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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Sisters Of Halloween

Dear Halloween film franchise,

I need(ed) you to do better. The other horror franchises of acclaim are not out of the woods when it comes to a variety of representation, but compared to some, your approach to casting any characters of color is abysmal. I guess it wasn't "safe" enough or not even a thought to discombobulate the neat narrative of suburbia's all-white occupancy. An essential thought that is woefully inaccurate.

There is no consistent way of summing up Black female representation in the franchise because it just passes the non-existent barometer of having any at all. There is a huge leap from one of the earliest roles in the franchise to the entertaining yet face palming latest (and hopefully last). It being Halloween season and all, these ladies needed a spotlight for a moment so they aren't forgotten in polite, proper context conversation.

Gloria Gifford as Mrs. Alves  in Halloween II (1981)

Looking like everyone's auntie, head nurse Mrs. Alves is your no nonsense, health care professional who makes sure Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) gets her rest and not macked by Jimmy (Lance Guest). I should probably do some digging into discovering deleted scenes because we do not see Mrs. Alves' untimely demise on screen. Michael Myers eerily made his way through one of the most spookiest and emptiest hospitals I've ever seen, picking off sparse staff members one by one in order to get to his sister. Mrs. Alves was the more prominent out of the three roles and surely the best. That's not even an argument.

Lorena Gale as Nurse Wells in Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Veteran genre film and television actress Lorena Gale made an appearance as the talking head of over-explanation as to why executives just had to develop one more useless Halloween film and not let Laurie Strode have the closure I was very satisfied with in Halloween: H20 (1998). It was so perfect, and I naively believed that this was the end of the franchise. But Nurse Wells explains in such an emotionless way, this eye roll inducing, elaborate story that made me so angry, I don't know how I went through with watching the rest of the film.

Tyra Banks as Nora in Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Pay close attention to the end of the film and some screen shots online. Conjecture relays that Nora's death scene was cut from the theatrical release. We see her dead body somewhere in the third act but no Michael Myers-Nora hack and slash sequence. I'm going to imagine it's on the DVD/Blu-ray copies as an extra. Was Tyra Banks' acting that bad and/or innocuous? As Freddie's (Busta Rhymes) right hand dame for fame, Nora was nothing beyond a partnered stand in for his ego. I kind of wish she had more of a stand out role, but that was reserved purely for Bianca Kajlich's final girl trope, Sara.

No, I do not want anymore Halloween films. Not from Rob Zombie or anyone inspired so much by the original. Let us see Myers laid to rest. I don't care how Resurrection ended. There were some awesome films in this franchise that I watch every year around this time for fun and reflection. But you won't find any fulfilling Black female representation here. However, Mrs. Alves always gets a pass.




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1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I don't find Banks (as much as i love her otherwise) a remarkable actress. BUT, you make good points that we continue to try to relay to Hollywood and which falls on deaf ears. I hope we can get more diversity soon. There's lots of great talent out there, and not only black talent but Asian and Latino as well.

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