Considered one of the rare finds amongst Halloween fans, Dennis Etchison’s script for Halloween 4 was at one point set to be directed by John Carpenter himself.
Carpenter dropped out of the project after disagreements with series producer the late Moustapha Akkad, and thus the film never saw the light of day.
This of course a million miles away from The Return of Michael Myers, with much more connection to the original mythos.
Michael Myers is gone, burned to death at Haddonfield hospital alongside Dr. Loomis, and Halloween has now been banned in the town for a number of years.
Despite this the townsfolk still live in fear of the return of the boogeyman. The story doesn’t centre around Laurie Strode or any of her family this time, with Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace taking centre stage.
With repressed memories of the night they were almost killed by Michael Myers, both are damaged and thus are bullied at school.
Kids from the school want to break the Halloween taboo though, organising a drive in horror movie fest which in turn brings the return of Michael and his butcher knife.
One of the most memorable scenes is the death of one of the teenagers from Haddonfield High, who is crushed at a pumpkin patch before being dispatched by Myers.
We also have the slightly underdeveloped plot strand of another of Michael’s doctors at Smith’s Grove that believes he has become a cult figure at the sanitarium, with other inmates referring to him as the Lord of the Dead.
Sheriff Brackett returns too, but seems a bit too fine for someone who’s daughter was butchered by Michael just a few years ago.
Although the doctor plays her part in the bonkers finale at the drive in theatre where Michael becomes 12 foot tall and after another fiery set piece disappears, the final few pages taint what was a very original take on the Myers mythos.
This script works more along the lines of Michael being a force of nature, as Carpenter has said many times he intended him to be – like the wind if you will.
Ultimately this peaks interest now but feels like it would be quite inferior to Dwight Little’s Halloween 4, which took the series at the time in a new direction and had some very memorable action set pieces.