If Busta Rhymes is to be believed, next month’s “Halloween: Resurrection” will be “the most flavorful ‘Halloween’ story” in the long-running slasher movie franchise. A major fan of the 1978 original, Busta stars in the eighth “Halloween” flick opposite Tyra Banks and Sean Patrick Thomas.
“We joined this distinguished history with our project, the legacy,” Thomas (“Save the Last Dance”) said, as he and Busta shopped for videos for an “MTV Movie House” segment.
“The legacy that we have now made a permanent stain in,” Busta added. “I am extremely flabbergasted.
“It is such a pleasure and an honor to have worked with you, sir,” Busta joked with his co-star. “The dude that looks like the black guy with the white girl in another movie.”
As its title implies, “Halloween: Resurrection” resurrects Michael Myers, or “the Shape,” the creepy white-masked stalker who has sliced and diced his way through every “Halloween” film but the third. Michael Myers is the archetypal film slasher — a mindless killing machine who is the bane of sex-crazed teens and goofy do-gooders. The Myers character laid the groundwork for similar evil incarnate, unkillable killers like hockey-masked Jason Vorhees in “Friday the 13th” and dream fiend Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
In the original “Halloween,” an adult Myers escapes from an institution where he was imprisoned after killing his sister when he was a young boy. The film focuses on three teenagers, one of them played by Jamie Lee Curtis, whom Myers relentlessly stalks after returning to his hometown. His doctor, famously portrayed by the late Donald Pleasence, is hot on his trail throughout. Pleasance reappeared in four sequels, with Curtis reprising her role in 1981’s part two, 1998’s “Halloween H2O” and now for “Resurrection.”
Horror visionary John Carpenter wrote, directed, produced and scored the first film. His sparse piano theme is a genre legend and a staple in amateur haunted houses around the world every Halloween. “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch” (1982) departed from the Myers character into a storyline revolving around evil Halloween masks. Myers returned for part four in 1998, and again for parts five and six, which by 1995 degenerated into stock clichés and tired plot lines.
In 1995, the success of screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s break-out “Scream,” highly referential towards the first two “Halloween” films and Carpenter himself, kick-started the slasher genre again. As the Hollywood horror wheels got turning, Williamson himself was drafted to revive the “Halloween” franchise. In 1998, he co-executive produced “Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later,” which lured Jamie Lee Curtis back to the series and helped introduce America to a young star named Josh Hartnett. LL Cool J also appeared in the film.
Despite Michael Myers’ apparent decapitation at the end of “H20,” “Halloween: Resurrection” has him back to kill again. The plot sees a group of kids hosting a Web broadcast from Myers’ childhood home on Halloween night. Of course, Myers shows up to participate in his own special way.
Though some actors are disappointed when their characters are killed onscreen, for Busta and Thomas it’s less about surviving the picture and more about how they go out.
“When we die, we die with style,” Busta said. “Pressed pants on, all the shirts got to be buttoned up from the neck down. We can’t even be perspiring too much when we about to die. We don’t even yell too much when we about to die. We die fancy.”
Busta, who has acted before in such movies as “Higher Learning” (alongside Ice Cube) and Samuel Jackson’s “Shaft” remake (like “Higher Learning,” directed by John Singleton), looks forward to future heroic roles.
“You’re a black hero in ‘Halloween’ already,” Thomas pointed out.
“No question,” Busta agreed. “But there’s nothing wrong with continuously being a black hero.”
“Halloween: Resurrection” is slated for release on July 19.