Thursday, 7 April 2016

POP! Movies – Michael Myers

Company: Funko
Series: POP! Movies
Year: 2011

Halloween is a truly seminal horror film, one of the great-grandaddies to the slasher films that glutted cinemas during the 1980s and continue to be influential to this day. Yet though the franchise’s star character Michael Myers (aka The Shape) has a huge following in horror fandom, he doesn’t seem to have entered the cultural zeitgeist in quite the same way as some of the character’s he’s helped spawn in his wake, like Freddy or Jason. John Carpenter seems to perpetually find himself in this situation, making highly influential cult classics that rarely get the financial or broader popular acclaim that they deserve (see also: The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China).
My own familiarity with the character is really limited to a handful of films – Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween H20, Halloween: Resurrection and the 2007 Rob Zombie remake. All of them had varying degrees of quality, but what distinguishes them from some of their contemporaries is their relatively naturalistic viewpoint. The early films never really explain why Michael Myers can take the punishment that’s dished out to him – he’s not an undead behemoth like Jason, and he’s not a supernatural ghost/demon/thing like Freddy. The world around him seems bereft of other supernatural elements; he just sort of is, and the relatively grounded tone of the (early) films make him all the more terrifying in that context. Of course, some of the sequels veered into stranger territory – but that is a topic for another day.  

But with his legacy, Michael Myers is an essential addition to any line of collectibles based on modern horror classics, so it’s not surprising that Funko chose to release him so early in their POP! Movies collection, right after the aforementioned Jason and Freddy. This guy has been on shelves for 5 years now, so how’s he looking these days?   

The control art on the box differs a little from the actual POP. On the art, the eyebrows are differently shaped, and the skin around the eyes is a flesh-tone, rather than the grey on the POP itself. It’s slightly cuter, but the way the POP has been executed (ba-doom tish!) is closer to how he looks in the film itself. Obviously some changes were made along the way (possibly by licensors) and the final product has benefited. Part of Michael Myers’ appeal is that his face is blank and emotionless; if they’d gone with the original art it would have given him a bit of a Chucky from Child’s Play vibe.
Fun fact: The mask was originally a William Shatner mask – it was painted white, had the eyeholes altered and the hair trimmed and teased up. Later iterations have made it a thing of its own, but that’s how it began back in the 1970s!

So the sculpt is good, but how about the paint? Well, this is a Funko product and it’s from the very early days of the POP line. I must concede it’s better than expected, but they definitely hadn’t sorted out their quality control in a few areas. Neither of Michael’s eyes is quite covered, the black on one of his boots spills onto the right pant leg and there is a noticeable black mark on his bloodied knife. It’s no Wonder Woman for shoddiness, but it’s a long way from The Creature from the Black Lagoon too. But I must note that the work done on the hair is surprisingly clean -- all the more impressive considering its early release date. 

Overall? Michael Myers won’t pop (ha!) on your shelf as much as some of the other horror icons Funko has released – his muted colour scheme means he’s more likely to blend into the shadows than to take front and centre. But this seems appropriate enough, and he’ll likely satisfy keen fans of the character. I would love to see them do a Dr. Loomis POP too, though it seems unlikely at this stage.     

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