This is a wonderful edition, back in the days where Anchor Bay was synonym of amazing special features and quality remasters. They WERE the Criterion of horror films in the birth of the 21st century. Were.
This edition of Halloween contains two versions of the film. One is the original John Carpenter version and the second disc holds the TV version presented in widescreen with 8-10 more minutes of film.
There are a few special features such as a 30-min doc entitled "Halloween unmasked" which you could have if you had bought the orange VHS videocassettes back in 1998 (yeah, I DO feel young), trailers and a commentary track. This and the H25 anniversary edition, combined with the recent Blu-ray edition of the 35th anniversary would make for a perfect Halloween experience with all the special features that Anchor Bay NEVER repeats or collects for later editions.
Once Halloween was Samhain, the one night of the year when the dead returned to cause trouble for the living.
Well, Michael Myers wasn't dead, but on "Halloween" he returned to cause trouble for the people of his hometown, with all its dark houses and teenage victims. And John Carpenter's masterpiece lives up to its reputation: creepy, eerie, harrowing, and full of solid acting from Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis.
On Halloween, 1963, young Michael Myers lurked outside the house while his sister had sex with her boyfriend. After he left, Michael put on a mask, picked up a knife, and stabbed his sister to death.
Fifteen years later, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is about to take Myers to a legal hearing, when Myers (Nick Castle) breaks open the psych hospital and escapes in Loomis' car. On Halloween, teenage Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) notices a silent, masked figure popping up and disappearing near her school, house, and neighborhood.
Despite this, she goes about her babysitting duties, even taking care of another girl's charge overnight. The only problem is, the girl is dead, and so is another pal and her boyfriend. Dr. Loomis is staking out Myers' old home, unaware that Myers is now prowling the house where Laurie is staying -- and there seems to be no way to avoid the knife-wielding "evil."
It sounds like a thousand knockoff movies made since then, but "Halloween" formed the original mold. And like any other groundbreaker, it is the most stripped-down, intense example of the genre -- little gore, little graphic violence, but the way it's handled is enough to make your hair stand on end, and make you go to bed with a gun under your pillow.
And Carpenter handles the spookiness beautifully -- initially, the story is pleasantly average -- teen gossip, small-town atmosphere, and chatter about boyfriends, dances and babysitting. It has the occasional spooky moment -- such as Myers popping out of a hedge to stare at Laurie -- but isn't really scary just yet. But as Myers starts bumping off teenagers, the plot darkens and twists.
Carpenter spins up a claustrophobic, trapped feeling, partly due to a shadowy old house full of windows and doors, any of which could be Myers' way in. You can't help but jump with every shadow. And Carpenter sprinkles the plot with unspeakably creepy moments -- Myers quietly slithering in a window above Laurie, or dressing as a ghost with only his heavy breathing to identify him.
Curtis was the original scream queen thanks to this movie, and she does an amazing job -- even when she's racing around pounding on doors and shrieking, she seems realistic. Pleasance is just as good as Loomis, who is determined and full of dread at what his patient is, but also has his moments of humour (like when he frightens some pranksters at the Myers house). And though we only see Myers' face a few times, his masked face, silent movements and heavy breathing are the stuff of nightmare.
"Halloween" was a more psychological, atmospheric kind of horror, and it did its job almost too well. The original slasher movie -- harrowing, eerie, and petrifying.
on September 27, 2009
Being a die hard "Nightmare on Elm street" fan, I bought this set as a present for my boyfriend. I have to admit I was not disappointed and he absolutely loved it. The extras are awesome and just the box itself is worth every single penny. Collectors and Halloween fans should buy this.
on July 13, 2004
Halloween was the very first horror movie I saw as a kid, at age 4.Ever since then, no Halloween or anytime of the year is complete for me without Dr.Loomis, Laurie Strode, Sheriff Brackett, and of course the man himself, Michael Myers. This movie epitomizes everything that Halloween is..the bogeyman laying in the dark shadow of the room , waiting for the perfect moment to strike..It's got everything..From the typical American small town, horror movies in the city just don't work..The great horror flicks of all time:Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amityville Horror, Last House on the Left, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and Scream, they all took place in small towns or in the middles of nowhere..
Plus Halloween films for me have always somehow managed to get the intangible down:Atmosphere.They nail the Halloween , late fall atmsophere perfectly..I loved the whole bunch of them..I'm a sucker for horror though. I also love all the Friday the 13ths, Texas Chainsaws, Screams, and Nightmares.
on July 10, 2004
Halloween is definitely the film that inspired the first wave of horror movies. It clearly inspired Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street.
When Michael Myers brutally murdered his sister Judith he was sent to a children's hospital for a life sentence. But after serving 15 years he escaped and travelled to the small town of Haddonfield where he stalks 3 young women Laurie, Annie and Lynda. It also happens to be Halloween night when he comes out of the shadows and definitely gives them a scare to remember!
Everything about Halloween is 1st class entertainment! John Carpenter doesn't rely on lots of gore to make this movie a classic. He relies on suspense which works like a charm! The music score is also terrifying and the now famous Halloween tune will haunt me forever after watching this film!
It's really fun to see a young Jamie Lee Curtis running around scared because in this day and age you don't think of her being able to play the virginal heroine! Clearly it was down to her that the stereotype was even created in the first place!!!
With excellent supportive performances from Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis and PJ Soles this film will always live on!
on June 29, 2004
Their are two much of these special edtion's.. -Out on
DVD.. -Their is even the talked about Television version
which I've seen on T.V. -From time two time.. -And; -Anchor
Bay home Entertainment don't know how two put a real
delux special edition of this cult classic.. -Of all time's..
I'm talking about.. -John Carpenter's.. -Halloween.. -A
freshly fast paced horror slasher that imitated; -"Friday
the 13th.. -Which created the term.. -Horror Slasher.. -At
that time in; -1980.. -That one was directed by; -Sean S.
Cunningham.. -Ho directed it.. -Now incomming; -John
Carpenter.. -A low budget film maker ho wanted two make
his first feature horror flick for those ho really
Want pure horror movie.. -Yes.. -He gave us the edge of
what he needed in his film.. -It is the edge of the monster
him self.. -Michael Myer's.. -Ho was a little boy ho had
butchard his sister in the same house where Laurie Strode
drop's off the key at the Myer's place.. -Right..
At the beginning of the film.. -We are introduce two
Sam Loomis.. -Played by the really cool actor.. -Donald
Pleasence.. -Ho try's out his best performance.. -The
film don't seem two need his character a lot.. -But
he just hold's up the blend of his dialoge.. -And take's
it seriously for us two understand what monster he is
dealing with.. -Dr. -Loomis learn's that Michael has
escaped from; -Smith Grove .. -And is planning a surprise
Welcome home party for; -Laurie Strode.. -Jamie Lee Curtis.
Ho will become known as the scream queen..! -In the early
80's.. -And other nameless scream queen name's..! -After
Michael get's away with his doctor's; -official car..! -He
is ready two strike on Halloween.. -That's when the next
day come's.. -Luarie is on her way two drop off the key at
the myers house.. -We are introduce two Tommy Doyle..
Played by; -Brian Andrews..! -Ho seems like an annoyance
two Laurie about his belief in this hole boogeyman myth..?
later on in the film.. -Laurie is being stalked by Michael.
from his home.. -Two the school..! -Laurie is then ask by
her friends of what her plan's are.. -As they tell her
their plan's for the holiday..! -But we all know what is
going two happen.. -Their..? -Tonight..! -Right..!
This is a horror slasher..! -These horror type's will know
what these kid's; -teenager's will do on a holiday..?
So Luarie is about two baby sit Tommy Doyle.. -Tommy asks
her about Lonny teasing him about the boogeyman..! -Annie
call's and Laurie is disturb that she asked Ben Traimmer
two come ask Laurie two the dance.. -Just in a while as
the barking dog annoy's; -Annie..! -So Michael is watching
Annie.. -At the widow.. -Walk's away.. -As she is talking
on the phone that she may be the pest problem of the family
and the dog is her replacement.. -Which makes me laugh..
then Laurie is shocked and angry at Annie for asking Ben
Traimmer two take out Laurie Strode.. -Ho get's a bit
tad jealous..! -Then Annie hangs up the phone..! -Here's
Lester barking so loud.. -Michael kill's the mutt..?
Annie walk's out two the Laundry room where she gets
changed.. -Get's trap.. -Michael is around the Laundry
back way where he sees her.. -Annie call's for the
pesky little girl.. -Linsday..! -Ho goe's out two get
her out..! -Paul has called; -she and Linsday go out
two the back kitchen.. -As she talk's two Paul..?
So Annie take's Lindsey two Tommy Doyle's..! -House..!
Where Laurie is baby sitting with him..? -She is
invited over two sleep for the night..? -Annie asks
if she take's care of her she will talk two Ben
Traimmer two not ask her out..! -The Jealousy their..?
And Annie is attack by; -Michael in her red car..?
Then two sex crazed..! -Student's..! -Bob and Linda..!
Spend the night..! -as they do the sex stuff..? -The
two get killed by; -Michael..! -In a violent way..!
Laurie is survied by the killer stalking her after her
encounter and attack.. -At the both houses..! -Dr.
Loomis shoot's his monster at the end..
Sorry for spoiling this review..! -This is for those
ho don't really care in seeing Halloween.. -Rather just
watching this review..!
I just like two say that I've hope that Anchor Bay
Home Entertainmeet..! -Need two learn two make up their
mind's which special edition's.. -Is right for us fan's..!
It is just a waste of time..?
But doe's not accomplish any thing..! -I've really enjoy
the theatricle Version instead..! -The T.V. -Version was
interesting when I saw it again on my friend's
John Carpenter's. -"Halloween.." -1978.. -Still a great
slasher.. -The script is really bitter..? -The characters
don't seem two have a purpose for this flick..! -But it is
about the monster and are heroin ho doe's it in any
on June 25, 2004
Horror films are usually the least looked upon in the cinema business. This is mostly because they are poor and really stupid- most of the time. However, every once and a while, a horror movie comes out that truly is spectacular. In 1978, "Halloween" was that horror movie. It was a simple film with a simple plot and an unknown cast (with the exception of Donald Pleasance). Yet somehow "Halloween" became one of, if not the most, successful independant motion pictures of all time. Why was this? It was because of a simple plot made into a terrifying story, a good and well picked cast, and a little amount of gore and unnessisary violence. It is true that "Halloween" was nothing more than perfect.
To start, the story of "Halloween" is not a very complex one. There is no twist, no supernatural demon, and no long and mind boggling mysteries. "Halloween" is simply a slasher movie, but it is the first of its kind. In 1978, people had been used to slasher films such as "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" or "The Hills Have Eyes", and even other horror types including "The Omen" and "The Exorcist". Many people may think that "Halloween" runs close to "Psycho", and it does, but "Halloween" can stand on its own too. "Psycho" was a classic about people who went to the Bates Motel and ended up killed. "Halloween" is a movie about a killer who goes to a town to kill. The difference is that in "Psycho" people went to the killer, while in "Halloween" the killer was already there. The story is simple- a seemingly normal boy named Michael Myers murders his sister Judith in cold blood on Halloween night, 1963. His parents then sent him away to a mental institution where he was put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance). For 15 years Michael didn't talk and acted as if there was nothing inside of him anymore, but on October 30, 1978, nearly 15 after the murder of Judith, Michael escaped. Michael then traveled back to his home town of Haddonfield where he left a trail of blood and death so that Sam Loomis could follow. There, Michael stalked a young woman named Lourie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends Annie (Nancy Loomis) and Lynda (PJ Soles). While Michael is in town, Dr. Loomis arrives to warn Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) about Michael returning. The Sheriff is of course skepticle about his story. From that point on, when Lourie and Annie both go babysitting, it is all out suspense. Michael stalks Annie, Lourie, and even Lynda when she arrives with her boyfriend Bob (John Michael Graham). Its not a very complex plot, but it can entertain you just as much as any other movie.
Second, the cast of "Halloween" makes it a classic. Donald Pleasance stars as the hero of the film and does a wonderful job. His performances are always very good and entertaining, and he is just perfect for the role. Jamie Lee Curtis does the best job of the bunch though. Her mother, Janet Leigh, stared in "Psycho" and in the imfamous shower scene. It was hard for Curtis to match up to her outstanding mother, but she did it. It was her first starring role in "Halloween" and it was all she needed. "Halloween" boosted Curtis' career so that she would appear in many other films and become one of the most recognized actresses in the world. Nancy Loomis plays the role of Annie just greatly acting like a self absorbed teenager who is unsuspecting of Michael's presence learking nearby. PJ Soles is beautiful and also perfect for her role. She would later become known as the "Totally Girl" from "Halloween" for her constant dialogue that always had the word totally in it. Charles Cyphers was enjoyable and Nick Castle is a very intimidating Michael Myers. Castle creates an creepy and unforgettable villain. John Carpenter and Deborah Hill are to thank for the clever writing, and Carpenter is also known for compsoing the creepy "Halloween Theme" that has become very well known around the world. When you hear it, you'll know what's on. Carpenter also did a great job directing the film and "Halloween" also launched him into a superior director state. Carpenter even said in an interview that to create a perfect horror movie, you need an unknown cast. This was proven true, beacuse "Halloween" was a perfect horror flick with an unknown cast.
Lastly, although a horror flick, "Halloween" had little blood letting. This is probably why it is so popular among the public. Unlike many horror film that were influenced and followed it (including "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street"), "Halloween" does not resort to unbelievable death scenes and gross gore. No, "Halloween" knows that it can be scary without gore, and that it does. It is important for people to see that a gory and violent horror movie doesn't make it scary, but a scary story is what makes it scary. Many films to follow "Halloween" in the 1980's have too much blood and guts shown, creating a dull and very disliked movie. "Halloween" will never be disliked for violence, because it doesn't drive off of it in order to be successful. If you want to watch a scary move, watch "Halloween", if you want to watch a gory movie, don't watch "Halloween".
To conclude, "Halloween" is a classic that can not be remade or outdone. It just simply great and alwasy will be. With a great story, a perfect cast, and little blood letting, "Halloween" is a movie that will surely deliver 'one good scare'. If you want to start a horror movie collection, or if you just want are thinking about buying this movie, I highly recommend you do. "Halloween" will make you jump and scream the whole way through. It can be said that "Halloween" is a timeless classic, and a damn scary one too. Don't get a trick, but get a treat- get "Halloween"- the horror movie that totally redefined the motion picture business.
on May 6, 2004
1978's "Halloween" never seems to grow old, or stale, or tiresome, or "dated" .... no matter how many October 31st viewings you are subjected to. I'd call it a "fine wine of cinema" -- it seems to get better each year. (This is possibly due to the fact that very few films of equal stature, within the "horror" genre, have been released since "Halloween's" debut in October 1978.)
Director-Writer John Carpenter was able to make "Halloween" on the shoe-string budget of only $320,000. The film has since grossed approximately 175 times that figure -- earning more than 55 million dollars worldwide since its 1978 original release! Talk about a great return on your investment! Amazing indeed.
There have been seemingly a million imitations and carbon copies of this low-budget thriller, but not many (if any at all) can prey on a viewer's fears and anxieties the way this motion picture can do. And none of the subsequent slice-and-dice, teenager-laden imitators and sequels can hold a candle to the incredible music score that John Carpenter came up with for the original "Halloween".
Is it possible *not* to get a few chills upon hearing that music start up? It's such an amazingly-simple composition by Carpenter; and yet so incredibly effective. That music MAKES this movie THIS good.
"Halloween" has many memorable moments that evoke chills and a few shivers, even after repeated viewings -- such as:
>> Loomis' (Donald Pleasence) creepy description of Michael Myers' "evil" black eyes. ....
>> Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) looking out her schoolhouse window and seeing Michael for the first time, just standing there, creepy as all get out just by doing nothing but standing by the station wagon and staring at Laurie (ooohhh, what a shiver-inducing scene it is!). ....
>> Loomis discovering the headstone missing in the cemetery. Followed by his appropriate line of dialogue: "He's come home." ....
>> The Myers-driven car popping up in view behind Laurie & friend while they are driving. ....
>> Michael's "head turn" toward Laurie at the end of the film. (Now just WHY Laurie hasn't headed for the hills and away from that house at this point is another matter. Why she is sitting there, crying, with her back to her attacker is anyone's guess. But, it's good for the script at any rate.) ....
>> Is he or isn't he behind that hedge?? ....
>> Loomis spies the abandoned station wagon parked on a dark street. And then, implacably, that music starts yet again. Carpenter's constant use of that eerie musical score was a stroke of horror genius, in my opinion. Each time we hear it, an inevitable feeling of unease is certain to follow. ....
>> And my very favorite "creepy" moment -- the stormy, rain-soaked scene where Loomis (and a female assistant) first drive up to Michael's "institution". The nurse with Loomis says, "Since when do they let them walk around?" Then Director Carpenter cranks up that music. A standout and unsettling moment.
I don't even mention any of the killings here, because (IMO) the "anticipation" of the evil-doings to come is much more unsettling and scary than the actual killings themselves.
"Halloween" was filmed in the nice, wide aspect ratio of 2.35:1; and that's how we see it on this DVD. Disc # 1 contains the movie only, in enhanced Anamorphic 2.35:1 Widescreen, and three different soundtrack choices (four if you count the one Commentary Track). You can listen to the film in Dolby Digital 5.1, 2-Channel Dolby Surround, or 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono. The fourth track available is the Audio Commentary, featuring three participants: Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, and Producer Debra Hill.
In addition to the 3-person Commentary Track, this 2-Disc Anniversary Edition includes many other excellent bonus features (all located on Disc # 2), including the comprehensive, feature-length, 87-minute behind-the-movie documentary called "Halloween: A Cut Above The Rest". This stellar bonus documentary is very nearly as long as the movie itself (with the movie clocking in at 91 minutes).
Another mini-featurette is included --- "On Location: 25 Years Later" (length: 10.5 minutes).
Other extras include ..... 1 Theatrical Trailer; 2 TV Spots; 2 Radio Spots; An extensive "Poster & Still Gallery"; 3 detailed text-only "Talent Bios" (on Director John Carpenter and stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence); and some DVD-ROM features for your computer -- the complete screenplay and 2 screen-savers.
An impressive array of features here (IMO). And all of this bonus material has been "enhanced" for widescreen monitors (anamorphic), which is always kind of nice. This includes even the Menu screens, which seem (to my eyes) to be anamorphic as well. So there's no need to constantly switch ratio settings on your TV from one bonus item to the next.
The "Cut Above The Rest" documentary even has multiple soundtracks to choose from -- Dolby 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. This extra is not broken into multiple "chapters", however.
There's also a high-quality 16-page booklet included in this package, which is packed with a good deal of information about the making of the film, a chapter list, and some good-looking photos. This is one of the more impressive "paper enclosures" you're likely to find with any DVD release.
There have been several different DVD versions of this ultra-creepy horror classic to hit the home video market, with this two-disc 25th Anniversary Edition (released originally by Anchor Bay Entertainment on August 5, 2003) being my favorite -- so far anyway. :-)
on March 8, 2004
The definitive classic scary movie. Why? John Carpenter's score is so recognizable, people who haven't seen the film get the chills. That damn pasty William Shatner mask! Dean Cundey's photography is crisp and superb throughout the film, especially, in the scene where "The Shape" slowly, quietly emerges from the shadows right next to Laurie Strode, who just found all of friends - dead. The cast is great. Big thumbs up to Jamie Lee Curtis (in her first major screen role) and Donald Pleasance (chosen after both Christopher Lee (prequel "Star Wars") & Peter Cushing (classic "Star Wars") declined). The overall theme of the film, the embodiment of evil in human form that kills without ryhme or reason, is the most powerful of all. The film would go on to change the face of Halloween, forever.
On Halloween night in 1963, a young 6 year old, Michael Myers, stabs his sister to death, for no possible reason at all. Myers becomes a traumatic mute and spends his remaining youth in a sanitarium. His assigned psychotherapist, Dr. Sam Loomis, sees something behind those dark, vacant eyes of Myers. The embodiment of pure evil in its most human form. Fast forward to fifteen years later, 10/30/1978, Loomis has orders to bring Myers before the hospital board for a possible release (in a scene cut from the film, Loomis goes before the board pleading to them to keep Myers locked up for good). But, upon obtaining him for transfer, Loomis finds all the patients of the hospital loose, walking aimlessly, in the stormy night. As Loomis tries to find out whats going on, Michael Myers, now 21 years old, steals off with Loomis' vehicle, returning to his old hometown hunting grounds of Haddonfield, Illinois, & stalking two young high school girls (Laurie Strode, & Annie Brackett).
This fourth DVD release is one of the best (in my opinion, the out of print, 2 disc limited numbered edition that was released in 1999, is still the best). Anchor Bay does a great Divimax transfer of the film. All the bells and whistles have been remastered for this edition. The second disc has an extensive documentary on the making of the film. If your a die-hard fan of "Halloween", you probablly know the whole story and there really is nothing new here (the ltd. edition disc pretty much has the same info. as this version). What Anchor Bay should have done, was hook up with American Movie Classics and use there "Halloween" episode from the network's popular show, "Backstory" (a "Biography" style show that documents the history of how certain popular films were made). "Halloween" had a tight budget of roughly 325,000 and would go on to gross, roughly 47 million dollars at the box-office. It was ranked as the most successfull low budget film in Hollywood history, until the arrival of "The Blair Witch Project" in August of 1999. After 25 years of release and generations of fans, "Halloween" still scares and should not be watched while babysitting.
on February 29, 2004
If you've never seen this movie, join the rest of the world and go rent it. That is, unless you're overly jumpy. 'Halloween' is a truely terrifying work of cinema and definitely Carpenter's best work. This film practically revived the horror genre after hibernating for over a decade. The story tells of an escape psycopath (Michael Myers) who returns to his hometown to do what he does best. Completely devoid of any human sentiment, his only modivation is to stalk and kill. Myers' horrific nature is magnified by his ghost-white mask and almost inhuman motions. Sound campy? On the contrary, the characters are very relatable and the plot more believable that most horror flicks. Plus the combination of music, lighting, and camera angles made this the scariest movie since 'The Exorcist' and sent John Carpenter and then newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis into stardom. Carpenter's score is so erie that your already scared by the end of the opening credits and the pacing is just right to keep you tense. Simply put, 'Halloween' is a brutal assault on your nerves an is not to be missed whether you're a horror meister or not.