Monday, February 24, 2014

Character Spotlight- Sheriff Ben Meeker- Halloween 4 (1988) & Halloween 5 (1989)

**This post contains spoilers**

"Martians could land on Ben's doorstep, and all he'd do is spit once, and get himself a shotgun."

That's a direct quote from Earl (Gene Ross), the owner of a bar in Haddnonfield, Illinois, after the announcement of a mandatory curfew for locals as a precautionary measure for Michael Myers' return. Earl wanted answers for closing the bar early and losing money. Earl and his buddies provided a helping hand in the fight against Myers, but that's another story for another time. Think about Earl's quote for a second. Sheriff Brackett's (Charles Cyphers) replacement didn't have a problem standing face to face with the little green men from Mars, so you know he's ready for the fight against Michael Myers.

Beau Starr is a tough and grizzled enforcer as Sheriff Ben Meeker. There's no fear in Meeker, and his daughter Kelly (Kathleen Kinmont) is off limits. Ben warned Brady (Sasha Jenson) about "groping" his daughter with a promise of having to answer to a shotgun for disobedience, and Kelly threw in her two cents, as Brady passed second base (Ben's arrival with Rachel and Jaime interrupted Brady and Kelly's make out session the couch in Ben's home). The price for Ben catching Brady and Kelly in the act? Ben will "skin" Brady alive without thinking twice about it.

It's hard to forget about the relationship between Ben Meeker and Donald Pleasence's Dr. Loomis. As always, Loomis is the paranoid old warhorse, who will do anything to stop Michael Myers. At first, Meeker is reluctant to trust (Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers 1988) Loomis, but after Kelly's death, Meeker lowers his guard for accepting Loomis' help in the next chapter (Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers 1989). 

Highlight moments for this relationship include a heated argument on the steps of the police station in Halloween 4. In an attempt to control an outbreak of panic, Meeker wants Michael Myers' return to remain a secret, but Loomis spills the beans in front of Earl and his buddies. Loomis mentioned Myers' name as motivation for Earl and his friends. Remember, Michael's massacre at the police station? Well, Loomis wanted to use Earl and his friends as a temporary police force, but Meeker doesn't like the idea of a bunch of town drunks and their ring leader running around in the dark with shotguns. And the bickering between Loomis and Meeker during the sting operation in Halloween 5? Hilarious.

Unfortunately, Sheriff Meeker was a victim of The Man In Black/Dr. Wynn's raid on his police station. Michael Myers escapes a lifelong prison sentence, and Ben Meeker suffered a brutal death during the shootout. A bittersweet ending for the Sheriff, but Ben Meeker earned a spot on my list of memorable and likeable Halloween characters.

Also, remember the cliffhanger at the end of Halloween 4? Loomis had his finger on the trigger, as Jaime Lloyd (Danielle Harris) stood at the top of the staircase with a bloody pair of scissors. Myers was dead, but Jaime Lloyd was ready to kill anything in her path. Loomis almost pulled the trigger on his gun, but who stopped him at the last second? Sheriff Ben Meeker. Just think about that for a second as some food for thought in the Halloween franchise. Without Sheriff Ben Meeker, there's no Jaime Lloyd in Halloween 5 or Halloween 6/The Curse Of Michael Myers.

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