Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Halloween 2 and Terror in the Aisles on Blu-Ray Today!
Certainly a great sequel to a classic horror film, the thing that has me really excited is the 2nd feature included on the disc that isn't even mentioned on the cover.
I'll get to that in a minute, but first, a bit about Halloween II.
Don't worry I'm not going to go over the plot.
It's the 30th Anniversary of Halloween II so if you haven't seen it yet, just know that it's a sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween and that more people die at the hands of Michael Myers while his Captain Ahab --aka Doctor Loomis-- chases him down.
Now, with that out of the way: why I think it's a great sequel:
1) It's a sequel that picks up exactly where Carpenter's Halloween left off.
Not many horror movie sequels do that, usually some time has passed or the location has changed, but in II they're still in Haddonfield... Loomis is still looking over the balcony... the gun is still smoking... Laurie is still crying... and technically it's still Halloween night. Which is a good thing for a film called Halloween, or Halloween 2. Boom, we're off and running.
2) The soundtrack is still good.
It helps that it's composed by Mr. John Carpenter himself again whose "Halloween Theme" from the first film is one of the most recognized horror themes of all time. The music just feels bigger in this movie. More instrumentation, more synthesizer all add up to make the sequel feel like more is on the line--- which it is.
Also worth noting is that The Chordettes "Mr. Sandman" is included (it's the song that plays us out of the film and into the credits). The song has become synonymous with the Halloween series even though it didn't appear 'til Part 2 (and it appears nostalgically in Halloween: H20).
3) The film features more things tied in to the Halloween season.
John Carpenter's film may have been called Halloween, but it was a really low-budget affair.
So the only Halloween stuff you see are a few pumpkins, a handful of kids in costume and some dried leaves blowing around.
This time there was a slightly larger Universal Studios budget to play with so we get:
- A number of Halloween decorations up in the hospital.
- A poor trick or treater who has unfortunately bitten into a razor-bladed apple (the poison/tainted candy thing was big in the 80's, I can attest).
- People on the streets of Haddonfield in costume.
Yay. Halloween stuff in a Halloween film.
4) Consistency in tone.
Even though John Carpenter stuck to his guns (as he does to this day) by saying he won't do sequels, he was still involved with the picture in many ways. In addition to the above-mentioned score, he and Producer Debra Hill wrote the screenplay for Halloween II and Carpenter hand-picked Rosenthal to helm the film. To help Rick Rosenthal out, the Director of Photography (Dean Cundey) was back for another go-round too giving the movie the same visual style as its predecessor.
All these things came together to make this (in my opinion) the best sequel of the series.
For extreme fans of Halloween II you should know that the Blu-Ray finally has the Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes. No surprises if you've ever watched a TV version of the movie (like I did) but still great to have them pristine and clear.
Because it includes the never-before-released on DVD feature Terror in the Aisles.
Terror in the Aisles basically amounts to a feature length "clip show."
Hosted by Donald Pleasence (Hey! He was in Halloween!) and Nancy Allen (Hey! She was in RoboCop and Carrie!) the documentary poses the question "What scares us?" and then hangs its hat on it by using a ton of clips from classic horror films from Jaws to Psycho to The Fog to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and many more.
This movie is a VHS tape that I had in heavy rotation on my VCR back in the day and now that it's on hi-def Blu-Ray it'd be a great thing to pop in at a Halloween party.
The montage of clips allow people to pop in and watch for a bit without committing to watching the whole movie and it has a nostalgia factor too as the horror movies aren't going to go beyond 1984 (the release date of the picture).
So you're getting two, TWO, horror features for the price of one.
And that price is ridiculously cheap too: only $15 - $17 depending on where you grab it.
(I'd prefer you grab it from Buy.com HERE as I'll get a couple of pence and a goat).
UPDATED: California and Amazon got back together after breaking up. Here's another link to purchase: