DVD Shopping Bag: HALLOWEEN 2 Collectors Edition Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Going into my fifth year of writing this column, I have had a lot of DVD and Blu-rays come across my desk. By far, my favorites have been the Criterion Collections. Hands down, they deliver the type of content and special features I want when I purchase a film. Sure, every once in a while Warner Brothers or 20th Century Fox delivers a Criterion worthy Blu-ray/ DVD. However, these films usually run in the vein of Star Wars, Avatar, or North by Northwest. Classics, to be so blunt, which are universally loved and hailed by everyone as great films (though I wold disagree on Avatar, but you get the idea). What about all those other films out there? Where are their Criterion worthy DVDS and Blu-rays? Usually, it comes down to money. How much will a studio spend on a title that has been out there forever? A title like Halloween 2 isn’t going to make it to the Criterion Collection. Thankfully, Shout! Factory has stepped in and done what no one else would. They delivered an edition that all fans of Halloween would want. 

I probably should have expected this. In the past few years, Shout! Factory has been releasing the Roger Corman library with stellar special features, alternate covers, and pristine editions of films that really have no right to look that good. These films, like Halloween 2, have a niche audience. This audience will pay over and over again for the same film if it gives them a chance to live in that world once more. As I said before, fans of Halloween 2 rejoice because this is the edition you have been dying for. 

Here is what is in the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray:

Theatrical Cut with Added footage not shown in Theaters
Audio commentary with director Rick Rosenthal
Audio commentary with stunt coordinator / actor Dick Warlock
The Nightmare Isn’t Over – The Making of HALLOWEEN II, featuring Rick Rosenthal, Lance Guest, Dick Warlock, Alan Howarth, Dean Cundey 
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds- Revisiting the original shooting locations
Still Gallery
Theatrical Trailer, TV and Radio Spots
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Alternate DVD/ Blu-ray Cover
The TV Cut of the Film

It was the TV Cut that fascinated me. I have probably caught it late at night (best way to watch these films) and bitched about the dialogue changes. For fun, I thought I would sit down and hear “Julie is full of sugar” knowing full well it would be be followed by “You don’t have to swear Ben”. And why not? I know how this film is going to end. Loomis and Michael Myers get burned and we have to wait through Season of the Witch to see what happens next. 

The TV Cut is only 1 minute shorter than the theatrical version. This means out of 93 minutes, they cut only 1 minute of gore, violence, and nudity. My, how times have changed for horror films since 1981. There are also treats outside of the playful alternate dialogue choices. Dean Cundey’s camera work not only allows you into Michael’s perspective, but dazzles us with light that sets a mood; a mood that a film like Halloween so desperately needs. The film also takes us out of sunny southern California (yeah, that’s California) and places us in the sterile setting of a hospital. Gone are the green leaves (they are everywhere) and the dark corridors of your nightmares come very much to life. The TV Cut is only on a separate DVD. Thankfully, it is also in pristine condition. If you play it in a Blu-ray player, it will never look better. 

The film isn’t without its faults. I noticed that Michael’s only other power, besides not dying, is that he is one lucky bastard. He hears every news report as to wear his family members are. I say family members as this happens in Halloween 4 and 5, as well. At least in Halloween 5, they have some sort of mystical connection between Michael and his intended victim. I would also like to know why this is the emptiest hospital in the world. Obviously, the answer to that is budgetary constraints for the film, but really? There are 5 people working and no other patients except Laurie Strode? 

Shout! Factory has still done right by the movie and its legions of fans. Check out the Halloween 2 The Collector’s Edition out next week. 

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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.