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March 20, 2011

Midnight Monologue - Reverend Jackson P. Sayer from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

A recent post by the marvelous Andre over at The Horror Digest - which was dedicated to one of FMWL's favorite dudes, George "Buck" Flower - reminded me of another renowned bum actor, Carmen Filpi.  Like Andre, you probably remember Filpi as the "Jimmy Cracked Corn" bum from Pee Wee's Big Adventure (as you should), but his image always reminds me of another moment from the oft overlooked Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
In The Mike's world, Halloween 4 is renowned as one of the better horror sequels of the '80s, and he'd certainly pick it over any Friday the 13th film on most days of the week.  One of the highlights of the film - if not of all the Halloween sequels - is the dialogue that occurs between Donald Pleasence's Dr. Loomis and the Reverend Jackson P. Sayer, played by Filpi, who offers a hitchhiking Loomis a ride early in the film.  With his beat up truck with the custom license plate that reads 'AMEN', we get the feeling the Reverend might be here for a reason.
After a couple of pleasantries, it's quickly established that the Reverend Sayer a) might be a bit kooky, b) is drinking while driving, and c) carries an opinion on fate and evil that is similar to Loomis' ideas about Michael Myers.  But when Filpi's Reverend looks at Loomis and sees the concern in the Doctor's eyes, he surprises us all by starting the following conversation.
Rev. Sayer: You're huntin' it, ain't ya?  Yeah, you're huntin' it all right. Just like me.
Dr. Loomis: What are you hunting, Mr. Sayer?
Rev. Sayer: Apocalypse, end of the world, Armageddon.  It's always got a face and a name. 
*pause for a swig*
Rev. Sayer: I've been huntin' the bastard for 30 years, give or take.  Come close a time or two...too damn close.
*pause for self-reflection, with slight head shake*
Rev. Sayer: You can't kill damnation, mister.  It don't die like a man dies.
Oh man, I love this stuff.  Filpi delivers this over-the-top bit of fervor with a surprising intensity, making it one of the rare moments when a character in one of these films outshines Loomis in the passion department.  In doing so, he hammers home the one thing I've always loved about Michael Myers - that this boogeyman is a force of nature that exists beyond human reasoning.  Heck, his passion - and his alcohol - is enough to even make Dr. Loomis crack a rare smile.
So here's the part where I raise my bottle - which is actually a can of Vanilla Coke - to Carmen Filpi as Reverend Jackson Sayer.  It's a shame we never got a spin off film with him huntin' the bastard.  And it's a shame that Dr. Loomis never got a chance to follow the advice of the Reverend's over-decorated truck: Keep Smiling.

1 comment:

Andre Dumas said...

Oh man, Halloween 4 is next on my list of Halloween films to see. And I am moving it up because of Hobo Jack yesss thanks TH