Welcome to a new feature here at Horror Squad you can expect to find every Wednesday and Friday. It's called I Would Have Saved/Killed and it goes like this: one of our writers will pick a character, big or small, from a movie and explain how they, for whatever reason, would have altered the fate of that character.
Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film to the right, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.
Name: Dr. Loomis
Method of Escape: Never clearly defined. He somehow manages to survive an explosion in a hospital as does the psychotic serial killer whom he was trying to sacrifice himself in order to destroy.
Verdict: I would have killed him
Reason: This decision is predicated on a gaggle of conditions and sacrifices of my own. What I am actually advocating is not only the death of Michael Meyers' psychologist in Halloween II, but the circumventing of any further franchising. The Halloween sequels were a major part of the curriculum for my horror education so this decision would effectively undo a healthy portion of my horrorphile genesis. But as I revisit the sequels I become more and more aware of their disastrous shortcomings and grudgingly accept that the horror world would have lost very little if 4,5, and 6 never happened.
I love Donald Pleasence so much that this assertion may seem masochistic. But his performance in the film is so immaculate as to build perfectly to an inevitable conclusion. As the only one who truly understood the evil that existed within Michael, Dr. Loomis' portents of doom went largely unheeded until he escaped and subjected Haddonfield to the most hellish All Hallows Eve on record. With no one else in town equipped to understand the full scope of Meyer's insanity, and Michael demonstrating that normal law enforcement tactics could not stop him, Dr. Loomis would have to be the one to take him down in grandiose fashion. The exploding of the anesthetic tanks into a cloud of consuming fire served as that heroic gesture.
What irks me so much about the subsequent sequels is that they are very wishy-washy about how Michael and Dr. Loomis both escaped the blaze. Michael bears a few burn marks on his arms and Loomis winds up with Edward James Olmos' complexion, but that's the sum total of being face to face with a fireball? One of the last shots of Halloween II is Michael's mask melting amid the blaze so forgive me for being a bit skeptical of his survival. This story would have had a much more epic, legendary finality if Dr. Loomis and Michael were bound in death much in the same way they were bound in life. If Loomis takes personal responsibility for Meyer's escape and the ensuing bloodbath by sacrificing himself to kill him, it is an explosive acknowledgment of what Loomis had been saying all along. You cannot cure Michael, you can't outlast his rage by locking him away. The only way to save the world from Michael is to kill him and that is what that ending is all about.
I guess I am advocating Meyer's death just as much as Dr. Loomis' but so be it.