Rev., October 15, 2016. Added as Appendix, Halloween 3 and a clue. Rev., October 30, 2015.
I reviewed Halloween 3 (1982) some time ago, and gave it a poor rating, declaring it, in fact, the worst sequel ever made, as it seemed to have nothing to do with Halloween, the franchise, at all. That is, there was no Michael Myers, and no relation to MM, and it was not set in Haddonfield, or anywhere near there, it just seemed to have but a totally pretextual and entirely incidental connection to the Halloween franchise. But my thinking has changed, and, in fact, in the past three years, more so each year, the movie has become something of a threshold movie leading me on, by rescreening, into the Halloween season (this season, Collider, on online movie journal, even declared Halloween 3 the best of the original sequels). Why? Partly this is due to further developments in dynamic agency theory, where I have found that the agencies of works of art, popular or high, are not fixed, as in the ancient world, but highly malleable, especially in the space between the work of art and the viewer. This means, just by itself, that if in former screenings I was looking for a continuation of the telling of the story of MM, then I was looking at it from the point of view of the original, and then saw the continuity happening only along the path of its mythology, as set down in the first movie, and any other deviation was verboten. That is, I had viewed Halloween as a cult movie, and wanted more of Halloween in each subsequent sequel. But now I view the movie as a threshold movie, a doorway, as it were, from the unhaunted world, to the haunted one, and, just by that, I now view the movie with the intercessional gaze, wanting from it a leading in, not an arriving at, the cult figure of Michael Myers. Then, too, in other reviews, I found that sometimes, as in the Dusk to Dawn series, a sequel can hang by a thread as a sequel simply by the benefit of having repeated a motif or device, even if whispered, inferring connection. Because of all this, I saw that my view of the movie, my expectations of it, had changed.
What changed? It became apparent that there was a momentum in the early going of the movie that seemed in its drive to imitate or track over the drive of the early parts of Halloween. It is those parts of the movie that I liked best, and still do, and, for this, I am intrigued. For example, in the first movie, something 1) happens in a hospital far from Haddonfield, to cause the monster to come at them; 2) the doctor in charge suspects something worse, and follows the demon; 3) he travels on the road, by gas station, in a kind of journey, one preacher who picks him up even calls him a pilgrim, looking for the apocalypse; 4) when he gets in town, he enlists the help of law enforcement; 5) he visits the Michael Myers home, and 6) finally there is the confrontation, or the main event of the movie. Just on surface, what interests me about the original is, precisely, this section, leading up to the haunting, rather than, strictly speaking, the scary part itself. Same thing with Halloween 3. Here we have 1) something going bad in a hospital, an injured man killed by a robot; 2) the doctor in charge is confused by the appearance of the robot, and suspects something terrible; 3) he then enlists the help of the victim’s daughter (but who shows up rather too easily?) to head out on the road to find the solution to the problem; 4) they arrive in town, and they hole up in the motel, having sex, until they can make the effort; 5) they visit the factory, to confront power; 6) then comes the capture, and the escape, then the punchline. In other words, it is a quest, and, just as in One, so in Three, the quest model was made use of to create tension and buildup of drive early on in the movie. Thus, 3 is based on a displacement of the same haunting energy from Haddonfield, to northern California.
The art of the movie, then, is how well it, in fact, works out this dynamic, moving from A to B, and on to the climax. The first weird thing that happens is that the hospital is empty most of the time, security is lax, and the hallways are shown as long and ominous. It is meant to be a place where you come to to seek and receive care, but it turns out to be a place where the physical plant has become so mazelike that you get lost in the system, and are prey to the machinations of operatives in the system. It is the space of a sliding signifier, or disintegration
It is of interest that the victim’s daughter shows up mechanically amidst the apparatchniks, and Doc sees her in the room, identifying the body, rather too easily, and then off in a corner in the corridor nursing her wounds, but, oddly, with odd looks between them, in a way that seems to imply that she loitered there to pick him up. In any case, both the mystery of the case, and then her connection to it, and then, too, that she is a beautiful young woman who has caught his eye, all lead him out of routine life. The key moment in this transition comes in a very nice scene where he sits at a local bar (I also like how the movie ripped off the dating technique of Legend of Hell House). a few things about this shot intrigues me. One, he is alone, which means it is the middle of the afternoon, when others had not yet come in; then two, he is getting drunk, but, in doing so, is assaulted by media, and it is media related to the problem he is mulling over; and three, the space is highly mediated, but by mural painting. The aloneness implies that he is on a bender, leaving everyday life, and normal responsibilities, then the annoyance of the media indicates just how much the mystery related to its imagery is bothering him, compelling him to find out what is going on
but the thing that excites me most here, is the mural. It is a profuse mural, and, behind a bar, something you don’t often see. Visually, it is the equivalent of a stack of bottles, offering drinks to inebriate one. But murals also have a deep pedigree in horror, going way back, always indicating media overflow, the seeping or flooding out of media out of the house, into the world around it. If the mural is of a landscape, and a landscape picture indicates trouble is coming to the house, then a mural would break down the border between inside and outside and announce that the trouble was already here. Murals bespeak the lack of boundaries between interior and exterior space, and, strangely, communicate an extreme state of vulnerability. the fact that the murals appear to be highly figurative, and crowded with vignettes of some aspect of life in the manner of a Thomas Hart Benton mural, also suggests that it serves as a large scale extension of the predicament picture, or the action picture as I call it in the context of Euro movies. The murals signals that his mind is filled with scenarios of what has been going on, and what might go on as a result of what is going on, and he is trying to decide, how to proceed. Then, when he is shown seeking decisiveness, he is backdropped by not one, but two apparently predicament pictures
in the movie, you cannot tell anything more of the paintings that this. All they say is that things are happening, as such, by their facture alone, these are action paintings, and he is trying to decide. But, the fun thing is, on a website spelling out the locations of movies, it turns out that this scene was shot on location in Santa Miera, CA, and this is the Bucaneer Bar. This means that I am able to definitely identify these two paintings, we find that he is backed up here by Blackbeard and Captain Kidd
In blurred filmic analysis I simply saw these backdrop elements as action pictures, in the mode of Neo Rauch, bespeaking the moment he is caught in, trying to get out. But once identified as such, it is clear that they exist as icons of his or someone else’s person, and he is being haunted by that. The fact that these are pirates, and all the paintings in the place are pirate themed, is, in fact, perfect, because he is deciding right there whether or not to go rogue, to go on the lam to figure out on his own a problem that he has been told at work to ignore. It could not be more finely tuned. And then, even more fun is, having set things up with him twice getting glimpses of the daughter, she now decides to make her appearance right here, at this junction in his quest
This must be from a somewhat different angle because the picture that comes between them, to act as a maledicta balloon to characterize the nature of their interaction is a third picture, off to the left of the picture that backed him up as his totem-icon
he is blackbeard, and, it is implied, she is someone else, le grande
the backdrop of these pictures, then, bespeaks their contact. It is to be noticed that it is at this point that she at last lays the leather look on him, the big hair, and flashes her big, very big eyes (implying too that Nelkin was particularly known for having very large breasts for a very small body). Knowing the outcome of the movie, that she turns out to be a robot too, one might be forgiven for thinking that at this point she is a sincere human being, working with him to solve their problem, or her problem, but the movie can also be read, by reading their first interactions as being too coincidental, and always orchestrated by her lead, as meaning that she, even then, was a plant, a robot, even then, to lead him into a trap, for the message not to be divulged. This is implied here by her manner, and her eyes
and by the fact that her eyes are flashed at him not long after he had been being bombarded by the bar tv media of the evil commercial
the funny thing about knowing the real life location source of the paintings is that they are all about pirates, done in a playful pulp fiction style by modernist California muralist, Frank Bowers, before the 1960s, and it included in it a lot of pirate fantasy regarding damsels in distress, usually sexed up to add spice and sweetness to the effort.
and another even looks like her, and foreshadows (but again, this is not in the movie, or visible only in the deep, deep background) his disrobing of her later
In any case, it turns out that this innocuous little encounter is the turning point in the movie, the point at which they decide to head off north, in search of the answer as to why her father was killed. All through, rereading over it knowledge of the ending, we might be forgiven for worrying over hints of deception. For example, when they come into this local costume shop, I have previously read the rake as the wobble strigulus effect that announces that they are leaving everyday life, and entering upon an adventure, but it might just as easily be read as a hint that the muse or Beatrice of his quest has metal in her veins, and is as mechanical as that rake
then they drive north, on the open road. This too is a quest image, filtering out previous life, and involving them entirely in the quest, just like in One
and the interesting thing is that as they approach the town, she is reading its history, and the view out the window seems to try to impose over northern California a geographic translation of Ireland to there, as will be seen in the mind of the mad doctor, as it looks quite remote, by being shown all green near the ocean
then the town itself is marked as a circled-wagon, a closed community, by a sign which signifies its solidary by means of a fixed, and single totem, the shamrock, and, it is company town, entirely mobbed up in the doings of the factory
everything in it (and all these locations have also been mapped out) is Irished up
and like in any small town in a horror movie, even in the Wicker Man, whenever a stranger comes to town, the locals stop what they are doing and look out upon them, through their Irish trappings
they feel this surveillance, so decide (or he does, knowing what is to come) that they have to retreat to a motel, so bringing in Psycho here, to take cover, and talk and gather their thoughts
and in general I will say that both the signage and the structure of the buildings is wobbly, that is,s wavers in form, and, as a result, it is all part of a veil they are passing through, the wobble of the entoptic phase, as it drops down.
so far, then, we have passed through several veils of initiation, the hospital, the bar, the road, the town, all of it depicted as a leaving behind of the everyday concrete, and entering into a world of dream and spirit. The spreadoutness of this quest, in California mode, is embodied by the panoramic mural, then reflected in the panoramic space. The Beatrice guide is the daughter. Things are moving along, we are in the movie’s variant of Haddonfield, and now is the time to buy in.
I have written before of the motel sequence in the movie. Oddly, enough, it is one of the best motel sequences I know of. That is, the motel scene is beautifully instrumentalized. Not only do the odd meetings out in the parking lot, perfectly capture the “too close” aspect of vulnerable motel living (at one time, coming through the door, the doc says, “this place is a zoo,”) but the closeness but not knowingness of that way of life is also conveyed by the recovery of the body of the woman in secret from the place. The fact that a motel room never quite entirely becomes a safe room, inside the door, is conveyed by the fact that they are constantly going out to get booze, and keep coming through that door over and over again. The big moment of transition comes when the third portal opens up, and that would be her private parts. Sitting in front of the landscape painting over the bed, which signals trouble coming from the other side of the wall, or outside, but, in this case, since she is sitting in front of it, signals that the trouble is coming from her, she asks the doc at his lamp what do you want to do doctor? And he says that is a stupid question, and so they kiss, and have sex, underneath that landscape
it was an important detail that he was about to turn off that lamp, for them to head out on the job
but then he doesn’t, meaning that they will stay “under the lamp,” which in this case means, inside the intimate space now transferred to her body, which is now willing to open up, and have sex with him. It is a very sexy scene, but, in retrospect, she is sitting at the edge of the bed, a worry spot, she is profiled by not only a landscape painting, meaning that she is trouble, but a landscape painting with a winding road in the middle, meaning that she, her body, her boobs and her bush, is a vehicle that will lead him down the primrose path to deception, then there is wooden paneling, which bespeaks either him or her becoming the trophy to the other, and then he leaves the lamp on, which means that he is turned on by her lamps, her body. And then the movie takes another odd turn. One must assume that after the movie breaks off from their kiss, that they stripped, and fucked, right then and there. But then, night falls, and they are still in the motel. Again, we get a panorama, again the shallowness of the town bespeaks its fragile Potemkin village like nature as a façade, a deceptive place, there is curfew too, so any action on the street is illegal, yet he is shown sneaking back from a liquor store
and again we get a shot of the wavy motel, the wavering line of dream, of having sex, now turned on with a big old inflamed-vaginal red Vacancy sign
I have previously also worked (see Appendix) out how in a room too shallow to ever become a safe room, in from the parking lot, the bathroom becomes the safe place, and she takes up in that bathroom to shower, and by means of stepping out of the shower door, running to grab a towel, then grabbing even the bedspread, all of this bespeaks her coopting of the bathroom to become the safe place in the place, that is, her intimate body. The fact that as she steps out of the shower there is a brief shot of her pubic bush, the black flag announcing total nudity to audiences then, but also, in horror, signifying that she will die, and him too, that this is death sex, all the fact that she twirls her body all around the room, filling it with her sex, makes her the room, and implies again her mechanical seductive nature
I have also previously worked out how the whole design of all elements in the room are, when he comes in restocked with booze, and she, all showered, now engages in her ta-da exposure of his body to him, for him to then lay her back on the bed, for sex, starting with oral, all of this means that she is the third portal, that this IS in fact a movie of deception
there is no shower scene in this movie, which is odd, but also a signal, as it is not the female who is vulnerable; there is no, really, sex scene, just indications of it before and after. And then, after, when she is still sitting on him, there is the business with the woman on the other side of the wall. She too is in a landscape painting, but it is of the sea, and, as I have worked out several times before, this means much more tumult for her. One assumes that she had to have been annoyed by them humping and thumping on the other side of the wall all night, while she was trying to read. But then that complaint si served back at her in an evil form of revenge (one does wonder if there is any connection between the proximity of the woman and the chip here), for it to zap her to death, it’s an odd sequence, and from this reading it signals that someone who complains about sex on the other side of the wall is complaining about life, and, for that, a death impulse will zap back at them, even more so if the life impulse it being faked by a death robot
So, I guess I would connect the large landscape paintings in the motel to the panoramic pirate painting in the bar where he launched his quest, to suggest an extreme state of danger that he is not aware of.
This theme is connected when they visit the factory, first under the guise of being buyers. It is interesting that Mr Cocoran is styled as a collector of automaton toys, this is a confirmation of what he know about the robot men, but a hint of what we don’t know about her, it is curious filtering device, enlisting references from any number of mad doctor sources
there is even a House of Wax moment where the automata are so lifelike that he is faked out, so he is in a zone now where it is not clear what is real and what is not, this predicts the ending, but he is blind
things now whoosh down the wormhole, as we find out more about the mad plottings, in the motel family who is now made guinea pigs of, they are shown a room that is a parody of a motel room, the flowers mean death, emptiness, deception, the lamps are lying, the houseplant is warning
they are locked in, like in The Haunting, she is creeped out
And then the demonstration goes on. This leads us down through the whoosh, into the nightmare stage. Now, the interesting thing is that at this point he has his binding experience, he is bound in a mask forced to watch….the original movie, Halloween.
oddly enough, he watches the sections of the movie where Tommy is spying the bogeyman walking around the outside of the houses. Annie has been killed, but the great finale with Laurie has not begun. Why? I wrote about that sequence in the movie that it was a distancing device to estrange the house and the fear, from the perspective of a boy afraid of the bogeyman, and, then, his mind filled with science fiction, blowing his fears up big, to see the house as that, this serves here the role of an exterior injection into the movie to signal that same sort of escalation, that we are now to leap out of “normal” factory suspense, and enter into a sci fi world of out-of-town factory suspense that I have previously argued is not only one of the most evergreen of tropes in horror, but go way back to the origination of my interest in the genre, in the movie Quatermass 2. It is in the context of the appearance of the bogeyman, that Corcoran gives his wonderfully spooky speech about the old catholic lands, the hills running red with blood. What this means is that he seeks to calm the gods, and better the crops, by compensating nature for its effort, by expiation of a sacrifice, he will give the earth children to control the world, and guarantee success and bounty, this also being a magic offering as youth given means youth received. While sacrifice is completely repressed as a reality in modern life, shunted off to accidental collateral damage stage, horror often addressed this theme, seeing our lives as lived based on the sacrifice, literally, of others. After he spells out his plan, however, to by broadcast kill children, we get the finale (by the way, this implies that he bought commercial time during some sort of ritualized tv rebroadcast of the original Halloween, much like Kit Kat has bought up the commercial time for the AMC Fear Fest showings this year). Having formerly shown the media in the form of the commercial, and as annoying, now it is made menacing, with intention, he plans to use the movie, to literally become their bogeyman, or rather golem, and kill kids.
In escalating Corcoran to the kind of Dr. Frankenstein golem, we now have more filters leading us deep down into dream, the classic box top vision of factory mass production, an alienating image to all individuals in the modern world
We then get an image of the command center control of media, another lattice image whooshing down
but then he figures things out, runs about in the catwalks about, gets a box of the tokens with their chips in it, then rains them down on it all, to cause it all to short circuit
and it is at this point that the translation device of the movie, which brought Ireland (or England) to a factory in northern California, was an actual portal to nightmare, a monolith of Stonehenge itself which, if activated, could zap with energy all the kids to death (this sci fi was set up for by the translative scale of the landscape heading up, a transferred Ireland, to make old Ireland now, today)
we then find out that somehow he was electronically connected, a golem in fact
and I also like, after it is all over, the firey town, the whole thing going down effect, here reminding us where the fire started, but, at this point, warning us that his rescue might not be all it is meant to be
and the end of course is when in the car he finds out that she is in fact a robot, if from treatment in captivity, or from the very different, it is hard to say, though I am leaning toward the latter reading, all of which wraps things up as a simple mission to get the TV stations to stop playing the commercial that will cause the kids’ heads to explode, and short circuit his whole plan to bring again the bogeyman in mass scale down on Halloween to invert trick or treat into the worst possible scenario of the urban legend of trick or treat stalkers and kid killers, the end.
All in all, then, the movie appears to have spun out from the original by way of Tommy’s vision of the other-planet alieness of his sightings of the bogeyman. It was then conjectured, how to make of this fear, as sci fi level horror, and then they resituated to a comparable distance of ground to travel from inciting incident to scene of the crime, with the drama then playing out. The First movie and the third movie only link by way of the first movie appearing on a tv screen in the third, so it also taking in something of the original, which made a point that The Thing and Forbidden Planet greatly contributed to Tommy’s extraterrestrial scale horror in the first one, all of that transferred to a realization of it here. And in the middle of it, a woman who might be a robot, or alien, and, more interesting to me, a progression of paintings that are all the time screaming at him, trouble is coming, and, yet, he is so besot by sex, and the red herring motive of getting away from his life, that he does not see. Thus, while I concede still that Halloween 3 appears to have little to do with the original, it is also true that it is spun out of the original in formal and tangential and trope-originating ways that is at least an interesting thesis on how the sequel imagination sometimes also works.
Halloween 3 and a Clue.
Rev October 30, 2015.
One of the surprises of recent seasons, is that in annual rebroadcasts of the Halloween series, as part of Fright Fest, each year, AMC has shown Halloween 3, and, watching that one, a movie I have officially given one star to, and even called in review the worst sequel ever made, is beginning to grow on me. Why? The first issue is that of priming. It is important, when reviewing anything, that you are on the same page as the object of inquiry. If you are not on the same page, or are off topic, then your comments will not be about the actual work, but other issues, and end up as such not being criticism. This happens so much more often in the internet age, when few magazines can be said to have actual old school editorial oversight, that offtopic unprimed writing can be said to be a plague in criticism today (just last week I read an absurd piece by an African American writer who chose a review of Goosebumps to go off on a “why aren’t there any black actors in movies?” rant on whiteness and invisibility and etc etc etc., all of which was way off topic, absurd). The fact that the internet is built on posturing before the right thing, means that the more pious and polarized an opinion is, the more likes it will get, so a second time internet ecology corrupts criticism.
In any case, why would Halloween 3 (1982) come to begin to seem like a better movie to me? A few reasons. For one thing, I originally screened it in sequence after one and two, and, for that, was looking for a sequel which still dealt with the same story material, its divergence entirely from the storyline, then, sunk it for me. Now I no longer worry so much about that: I recognize that the franchise skipped from two to four, in following the Haddonfield side of the Meyers saga. Second, I have of late cultivated a distinct taste for a subgenre of horror I call Califhorror, all of which happens in Northern California, involves a small town being invaded by outsiders in some nefarious way, and then a legend trip to go see what the problem is. I have reviewed a whole list of these, I now see then that Halloween 3 represented not only a divergence of the sequel, but the wresting of the story into a Califhorror subgenre, and then it devised a Quatermass 2 plot to correspond to the demands of that subgenre.
But then, even more so, an appreciation, on a more formal level, of sequences in horror, sometimes overcomes my better judgment, and, in fact, Halloween 3, out of the blue, has a very good motel room sex sequence, which is quite amusing, and which I have written on before. In that context, it also makes good use of motel room art, which is also fun.
The main purpose of this note is to indicate that the movie also has some surprise features that make it noteworthy. Stacey Belkin plays Ms. Grimbridge, and it is apparent that in a spooky way grimbridge is a roundabout way of referring to her crotch and her vagina. She is the crux of the movie, from the very beginning. And then when she goes up with Dr Challis to the plant in Santa Mira, the same town made use of in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they shack up together in a strange little motel. The motel scenes are choice, but the key moment is the shower sequence, and, indeed, it could be said that the shower sequence, and the sex sequence, and then a killing sequence, are all, in 15 solid minutes of good moviemaking. The key moment is the shower sequence. We see it from outside the bathroom door, and a towel with a pattern on it indicates her presence. Or rather, the towel, in contrast to her clothing seen piled up on the dresser, tells us, alerts us, that she is naked
then she surprises us, because we do not see into the actual shower, we only see her, from outside the door, reach out of the shower, across to the door handle, to fetch a large white towel. In this context, frosted by an opaque glass door, we get a nice impressionistic profile of her bare back and her boobs
the door then swings out, and she steps out in back of it. Consider: the arrangement usually is, girl in shower, behind curtain or glass door, taking shower, then only after does she step out. We see her nudity while she is taking the shower. Here, we see that shot after, when she is reaching for her towel, and then to dry off. So, the stock moment has been shifted to the external, she is doubly exposed. She is also behind TWO doors, that is, the one door, and then the other, that is, the space is a bridge from us to her.
But the more important point of this resituation is that she is moving, and when moving it is more likely that her private area might accidentally be oopsed in exposure. And, indeed, it amuses me that even on AMC this flash of pubic hair came on so fast that it was broadcast on tv when most of the boobs and other mayhem of the movie was all edited out. The thing is, as I discovered in The Incubus, and others of the early 80s, by that point exposure of pubic hair, especially in the shower, signaled to the audience, even if so quickly flashed, that this girl will die. It is a very important upping of the Black Flag, and while in the 1960s that flag simply told the male gazer that the girl truly was nude,e by the 1980s that Flag said, she’s also a dead woman walking. This makes her dangerous. In so far as the space between us and her, between the door and the shower door, and between the front labia of her vulva and the interior of her vagina could be called “bridges” this black flag flash also indicates that she is something of a black widow whose vagina brings death with it, she might as well be named grimvagina.
This flash is literally on screen for about a sixteenth of a second, you hardly see it, it’s another one of those million flashes of not-seeing that modern film used to enliven subconsciously the eye’s reception of a shallow image. It is quite a shot, shows that she has a large bush, but it is over very, very quickly
the fact that the towel seems in fact a bit small, a typical motel towel, means that even when she covers up, it doesn’t quite cover her up, and for that there is second echo exposure of her pubic hair, to accentuate the problem of her being
now she actually bridges the scene from back to front. She runs out, because, again, apparently the towel did not dry her, so she has decided to run for the bedspread, and cover herself in that. But in doing that, more exposure, and then, even as she negotiates dropping the towel, and picking up the bedspread, some flash shots of breast exposure too
so, the particulars of this scene, on a micro shot level, were meant to express that she is a “bridge,” that she is very free with her body, that she lives in a mechanical universe she may not appreciate, and that just to get dry it took two doors, and running through two enclosures, to large bedspread enlisted in the task. She’s a lot of work. The fun thing about the whole motel room is that from the very first he gets in there, he is shy about staying there with her, but she settles that by asking in as enticing an ingénue voice as possible, Where do you want to sleep D r Challis, and as I have noted this remark was made in front of a landscape painting with a winding road in it, all indicating trouble of a bridging sort. Then, when he comes back in, she finally decides it’s time to get down to sex. This is indicated on screen by the fact that even the lamp is designed to echo her pubic hair
then the small landscape painting on the far wall is meant to highlight her breasts, as she has adorned herself in lingerie, in her towel, to ta-da, back at the bathroom door, this time, he in the door, she out in the room, leading to them moving toward the bed.
there is another odd thing about this complex rendering of motel living, in a motel that he describes at one point as a “zoo” in that it takes into consideration the common nightmare of the people on the other side of the wall. After they have sex, it seems they keep on having sex. They have sex under a landscape painting, which says that trouble is coming in on them. But then, here too, there is a doubling up, as the other side of the wall comes into play, and there is an exactly oppositely arranged reverse picture and bed set up on the other side of the wall. This means that as they bump in the night they annoy the person trying to read or sleep alone on the other side of the wall, and from picture to picture put all sorts of images and irritations in the mind. It means that in this set up they exist in a kind of threesome with this other trader, who has let a chip drop on her carpet. She settles in to read, annoyed that they are humping on the other side of the wall. She might be imagining what of sex might be taking that long, and if she had a primer from today’s pornography what takes so long is the priming and decompressing of the act involving a long series of oral sex offerings and givings. Thus, between walls where any complaint against the other would only be made by banged hand or voice, the mouth, the fantasy of oral sex dominates. Indeed, at one point, while the trader is examining the chip, it explodes in her face. At precisely this point, Ellie, who is seated on his lap, presumably impaled on his dick, on the bed, turns her head to wonder what was that? (though it is possible she knows). In any case, she asks the Doc what was that, and he so utterly consumed in the space between her large breasts (for a small bodied girl) that he says, who cares, and goes right on back to fucking. But what happened was that the chip zaps the lady in the mouth, and blows up her face. This is an activation of the threat implied in a quite flamboyantly apotropaic California motel landscape painting, and then an inverse acted out of the fantasy she had of what was maybe going on on the other side of that wall, oral sex. It ends up with her with her whole face blown out. In those days, it is not clear that the term face fucking existed, but the device is so common, to reverse the polarity of a blowjob, and force the woman to gag on pistoning of penis that is motored by the male into her, that it is unmistakable in its reference on viewing now.
Then the movie gets even more interesting when they parody the evil motel room by sending the one couple with their kid into a test room version of a motel room, to kill them with bugs come from the tv and the masks, etc., so the movie does have a lot of fun with the lore of the motel room painting and the bad things that can happen in motels.
At the end, Ellie turns out to be a robot (or maybe was made that way through processing in the plant). In any case, he ends up chopping her arm off, and her head, then arm and head coming at him a few times. Its like a vile inverse of his using sex with her, as a married man, so there is that too. All of these twists and turns of a simple device: now that I don’t care that much how it is related to Michael Myers, I rather like that, like Messiah of Evil, this movie features another end of the world scenario, and using as a bridge into that world the sex of Stacey Belkin.