DVD Review: Halloween II (Collector’s Edition)

Normally when a sequel comes out three years after the original blockbuster hit, there’s a reunion aspect. A passage of time has taken place and the characters are able to put their first adventure into perspective. The characters get drawn back into the trouble one more time. The audience is left wondering why the character didn’t learn a lesson from the first time they screwed up. Halloween II avoids this trap by just picking up where Halloween ended. Instead of figuring out how Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis) gets attacked by Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) on a different Halloween, there’s still more Halloween night for Laurie to survive. Dr. Loomis (Doanld Pleasence) realizes Michael Myers isn’t dead in the backyard after he shot him six times. Halloween II (Collector’s Edition) gives “More of the Night He Came Home.”

Laurie gets sent off to the hospital where the staff doesn’t understand what she’s experienced. They put her to sleep against her will. Dr. Loomis and the sheriff cruise around the neighborhood looking for Myers. Dr. Loomis gets trigger happy which leads to an innocent character being mistaken for the killer. There’s a nasty crash that makes the sheriff think Myers is dead. Myers gets a hint to Lauie being in the hospital. He doesn’t care if it’s beyond visiting hours. Can Laurie survive until sunrise? Will she figure out why Myers has an unnatural attraction to her? Why must Myers ruin a hot tub scene?

While John Carpenter declined to direct the film, he did write and produce along with Debra Hill. His imprint is on the film. They also brought back Dean Cundey as cinematography so it looks like the first film. The only awkward thing is the wig that Curtis had to wear since she had gone with short hair after the first film. Halloween II extends the original film instead of merely reunite the cast for another time around. This is the most entertaining horror sequel since The Bride of Frankenstein.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out Dean Cundey’s excellent cinematography. The audio for the theatrical release is Dolby Digital 5.1. The mix aims for the creeps as Myers tracks down his victims. The TV version is mono.

Audio Commentaries include director Rick Rosenthal and Stunt Co-ordinator/actor Dick Warlock. Warlock put on the mask to play Mike Myers so he has plenty of tales from the set.

The TV Version
(92 minutes) tones down the R-rated action with alternate PG scenes. It’s 1.33 pan and scan since it was made for your dad’s TV aspect ratio.

The Nightmare Isn’t Over
(44:51) lets the crew and cast discuss how the sequel came together. John Carpenter doesn’t contribute, but everyone else relates Carpenter’s process of overseeing the film while he worked on other films. Rosenthal talks about working on a film where the director was not God.

Theatrical Trailer (2:17) is the red band. That means you get the extra violent tease.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (13:09) lets Sean Clark take us to the location as they stand now. He’s excited when he enters the kitchen where Michael Myers got his knife.

Still Gallery has dozens of photos from the set.

TV Spots (1:41) scare with the inside of pumpkin.

Radio Spots
(3:16) bring the fright to your local AM station.

Alternate Ending
(1:42) revisits the morning after. No need to spoil it. You can listen to it with Rosenthal’s commentary.

Deleted Scenes (8:02) includes Jamie Lee Curtis getting checked into the hospital.

Download Film Script
as a pdf.

Halloween II (Collector’s Edition) is worth the upgrade with all the bonus features. The broadcast TV cut and the tour of the locations will be please longtime fans. Hard to think what they’re missing in the boxset besides your own William Shatner mask. The film itself does an outstanding job of just picking up the action. It is another 93 minutes of Michael Myers coming home.

Scream Factory presents Halloween II (Collector’s Edition). Directed by: Rick Rosenthal. Screenplay by: John Carpenter & Debra Hill. Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence and Dick Warlock. Running Time: 93 minutes. Rating: R Rated. Released: September 18, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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