 92 minutes, 31% Rotten Tomatoes, 6.5 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 7, Off Screen Kills: 2, Knife Kills: 1
Marky’s Notes: This got some hate from the critics, but is pretty comparable to the original. Michael starts to get a bit more creative with his kills, including melting some lady’s face off in a hot tub that he cranked the heat up in. And yes, she happened to be naked.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1982, 99 minutes 43% Rotten Tomatoes, 4.6 IMDB
On Screen Kills: N/A , Off Screen Kills: N/A, Knife Kills: N/A
Marky’s Notes: This is the only installment that does not include Michael Myers. I watched it anyway out of sheer curiosity, but alas, it sucked.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
1988, 92 minutes, 29% Rotten Tomatoes, 5.9 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 9, Off Screen Kills: 5, Knife Kills: 2
Marky’s Notes: Eh, not as bad as Rotten Tomatoes would leave you to believe. BUT, I strongly dislike the actress who played Michael’s niece in this movie and the next one. Michael shows some true acts of brute strength by literally just squeezing two people’s heads until they die.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
1989, 97 minutes, 14% Rotten Tomatoes, 5.2 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 8, Off Screen Kills: 2, Knife Kills: 1
Marky’s Notes: This movie once again has that annoying little niece in it, so it’s definitely not one of my favorites. The ending sets up what I believe is the definitive worst film of the original eight Halloween films.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
1995, 96 minutes 6% Rotten Tomatoes, 4.9 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 13, Off Screen Kills: 0, Knife Kills: 8
Marky’s Notes: So they took this one to a whole new level, as some cult is sacrificing babies and stuff for Michael. Really terrible. A fellow you may have heard of, billed as Paul Stephen Rudd, has his first starring film role, though. Here’s a clip of the film.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
1998, 86 minutes, 52% Rotten Tomatoes, 5.7 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 3, Off Screen Kills: 3, Knife Kills: 3
Marky’s Notes: This movie marked the return of Jamie Lee Curtis for the first time since “Halloween II” and it was definitely much better. Joseph Gordon Levitt wound up with a hockey skate in his face in the opening scene and LL Cool J plays a gate guard at the prep school.
Shockingly, he does not die. Maybe they were planning on this being the last Halloween movie because Laurie chops Michael’s head off in the final scene!
2002, 94 minutes, 12% Rotten Tomatoes, 4.1 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 8, Off Screen Kills: 2, Knife Kills: 5
Marky’s Notes: Just kidding about that head being chopped off thing! Turns out Michael switched clothes with some paramedic, so Laurie ended up murdering an innocent guy. Whoops.
Michael comes back and kills Laurie at the beginning of the movie, too, but remember, the upcoming film ignores all of this nonsense. This movie also had a star-studded (sarcastic) cast, including Henry Rowengartner (aka Thomas Ian Nicholas), Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks and “The Luck of the Irish” and “Smart House” star, Ryan Merriman.
2007, 121 minutes, 25% Rotten Tomatoes, 6.1 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 15, Off Screen Kills: 3, Knife Kills: 8
Marky’s Notes: All right, the first of the two Rob Zombie reboots. I definitely prefer this one to the second one, and it does have some pluses. For example, I like how they go a bit more into Michael’s childhood.
There’s also one bit that shows he truly has no soul or feelings, as he kills Danny Trejo, the one person at the loony bin who was nice to him. Poor Trejo — guy can never catch a break.
2009, 119 minutes, 19% Rotten Tomatoes, 4.9 IMDB
On Screen Kills: 16, Off Screen Kills: 1, Knife Kills: 6
Marky’s Notes: A very unpleasant film, I was checking how much time was left in it about 10 minutes after it started. My thoughts can be summed up in the video below (NSFW).
2018, 109 minutes, 83% Rotten Tomatoes, 8.1 IMDB
On Screen Kills: ?, Off Screen Kills: ?, Knife Kills: ?
Marky’s Notes: The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month to highly positive reviews, which makes me look forward to it even more. I don’t believe any of the reviews out there have spoilers, but I didn’t do a ton of digging.
Hey, I want to help you win money, but I don’t want to spoil the movie for myself, either.
Breaking Down the Props
On-Screen Kills: Over 6.5 -145, Under 6.5 +125
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the kills went way up in the Zombie era. Here’s a nice visualization for you.
Something that only the rocket scientists reading this may have realized is that those two movies were significantly longer than the others. That is why I have created a new stat: kills per minute.
Even though Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II” may have the most kills on paper, “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” has the most kills per minute.
On average, Michael kills 0.09 people per minute throughout the franchise. Or, if you want to look at it another way, he kills one person every ~11 minutes.
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The upcoming film is also expected to be a good chunk longer than the originals. Michael’s KPM just has to be just 0.064 to get to seven kills and cash the over, which is almost 30% less than what he averages.
I doubt he will get less than that. Of the three props, my favorite is over 6.5 kills despite the fairly heavy juice. It would be just the third time in 10 films featuring Myers in which he fails to get to the magic number.
There is also this quote from a spoiler-less IGN review.
“This leads to an almost High Noon-style buildup as anyone who could help the Strodes ward off this vicious threat to the community is hacked, smashed or choked into oblivion, leaving the Strode women to stand alone against Michael Myers in a hugely satisfying and incredibly tense showdown.”
Unless there are ≤6 people helping the Strodes, I think we should be safe.
Kills With a Knife: Over 3.5 -120, Under 3.5 +100
Where things get hairy are the knife kills, which have been highly variable. In some movies, his trademark kitchen knife does most of the work. In others, it’s practically non-existent.
Despite my love of the over for the first prop, I lean toward the under on this one. There are really only a couple of ways you can kill someone with a knife — straight up stabs or the fan-favorite throat slit.
There have been some comical deaths throughout the series, and considering the brains behind this film, I doubt we will see any stale or repeated kill sequences. That means knife kills should be kept at a minimum.
Will Michael Myers Kill Laurie Strode: Yes -150, No +120
As for the last prop, I feel we have a true toss-up. Will Michael Myers kill Laurie Strode? I don’t know. I’m guessing she probably doesn’t want to do too many, if any, more Halloween films, so it’s possible she could get killed off.
Then again, she is the original “final girl” horror movie archetype. Killing her off would be a sin to the genre.
I’m not sure why “Yes” is such a large favorite, but I’d definitely stay away from it. With a plus-money payout on “No”, that is the only option for me.
Oct. 19 here we come …