DVD Shopping Bag: Halloween 4 and 5 Blu-rays (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Last week, Anchor Bay released both Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 on Blu-ray. Now, I had seen Halloween and Halloween 2 recently, but 4 and 5? It had either been a long time or, quite possibly, never. I grabbed both and headed home for double feature and a taste of fall. 

The two films were released a year apart (1988 and then 1989) and featured many of the same cast members. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is a return to the original story that originated with Halloween. Why the gap between 2 and 4? Halloween 3: Season of the Witch was a departure from the Michael Myers storyline that featured a whole different plot and hoped to capitalize off the Halloween branding in one way or the other. In short, bad things happen all over at Halloween, not just in Haddonfield, IL. Halloween 4 begins with Michael Myers being transported to another maximum security facility. Once Michael learns that he has a niece who is still alive, he slips out of his dormant state and begins his rampage.

Let me begin by saying that I am fan of the original two movies. A few years ago, I did feel as if I never needed to the see the first one again. I knew every cut, every music cue, and it didn’t have any surprises for me anymore. All that changed with the bastardization of Rob Zombie’s remake. Now, it’s as if everything old is new again. In short, though I had no high expectations, I was looking forward to watching 4 and being in that world. 

Halloween 4 begins with some brilliant production design that sets a perfect mood. What ruins it is the dull and haphazard way they fill in the audience on what happened one non-sequel ago. In all honesty, if you are watching Halloween 4 and have never seen 1-3, you really are sitting in on the wrong movie. Now, I could go into the plot devices and characters, but what I have to wonder is how and why Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) has allowed Michael to stay alive this long. The “man” or the living embodiment of “evil” is strapped to a bed and perfectly sedate. Seems like the ideal opportunity to either lop his head off, slip him some rat poison, set him on fire, or choke him to death. Don’t give me a lot bullshit about a Doctor’s oath to preserve life when Dr. Loomis has been trying to stop this “thing” for two movies. Sadly, *spoilers* he will try and do it for two more. 

Halloween 4 finds Michael hunting his niece Jamie (Danielle Harris). Jamie is the daughter of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who, according to this film, died 11 months prior. If you know the subsequent sequels, Laurie is not dead, but simply went into hiding. Here, we find Jamie living with a caring foster family and is watched over by her stepsister, Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Jamie is teased by the other kids because they know what has happened to her family. We get that Jamie has problems fitting in, but, as a plot device, it is meaningless when the slaughter begins. The story that transpires is very much Jamie’s, yet it focuses more on Rachel as her protector. 

The interesting “twist” for Horror buffs is that Halloween 4 doesn’t really play into the conventions of the period/ genre. There is very little nudity or sex. Not to go all blue on you, but we don’t even see one nipple in the film. Michael Myers is also more of a hands-on killer. He does stab one or two people, but the first stabbing doesn’t even involve a knife. The majority of the killings are brutal, graphic, and bone crunching. The final and last bit of genre breaking twists is that Halloween 4 has townspeople that get organized quickly to stop Michael. Sadly, drunken red necks do not make a formidable army to stop a crazed killer. Apparently, a police station full of cops doesn’t, either.

Outside of an ending that could have relaunched a franchise, which quickly reset itself in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, there are a few technical problems with the film; problems that on the small screen or on VHS tape, many of you might have never noticed. Here, in 1080p, they are sore thumbs. A small, but quick one, is Michael’s hair and face color change in an entire scene. In the elementary school, Michael tosses Dr. Loomis out a window (1:13:57 mark). Michael’s mask is the trademark white face (of William Shatner) with brown hair. For a cut in this scene, Michael has white hair and a pink face. Originally, I thought a janitor tossed Dr. Loomis out the window, since it in no way looked like Michael. Upon backing the scene up, it’s ridiculous to see this blatant mistake. The other more noticeable mistakes take place throughout the entire movie! Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis was burned in the second film. It left him with horrific facial scars that you get clear broad daylight shots of at the beginning. The most noticeable scar is a ball of flesh on his left cheek. That “ball,” at the 35 minute mark,. is all but gone. In its place is a tiny burn mark that looks as if someone stuck a piece of packing tape on Pleasance’s cheek. It would make and probably already has made a great drinking game for every time it changes. 

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers really is a piece of garbage. Producer Moustapha Akkad, by his own omission, stated that killing one of the leads was a bad mistake. The death of that character, which I won’t reveal, was so uncertain and quick that I kept waiting for them to return. What we are given instead is a collection of characters we don’t care about who are struggling to protect Jamie (Danielle Harris). This is the major reason why Halloween 5 fails so miserably. If we don’t feel anything for these people, then the killer becomes something he should never be, our anti-hero. Rooting for Michael is the only thing worthwhile, yet Don Shanks delivers nothing in the way of a subtle character. Look back at Dick Warlock’s or Nick Castle’s Michael and you’ll see more than just a “shape” killing people. This film is terrible. It can’t even capture the season at all, as it features green leaves on Halloween night. They probably shouldn’t have filmed it in Utah. 

BEST BUY EXCLUSIVE OF THE WEEK
 
The Terminator Anthology: See the complete world as created by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron with the complete and definitive collection of all four films on Blu-ray. Never before has there been a collection of all 4 ground-breaking films plus the bonus content.
 
Special Features: The Terminator: A Retrospective "Other Voices" Documentary with James Cameron interviews Deleted Scenes with James Cameron All 3 version of T2 in 1080p THX - Theatrical, Extended and Special Editions T2 Audio commentary with James Cameron and writer William Wisher T2 Cast & Crew audio commentary Deleted Scenes/ Outtakes Over 8 hours of interactive special features: behind-the-scenes video and multimedia galleries, storyboard-script mode, quizzes and games Terminator: Rise of the Machines 3 Audio Commentaries Terminator Salvation mythology timelines Terminator Salvation "Re-Forging the Future" documentary.

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]
2. Quadrophenia (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] 
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] 
4. The Birds [DVD + Digital Copy] 
5. Terminator Anthology (Best Buy Exclusive)

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Adrenaline Rush [Blu-ray] (Region Free) Starring Min-ki Lee, In-kwon Kim and Ye-won Kang

Airport [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring George Kennedy, Dean Martin and Burt Lancaster

Black Cat Run Starring Jake Busey, Amelia Heinle, Jeffrey De Munn

Blind Revenge Starring Tom Conti

Double Indemnity [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson

Headhunters [Blu-ray] Starring Aksel Hennie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Headhunters Starring Aksel Hennie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Scarface [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer

Steal the Sky Starring Ben Cross and Mariel Hemingway

Vertigo [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring James Stewart, Raymond Bailey and Tom Helmore

Woman Knight (Blu-ray 3D) [Region Free] Starring Suet Lam and Rose Chan

Zebraman Starring Akira Emoto

ANIME

Bakuman: Season One, Part 1 [Blu-ray] Starring Atsushi Abe, Michael Sinterniklaas, Satoshi Hino

Ergo Proxy: Box Set (Classic) Starring Rachel Hirschfeld, Taliesin Jaffe, Liam O'Brien

Freezing: Complete Series (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Josh Grelle, Caitlin Glass and Jamie Marchi

Kaleido Star: Season One S.A.V.E. Starring Cynthia Martinez, Sandra Krasa and Jay Hickman

K-On: Season 2 Collection 2 [Blu-ray]

K-On! Season Two, Collection 2

Koihime: Ultimate Collection (2012)

Texhnolyze: Complete Box Set (Classic) Starring Justin Gross, Carrie Savage and Freddy Douglas

CARTOONS

Danny Phantom: Season Two, Part 2 Starring David Kaufman and Grey DeLisle

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD) Starring Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven and Martin Freeman

Transformers Japanese Collection: Victory Starring Hideyuki Tanaka and Takeshi Aono

CLASSICS

Gold for the Caesars Starring Jeffrey Hunter, Mylene Demongeot, Don Randell

Hercules, Samson And Ulysses Starring Kirk Morris, Iloosh Khoshabe, Liana Orfei

Sandokan the Great Starring Steve Reeves

The Slave Starring Steve Reeves, Jacques Sernas, Gianna Maria Canale

The Tartars Starring Victor Mature, Orson Welles, Liana Orfei

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Bela Lugosi, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and Glenn Strange

Criterion Collection

Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer (Criterion Collection) Starring Rip Torn, Norman Mailer, Buzz Farber and Mickey Knox

Lonesome (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Barbara Kent and Glenn Tryon

Lonesome (Criterion Collection) Starring Barbara Kent and Glenn Tryon

Quadrophenia (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Phil Daniels, Sting and Ray Winstone

Quadrophenia (Criterion Collection) Starring Phil Daniels, Sting and Ray Winstone

HORROR

Apartment 143 Starring Rick Gonzalez and Kai Lennox

Apartment 143 [Blu-ray] Starring Rick Gonzalez and Kai Lennox

Apocalypse of the Dead Starring Ken Foree

Below Zero Starring Edward Furlong, Michael Berryman and Kristin Booth

The Birds [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Rod Taylor

Blood Money Starring Gordon Liu, Pitbull and Zheng Liu

Blood Money [Blu-ray] Starring Gordon Liu, Pitbull and Zheng Liu

Death Watch [BluRay/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray] Starring Harvey Keitel, Romy Schneider, Harry Dean Stanton

Jersey Shore Shark Attack [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Sorvino, Jack Scalia, Jeremy Luc and Melissa Molinaro

Jersey Shore Shark Attack Starring Paul Sorvino, Jack Scalia, William Atherton and Jeremy Luc

The Living Dead Girl [Blu-ray] Starring Francoise Blanchard and Marina Pierro

Lovely Molly Starring Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holde

Lovely Molly [Blu-ray] Starring Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holde

Moth Diaries [Blu-ray] Starring Sarah Bolger and Lily Cole

Moth Diaries , The Starring Sarah Bolger and Lily Cole

Neverlost Starring Ryan Barrett, Emily Alatalo and Jennifer Polansky

One Hour to Die: You Have All Been Poisoned Starring Melanie Denholme, Rob Ireland, Anna Batho

Penumbra Starring Cristina Brondo and Camila Bordonaba

Psycho (1960) [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Anthony Perkins, Martin Balsam, John Gavin and Janet Leigh

Two Orphan Vampires: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Isabelle Teboul and Natalie Perrey

Viral Factor [Blu-ray] Starring Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse, Bing Bai and Andy On

Viral Factor Starring Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse, Bing Bai and Andy On

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Atonement [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring James McAvoy

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Thomas Jay Ryan, Jim Carrey, Elijah Wood

Out of Africa [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Robert Redford, Michael Kitchen and Klaus Maria Brandauer

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Area 407 Starring Abigail Schrader and Samantha Lester
Battleship (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Alexander Skarsgård and Liam Neeson

Battleship Starring Alexander Skarsgård and Liam Neeson

Harvey [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring James Stewart, Cecil Kellaway and Charles Drake

Jurassic Park [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Bob Peck and Jeff Goldblum

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition 5-Disc Set) [Blu-ray] Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Edition 5-Disc Set) [Blu-ray] Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition 5-Disc Set) [Blu-ray] Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen

The Lost World: Jurassic Park [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Richard Attenborough, Pete Postlethwaite

Midnight Movies Vol 5: Sci-Fi Double Feature (Contamination/Shape of Things to Come) Starring Jack Palance and Ian McCulloch

Starship Troopers: Invasion [Blu-ray] Starring Leraldo Anzaldua, Luci Christian, Melissa Davis

TV LAND

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 6 Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 6 [Blu-ray] Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season Starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and William Hill

Boardwalk Empire: Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald

Homeland: The Complete First Season Starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis

Homeland: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Damian Lewis and Claire Danes

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season Starring Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla

Sons of Anarchy: Season Four Starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal

Streets of San Francisco: Season Four, Vol. 1 Starring Michael Douglas and Karl Malden

Streets of San Francisco: Season Four, Vol. 2 Starring Michael Douglas and Karl Malden

Two and a Half Men: The Complete Ninth Season Starring Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] Starring Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season Starring Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms. 



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