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September 29, 1995 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-29

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4-- The Michigan Daily - Wet 4 e" - Thursday, October 5, 1995

'Saturday
N. 0
Night'
dead
By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
Well, everything old and crappy is
new again at "Saturday Night Live."
The first thing to come to mind is that
thenew cast is the '90s version of the
people surrounding Eddie Murphy and
Joe Piscopo. Inotherwords, theyseem
tobepeople who speak inraisedvoices
because of their stage improv back-
grounds and say unfunny things that
are simplistic exaggerations of ordi-
nary things.
You'd think producer Lorne
Michaels would have leamed by the
2ist season what is funny and what
isn't. But, with the worst cast in the
last 10 years (at least), apparently he
hasn't. The six completelynew people
all have an especially bland, unfunny
quality to them, not unlike rice cakes
or cardboard.
Even the returning cast members
(Norm McDonald, Mark McKinney,
Tim Meadows, David Spade and
Molly Shannon) were fairly unfunny,
although they had occasional mo-
ments. With that in mind, it would
seem that the writing has suffered as
well, and so perhaps the new people
aren't really as bad as they seem. But
then again, they were still signifi-
cantly worse than the old cast mem-
bers. Imagine the horrific nature of an
"SNL" with as few returning mem-
bers as had previously been reported.
As there were originally supposed to
have been only three returning mem-
bers, the show probably would have
been half as good, or more appropri-
ately, twice as bad.
Even the sets seem worse. The set
for the news, the most potentially con-
stant element, seems more cheaply
made, and the sets overall exude some-
thing toxic to quality. The titles for
the show have lost their motion, the
short film clips being replaced with
terrible still photos. The type on the
titles is uninspired, and in fact is
excessivly boring.
And, of course, all these elements

'Halloween' set precedent for horror

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By Prashant Tanaskar that do occur arcnot xtremely
Daily Arts Writer graphic. The film is not a killing fest,
The release of "Halloween 6" on with blood spattering on the screen
September 29 supposedly marked the every five seconds. Rather, Carpenter
"final chapter" in the sagaof deranged leaves a lot up to the imagination of
murderer Michael Myers and the psy- the viewer.
chologist tryingto stophim. Of course, These aspects are augmented by a -
we've all heard this one before. It fairly interesting storyline, some de-
seems that a horror movie cannot be :ent characters and a bone-chilling
made without a terrible sequel, or musical score. Michael Myers was
series of sequels following it. Usu- the original superhuman anti-hero,
ally, each new film claims to be the preceding Jason, Freddy, Pinhead and
last, that is, until the anti-hero finds a all of the rest. One of the keys to the
wayto resurrecthimselffrom the dead success of "Halloween" is that Car-
in the next episode. Unfortunately, penter makes the monstrous Myers
these idiotic follow-ups often take seem almost human at times, which
away from the original film which is most directors seem to try to avoid.
frequently somewhat decent. Also, because of Jamie Lee Curtis
This is the case with the "Hallow- and Donald Pleasance, it can be said
een" series, which started in 1978 that, unlike other such movies, "Hal-
with the original, directed by John loween" actually contains some good
Carpenter. In the first "Halloween," acting. Finally, the music itself is re-
six-year-old Michael Myers brutally markably frightening, especially the
murdershis sister on Halloween night well-known theme song.
and he is eventually placed in a men- The original "Halloween" is an im-
tal institution. Fifteen years later, he mensely entertaining, technically su-
escapes and returns back to the scene perior film (at least as horror movies
of the crime. There, he stalks a teen- go). Yet, it is often overlooked or not
age girl (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), taken seriously because of its shoddy
who baby sits for the family living in
Myers' old house, because she re-
minds Michael of his sister. Mean-
while, a psychologist from the insti-
tution (Donald Pleasance) attempts to
track down the killer, which all leads
up to an exciting climax.
However, due to the popularity of
this film, Michael Myers managed to
show up in several inferior sequels,
each one worse than its predecessor.
In reality, "Halloween 2" is not so
bad, mainly because it still involved
the same group of characters. "Hal-
loween 3" had absolutely nothing to
do with Michael Myers, and involved
a man trying to rule the world by
selling haunted halloween masks. And
the fourth and fifth installments were
atrocious.
Sadly, because of the inferiority of
the sequels, few people actually give
"Halloween" credit for being one of
the best horror films ever made. Car-
penter is effective in building con-
stant suspense throughout the film;
he does not rely on the cheap startling
tactics that characterize most of these
horror flicks.
allyr s -Tell me my sequels suck and I'll kill you
Moreover, very few murders actu-
alytake place on screen, and those

1% qw *low. %AV aft am aft 1%.Opl aft 40%

offspring. Unfortunately, this is also
true of several other more recent hor-
ror films, that are not quite at the level
of "HaHoween," but are still pretty
decent. These include "Nightmare on
Elm Street" and "Fright Night."
All of these movies are tainted by
their sequels, which, for the most part,
were only made for financial reasons
- the popularity of the originals
caused the production of the follow-
ups, which require little plot, a small
budget and no stars. In general, horror
movies are extremely profitable be-
cause they take so little time, money
and effort to make. Moreover, the
sequels are so-called money in the
bank; their name is what sells them.
This was a trend that started with
the early "Frankenstein" movies of
the 1930s, and it continues today as
people will always pay to see the new
Freddy Kreuger film. Sadly,however,
the production of so many horrible
films prevents the horror genre from
being taken seriously. As we have
seen with "Halloween,"thismay cause
some very noteworthy movies to re-
main ignored and unappreciated.

David Spade has had his Hollywood Minute of fame on "Saturday Night Uve."

came together in a particularly unsat-
isfying way. The opening skit, a show
called "OJ Today," presented a tired
news story in a tired fashion, although
Tim Meadows' Johnnie Cochran was
entertainingly done.
Another send up with an ugly pre-
sentation but good performances was
a version of "Nightline" with Norm
McDonald as Bob Dole vs. Tim Mead-
ows as Colin Powell. With the excep-
tion of the news, these were the only
good moments in the show.
Theremainder was arathersadcon-
glomeration ofuninteresting sketches.
From an awful barbequeing sketch,
which boiled down to a yelling seg-
ment, to the sacriligeously boring re-
hash of Mark McKinney's Chicken
Lady character from his "Kids in the

Hall" days. In this incarnation,
Chicken Lady is on a cable sex show.
A boringcable sex show.
One of the worst segments was
David Spade's five minute address,
reportedly a recurring feature on the
show. Spade's commentary on
America's glitzy newsbites has been
transformed from a quick, witty seg-
ment on the newsinto a bloated, drawn
out unfunny polemic that takes the
place of a skit.
The clearest thing about "SNL" is
that it should not exist in its current
state. The two choices about how to
change its state are clear: revamp or
destroy. Time will tell, because either
the writing will get better, or this
montrosity will be cancelled.

if

MICHIGAN
RECORDS

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