An inadequately lighted hospital with three patients -- Jamie Lee Curtis and two itty- bitty incubator babies -- becomes a catch basin for the druidic doings in "Halloween II," second in a series of bad films about a psychotic slasher. Slash, apparently fed up with group therapy and transactional analysis, escapes from a mental hospital and returns to his idyllic home town in the Midwest, where he wreaks havoc on pert and perky teen angels, a band of interchangeable brunets. Most of these young things work at the hospital where Curtis is recuperating from "Halloween," the last scenes of which interface with the sequel. Curtis, playing Laurie Strode, chief prey of The Shape, spends much of her on-screen time in a coma, from which she comes and goes at will. Since there's no plot and little dialogue, this is of no consequence. So with no story to speak of, it's on with the spurting spree: two hypo-in-the-eye killings; one un-transfusion; some garden- variety hackings and bashings. Who can keep up? Out of the 10 or 13 ways to go, perhaps the scalding in a Jacuzzi was the topper. Or was it being held in the air till your clogs fall off? The carnage is endless despite the efforts of the town's bumbling lawmen and The Shape's inept shrink (Donald Pleasance), who insists that his patient (Dick Warlock) is not human and twice fills him full of slugs. But that Shape just keeps on coming. After the entire staff of the Haddonfield General Hospital has been gruesomely done in, Curtis revives and begins to whine for help and lurch down dark corridors. She wins a few cheers from the audience, but this is a crowd what earlier applauded a black cat in a trash dumpster. Trash or treat? "Halloween II" is as dumb as its prequel. The Great Pumpkin isn't going to be pleased with this one.
HALLOWEEN II -- At the AMC Academy, Embassy Circle, K-B Cinema 7, Laurel Towne Centre, NTI Landover Mall, NTI Marlow, Penn, Roth's Manor, Roth's Seven Locks, Roth's Tysons Corner, Springfield Mall, Village Mall and Wheaton Plaza.