Lock your doors! Bolt your windows! Turn off the lights! It’s going to be a Blu Halloween this October! In the next couple of months, fans of the original Halloween series will finally be able to own all eight films on the high definition Blu-ray platform.
Following the controversial release of Universal’s Halloween 2 disc last year (which you can read about here), Shout! Factory’s new genre label Scream Factory is attempting to right some wrongs with a fully loaded Blu-ray/DVD combo of that 1981 sequel to John Carpenter's classic Halloween. In addition to a feature-length audio commentary with director Rick Rosenthal, the package also includes a Dick Warlock commentary, a new making-of documentary and the highly anticipated TV cut.
The big news is that along with Halloween 2, Shout! was able to secure the rights to the Myers-less 1982 follow-up Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Trumpeting two feature-length commentaries (one with director Tommy Lee Wallace), a making-of documentary and several more special features, this 30th anniversary edition should please the growing cult of Silver Shamrock fans. H3 will be available in separate Blu-ray and DVD packages. Also, both releases feature dynamic new artwork with reversible covers sporting the original theatrical one-sheets. (Finally, there will be an H2 DVD release with the original iconic pumpkin art!) The clock is ticking. It’s almost time. Don’t miss the big giveaway on September 18, 2012.
In August, Anchor Bay is releasing updated versions of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Both will feature brand new HD transfers and several new bonus features. H4 has a new director commentary with Dwight Little and 30 minutes of never-before-seen outtakes. H5 includes new audio commentary with actor Don Shanks and author Justin Beahm, new behind-the-scenes footage, the original promo and more. Fans will be happy to know that much of the supplemental material from the previous releases of H4 & H5 will also be included. In a nice homage to the late producer, Anchor Bay has added “Moustapha Akkad Presents” to both title treatments on the packaging. Take that Universal!
Budget company Echo Bridge, for better or worse, has the US rights to the three Miramax Halloween titles. Both Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween: H20 were released on Blu-ray last year, while the final film in the original series Halloween: Resurrection was set free upon an unsuspecting public last May. Though the picture quality of both Curse and H20 are both mediocre, reviews of the Resurrection disc have been very positive. If you want to spend a bit more for all three titles, a Triple Pack from Canadian company Alliance is also available with superior picture and sound on all three.
While the original film awaits an inevitable 35th anniversary release next year, you can still pick up Anchor Bay’s 2007 Blu-ray of Halloween. This particular transfer wasn’t supervised by cinematographer Dean Cundey, who approved the transfer of the Limited Edition DVD release in ‘99. Critics have complained that the picture quality is too bright and doesn’t reflect the moody, atmospheric tone Carpenter and Cundey intended. Purists may want to stick with the ’99 release until next year when The Shape comes back home for yet another must-have special edition. Let’s hope when He does, Cundey participates to ensure any tricks are left out of the treat bag.