Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers was cursed with a particularly bad-looking mask, but this is a problem the film itself already fixed. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch is considered a horror gem now, but it not only underperformed financially, but it also hurt the reputation of the franchise upon release. Halloween 4 arrived six years later, just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original. It’s one of the better entries in the series, but Halloween 4 also came a little too late to cash in on the slasher explosion of the ’80s, exemplified by the many Friday The 13th or A Nightmare On Elm Street sequels.
Halloween 4 feels like a soft remake of the original in many ways and is very much a back-to-basics approach designed to remind viewers why they liked the first Halloween. To the sequel’s credit, it takes a slow-burn approach and only uses gore on a handful of occasions. Sadly, one thing it didn’t get right is Michael Myers’ mask. Instead of the haunting, William Shatner Kirk mask from the first two Halloween movies, in Return, Michael wears a cheap imitation. It’s not the worst mask in the franchise – but it’s close. However, Halloween 4 already had a better alternative.
Halloween 4’s Bandaged Michael Myers Is Scarier Than The Shatner Mask
At the end of Halloween 2, Michael is blown up by his former doctor Donald Pleasence. When Halloween 4 opens, Michael has been in a coma for a decade, and his head is completely bandaged to cover his burn scars. When he hears he has a niece named Jamie, Myers shakes his coma off and goes on another killing spree. For the first act of Halloween 4, Michael is still wearing his bandages, and it must be said that this look is far eerier than the Willam Shatner mask that eventually replaces it.
This is best displayed in the gas station scene between Loomis and Michael, where the latter has also found some new mechanic’s coveralls. The visual of Michael standing with his bandaged face – which is even blanker than his classic masked appearance – is one of Halloween 4’s creepiest. This is also the last scene where he has the bandages though, as he soon steals his new mask from a Haddonfield store, which underwhelms in just about every way possible. The filmmakers were probably concerned about angering audiences if the classic mask didn’t return, but like sack-wearing Jason in Friday The 13th Part 2, it works great in its own right.
Why Michael’s Mask Looks So Bad In Most Halloween Sequels
Many of the later Halloween sequels suffer from mediocre to terrible-looking Michael masks. Halloween 5’s look is arguably the most hated, while the producers behind Halloween H20 were so indecisive about his look that he wears about three or four different masks throughout. The reason the sequel’s masks often look poor is that they involved different filmmakers and make-up effects artists putting their stamp on Michael’s look, resulting in wildly varying looks. Thankfully, Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes and Blumhouse’s legacy trilogy all – despite their flaws – had great-looking masks, as the filmmakers prioritized getting Michael’s appearance right.