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SHOUT

MOVIE INFO
Director:
RIck Rosenthal
Cast:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Dick Warlock
Screenplay:
John Carpenter, Debra Hill

Synopsis:
While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles:
None
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 9/18/12

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Rick Rosenthal and Actor Leo Rossi
• Audio Commentary with Actor/Stunt Coordinator Dick Warlock
• Television Version
• “The Nightmare Isn’t Over” Documentary
• “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” Featurette
• Trailer, TV Spots & Radio Spots
• Still Gallery
• DVD-ROM Screenplay


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RELATED REVIEWS


Halloween II: Collector's Edition [Blu-Ray] (1981)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 6, 2019)

After the enormous success of 1978’s seminal Halloween, a sequel became inevitable. However, it took three years for one to emerge, as Halloween II didn’t hit screens until 1981.

Given that the Friday the 13th pumped out eight movies over a decade, Halloween II’s slow path to the screen remains a surprise. Despite the long layoff, the sequel did fairly well at the box office and ensured that we’d get more Halloween flicks over the decades to follow.

Halloween II picks up literally after the conclusion of the first film. Though left for dead, insane murderer Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) survives and continues to pursue his violent ways.

Psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) try to track Michael, while survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) recovers at the hospital. She doesn’t rest, though, as Michael wants to finish the job.

As I noted earlier, it took the filmmakers three years to get Halloween II to the screen, so no one can claim they put out a rush job to capitalize on the first movie’s success. Also, because it provides a script from Debra Hill and John Carpenter, it maintains a strong connection to the original’s creative crew.

Alas, none of this matters, as the end result fails to live up to its predecessor in any conceivable way. Slow and tedious, Halloween II fizzles.

Really, Halloween II feels like a plot twist with a movie attached. Here we learn that Laurie and Michael are siblings, a revelation that makes no appearance in the original movie.

That’s probably because it’s clear Carpenter and Hill invented this conceit during the writing process for Halloween II. Ala the Vader/Luke twist in The Empire Strikes Back, the family connection wasn’t part of the original plan.

Based on what I’ve read, it seems obvious that Hill and Carpenter didn’t want to be involved in Halloween II, and that lack of creative investment feels clear. The script seems half-baked at best and never provides a compelling story.

In the original film, Carpenter and Hill built a believable world and populated it with fairly well-drawn characters. We got to know Laurie and her pals, and that made the violence more impactful since we felt a connection to the roles.

None of this occurs during Halloween II, as the new roles feel like the slaughter fodder they are. Various characters appear solely to give Michael people to kill, and they never become anything more substantial.

All of this seems predictable and trite, especially because it makes little logical sense. We know the movie builds toward a Michael/Laurie climax, so if Michael fixates on his sister, why does he take so long to get to her?

Because a 10-minute movie wouldn’t sell, I guess. Halloween II feels painfully slow and padded, as we’re stuck with an oddly long journey toward the inevitable.

Halloween II deviates from its predecessor in one notable way: gore. Though it doesn’t equal the ultra-graphic tendencies of other 1980s slasher movies, Halloween II abandons the “less is more” aesthetic of the first film.

This feels desperate. I get the impression the filmmakers lack the confidence to build scares in an organic way, so they figure bloody assaults will do the job for them.

None of this works, as the killings feel more like bloody windowdressing. Honestly, the most gruesome shot in the movie comes from an early image of a kid who bit into a food item with a razor blade in it. I’d not seen Halloween II since 1981 but I still remembered that scene!

Halloween II does offer some fine nude shots of sexy Pamela Susan Shoop, but otherwise, I find little to praise here. A wholly lackluster sequel to a classic, Halloween II disappoints.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

Halloween II appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a dated but good presentation.

For the most part, sharpness remained appealing. The image occasionally suffered from some soft shots, but most of the flick boasted pretty accurate material.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects popped up, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Print flaws also never became a factor.

Like the first movie, Halloween II opted for a palette than favored a blue tint. These colors never impressed but they seemed more than adequate.

Blacks felt fairly deep, while shadows showed reasonable delineation, Some low-light shots could seem a bit murky, but not to a substantial degree. The image was more than satisfactory.

In addition, the movie’s remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack held up well. Nothing here dazzled, but given the age and origins of the material, the 5.1 mix fared well.

The soundscape featured appealing stereo music that also spread to the surrounds in a moderate manner at times. Effects didn’t broaden in a consistent way, but they managed to use the side and rear speakers effectively, and they meshed together in a positive manner.

Audio quality showed its age but seemed fine. Speech felt fairly natural and concise, and I detected no prominent edginess to the lines.

Music showed nice range and punch, while effects appeared largely accurate. They didn’t boast great dynamics but they also didn’t suffer from notable distortion. This felt like a perfectly acceptable remix for a 38-year-old movie.

This “Collector’s Edition” comes with a bunch of extras, and we find two audio commentaries. The first features director Rick Rosenthal and actor Leo Rossi, both of whom sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, music, photography and related domains.

Although the commentary touches on a broad array of topics, it lacks much oomph. Much of it just feels dull, so while we get some decent details, the track largely comes across as slow and forgettable.

For the second commentary, we hear from actor/stunt coordinator Dick Warlock. Along with moderator Robert V. Galluzzo, this track discusses his work on the film as both Michael and a stuntman as well as other impressions of the production and aspects of Warlock’s career.

While clearly superior to the sluggish Rosenthal/Rossi piece, this one still doesn’t become anything special. Galluzzo ensures that the chat moves along well enough and we find some nice thoughts, but this never becomes an above-average commentary.

With The Nightmare Isn’t Over, we find a 44-minute, 55-second documentary. It involves Rosenthal, Warlock, Rossi, executive producer Irwin Yablans, production designer/editor Tommy Lee Wallace, director of photography Dean Cundey, costume designer Jane Ruhm, co-editor Skip Schoolnik, co-composer Alan Howarth, and actors Ana Alicia, Tawny Moyer, Lance Guest, and Nancy Stephens.

“Over” covers the move toward the sequel, story/characters, cast and crew, photography, sets and locations, costumes, stunts and kill scenes, editing and alternate versions, music, and the film’s reception/legacy.

“Over” becomes a fairly solid overview of the production. It gets into a good variety of topics to offer a worthwhile view of the film.

Part of a series, Horror’s Hallowed Grounds lasts 13 minutes, 10 seconds and brings a tour from Sean Clark. He takes us to various spots used in the movie. Clark makes this a useful exploration.

In addition to an Alternate Ending (1:44), we find six Deleted Scenes (8:06). The “Ending” allows a presumed-dead character to survive, and it seems inappropriately sunny after all the darkness that precedes it.

As for the deleted scenes, they mainly stay inside the hospital and focus on the doctors and nurses. They add some minor character notes but not enough to expand the roles in a satisfying manner.

We can view the “Ending” and the scenes with or without commentary from Rosenthal. He tells us about the sequences as well as why they got the boot. Rosenthal adds useful notes.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get three TV spots and six radio spots. Disc One ends with a Still Gallery that presents 60 images. It mixes shots from the set, publicity images and ads to become a good compilation.

On Disc Two, we find a TV Version of Halloween II. A standard-def DVD, it goes for one hour, 33 minutes, 11 seconds and goes with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

If you saw the deleted scenes and Alternate Ending on the Blu-ray, you’ve seen the additions found on the TV Version. As expected, it also loses gore, nudity and profanity.

Other changes occur, as the TV Version comes with a mix of alternate shots. This makes for a mildly intriguing edition of the film, but I suspect fans will prefer the “R”-rated cut. The TV Version becomes a novelty you’ll watch once and leave it on the shelf after that. screenplay as a DVD-ROM option. If your computer boasts the requisite drive, you can download the shooting script. I like that option.

As a sequel, Halloween II feels competent at best. It doesn’t extend the original in a particularly satisfying manner, though, so it ends up as a forgettable rehash. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture and audio along with a fairly extensive roster of bonus materials. Though not much of a movie, the Collector’s Edition fares well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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