Halloween IIHalloween 2 & Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch
Directors: Part2: Rick Rosenthal
Part 3: Tommy Lee Wallace

Cast: Part 2: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Lance Guest
Part 3: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy
Review by Brian M. Sammons

Hey guys, I’m doing this as a two for one review for a number of reasons. First, I won’t be doing plot summaries on either of these films. Come on, it’s Halloween 2 & 3, if you haven’t already seen these films, or at the very least know about them, you have no reason being on a horror site or calling yourself a horror fan. Sorry, that’s just a scientific fact, and you can’t argue with science. Thankfully you can easily rectify that grievous oversight in one fell swoop with these new Blu-rays from Scream Factory.

Wait, I have to discuss the plot of each movie? It’s in my contract? OK, fine. Halloween 2 takes place just moments after the original horror classic with Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie being taken to the local hospital after surviving her first encounter with the Bogyman. Big Mike learns of this and follows to finish the job of killing her. Slaughter then ensues in the darkened halls of the way too deserted hospital. While not as good as the original, Halloween 2 is a very good slice of the old stalk and slash and it was meant to be the absolute end of masked maniac Michael Myers. Yeah, like that ever works…

Halloween IIIBecause Part 2 killed off Michael, Part 3 had nothing to do with him whatsoever and because of that it was pretty much hated by everyone when it was released. Instead of our lovable masked slasher we got a weird story involving witchcraft, computers, Halloween masks, robots, lasers, bugs coming out of a kid’s head, a doctor who abandons his patients and family to run off to drink beer and fool around with a much younger girl (our hero, ladies and gentleman), and the most annoyingly catchy jingle ever conceived by a devious mind. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. And I’ll admit it, when I first saw this movie I was part of the “hey, where the hell is Michael?” group. However after giving this one a second viewing years ago, I have come to realize just how good, and fun, of a horror movie it is. The same can thankfully be said about many horrorheads as the once reviled and cursed Season Of The Witch has since found its fans and I happily count myself as one of them. So yeah, I’m pretty happy that Scream Factory decided to also give this film the special edition, Blu-ray treatment.

Wait, do you not know what Scream Factory is? Well they are the new, darker side of Shout! Factory, and they seem to be trying their best to be the newest love of my life with a whole slew of great horror titles scheduled for not only the Blu-ray treatment, but with lots of extras worthy of the title “Special Edition.” Halloween 2 and Halloween 3 are their first offerings, but look for future reviews by me on their releases of Terror Train, The Funhouse, They Live, Phantasm 2, and more. Yeah, I’m positively giddy with anticipation.

Another reason that I’m reviewing these two BDs together is that not only should you get both of them, but they both come out on the same day: September 18th. So without further ado, let’s get to the brass tacks on why these new Blu-rays are must haves for any horrorhead.

First, and more importantly, both have been remastered in HD and they look awesome. Watching Part 3 for the first time in High-def, I’ve picked out a ton of little details that I never noticed before. And while Part 2 had a recent BD release from Universal, this one looks as good, if not better in some parts, and is the one to get for fans of the “Mikey goes to the hospital” fright flick.

But if you already have the other version of Halloween 2 on Blu-ray, should you still get this one? Good question. Well while the Universal release had the documentary Terror In The Aisles, and is worth hanging onto just for that alone, it had basically no other special features other than a few deleted scenes and an alternate ending that everyone already seen before.

Now compare that to this one by Scream Factory. This new release has the original movie on Blu-ray and the rare TV cut, with a bunch of alternate footage added to it, on DVD. And yes, some of the more bloody bits and all of the nudie scenes from the film have been cut from this safe for television version. Furthermore, if you place that second DVD into your internet connected computer, you can download the script for the movie. Not cool enough? No worries, I’m just getting started. There are two audio commentaries here, the first with director Rick Rosenthal and actor Leo Rossi (Budd from the movie). The second commentary is with Michael Myers himself, stuntman and the man behind the white mask: Dick Warlock. There is about a 45 minute retrospective on the film with tons of interviews from all involved, with the exception of Jamie Lee Curtis who is just too busy or important to do it, I guess. There is a Horror’s Hallowed Ground segment. For those that don’t know what that is, host Sean Clark visits all the locations where the movie was shot so you, the audience, can see how they have changed over the years. And while this version also has the deleted scenes and alternate ending that the other release had, here they went one step beyond and included an optional director’s commentary for both. Finally trailers, a still gallery, and TV and radio spots round out the impressive list of extras.

OK, how about the extras on Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch? Well while it doesn’t quite get as much love as the second film (when has it ever?) it’s not lacking in the special feature department either. There are also two audio commentaries here, the first is with the writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace and the second is with actor Tom Atkins. There is also a retrospective featurette that runs about 30 minutes and another Horror’s Hallowed Grounds. Hmm, I’m sensing a pattern between these two BD releases. Anyway, trailers, a still gallery, and TV & radio promo spots are also found among this nice group of goodies.

Both of these new BD releases of these classic, fun horror movies are amazing. They look great, come with lots of extras, and should be considered must buys for any and all horrorheads. I cannot like these Blu-rays enough. If you’re a fan of the Halloween franchise, keep your eyes peeled come September 18th, and also keep an ear open for what Scream Factory brings out next. I know I will be.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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