II (Collector's Edition) (1981)
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Shout! Factory/Scream Factory
Shout! Factory kicks off their line called Scream Factory with
HALLOWEEN II in a loaded two-disc special edition with a second disc containing
the TV edit with additional footage, so people can now finally throw away the
old bare-bones Universal DVD.
HALLOWEEN II takes place exactly where HALLOWEEN left off; when Dr. Loomis (Donald
Pleasance, FANTASTIC VOYAGE) shoots Michael Myers and he falls off the balcony
and onto the ground. But when Loomis comes out, Myers is nowhere to be found,
but Loomis manages to sample some blood left over from his spot and tells a
neighbor to call the police. An ambulance is called and it takes a shaken and
distressed Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis, TRADING PLACES) to the hospital as she's
forced to be put asleep when she arrives. Meanwhile, Loomis and local sheriff
Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) patrol the neighborhood to see where Myers
is and Loomis mistakes an adult trick-or-treater with a Michael Myers-like mask
and plans to shoot him until another police car speeds over the person and pins
him against a burning van, killing him. Back at the local hospital, we are introduced
to the rather skeleton staff: slick womanizer Budd (Leo Rossi, FAST GETAWAY),
Jimmy (Lance Guest, THE LAST STARFIGHTER), both paramedics, who takes a interest
in the sedated Laurie, Graham (Jeffrey Kramer), Karen (Pamela Susan Shoop, EMPIRE
OF THE ANTS), Jill (Tawny Moyer), head nurse Mrs. Alves (Gloria Gifford), Janet
(Ana Alicia), Dr. Mixter (Ford Rainey), and bumbling security guard Mr. Garrett
(Cliff Emmich, STINGRAY). When Brackett discovers Annie's (Nancy Loomis) body
before it's taken to the hospital, he has fellow deputy Gary Hunt (Hunter Von
Leer, THE STONE KILLER) take over his duties so he can recover from his shock.
One by one, the hospital's employees get eliminated by Michael as he slashes
his way through corridors.
most people weren't too crazy in making HALLOWEEN II, including most of the
crew, it comes off as very enjoyable, special effects-wise, though the gore
effects are pretty gruesome and were often dismissed by the executive producers
Irwin Yablans and Joesph Wolf, since the original version, which concentrated
on creative chills and scares, was turned into a predictable gory slasher flick.
Rick Rosenthal does a good job directing and most of the cast including Rossi,
Gifford and Shoop, were in his acting class at USC. Cyphers doesn't have much
to do in the film, sadly, since he disappears from most of the remainder of
the running time and Curtis doesn't do much either, until the climactic finale.
Some fans may spot a young Dana Carvey as a news assistant, years before his
career took off as part of the cast of SNL.
Previously available on DVD in 2003 by Universal with just a full-frame theatrical
trailer as the only specific extra, Shout! Factory, under their new and highly
publicized Scream Factory banner, has now reissued it in a loaded two-disc special
edition (as well as Blu-ray) with stuff you always wanted to know about the
film. First off, Shout! presents the film in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic
enhancement. It seems to be a HD master since the image is within a 1.85:1 (16x9)
frame and I'm not too sure if it's the same master that was seen on the old
Universal DVD since it looks pretty much the same. The print source does have
nice detail with good colors and a fine coating of grain. The Dolby Digital
mono audio is in good condition.
extras kick off with an audio commentary by Rosenthal and Rossi, and though
it has some dead spots on occasion, lots of behind-the-scenes stories are shared
between the two good-natured men. A second commentary featuring stunt coordinator
Dick Warlock, who portrayed Michael Myers in the film, moderated by Robert V.
Galluzzo, creator of ICONS OF FRIGHT, is enjoyable too. One story that Warlock
has talked about constantly is how he jokingly tortured Yablans in his office
by dressing up as Michael Myers. A making-of documentary, lasting almost 45
minutes, has interviews with the cast and crew sharing behind-the-scenes info
and some stuff you haven't heard until now. Yablans explains how he ended up
suing John Carpenter when he decided to do THE FOG with a friend of Yablan's
and Rossi talks about the hot tub scene where it was actually freezing cold
and that he was the first to get out when the cameras stopped rolling. A short
documentary, HORROR'S HALLOWED GROUNDS: THE LOCATION OF HALLOWEEN II, has Sean
Clark revisiting the locations used in the film. Not very special, but worth
a look. Eight minutes of deleted scenes (presented full frame) are included
as well as an alternate ending that Rosenthal obviously cut from the finished
film. The original trailer, two TV spots (both taken from a decades-old video
source, as well as an early 1990s USA Network promo for the film), and six radio
spots (the last two are Spanish ones) are included in the first disc. The second
disc features the alternate TV cut with the deleted scenes and alternate ending.
It's presented full-frame and was presumably from a cable broadcast, but it
does look nice.
I'm very excited that Shout! has launched this new label and looking forward
to more releases. (Kyle McElravy)