Michael Myers was the boogeyman, at least in the original film. He was an almost cat-like figure that kept to the shadows until the last possible second, making himself known only when it was already too late to escape. He’s a killer interested in scaring people, in providing Halloween tricks and treats, maybe even more so than he actually is in killing them.
The kills in Halloween are not the main appeal, the scares are. One of the scariest things about Carpenter’s original movie is that you don’t ever really see any of the violence. Of course, as the series went on, this began to change. To keep up with the rise of the slasher cycle, the Halloween films became more and more violent. Where the original’s most brutal death scene was a young man pinned to a door, the kills became more and absurd and outlandish as the series continued.
Rob Zombie’s attempt to take things back to brutal, gritty, realistic violence didn’t do much to make the kills less absurd either as they pushed things too far in the opposite direction. They were so extreme that Zombie’s initial draft of his Halloween reboot sees Michael urinating on a little girl’s corpse.
But all in all, the series is a mixed bag of impressive, outrageous, goofy and gory death scenes, and here are some of the highlights.
Bucky’s Electrocution in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Fan-favorite character Bucky, who I think was named after the prop master, barely has any lines before he’s electrocuted. Electrocution became a big thing for Michael as the series went on, weirdly enough. Here, though, it’s effective because it shows a tactical Myers, considering that he uses Bucky’s death to wipe out power for the entire town.
There are two Michaels in Halloween 5 and one is almost as much of an ass as the other. But the douchebags in these movies usually get their comeuppance and this one meets his end in the form of a hand cultivator. In general, Michael really got into gardening tools and farm equipment in Halloween 5, even going as far as using a scythe.
In a display of extremity and to show he wasn’t screwing around, Rob Zombie made Michael’s first big kill in the sequel to his remake a very lengthy one. Nurse Daniels has that great reveal where she doesn’t realize she’s been stabbed, Michael emerges from the closet and starts stabbing her again…and keeps stabbing her. Over and over again. Just when you think he’s done, he keeps going. It’s a brutal but bizarre kill in what would prove to be an overall bizarre movie.
Halloween: Resurrection was a mess of a movie overall, but it could have been at least somewhat saved by a few memorable kill sequences. We didn’t really get much other than Laurie’s death and the tripod kill, which is only worth noting because the character is a cameraman. It still shows how resourceful Michael has become and proves that he’ll kill people with literally whatever he can get his hands on.
As soon as the doctor was revealed with a needle in his eyeball and the nurse got a needle right beside hers, Halloween II was cemented as a slasher movie and Michael Myers as a slasher icon by default. While Halloween had had those elements, it was understated. But there’s something very in your face about the sequel, even though it retains much of the original atmosphere. Still, if something had to bridge Michael Myers into the fully-formed slasher world, Halloween II is the perfect flick to do it.
Easily the most outlandish kill in the series, this is probably the death scene that everyone thinks about when they think about ridiculous Michael Myers kills. Plenty of people call it a favorite, too. While I don’t think it’s my personal favorite death scene in the franchise (that would go to the original’s Bob) I think there’s something so unexpected and absurd about it that it really does kind of work. It also helps that it’s a part of a movie in the series that is really just intent to do its own thing—save for Halloween III, which is much more successful in that regard.