Column: Scream Factory's Halloween II and III
I don’t even know where to start with these two movies that I just watched. I just recently watched Shout Factory’s Collector’s Editions of Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. I am a huge fan of the Halloween series and when I heard about these two Blu-Ray’s/DVD’s I couldn’t wait to see them. They are part of a bunch of fan favorite special editions that are going to be released by Shout Factory in 2012 and 2013. You can go to www.shoutfactory.com and see the movies and release dates. I am going to review each movie separately.
Halloween II (1981) Blu-Ray/DVD (2 Disc set)
I am a huge fan of the Halloween series and have actually met a couple of actors that have played Michael Myers. I have seen Halloween II hundreds of times and I enjoy it as much as the first one.
I wasn’t old enough to see it in the theater, but I can image what it was like. The movie starts out right away where Halloween ended. You see Dr. Loomis(Donald Pleasance) shoot Michael Myers six times and he falls over a balcony that is two stories up and lands on the ground. When Dr. Loomis looks out of the window at Michael, he is gone and is off on another killing rampage. His mission is to find his sister (Jamie Lee Curtis) who survived the first movie and kill her. Michael learns that his sister was taken to a local hospital and goes off to find her. Dr. Loomis is also on the hunt. He knows Michael is after Laurie and tries to find and stop him before he gets to his sister.
I think I have seen every version and copy of Halloween II, except for the theatrical print released back in 1981 and I would have to say that this is the clearest print of the movie that I have seen. It is so sharp and the colors just pop out of the screen. You can see every little detail and even the scenes that take place in shadows and in dark areas are clear. The DVD is packed with hours of special features that I had never seen before and I ended up spending a whole evening watching them.
Halloween II’s special features include
- Audio commentary with Director Rick Rosenthal and Leo Rossi
- Audio commentary with actor and stunt coordinator Dick Warlock (Michael Myers) moderated by Robert Victor Galluzzo
- “The Nightmare Isn’t Over! – The Making of Halloween II,” featuring interviews with director Rick Rosenthal, actor and stunt Coordinator Dick Warlock, actors Lance Guest, Leo Rossi, Nancy Stevens, Ana Alicia, Tawny Moyer, executive producer Irwin Yablans, director of photography Dean Cundey, co-composer Alan Howarth, costume supervisor Jane Ruhm, co-editor Skip Schoolnik, and filmmaker Tommy Lee Wallace.
- “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – The Locations of Halloween II” – Host Sean Clark revisits the original shooting locations of the film.
- Deleted scenes with the optional audio commentary from director Rick Rosenthal
- Alternate ending with optional audio commentary from director Rick Rosenthal
- Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery
There were a ton of extras and they were great to watch. They were very interesting and very entertaining. I really learned a lot about Halloween II and loved hearing the stories about the making of the movie. The commentary was amazing. The locations video with Sean Clark was also fun to watch. I met Sean a few years ago at Crypticon in Minneapolis and enjoyed talking to him about horror movies.
There is also a second disc and that contains the TV version of Halloween II. This is the version that you see on TV and is a little different. Some of the scenes contain different dialogue and different shots. This is really cool and I am glad that they added this DVD.
Overall I loved this DVD and all of the special features. I know that if you are a fan of Halloween II you have to buy this DVD and add it to your collection.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) Blu-ray/DVD
This movie is also one of my favorite movies of the Halloween series. I don’t really know why, but I think it is because it was the first movie of the series that I saw and it was also one of the first horror movies that I saw. The first time I saw it was in the Wisconsin Dells at a drive in theater. Most of the fans of the Halloween series hate this movie with a passion and are not shy about it. The reason they feel this way is that Halloween III is a new story and has nothing to do with Michael Myers. However, he is in it a few times with and without the mask, if you watch closely. Once you watch the special features you will know what I’m talking about.
The original idea for the movie was to do something completely different. The people behind the series wanted to be able to come up with a different story each Halloween and base it around the holiday, but still call it Halloween. Soon after the release, they decided that was a bad idea, because fans wanted to see Michael and this had nothing to do with him. It did not do very well at the box office.
The story takes place right around Halloween. A man is brought to a local hospital in California where he is killed and the person that kills him commits suicide. A doctor (Tom Atkins) working at the hospital witnesses the suicide and he wants to learn what is going on when the daughter of the patient seeks his help. They learn that a local toy maker is plotting to kill as many people as possible on Halloween and they have to stop him.
I really liked the story and thought it was unique and also very interesting. I really don’t want to ruin anything, but the plan that the toy maker comes up with is very clever.
Like Halloween II, this is probably the clearest and sharpest print of the movie that I have seen. There are many hours of extras on the DVD.
Here are the special features:
- Audio commentary with director Tommy Lee Wallace
- Audio commentary with actor Tom Atkins
- “Stand Alone – The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch” featuring interviews with Tommy Lee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dick Warlock, Dean Cundey, and more.
- Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting the original shooting locations with Sean Clark
- Still Gallery
- Theatrical Trailers & TV Spots
The special features were great and also very entertaining. The audio commentary with Tommy Lee Wallace was great. Sean Clark and another person did the commentary with Tommy and I really think it helps to have a few more people in on the commentary, because everyone is more talkative.
Overall, this is a great DVD and like I also said before, every Halloween fan has to buy this DVD. You learn so much about the movie and why the directors and writers made the decisions they did for the movie. I could just keep going on and on why these two movies are so great, but I won’t. I tried to make it short and to the point. I cannot wait to see what Shout Factory releases next.
For more information on Shout Factory click here www.shoutfactory.com.
Aaron Chalich is an entertainment columnist for KSTP.com.