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a note on HALLOWEEN (1978)


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 09 2012 - 12:24 AM

NBC demanded numerous cuts for the TV broadcast of HALLOWEEN. A brief nude scene was cut, suspenseful build-ups to Michael Meyer's attacks were trimmed, and some violence eliminated. Producer Debra Hill negotiated for a small budget to shoot additional scenes. On the set of HALLOWEEN 2 in 1980, director John Carpenter shot 11 minutes of additional footage that he wrote featuring Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis for the broadcast version. That version aired on television full screen. When Anchor Bay assembled a Limited Edition DVD in 1999, the TV version was included widescreen and anamorphic on a separate disc. But not exactly. It was essentially the theatrical version with the additional shot-for-tv scenes seamlessly edited in, fleshing out the story with no discernible contradiction in continuity. The 1980 / 1999 hybrid is a legitimate alternative version of HALLOWEEN. It would be nice to see it on Blu-ray in the original color timing of the feature film. Below are the chapter stop insert-cards from the 1999 Limited Edition DVD: Posted Image Posted Image

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted October 09 2012 - 01:49 AM

I had not known this til now. Fans of the movie will agree with you that this should be on blu-ray. I've watched this movie once. If I recall correctly there's no blood, no gore. But I have never felt death and terror more than in this film. I can't bring myself to watch it again.
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#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Jonathan Perregaux

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Posted October 09 2012 - 03:54 AM

As a little kid, I'm not sure what haunted me more... the sheer terror of seeing Michael Meyers striding across the street while Laurie pounded on the front door to get in, or "See anything you like?" I'm going with the boobs.
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   bgart13

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Posted October 09 2012 - 04:09 AM

There's some suspicions online that Anchor Bay will re-release it again next October to coincide with its 35th anniversary. We can certainly hope to get a definitive bd.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   darkrock17

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Posted October 09 2012 - 06:01 AM

This year Halloween is being released into select theaters on Oct. 25 for the 35th Anniversary. Why do studios like to do Anniversaries a year early anyways? http://halloweenmovies.com/?p=1296

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Ignatius

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Posted October 09 2012 - 11:19 AM

It would be great to see the TV version presented as broadcast, not only for the extra material but to see how the editing affects the film. How did they deal with material such as the opening shot? Disrupt the flow of the shot by cutting or utilise some sort of masking? Hopefully, if Anchor Bay is releasing an anniversary Blu, they'll use the THX transfer supervised by Dean Cundey as a colour reference. Or preferably have him supervise or approve a new transfer from the best available elements.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted October 09 2012 - 11:52 AM

It would be great to see the TV version presented as broadcast, not only for the extra material but to see how the editing affects the film. How did they deal with material such as the opening shot? Disrupt the flow of the shot by cutting or utilise some sort of masking?...

Masking. On the T.V. version, the eye slits are REALLY small and slim to crop the nudity. Vincent

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted October 09 2012 - 03:13 PM

I can't speak to what the movie looked like in 1978 but I've seen it said that the Dean Cundey-approved DVD transfer is 'revisionist' coloring and I tend to believe it. I like the look of what he did but when I see people go berserk over changes in color on other movies, I'm always puzzled why no one cares and most people approve of the (apparently) altered color timing on Halloween. EDIT: I'd love to hear from anyone who has seen a print of the movie and can shed some light on what it may or may not have looked like.

#9 of 14 Guest__*

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Posted October 09 2012 - 03:50 PM

I don't have a print, but I think that the new blu ray should have more blue..just not as much blue as that Cundy dvd...not an electric blue but more of a paler blue.



#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted October 10 2012 - 09:16 AM

I can't speak to what the movie looked like in 1978 but I've seen it said that the Dean Cundey-approved DVD transfer is 'revisionist' coloring and I tend to believe it. I like the look of what he did but when I see people go berserk over changes in color on other movies, I'm always puzzled why no one cares and most people approve of the (apparently) altered color timing on Halloween. EDIT: I'd love to hear from anyone who has seen a print of the movie and can shed some light on what it may or may not have looked like.

Don May Jr. of Synapse Films had the original negative trims for HALLOWEEN in his possession a few years ago, and he told me he put some reels up on an HD telecine to see what they looked like, and the color scheme right off the negative very closely matched the look of the Dean Cundy-approved transfer with the deep blues in the night scenes. Vincent

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Ignatius

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Posted October 10 2012 - 09:40 AM

To be honest I wish the distribution rights lay with someone other than Anchor Bay. I bet Synapse could do a superb job of it. AB just seems to have milked Halloween for constant re-releases and limited editions. Having looked at some caps comparing the THX and DIVIMAX transfers I realised that in my memory I had wrongly assigned the blue push to the DIVI. It does look slightly unnatural to me but if that's how it originally looked then my aesthetic opinions are irrelevant.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted October 10 2012 - 10:55 AM

Don May Jr. of Synapse Films had the original negative trims for HALLOWEEN in his possession a few years ago, and he told me he put some reels up on an HD telecine to see what they looked like, and the color scheme right off the negative very closely matched the look of the Dean Cundy-approved transfer with the deep blues in the night scenes. Vincent

Thanks, that sounds like pretty solid info. I guess my doubt was based on the fact that the movie never looked that way on home video before. I realize that old VHS or laserdisc transfers are hardly reliable ways to determine the look of a movie but I assumed that Carpenter approved the Criterion laserdisc so I figured if it was supposed to have that coloring, it would have been more evident there.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted October 10 2012 - 03:05 PM

the eye slits are REALLY small and slim to crop the nudity.

I actually like the small eye slits of the TV version. Seems to me like a more sinister look
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#14 of 14 OFFLINE   ijthompson

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Posted October 12 2012 - 01:52 AM

Thanks for posting this thread. I still have my ltd. ed. Anchor Bay release of this cut, and was holding off on the blu until a version was released with this cut added (though I eventually caved, because the price was so good). Hopefully the rumour about a blu release of the tv cut next year turns out to be true. I don't mind getting double-dipped for that! :)




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