Saturday, January 20, 2018

it can get cold in here

Lest I complain too much, I will get one last detail of scientist's piece out of the way. scientist describes the the death of Nurse Karen (Pamela Susan Shoop) like this:

...for sheer nastiness, nothing beats the hot-tub boiling of Karen Bailey. This sequence is truly ugly, with long, loving shots of Ms Karen's hideously blistered face interspersed with equally loving shots of her bare breasts--which, by the way, shouldn't be bare; when Michael enters the room, her towel is beneath her arms; when he grabs her, it's mysteriously around her waist. Also disturbing here is Michael caressing Karen before he gets to work, another action at variance with the child-man concept of the first film.

Except, while you could call the shots of Karen's face "lingering" (at best), calling them "loving" suggests that scientist might have a problem. Also, there are not shots of her bare breasts while Michael is killing her. He dunks her five times into the water, the last two particularly long, and her towel is still tucked into itself just below her arms. It is not until the loose tuck she has given it has been in the water as long her face has that the towel (realistically) has come unfastened. Someone--maybe scientist themself--has put as a "goof" on IMDb: "When Michael is drowning Nurse Karen in the scalding water, her towel goes from being wrapped right below her shoulders to tied around her waist between shots." Yes, it does go from up under her arms to her waist between shots, but that is because the camera setup is different for Michael letting go of her and dropping her to the floor. For the kill, it was closeups. After, the camera is farther back. So, yes, the change happens between shots, but that doesn't make it a continuity error; the splashing water, and the position of Michael's arm, make it hard to see if the towel is actually falling loose from getting wet or if during the production they deliberately moved the towel for the new camera setup so her breasts would be bare when she fell dead to the floor... which, of course, is likely, but that doesn't make it an error; it does maybe push it into scientist's "nastiness" territory, but I have already covered the necessary inclusion of sex (and nudity) and violence (and gore) in a movie like this.

And, Michael does not caress Karen. He touches her, he doesn't move his hand. She grabs it and starts kissing it.

I have a history with IMDb's goof pages. So many of them, for so many films, are just wrong. Because people don't pay close enough attention, or they imagine things that aren't there (like interspersed shots of Nurse Karen's breasts; easy to imagine since they were previously on view and are again when she falls to the floor; or quite famously like the shower scene from Psycho where it is shot specifically to not show the knife entering flesh, but people imagine seeing what is only there in between the shots.)

For another example from Halloween II--something I was thinking of writing about as if the complaints were accurate, actually--the continuity in the first act with the news reports and Sheriff Brackett being told about Annie. I lied; I'm not quite done with scientist just yet, because I like how scientist phrases this, even though it is wrong:

The trouble is--the bodies haven't been discovered yet [when Alice hears about the murders]. The actual discovery occurs simultaneously with the roasting of Ben Tramer; it is immediately subsequent to that event that Sheriff Brackett gets the dreadful news about his daughter.

But, the timing there only requires that they just identified the bodies, not that they just found them. None of the news reports name any of the dead teenagers. The notion that the press, especially in "a pretty quiet town" like Haddonfield, might be on the scene before the bodies were identified is not unrealistic. And, identifying the bodies would have taken a little while because 1) none of them lived there, or would have specifically been expected to be there (I assume it was Tommy and Lindsey who drew the attention of the police to that house, and they might have been too traumatized to clearly explain who was there), and 2) their IDs might not have been readily available, Lynda's and Annie's at least; neither was wearing all their clothes, nor did Annie take any purse with her to the car, nor did Lynda take one to the phone. And Bob, who smokes pot, drinks beer, and can't even be bothered to close the door to his van, might not even carry ID. (The actual continuity error is that Bob's van is gone... But maybe it was the van getting towed because they don't allow overnight parking that got the attention of the police, and Tommy and Lindsey are still off running through town screaming.)

(Also, another goof in IMDB points out, more appropriately, the other police officers should have recognized Annie, given how small the town seems to be... Jimmy, Mixter, and Jill know Laurie. Bud guesses that her father owns Strode Realty... but, Haddonfield is also big enough to have a 17th Street.)

Furthermore:

That a radio announcer and a paramedic refer to the hospital as a clinic is not an "error made by characters"; that's just small-town talk. I lived in a rural community briefly many years ago; actual names for things are not as important as what people know them as.

Jimmy, being a paramedic, could also have a change of clothes handy, explaining why his back isn't covered in Mrs. Alves' blood when he gets into his car. He could actually have changed his shirt. If something is easily explained, it's not an error.

Mrs. Alves has time to reapply the tourniquet to Laurie's arm out of frame as Laurie tells Mixter and the other nurse (I forget which one is there) not to put her to sleep.

When Laurie enters the elevator in the basement, the first thing she does is move out of view toward where the elevator buttons are. That would be when she presses one. We may not see it but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Also, Ben Tramer might not have died on impact, hence, his body could have slumped forward onto the hood of the car and been upright a moment later. And, maybe he's just too drunk to be flailing about in pain.

And, yes, I am ridiculous.

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