phantom limb /ˈfan(t)əm’lim/ n. an usually painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated.
Welcome to Phantom Limbs, a recurring function which is able to check out meant but unproduced horror sequels and remakes – extensions to style movies we love, appendages to horror franchises that we love – that have been sadly lopped off earlier than making it past the planning levels. Right here, we can be chatting with the creators of those unmade extremities to realize their distinctive perception into these follow-ups that by no means have been, with the discussions standing as hopefully illuminating however undoubtedly painful reminders of what might need been.
With this entry, we’re looking at Halloween 8: Lord of the Useless, the unproduced follow-up to 1998’s Halloween: H20. Penned by Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers screenwriter Daniel Farrands, Lord would have acted as a sequel to each Curse and H20, marrying the disparate continuities of every movie whereas offering audiences with a stunning new tackle The Form.
Becoming a member of us is Mr. Farrands, who discusses the origins of this meant eight installment, the story it will have instructed, and why it by no means got here to go.
“In my youthful naivete, exuberance, no matter you need to name it, I simply wrote this epic factor the place it was like 35 pages and it was simply heaps and many stuff occurring,” Mr. Farrands begins, noting how he tackled his authentic Halloween 6 therapy for franchise godfather Moustapha Akkad. “When he learn it, I didn’t know what to anticipate when it comes to his response. I assumed, ‘Properly, I’m both going to get this job, or I’m going to blow it.’ However he learn it and mentioned, ‘I believe that is incredible, however you could have approach an excessive amount of right here. We have to reduce this in half, and the primary a part of it must be 6. And now we’ve got sort of a roadmap for what 7 goes to be.’ He was, I believe on the time, fairly critical about that.
“So the beginnings of this have been that authentic Halloween 6 therapy that was simply too huge. too costly to make into one movie. I believe this was earlier than the times after they would greenlight back-to-back productions. Looking back, had issues been that approach again then they usually’d mentioned, ‘Let’s do two’, we’d’ve had a Halloween 6 and seven and possibly closed out that story. However that was the origin of my persevering with story, above and past, Halloween 6.”
Followers will bear in mind the tip of Halloween 6 discovered survivors Tommy Doyle and Kara Strode making off into the evening with Kara’s son and Jamie Lloyd’s child, however Farrands reveals that his authentic ending had Kara Strode dying, with Tommy being blamed for her homicide. “That was the unique scripted ending. Not them driving off in a Jeep. There was a sort of coda to all of that, the place they go to the identical bus depot the place we noticed Jamie Lloyd make the telephone name in the course of the evening, the evening earlier than. On this ending, which I assumed was a pleasant bookend, the heroes have been going to cease on the identical bus cease. Tommy, Kara and the youngsters get out. It’s raining, it’s pouring. It’s the identical sort of scene that we noticed beforehand. Tommy runs to the identical quaint telephone sales space to make a name to 911 and might’t get by means of.
“As he’s making that decision, Kara has taken the youngsters down into the restroom. We hear a scream, and he goes operating down into the restroom space. He opens every one of many stalls. He finds a pool of blood popping out, and there’s Kara bent over, her throat slashed, reaching out for him, and the 2 kids are gone. Then you definitely hear sirens, and the implication is, ‘Oh, fuck. Tommy’s in a whole lot of bother.’”
From this level, Tommy would have gone on the lam, avoiding the authorities and Michael in equal measure. “I used to be just a little impressed by The Hitcher, so it turns into ‘Tommy vs. Michael’ on this darkish freeway sort of thought, till they arrived again in Haddonfield. The second a part of the film, the Halloween 7 therapy that I had inadvertently written, takes place in Haddonfield the place the murders are occurring. Persons are just a little bit like in [Halloween Kills], the place individuals are simply sort of engaged of their Halloween stuff, they know one thing’s occurred, then individuals are locking their doorways. There’s not a mob, however sort of like that. That group concern. Then a number of of them exit within the evening to attempt to hunt him, and people individuals begin getting killed off.
“Then what we in the end would understand is that this coven, this secret society, was made up of a whole lot of the individuals inside the city of Haddonfield. It wasn’t simply this group of underground individuals on the sanitarium. It was virtually like a ritual. It was very impressed by Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. I assumed if you happen to apply that to a Halloween story of the place a household is chosen to be sacrificed, and that this custom goes again to the early days of Druids and Halloween and the celebration of Samhain … and that was sort of the thought. On the finish, you’d see that the entire city has come out in a Wicker Man form of approach, and has chosen their remaining sacrifice.
“The top of the film was, Jamie Lloyd’s life was about to be taken by this mob and Michael, and hastily out of this crowd seems a darkish determine. It seems to be Laurie, and she or he’s there to avoid wasting her daughter. And that was the tip of the movie.”
So the tip of this Halloween 7 would have left audiences with a cliffhanger? “Sure, yeah. It was alleged to be the reappearance of Laurie Strode. I do bear in mind, and this at all times makes me chuckle now looking back all these years later, that Mr. Akkad’s response to that was ‘Properly, that’s good, however Jamie Lee’s an enormous star. She’s going to by no means come again to the collection, so we have to consider one thing else.’”
On condition that cliffhanger, with Jamie’s life within the stability, one assumes that Laurie’s daughter hadn’t been killed through farm equipment or gunshot within the authentic model of this story. “No. That each one got here later on the behest of the bean counters on the studio. All this goes into the entire Danielle Harris controversy, which was horrible, and the way they needed to principally pay her as a ‘scale plus 10 character.’ Like she was only a day participant, basically. She rightfully made the choice to stroll, however on a private fan degree, it was so disappointing that they handled her like that. The film fell prey to some nasty people on the studio degree, who I believe are getting their very own simply desserts now. You reap what you sow, proper?”
If we had certainly gotten this model of Halloween 7 with the Jamie/Laurie cliffhanger, one imagines that there was a plan in place for an eventual Halloween 8 to choose up proper after. “Probably not, no! The truth that I used to be even requested to do 6 was simply so thoughts blowing to me on the time. I don’t suppose there was any larger image past that. And naturally, after they put the kibosh on having Laurie Strode are available on the finish of what I needed to be Halloween 7, and what Mr. Akkad needed to be Halloween 7, I might’ve had to return to the drafting board. Until 6 was so successful that we acquired momentum occurring the factor and possibly [Curtis] would’ve come again and finished it. I simply thought it will have been nice. I nonetheless really feel prefer it’s sort of a cheat. Seeing Jamie Lee Curtis with Danielle Harris would have been such a cool strategy to deliver the entire thing full circle. That will have been a pleasant strategy to join all of the dots.”
Whereas this initially meant model of Halloween 7 by no means got here to go, this author wonders if Farrands had even been requested to jot down a follow-up to the Halloween 6 that finally made it to screens after a fraught manufacturing and appreciable reshoots involving, amongst different issues, fetuses in tanks and inexperienced ooze pouring from Michael’s masks after a Tommy Doyle-administered beatdown. “I don’t suppose you may. Actually, in the event that they’d requested me to comply with that up, I might be like, ‘I don’t even know the place to start as a result of I don’t even know what the fuck that is about anymore.’”
Whereas H20 was finally produced as a substitute of Farrands’ Halloween 7, the author was introduced again in to pitch a take for a possible Halloween 8, which might have had the problem of reviving Michael Myers after Laurie Strode took his head off with an axe within the closing moments of the prior movie. “I used to be nonetheless very shut and in touch with the Akkads, and their plan was at all times that, ‘Properly, you already know, though she chops his head off on the finish of H20, he’s coming again. We already know that he’s coming again, and we sort of have an thought the way it’s going to occur.’ However in speaking to Malek [Akkad, Moustapha’s son and current Halloween producer] and his dad, they mentioned, ‘Yeah, go forward. Write one thing up and ship it to us.’ I did. It was referred to as Halloween 8: Lord of the Useless. I believe that was the identify that I picked and stamped on the quilt web page of no matter therapy I despatched over to Malek and his father, and it by no means went out. I doubt it went additional than their very own workplace as a result of I believe Dimension Movies had their very own concepts of what it was going to be.”
Farrands’ take acted as a sequel to H20, but additionally managed to achieve again into the continuity that existed previous to the tender reboot that the twentieth anniversary movie had offered. “So in my take, I sort of took some cues from that authentic expanded therapy for six. I assumed, ‘Properly, you already know, there’s sort of an attention-grabbing thought right here, however Michael Myers is clearly useless on the finish of H20 … however they need the franchise to maintain going.’ So I wrote up this very transient take, drawing from elements of that authentic Halloween 6/7 therapy that I had written again within the day, and I up to date it in order that it will sort of choose up from the occasions of H20, but additionally sort of taking it again to the place we left off with 6. I used to be sort of attempting to perform a little harm management, too. Like, ‘Let’s not completely write off what we did. Let’s not spend an excessive amount of time on it, however let’s not completely write it off both.’
“As I recall, it opened with sort of a summation of the occasions of 6 and H20, virtually in a newscast form of approach. Clearly some years had handed, however then Tommy was nonetheless sort of like on the lam and form of hiding. He in the end comes out of hiding and is attacked by what he thinks is Michael Myers, and finally ends up operating again to Haddonfield.
“The plot needed to do with Tommy Doyle wanting by means of Loomis’ diaries, the e book that he was writing in Halloween 6, and sort of placing collectively the items of Michael’s historical past. He was actually delving into that and changing into much more of an obsessed, haunted man. I believe I described him as having a full beard, virtually changing into Loomis.
“So a whole lot of it was instructed as sort of a backstory of Michael’s years within the sanitarium, the way it affected Loomis, and concurrently with that there was this entire story of the continued murders round Haddonfield, and that Tommy Doyle was suspected of committing the [the murders in 6]. There was some speak about what occurred in H20, however this undoubtedly took it again to Haddonfield.
“The twist of my pitch was that, as soon as the hell breaks unfastened and the murders started and we see all of this mayhem occurring, with Tommy form of taking over the function of Loomis, the massive finale after they’re going to lastly unmask Michael Myers reveals that the killer is definitely Laurie Strode.
“She’s gone utterly batshit loopy and got here again to relive the murders that she barely survived, and she or he’s change into like The Form. It sort of made sense to me, as a result of on the finish of Halloween: H20, what you hear, after she chops his head off with an ax, is that she’s respiration closely like Michael on the finish of the unique film.
I assumed that was an ideal setup understanding, as a result of that they had instructed me, ‘We’ve Jamie Lee for 5 minutes.’ That she was contractually obligated to be within the subsequent film. And I mentioned, ‘Properly, make them the perfect 5 minutes. Don’t simply kill her off firstly,’ which sadly they did. I assumed, you already know, if you happen to’re going to deliver her in once more, simply don’t inform the viewers. Make it an enormous, huge shock. Give it a twist. Put her in on the finish, don’t even say she’s in it, after which when the masks comes off, Laurie’s the killer.” Farrands additional notes that, very like little Jamie on the finish of Halloween 4, Laurie would apparently be taking over the mantle of The Form by the tip of the movie.
That huge reveal is similar to the tip of the three-issue Chaos! Comics run from again within the early aughts. “That’s proper. [Chaos!/Halloween comics writer Phil Nutman] had come to me as a result of he knew that I had finished one of many Halloweens and he mentioned, ‘You realize, I don’t actually know these motion pictures, actually not such as you…do have one thing that I can sort of draw from?’ So I handed him that therapy and I mentioned, ‘Properly, that is by no means going anyplace, so right here you go!’ I believe no matter he did with that comedian was partly primarily based on what I had written in that pitch.
“In order that was sort of it. It was little bit of a piecemeal kind of factor. I truthfully knew they in all probability wouldn’t take any of it significantly as a result of I simply knew how the politics have been with this entire factor at that time. It was sort of ugly, with the Dimension/Miramax camp at all times at odds with the Dusk/Akkad camp. It simply wasn’t a pleasant, amicable relationship after 6. I believe they tried to play good when it got here to H20, however I believe there was simply at all times a rigidity, an unease and an unhappiness. It was simply not marriage in any respect. And I believe that the Akkads would have liked to have divorced themselves from it many, many occasions over time, however as a result of [Dimension] had a rolling choice, in the event that they greenlit one other film inside a sure time period, they’d proceed to regulate the sequels.
“I don’t even know if I ever heard an official go. I believe it simply was like, ‘Okay.’ You realize, I believe it was simply in all probability in a stack of different remedies, but it surely was good that they even opened the door to me. Malek and his dad have been at all times very variety and supportive of every part that I’ve finished. We’ve at all times remained on actually, actually good phrases. However after I despatched that in, I by no means actually held out any hope that anyone would even take it significantly as a result of 6 didn’t do nicely, and I used to be related to that. I don’t suppose anyone at Dimension would have given a second thought to something I needed to say at that time.”
In closing out our chat, Mr. Farrands presents his remaining ideas on Halloween 8: Lord of the Useless: “The Halloween universe is continually increasing and rising and taking totally different turns. It’s sort of like Select Your Personal Journey. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see after this trilogy concludes within the subsequent 12 months or two the place the franchise will go subsequent, as a result of I do know for a proven fact that it’s not over. Halloween is like Christmas and Thanksgiving. It’s going to reside eternally.”
Very particular due to Daniel Farrands for his time and insights.