When a movie franchise is spread across several studios, as is the case with Halloween, the likelihood of a complete boxed set of all films in the series is often next to nil. Somehow, though, Shout! Factory and Anchor Bay have managed to team up and plow through much of the red tape to bring all ten of the movies from this franchise in one package, with some nice surprises and bonus features.
Studio: Shout! Factory
Distributed By: Anchor Bay
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC, 480P/MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1
Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 5.1 DD, English 2.0 Dolby TrueHD, English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English PCM 5.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Other
Rating: Not Rated, R
Run Time: 21 Hr. 27 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVDBlack Blu-ray eco keepcases housed in an outer box
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer), DVD-9 (dual layer)
Region: A, 1
Release Date: 09/23/2014
Halloween (1978): 4 out of 5John Carpenter’s horror classic still holds up as a blueprint on how to stretch your dollar for independent filmmakers. Made quickly on a shoestring budget, Carpenter’s tale includes an exciting prologue shot in what seems like one take (it’s not) with a steadicam, moving in and out of the house through the eyes of a young boy as he quickly murders his family. Flash forward fifteen years, and that young boy, Michael Myers (Nick Castle), has now escaped from the sanitarium where he was serving a life sentence, heading back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. Hot on his trail is his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance), hoping to catch up with Michael before it’s too late. As things turn out, it is too late, as he immediately begins stalking teenage babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends Annie (Nancy Kyes) and Lynda (P.J. Soles). Although Halloween may be credited with launching the slasher film, there isn’t much blood or gore in Carpenter’s film, relying more on the audiences’ imagination and clever use of camera angles, editing, and music (which Carpenter composed himself). The film also launched the careers of actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and P.J. Soles, cinematographer Dean Cundey, and made Carpenter a bankable director.Halloween II (1981): 3 out of 5John Carpenter achieved success in 1978 when Halloween, made for a mere $300,000, became the highest grossing independent film at that time, raking in $47 million during its original release. Producers Moustapha Akkad and Irwin Yablans approached John Carpenter about a sequel, but Carpenter made The Fog at Avco-Embassy instead. Allegedly, Carpenter was supposed to make The Fog with Yablans, who sued Carpenter, and the result was an agreement for Carpenter to write and produce Halloween II. And, at times, the film does feel like a contractual agreement, particularly in its confinement of Jamie Lee Curtis to a hospital bed through much of the movie, giving her very little to do but collect a paycheck.The movie opens with a recap of the last few minutes of Halloween, much of it from the actual film itself, with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) shooting Michael Meyers seven times (!) and saving Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). But when Dr. Loomis storms out the front door, Meyers is nowhere to be found, only an imprint in the lawn where he fell from the second story balcony. An ambulance arrives to take Laurie to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, and along the way one of the paramedics, Jimmy (Lance Guest), develops a crush on her, checking up on her much to the dismay of Nurse Alves (Gloria Gifford). Meanwhile, Meyers is literally hacking his way through the neighborhood on his way to the hospital, stealing a knife from Mrs. Elrod (character actress Lucille Benson). Methodically, Meyers takes out literally the entire hospital staff before the final showdown between Laurie Strode, Dr. Loomis, and Michael Meyers. The deaths in Halloween II are much more violent and gory than what we saw in the original, and the imitators that followed Halloween, which effectively launched the slasher sub-genre, are the likely reason for the increase. Films like Friday the 13th, Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine, and Prom Night had taken movie gore to new heights (or lows), and Carpenter felt the only way for the sequel to compete in the marketplace was to give the audience what they wanted.First-time director Rick Rosenthal (now a veteran television director) does a good job of replicating the mood and look of the first installment, but he had the luck of working with many of the same crew members from the original, especially cinematographer Dean Cundey, who gave many of Carpenter’s early films a dark and gritty look. John Carpenter was reportedly unhappy with Rosenthal’s cut of the film, and actually shot some additional and alternate sequences for added shock value. The result is a movie that works as a continuation of the first film, but really doesn’t break any new ground, and in many ways feels like a retread of the original.Halloween III: Season of the Witch: 3.5 out of 5Long considered the bastard or adopted child of the franchise, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a film that has been gaining respect and a fan base over the years. Originally rejected by audiences and critics alike who were expecting a continuation of the Michael Myers saga, the film is a much different type of horror film, taking inspiration from Invasion of the Body Snatchers and other B-movies from the 1950s.Halloween is coming, but there’s something sinister and creepy about a set of three masks from Silver Shamrock, their ads flooding the airwaves inviting kids to tune in for the big giveaway at 9pm. A Toy Store owner comes into the local hospital, clutching a Jack O’Lantern Silver Shamrock mask, claiming “They’re going to kill us!” When he is murdered by a tall, silent, grey-suited man, who then kills himself, Dr. Daniel Challis (genre favorite Tom Atkins) begins to investigate with the help of the Toy Store owner’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin). The investigation leads them to the Silver shamrock factory, run by a mad Toy Maker, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), who is hatching an evil plot to have the masks activate by their sponsored Halloween TV special, killing the children and their families through a witchcraft spell embedded in the microchip made from pieces of a stolen section of Stonehenge.The plot is just goofy enough to work as a fun little thriller, thanks in part to Tom Atkins’ character being a studly, chauvinistic doctor with a drinking problem (and he pulls it off in spades), Stacey Nelkin adding some sex appeal, Dan O’Herlihy quite literally chewing the scenery as the film’s villain when he finally shows up halfway through, the pulsating electronic score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, and, of course, the often over-the-top (for its time) make-up effects by Tom Burman.Wanting to “go in another direction," John Carpenter and Debra Hill decided to leave Michael Meyers behind after Halloween II, and with assistance from an uncredited Nigel Kneale (creator of the Quatermass series) and Tommy Lee Wallace, conceived this original story that the producers and studio executives hoped would be the first of an annual anthology series of movies centered around the Halloween holiday. If they had had the foresight to not try to include the film as part of the Halloween franchise, Halloween III: Season of the Witch may have had a better chance at the box office.Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: 3.5 out of 5After the disappointment of Halloween III, the rights reverted back to producer Moustapha Akkad, who was determined to put the series back on track. Picking up ten years after the events in Halloween II, Michael Myers (George Wilbur) escapes yet again during a prisoner transfer, heading back to Haddonfield in search of his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the daughter of Laurie Strode, who died in a car crash several years earlier. Adopted by the Carruthers, Jamie bonds with her step sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell), who takes her trick or treating, not knowing that Michael is on the prowl. But Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is on Michael’s trail (again), warning the sheriff and the girls that danger is coming.Halloween 4 sounds like a retread of the first two entries, but with different characters, however director Dwight Little manages to create some suspense and breathe some new life into the story and genre. It’s not a great film, but it’s still a fun thriller without going overboard with gore and violence.Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: 3 out of 5This is the film where the series started to show that it’s running out of steam and original ideas, or can’t make up its mind if it wants to continue where the previous film left off. After recapping the shocking conclusion to the previous entry, the film fast forwards one year with Jamie (Danielle Harris) in the hospital being treated for PTSD by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), causing her to become mute. Rachel (Ellie Cornell) and her friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan) visit Jamie to keep her spirits up, but Jamie is having some sort of psychic connection with Michael Myers (Don Shanks) that eventually goes nowhere, and a Man In Black has arrived in town, following in Michael’s footsteps, but is never explained.Halloween 5 suffers from slow pacing, a lack of suspense or thrills, and perhaps one of the most annoying teenage characters to grace the screen, Tina, whose portrayal by Wendy Kaplan has no drive or focus other than to be annoying and be a surrogate big sister after Rachel disappears during the second reel. Director Dominique Otherin-Girard tries to bring an artsy touch and look to the series with European-style lighting, but ultimately it is just another distraction.Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Theatrical Cut): 2.5 out of 5It is now six years later, and apparently Jamie (now played by J.C. Brandy) was abducted by Michael Myers (George Wilbur) and taken to a cult, impregnated, and is about to give birth to a son. Jamie escapes to Haddonfield, hoping to get help from Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance, in one of his last film roles). However, Michael catches up with her, but not before hiding the infant in a bus station restroom, only to be found by Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), who takes him to Dr. Loomis. Meanwhile, another member of the Strode family has moved in to the old Myers residence, which doesn't make Michael very happy. Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), a single mother, has moved back home with her parents and younger siblings, taking classes at the local community college, and her son is having bad dreams about the Man In Black. Tommy comes to their rescue, but loses the baby to Michael, who takes him to the sanitarium to undergo an operation to be performed by the Man In Black, all leading to a final showdown with Michael.The theatrical cut has not been a favorite of fans of the series, many who prefer the Producer’s Cut which has been included in this set (a separate review is below), and was a response by both the director (Joe Chappelle) and the studio (Miramax/Dimension) to a bad test screening of that cut, which resulted in massive reshoots and altered storylines. This cut winds up being more of a mess than the initial producer’s cut, throwing out the original third act and replacing it with something even more bizarre and has no connection to the film at all.Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer’s Cut): 3 out of 5Somewhat closer to screenwriter (and fanboy) Daniel Farrands original intention, the producer's cut keeps the occult plot line through the the final third act, and is a more cohesive, and less gory, film than what was originally released to theaters and home video. Previously only available as a bootleg, it was a nice surprise to have Shout! Factory and Anchor Bay find a way to include this cut, and in high definition (more on that in the video section). As Farrands and composer Alan Howarth note on the commentary track, this is not a perfect film, and definitely shows that this cut has its problems, but also shows that the choices made for the theatrical cut weren't the right ones, either.Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: 3.5 out of 5Effectively forgetting that films four, five, and six even exist, Halloween H20 brings back Jamie Lee Curtis, whose Laurie Strode has now taken the identity of Keri Tate, the dean of a private school in Northern California, hiding out from Michael Myers. After Michael ransacks the home of Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), the former assistant to Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael finds that Laurie is alive and heads west to California. Laurie’s son, John (Josh Hartnett), is a student at the school, and is growing restless with his overprotective mother, often talking security guard Ronny (LL Cool J) into letting him sneak off campus into town with his friends, who have made plans to skip the field trip to Yosemite to have their own secret Halloween celebration in the basement of the cafeteria building. And Laurie is looking forward to some alone time with her boyfriend, Will (Adam Arkin), the school’s guidance counselor. But Michael is on his way, about to ruin everyone’s plans.Halloween H20 benefits from a well-written screenplay by Matt Greenberg and Robert Zappia (and an uncredited polish by Scream scribe Kevin Williamson), a talented cast that also includes Michelle Williams, Janet Leigh, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Steve Miner (no stranger to this style of horror film) in the director’s chair. This is a bit more plausible than the previous two entries, and also injects some much-needed humor into the series.Halloween: Resurrection: 2.5 out of 5At the end of Halloween H20, the writers had backed the series into a corner. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role one last time as Laurie Strode as Halloween: Resurrection tries to re-explain the ending (much like the old 1940s serials) and give Laurie some much needed closure with Michael Myers (Brad Loree) during the first act. The film then quickly shifts gears with Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks as producers of an internet reality series where they choose six college students to spend the night in the rundown Myers house and broadcast the events live. The lucky (or unlucky) participants are best friends Rudy (Sean Patrick Harris), Jen (Katee Sackhoff), and Sara (Biancha Kajlich), and Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Donna (Daisy McCrackin), and Jim (Luke Kirby). But Michael doesn’t like visitors, and begins picking them off one by one, until Sara, with some help via text message from her online teenage “boyfriend” Myles aka Deckard (Ryan Merriman), manages to outwit Michael and escape alive.Hoping to strike gold again, the producers brought in Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal to helm this installment. The problem with the film is the script, taking an about face in tone after the exciting first act, and degenerating into an episode of Ghost Hunters.Halloween (2007): 2.5 out of 5After the disastrous box office of Halloween: Resurrection, the producers turned to Rob Zombie to write and direct a reboot of the franchise, effectively returning the series to its roots and retelling the story in John Carpenter’s 1978 original. Zombie’s approach was more of a character study of Michael Myers, spending nearly the first half of the film’s running time giving us his back story growing up in an abusive white trash household, whose mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) is an exotic dancer at the local strip club with an abusive boyfriend (William Forsythe), a slutty sister (Hanna Hall), and a younger, infant sister. And to some extent, that is the film’s undoing, giving Michael a humanity (or lack thereof) and a personality, allowing the audience to sympathize with him. When the film finally settles into the more familiar territory of John Carpenter’s original, there are a few more problems that creep up. Laurie Strode, as played by Scout Taylor-Compton, is much too peppy for my taste, almost the exact opposite of the same character played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The film is also unnecessarily more violent, brutal, and gory than it needs to be, and becomes more boring than shocking after a while.Halloween II (2009): 2 out of 5Rob Zombie returned two years later with a sequel to his remake, going from bad to worse. Like the original Halloween II, this film picks up where the last one left off, but then fast forwards one year later as Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) is still dealing with that fateful Halloween night, now living with her best friend, Annie (Danielle Harris) and her father, Sheriff Lee Brackett (Brad Dourif). Michael (Tyler Maine) is having visions of a white horse accompanied by his dead mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) and his younger self (Chase Vanek), begging him to bring the family back together again by killing Laurie. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is on a book signing tour for his account of Michael Myers. What follows is two hours of near non-stop violence and brutality, a depressing piece of filmmaking that made me want to take a shower afterwards and watch nothing but comedies for the next 24 hours.
The Production Rating: 3.5/5
Halloween (1978): 4.5 out of 5This is the same transfer as the 35th Anniversary release from 2013, as evidenced by the disc’s main menu, supervised by the film’s DP, Dean Cundey, which retains the film’s intended 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, using the AVC codec. Colors are more natural and pleasing to the eye, with deeper blacks and better contrast than the original 2007 Blu-ray release (included on disc 2 of this set). Film grain is also more natural than the previous release, as well as increased detail.Halloween II (1981): 4 out of 5This is the same disc as Shout! Factory’s stand alone release from 2012. Shout! Factory has taken the same transfer used in 2011’s 30th Anniversary Edition released by Universal, and cleaned it up a bit to remove many of the scratches and dirt that were reportedly visible on that earlier release. When this was announced on Shout! Factory’s website and Facebook page, fans had a knee-jerk reaction, fearing that the result would be an abomination littered with artifacts, edge enhancement, grain removal, and a loss of detail. I’m happy to report that that is not the case. Shout! Factory (or whoever they hired for the cleanup) did a marvelous job, removing most of the annoying dirt and scratches while retaining detail and grain. The 1080p transfer, using the AVC codec, approximates the film’s intended theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, replicating how Dean Cundey’s shadowy cinematography would look in a properly tuned theatre. Blacks are nice and deep, shadows are well-detailed, and colors are consistent.Halloween III: Season of the Witch: 4 out of 5This is the same disc as Shout! Factory’s stand alone release from 2012. Shout! Factory’s 1080p transfer, using the AVC codec, approximates the film’s intended theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, replicating how Dean Cundey’s cinematography would look in a properly tuned theatre. Blacks are nice and deep, shadows are well-detailed, and colors are consistent.Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: 3 out of 5This is the same transfer as Anchor Bay’s 2012 stand alone release. It’s a serviceable transfer, retaining the film’s intended 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, compressed using the AVC codec. Colors are mostly consistent and well-saturated, although contrast can, at times, look a bit off, especially during many of the darker sequences. Still, detail is quite good, and film grain is noticeable but never distracting.Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: 3.5 out of 5This is the same transfer as Anchor Bay’s 2012 stand alone release, retaining the film’s intended 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, compressed using the AVC codec. Colors are consistent and well-saturated, with refined contrast and deep blacks. Detail is quite good with noticeable film grain, but the image exhibits an overall flatness to it.Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Theatrical Cut): 3.5 out of 5The theatrical cut, while apparently a newer transfer than the previous Echo Bridge release, is serviceable, with consistent and well-saturated colors, but the contrast and detail fluctuate throughout, revealing an often overly processed image with hints of edge enhancement and noise reduction. It never quite reaches the level of distraction, but it is noticeable. The aspect ratio for this transfer is 1.78:1.Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer’s Cut): 4 out of 5The producer’s cut fares much better, supposedly transferred from the original camera negative, with stronger detail, richer colors, and more realistic contrast, yet does exhibit some occasional softness. As with the theatrical cut, the aspect ratio here is 1.78:1.Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: 3.5 out of 5Thankfully, Shout! Factory (who obviously authored this disc) has corrected the error made by Echo Bridge’s release and retained the film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The trade off may be that an older transfer originally created for Buena Vista’s DVD release was used. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as colors are consistent and well-saturated, but detail is sometimes restrained, and contrast can, at times, appear blown out.Halloween: Resurrection: 2.5 out of 5This is, perhaps, the worst transfer in the set (and the worst film of the original series). Retaining the film’s intended theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 using the AVC codec, this presentation has its issues. While colors are fairly consistent and well-saturated, edge enhancement is clearly present, with noticeable halos. Darker sequences (and there are lots of them) suffer from black crush, macro blocking, and other anomalies resulting in a mushy mess of a picture.Halloween (2007): 4 out of 5This is the same transfer (and disc) as the 2008 Genius Products release. The transfer, compressed using the AVC codec, retains the film’s original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. This is about what one would expect from a high definition transfer of a fairly recent film. Colors are consistent, contrast is well-fitting of the film’s somber tone, and detail is excellent, with no obvious use of edge-enhancement or other digital tools.Halloween II (2009): 4 out of 5This is the same transfer (and disc) as the 2010 Sony release. The transfer, compressed using the AVC codec, retains the film’s original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Shot in 16mm, the film has a much grittier look to it than its predecessor, with desaturated colors and intentionally soft detail. The dream sequences are exceptionally bright with blown out contrast (again, likely intentional).
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
Halloween (1978): 4 out of 5The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 is a definite improvement over the PCM 5.1 track included on the previous Blu-ray release, with increased clarity and more refined fidelity, with Carpenter’s score benefitting the most. Dialogue and many of the original sound effects, however, still show their age, having been recorded on what would today be considered very crude equipment. An important thing to note on this release is that the included mono track is now, indeed, the original theatrical mono track, a correction made to this disc by Anchor Bay that was incorrect on the 35th Anniversary stand alone release.Halloween II (1981): 4 out of 5Included is the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 mono tracks as on Shout! Factory’s stand alone release. On the 5.1 track, bass is deep, with excellent use of LFE and surround effects, and the score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth resonates thanks to the increased fidelity and dynamic range. Dialogue remains crisp and clear, directed mostly to the center channel. The track is definitely not reference material, but that has more to do with the limitations of the source material than anything else.Halloween III: Season of the Witch: 3.5 out of 5The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono soundtrack (although listed on the packaging as 5.1), while definitely not reference material, adds much needed fidelity and dynamic range to a 30-year old mono mix. Bass response, particularly in the music score, is excellent, and dialogue is clear and understandable. This is perhaps the best this film has ever sounded. There is no Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track included on this disc.Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: 2.5 out of 5Released theatrically in Ultra*Stereo (an open-source version of Dolby Stereo), the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 remix is nothing to get overly excited about. Frequency response and dynamic range are rather flat, although dialogue, directed mostly to the center channel, remains intelligible. It’s a front-heavy mix, with very little discrete surround or LFE activity. There is also a noticeable lip-synch issue where the audio begins to drift away at about the 40 minute mark, eventually catching up again near the conclusion of the film.Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: 3.5 out of 5Like its predecessor, Halloween 5 was released theatrically in Ultra*Stereo. But unlike that Blu-ray release, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 remix is a vast improvement, opening up the soundstage and offering increased clarity and fidelity. It’s still a very front-heavy mix, but doesn't sound as muddy as Halloween 4.Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Theatrical Cut): 4 out of 5Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer’s Cut): 4 out of 5Both cuts contain a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 stereo tracks, and sound very similar. Surround presence is quite strong, mostly through music cues and atmospheric effects. Dialogue is directed mostly to the center channel, and although sometimes mixed a bit lower than expected, never gets lost in the music or sound effects.Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: 4 out of 5The first of the Halloween series to be released theatrically with a 5.1 digital surround mix, Halloween H20 comes with both DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 mixes, with the 5.1 winning out. The track has increased clarity and fidelity, with well-defined and centered dialogue, and a fun, aggressive use of discrete surround and LFE effects, with a deep low-end.Halloween: Resurrection: 4 out of 5This disc includes both DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mixes. The 5.1 mix is well-done, with lots of discrete sound effects immersing the viewer into the creepiness of Michael Myer’s home, accentuated with a deep low-end. Dialogue remains clear and directed mostly to the center channel.Halloween (2007): 4 out of 5This is a very dynamic mix, presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Dialogue remains clear and distinct, while the viewer becomes immersed in Tyler Bates’ rendition of the famous theme by John Carpenter, as well as atmospheric effects and a deep low end. The film’s use of classic 70s rock also benefits greatly from the increased fidelity of the track.Halloween II (2009): 4.5 out of 5Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, this is a loud, disturbing, and quite aggressive mix, matching the visual style of the film. Thunder, car crashes, etc. will likely shake your home theater room, immersing you in Rob Zombie’s hell. Dialogue is clear and intelligible, and Tyler Bates’ original score (using Carpenter’s theme sparsely) gets an added benefit from the increased dynamic range.
Audio Rating: 4/5
44-Page Full-color Booklet with Essay by Michael Gingold: The author discusses, briefly, each entry in the franchise, and where it may be headed in the future.Disc One - Halloween (1978):Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actor Jamie Lee Curtis: Ported over from the 35th Anniversary edition, the two discuss making of the film, including trivial aspects including wardrobe and hair. It’s an insightful track, and well-worth listening to.Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Dean Cundey, Editor/Production Designer Tommy Lee Wallace, and Actor Nick Castle: Exclusive to this set, this track is a nice complement to the track listed above, with Cundey and Wallace discussing the overall look of the film, and Castle occasionally dropping in with his opinions.The Night She Came Home! (1080p; 59:43): We follow Jamie Lee Curtis as she makes her way to a fan convention, auctioning off memorabilia from Halloween to raise money for charity. There’s some interesting discussions with the actress, but it could have easily been trimmed by 30 minutes, at least.On Location: 25 Years Later (480i; 10:25): A trip down memory lane to the shooting locations in Pasadena, CA.TV Version Footage (480i; 10:46): Footage Carpenter had to shoot during Halloween II to pad out the running time for NBC’s broadcast of Halloween.Theatrical Trailer (480i; 2:42): The red-band trailer for the film.TV Spots (480i; 1:16): Three television ads for the film.Radio Spots (1:24)Disc Two - Halloween (1978):Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Carpenter, Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, and Producer Debra Hill: The original 2007 commentary track with the late Debra Hill.Film Fast Facts: A subtitle trivia track that runs during the movie.Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest (480i; 87:07): Produced for the FOX Movie Channel in 2003, the documentary features interviews with many of the cast and crew.Theatrical Trailer (480i; 2:42): The red-band trailer for the film.TV Spots (480i; 1:16): Three television ads for the film.Radio Spots (1:24)Disc Three - Halloween II (1981):Audio Commentary With Director Rick Rosenthal and Actor Leo Rossi: Of the two commentary tracks included with this release, this is the more engaging one, thanks to the friendship of these two men and the mostly fond on-set memories they had while making the film. However, many of the stories told are repeated in the behind the scenes featurette.Audio Commentary With Stunt Coordinator Dick Warlock: Robert V. Galluzzo (Icons of Fright) hosts the track, keeping veteran stunt man Warlock engaged. The two discuss Warlock’s approach to playing “The Shape” (aka Michael Meyers), how many of the stunts were performed, and Warlock’s long association with both John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.The Nightmare Isn’t Over (1080p; 44:55): Director Rick Rosenthal, DP Dean Cundey, composer Alan Howarth, Lance Guest, producer Irwin Yablans, Leo Rossi, and Nancy Stephens discuss making the sequel, the problems they encountered, the reaction to the film, and the legacy. One of the most interesting reveals is when Cundey mentions turning down lensing Poltergeist in favor of Halloween II.Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Revisiting the Locations of Halloween II (1080p; 13:10): Sean Clark hosts this look at how many of the locations used in Halloween II exist today.Still Gallery (1080p; 5:02): Stills from the film’s press kit are presented here for about 5 seconds each, and you can use the chapter skip button to page through them faster if you’d like.TV Spots (480i; 1:41): Two TV trailers and a network promo are included, obviously taken from an old VHS tape.Radio Spots (3:17) Six radio commercials are presented, four in English and two in Spanish.Alternate Ending (1080p; 1:44): Rosenthal’s happier ending is provided here, with optional director commentary.Deleted Scenes (1080p; 8:06): Rosenthal provides optional commentary for this collection of deleted scenes, many of which were restored in the TV broadcast version.Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:18): The film’s original red-band trailer is presented in washed-out and cropped 16:9 full screen.Disc Four - Halloween II (1981):Network Broadcast TV Version of Halloween II (480p; 93:11): The NBC network purchased the broadcast rights to Halloween II, and ended up having to use much of Rosenthal’s original cut to squeak by Standards and Practices. That cut is presented on a DVD in 1.33:1 pan and scan and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.Original Screenplay: The film’s screenplay is available as a PDF on the DVD-Rom portion of this disc.Disc Five - Halloween III: Season of the Witch:Audio Commentary With Director Tommy Lee Wallace: Wallace is joined by Horror’s Hallowed Grounds host Sean Clark and Icons of Fright’s Rob G in what can best be summarized as a fan’s dream come true. The three discuss the development, production, various locations where the film was shot, how the Silver Shamrock jingle came to be, and initial reaction to the film.Audio Commentary With Actor Tom Atkins: Joining Tom Atkins is DVD producer Michael Felsher, and the two discuss making the film, but quite a bit of time is spent by Atkins discussing his career, including working on The Rockford Files.Stand Alone: The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1080p; 33:09): Director Tommy Lee Wallace, DP Dean Cundey, composer Alan Howarth, Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, and producer Irwin Yablans discuss making a non-sequel, the problems they encountered, and the reaction to the film. This is a fun, interesting, and entertaining documentary.Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Revisiting the Locations of Halloween III (1080p; 19:44): Sean Clark hosts this look at how many of the locations used in Halloween III exist today.Still Gallery (1080p; 3:27): Stills from the film’s press kit are presented here for about 5 seconds each, and you can use the chapter skip button to page through them faster if you’d like.TV Spots (480i; 1:35): Two TV trailers and a network promo are included, obviously taken from an old VHS tape.Theatrical Trailers (1080p; 2:44): The film’s original teaser and theatrical trailers are presented in washed-out and cropped 16:9 full screen.Disc Six - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers:Audio Commentary with Director Dwight H. Little and Author Justin Beahm: The author of Halloween: The Complete Authorized History moderates this track with the film’s director, as they discuss the making of the film, casting the parts, etc.Audio Commentary with Actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris: The two actresses reminisce about making the movie as well as working on the next installment.Theatrical Trailer (480i; 1:36)Disc Seven - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers:Audio Commentary with Actor Don Shanks and Author Justin Beahm: The author of Halloween: The Complete Authorized History moderates this track with the actor who plays Michael Myers.Audio Commentary with Director Dominique Othenin-Girard and Actors Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman: The director discusses making the movie with help from Danielle Harris (Jamie) and Jeffrey Landman (Billy).Halloween 5: On the Set (480i; 16:16): A rather amateurish behind the scenes documentary with cast and crew interviews.Halloween 5: Original Promo (480i; 5:50): Fairly standard EPK trailer with behind the scenes footage.Theatrical Trailer (480i; 0:36)Disc Eight - Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Theatrical Cut):Theatrical Trailers (1080p; 3:04): Three trailers are included, and appear to be upconverted from an SD source.TV Spots (1080p; 3:31): Eight television ads are included, all apparently upconverted from an SD source.Still Gallery (1080p; 11:47): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.Disc Nine - Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producers Cut):Audio Commentary with Writer Daniel Farrands and Composer Alan Howarth: Much of the conversation centers around the differences between Farrands’ screenplay, the theatrical cut, and the producers cut, but Farrands does discuss some of his inspirations for the characters and plotlines, and Howarth interjects from time to time on his score for both versions of the film.Acting Scared with Mariah O’Brien and J.C. Brandy (1080p; 19:25): The two actresses discuss their involvement in the film, as well as thoughts on their cast mates, particularly Paul Rudd.The Shape of Things: The Murder & Mayhem of Halloween 6 (1080p; 11:36): A look at the men behind the masks as well as some of the make-up effects used in the film.Haddonfield’s Horrors: The Visual Design of “Halloween 6” (1080p; 11:17): Director of Photography Billy Dickson and Production Designer Bryan Ryman discuss the overall look of the film.A Cursed “Curse” (1080p; 10:00): Associate Producer Malek Akkad and Producer Paul Freeman discuss many of the problems with the production of the film, notably the involvement of Miramax.Full Circle with Composer Alan Howarth (1080p; 7:27): Howarth discusses composing the score for this and the previous entries in the series.Jamie’s Story with Danielle Harris (1080p; 7:35): Harris discusses not being cast as Jamie in this film.Cast and Crew Tribute to Donald Pleasance (1080p; 3:07): Members of the cast and crew reminisce about working with the legendary actor.Teaser Trailer (1080i; 1:01): The original trailer titled Halloween 666: The Origins of Michael Myers, upscaled from an SD source.Archival Interviews and Behind the Scenes Footage (1080p; 8:00): Featuring interviews with Donald Pleasance, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, and Joe Chappelle.Behind The Scenes Footage (1080i; 24:04): Home movies shot on the set by writer Daniel Farrands, upscaled from an SD source.Alternate and Deleted Scenes (1080i; 7:24): A collection of alternate and deleted scenes not used in either version of the film, many of which were upscaled from an SD source.Electronic Press Kit (1080p; 4:51): The original EPK sent out to press outlets, upscaled from an SD source.Disc Ten - Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later:Audio Commentary with Director Steve Miner and Actress Jamie Lee Curtis: The commentary that was promised on the original DVD release, but never recorded or included, finally comes to fruition. Sean Clark moderates the track, and keeps the conversation lively.Blood is Thicker Than Water: The Making of Halloween H20 (1080p; 58:44): Many members of the cast and crew reminisce about making the film.Scenes with John Ottman’s Original Score (1080p; 24:03): Six scenes are presented with only the music track present, featuring the score that was originally composed by John Ottman (and replaced in the theatrical cut with music by Marco Beltrami).Vintage Interviews and Behind the Scenes Footage (1080i; 45:36): Featuring interviews with director Steve Miner, Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J, Adam Arkin, Janet Leigh, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Moustapha Akkad, all upscaled from an SD source.Theatrical Trailer (1080i; 1:57): Upscaled from an SD source.TV Spot (1080i; 0:31): Upscaled from an SD source.Still Gallery (1080p; 7:53): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.Disc Eleven - Halloween: Resurrection:Audio Commentary with Director Rick Rosenthal and Editor Robert A. Ferretti: The two discuss the film’s development, production, and release.Alternate Endings (with optional commentary by Director Rick Rosenthal) (1080p; 3:16): The director discusses three different endings to the film.Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary by Director Rick Rosenthal) (1080p; 7:32): The director discusses six scenes left on the cutting room floor.Web Cam Special (with optional commentary by Director Rick Rosenthal) (1080i; 41:19): A selection of various head cam videos shot during production of the film.Head Cam (1080i; 4:12): A brief look at the head cams used in the film, upscaled from an SD source.Storyboard Analysis (1080i; 3:51): Storyboard to film comparisons of several sequences from the film, upscaled from an SD source.Set Tour with Production Designer Troy Hansen (1080i; 6:53): Hansen discusses building the house on a soundstage in Vancouver, upscaled from an SD source.Set Interview with Jamie Lee Curtis (1080i; 4:05): The actress discusses her role in the film, upscaled from an SD source.Vintage Interviews and Behind the Scenes Footage (1080i; 36:37): Featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Bianca Kajlich, Moustapha Akkad, Rick Rosenthal, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Luke Kirby, Sean Patrick Thomas, Katee Sackhoff, Daisy McCrackin, and Thomas Ian Nicholas, all upscaled from an SD source.Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:19): Upscaled from an SD source.Home Video TV Spots (1080i; 0:47): Two ads for the DVD, upscaled from an SD source.Still Gallery (1080p; 6:49): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.Disc Twelve - Halloween (2007):Audio Commentary with Director Rob Zombie: Zombie’s commentaries are pretty exhaustive, handing out a great wealth of information, and this one is no exception, talking at great lengths about the production.Deleted Scenes (480i; 22:19): 17 deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Rob Zombie.Alternate Ending (480i; 3:45): with optional commentary by Rob Zombie.Bloopers (480i; 10:18)The Many Masks of Michael Myers (480i; 6:26): A look at the various masks used in the film, featuring interviews with Rob Zombie, Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, costume designer Mary McLeod, and effects artist Wayne Toth.Re-Imagining Halloween (480i; 19:11): Broken down into three segments (From Camera To Screen, The Production Design, and The Makeup FX, Props, and Wardrobe), this featurette takes a brief look at the entire production process.Meet The Cast (480i; 18:16): A look at the primary characters and the casting process.Casting Sessions (480i; 29:52): Audition tapes of many of the actors in the film.Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test (Laurie Strode) (480i; 7:47)Theatrical Trailer (480i; 2:00)Disc Thirteen - Halloween (2007) Bonus Disc:Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween (1080i; 4:20:00): This is the 4 hour, 20 minute documentary on the making of Rob Zombie’s Halloween, meticulously following the film’s pre-production and 42-day shooting schedule.Disc Fourteen - Halloween II (2009):Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rob Zombie: Zombie talks at great length about making the movie, explaining the meaning of the White Horse, changes and differences between the two movies, and his run-ins with studio execs during production.Deleted and Alternate Scenes (1080p; 25:14): A collection of 23 scenes, either deleted or alternate versions. Unfortunately, there is no commentary from the director as to why these were not included.Blooper Reel (1080p; 4:26)Audition Footage (9:37): Audition tapes for Chase Wright Vanek, Angela Trimbur, Jeffrey Daniel Phillips, Chris Hardwick, Mary Birdsong, Richard Brake, and Octavia Spencer.Makeup Test Footage (1080p; 3:35): Makeup tests for Deborah Myers and interior and exterior for Michael Myers.Uncle Seymour Coffins’ Stand-up Routines (1080p; 8:40): The complete stand up routines as seen during the Halloween rave in the film.Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures Music Videos (1080p): Videos for the songs Zombie A Go Go (2:26), Honky Tonk Halloween (3:09), Redneck Vixen From Outerspace (3:02), Dr. Demon & the Robot Girl (3:32), Transylvania Terror Train (2:30), and Macon County Morgue (4:30).Disc Fifteen - Bonus Disc:Halloween - The Extended Version (1080p; 1:41:08): The TV reshoots (upscaled from an SD source) have been edited into the film to provide a “complete” edition.Halloween 2000 Unmasked (1080i; 27:16): Another look at the making of the original Halloween, archived from a previous DVD release, and upscaled from an SD source.The Making of Halloween 4: Final Cut (1080i; 16:47): An archival documentary (from the DVD release of Halloween 4) on the making of the film, upscaled from an SD source.Back to Basics: The Making of Halloween 4 (1080p; 47:47): Newly created for this collector’s set, featuring new interviews with director Dwight Little, Malek Akkad, writer Alan B. McElroy, composer Alan Howarth, and actresses Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell.Inside Halloween 5 (1080i; 15:10): An archival documentary (from the DVD release of Halloween 5) on the making of the film, upscaled from an SD source.Dead Man’s Party: The Making of Halloween 5 (1080p; 44:25): Newly created for this collector’s set, featuring new interviews with Malek Akkad, composer Alan Howarth, and actresses Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell. The documentary delves into the production troubles with the film, including the fact that it was rushed into production without a completed screenplay.Interview with Moustapha Akkad (1080i; 1:17): A way too short archival interview with the series Executive Producer.Make-Up From Scratch with Tom Burman (1080p; 6:00): Burman discusses the make-up effects used in Halloween III in this new segment produced for this set.Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Host Sean Clark takes us on a tour of the shooting locations for Halloween 4 (1080p; 25:50), Halloween 5 (1080p; 24:03), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1080p; 23:09), Halloween (1080i; 20:39), and Halloween: Fan Edition (1080p; 11:25) in which Clark takes a busload of fans on a tour of shooting locations used in the first three films as well as Rob Zombie’s remakes.TV Spots for Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Halloween (2007), and Halloween II (2009) (1080i; 3:42): All are upscaled from an SD source.Radio Spots for Halloween III (1:43): Three radio spots for the film.Halloween Still Gallery (1080p; 12:57): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.Halloween 4 Still Gallery (1080p; 6:09): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.Halloween 5 Still Gallery (1080p; 6:09): A collection of poster art and publicity stills.
Special Features Rating: 4.5/5
Fans of the series will likely go nuts for this set, being about as complete as can possibly be, at least until another movie in the series is made. Many mistakes from previous editions of these films have been corrected here, and both Anchor Bay and Shout! Factory put a great deal of care and effort on this release to make it worthwhile.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: Todd Erwin
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