Because it’s, well, Halloween

So I watched Halloween last night. (Also Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers. And bits of some of the others. That series was harder to kill off than Mike. Tip your waitress, try the veal.)

The movies seem to have gone downhill pretty rapidly. By the third or fourth time you watch Donald Pleasence urge the dismissive psychiatric establishment and/or small town police department to pay attention to the unstoppable psycho-killer who keeps murdering tonnes of people and is always unstoppable you begin to wonder why they don’t just start taking him seriously. He obviously knows what he’s talking about. I did enjoy the original, at least.  And I couldn’t help but think of an obituary I read recently from the characteristically brilliant collection Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade; specifically, that of Moustapha Akkad, who produced the Halloween series and was murdered in 2005 in a suicide bombing in Jordan.

“…though (Akkad) claimed that Halloween was nothing more than a savvy commercial decision, for a schlock horror fest it was, as it happens, very Middle Eastern in its pathologies. Its principal character, Michael Myers (no relation to Austin Powers’s Mike Myers, though they’re about the same age), begins his impressive tally of corpses with what can be seen as an old-fashioned Muslim “honor killing”: he stabs his sister to death after she’s had sex with her boyfriend. Its conflation of sexual insecurity and male violence is at least as relevant to Arab culture as it is to alienated losers in small-town America. The only difference is that unlike the various unprosecuted perpetrators of honor killings from Jordan to Pakistan, Michael Myers eventually winds up getting decapitated, in one of Halloween’s many sequels. “With H20 we chopped off his head,” Akkad exulted, while leaving himself a loophole: “But was it really his head?”

The “duality” of Moustapha Akkad finally came together in one freakish finale at the Amman Radisson.”

I really recommend reading the whole thing.