And if there weren’t, why do the sequels keep being re-released? The first four recently were — yet again, but with valid reason to upgrade and/or double-dip.
Modest theatrical hits in 1988 and 1989, respectively, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers make Blu-ray debuts courtesy of Anchor Bay Home Entertainment. The extras for both are promotional in nature and number slightly fewer than previous DVD releases, but the difference in visual quality is considerable. Compare, oh, say … the scene of Kathleen Kinmont ditching her T-shirt, and see if the perfect picture doesn’t convince you.
Besides, I’ve kept a soft spot for these oft-undermined continuations of the Myers saga, particularly 4, after catching them on Cinemax nearly two decades ago. It and 5 play like one long story, both centered on Michael’s pursuit of his grade-school niece (li’l Danielle Harris in her movie debut) and her foster sister (Ellie Cornell, the films’ ersatz Jamie Lee Curtis).
Also new to Blu are 1981’s Halloween II and 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The bigger news is that they help inaugurate Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory line, which make special editions truly special. In the cases of these two, it’s all-new documentary specials that alone would be worth the purchase; the director’s commentaries, deleted scenes and location tours seal the deal.
The only sticking point is that this release of II does not contain the 1984 feature compilation Terror in the Aisles that last year’s Universal did. Fans will need to own both.
While acknowledging its deficiencies, I always have liked Halloween II. For a very-next-minute continuation not directed by John Carpenter, it’s as good as tempered expectations could hope for. That said, I absolutely love the Myers-free standalone story that is Halloween III: Season of the Witch. I get why horror enthusiasts detest it; I just don’t think their argument is logical or valid.
Director Tommy Lee Wallace acknowledges as much amid the disc’s extras: Shorn of the Halloween III label, it would’ve been well-received instead of despised. Like Wallace, I also wish Carpenter’s initial plan of releasing an annual horror flick under the Halloween umbrella — but not featuring Michael Myers — wasn’t abandoned. Moviegoers, on the other hand, just can’t seem to make do without that troubled Myers boy — hence, this crop of high-def treats. —Rod Lott