2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 31: Halloween Revenge of the Sandman (2012)

31. I REMEMBER HALLOWEEN: Something from the Halloween franchise or anything with trick or treating in it. You did it! Another successful challenge achieved. Now you can stuff yourself with candy and listen to The Misfits.

We’ve watched every Halloween movie in this house so many times that sometimes, I just play the soundtrack album from the second and Becca does the dialogue while I chase her around and scream things like, “An hour ago I fired six bullets into him and he just walked away. I am talking about the real possibility that he is still out there!”

Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me knows how I feel about the series (one great, two both better and worse yet more giallo, three should have had a different title but still great, four has a good opening, five has some interesting idea, six is lovable for how it takes the series in an occult direction, then you can just stop watching), so when this challenge came up, I decided to take a look at a fan film of the series.

Fan films are interesting to me. I remember when I first started watching them at Star Trek conventions in my youth and they looked amateurish, shot on video and filled with hammy acting and bad effects. However, today’s iPhones and free editing tools — not to mention consumer-available tech — enable anyone to make a movie that looks as good or better than the genre films streaming online.

Written and directed by Ron McLellen, who also made 2009’s The Return of the Sandman and 2013’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The New Blood, this is a polished reimagining of the Michael Myers mythos. The film begins with exactly what happened when the young Michael was taken to the emergency room by cops, then wisely takes a riff on the autumn farmland opening visuals of the fourth film before settling in to tell another side of the story.

Adding more authenticity to the film is the location. Shot at The Myers House NC, a life-size replica of the infamous house, located in rural Hillsborough, North Carolina. Several other films have been made there, including  Judith: The Night She Stayed HomeScarecrow at Midnight and Honeyspider.

I remember someone once saying of comic books, “Everybody is somebody’s favorite character, so writers should be careful with them.” That’s how I feel about this movie. There are numerous people who only enjoy the first film in this series, while others pick and choose favorites and folks like Becca love each and every one of them. It also all depends on when you were born, as for many, the fourth through six entries may have been the first ones they could experience first-hand. This movie feels like it was made for those that really came in the series in that era, but want to see more of side characters like Ben Tramer and Brady Brackett.

Your enjoyment of fan films will depend on how much you tie the characters into the actor’s playing them. Obviously, no one is ever going to be better than Donald Pleasance. But if you can get past that — and have sixty minutes or so of free time and have seen all the other movies inthis series — you can at least have a few new Halloween films to watch this year while waiting for the pandemic to end and Halloween Kills to be released.

You can watch this on YouTube and learn more at the official Facebook page.

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