Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a 1988 independently-released horror film and the fourth installment in the Halloween series. The film revolves around Michael Myers once more after his absence in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Directed by Dwight H. Little, the film stars Ellie Cornell as Rachel Carruthers, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis, Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, and George P. Wilbur as Michael Myers. The central plot focuses on Michael Myers 10 years after his 1978 killing spree in Haddonfield, Illinois. It is revealed that he is comatose and barely alive at the Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, and his sister Laurie Strode has been killed in a car accident. While Michael is being transferred to Smith’s Grove, he escapes and goes to Haddonfield, where he attempts to kill his niece Jamie Lloyd — revealed to be Laurie’s daughter.
As the title suggests, Halloween 4 marks the return of Michael Myers, the central villain of Halloween and Halloween II, due to his absence in Halloween III. Initially, John Carpenter and co-producer Debra Hill retired the Myers plot outline after the second installment of the series, intending to feature a new Halloween-related film every sequel, of which Halloween III would be the first. However, due to the lack of success of the third film, Halloween 4 re-introduced a Michael Myers related plot.
Tagline: Ten Years Ago HE Changed The Face Of Halloween. Tonight HE’S BACK!
- Series creator John Carpenter wrote a treatment for this film, that was a more ghostly psychological approach to the Michael Myers mythos. It concerned the town of Haddonfield and what effect the events of the first two films have had on the it’s citizens. This concept was later rejected by the producers in favor of the typical slasher fare, at which point in time John Carpernter bailed out of the film, making this the first film in the series to have no participation from him.
- The girl who drove Rachel and Jamie to the costume store was named Lindsey and is approximately 17 years old. In Halloween (1978), Jamie Lee Curtis babysat a seven year old named Lindsey.
- After viewing a rough edit it was decided that the movie was too soft, so they brought in special effects wizard John Carl Buechler for one day of extra “blood” filming. The thumb in the forehead and the redneck’s head getting twisted were both done by him.
- A construction paper cutout of Michael Myers can be seen on a door on the second floor of the school just as Jamie and Dr. Loomis climb the stairs.
- Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Jamie.
- Alan B. McElroy wrote the script in 11 days and beat the writer’s strike by mere hours.
- Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady) of “The Brady Bunch” (1969) was the production assistant. His wife, Kelly Lookinland, played the dead waitress.
- The gaffer, Garlan Wilde, was seriously injured during the filming of the Michael and Brady confrontation. Garlan was putting up a light and fell and cut his wrists; he was quickly rushed to the hospital.
- Leaves had to be imported and squash was painted to look like pumpkins.
- Dwight H. Little did extensive research on the history of Halloween and many of its harvest images were put in the creepy opening sequence.
- The shoot lasted about 41 days and Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris were required to be on set for 36 of those days.
- During production of the rooftop chase, Ellie Cornell was injured by a protruding nail as she slid down the roof. After a quick trip to the local hospital she finished the scene with her bandages in place. According to Danielle Harris, “It didn’t even faze her.”
- The drugstore set was also used in Stephen King’s _”Stand, The” (1994) (mini)_.
- Originally, when Jamie and Loomis were trapped in the school, Jamie hid in a classroom under a desk. Michael entered searching for her, throwing the desks over. Although they had no time to film this in Halloween 4, the sequence was remembered by Moustapha Akkad and later re-used in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).
- In the schoolhouse, Michael’s mask appears to have blonde hair. This was actually the original Captain Kirk mask used in Halloween (1978) and over time the hair had changed gradually. The filmmakers had the intention of reusing the mask in this sequel but felt it had changed too much and decided to make their own. Several scenes were re-shot with the replacement mask.
- In the original script, Sheriff Meeker was killed in a battle with Michael in the basement where the furnace was knocked over and caused the house to catch on fire. Originally, the house was supposed to be up in flames during the infamous rooftop sequence. This was eliminated due to budgetary constraints and Sheriff Meeker was kept alive.
- In Jamie’s introduction, she’s sitting in the living room staring outside at the ambulance. Later, it shows the ambulance has disappeared. In the script, Jamie was staring outside at the rain, and the ambulance appeared after she had turned away. This was changed in editing for unknown reasons.
- In the original script, Rachel hit Michael with the truck five times. While shooting they reduced it to three and in editing it came out as one.
- In the original script the film opened with a shot of a long hospital corridor suddenly blowing up and throwing Loomis from the explosion, in a reference to the end of ‘Halloween II (1981)’ in order to show how Loomis survived. It was later decided the film should not have any connections to the predecessors and the explosive opening was never shot.
- Jamie’s name was Brittany in the original script but was changed in homage to Jamie Lee Curtis.
- Rebecca Schaeffer auditioned for the role of Rachel.
- George P. Wilbur wore hockey pads under the jumpsuit to give Michael Myers a much more imposing figure. This is revealed in the documentary “Inside Halloween 5”, where it is revealed that Don Shanks, who played Michael Myers in Halloween 5 (1989), was big enough that this was not required.
- At the bottom of the stairs where the TV is in Meeker’s home a pair of plastic hands are visible. This is possibly a direct reference to the silver hands seen in mother’s bedroom in Psycho (1960).