Halloween: 25 Years of Terror - Pumpkin  Image

A terrific high definition transfer. - DreadCentral.com.

The increased gore content of the first HALLOWEEN sequel, HALLOWEEN II, was intended to please the new breed of slasher fan that had emerged with the post-HALLOWEEN films such as FRIDAY THE 13th, PROM NIGHT and TERROR TRAIN. Director Dick Rosenthal had favoured the suspenseful approach of the original film but John Carpenter recognised what the key audience craved. In addition to this a plot twist was introduced; the decision to reveal the fact that Michael Myers was Laurie Strode’s brother was made during a drinking spree. As critic Kim Newman points out; this knowledge has the effect of diluting the random terror of the first film. As drunken ideas go – this one would probably have been best left written on that soggy beermat.

Speaking of soggy beermats, that brings us nicely to HALLOWEEN 5.

It’s one year after the events of Halloween 4, and both Michael and Jamie have survived the horrors of the previous year’s “festivities”. Jamie is still having nightmares about her pathological uncle and, to further complicate matters, has realised she shares a telepathic bond with him, probably ever since she touched his hand in HALLOWEEN 4. Dr. Loomis decides to use this fact to his advantage in tracking the seemingly unstoppable killer; he bullies the traumatic child into sharing her visions with him.

HALLOWEEN 5 begins with the finale of HALLOWEEN 4 complete with an explanation for Michael Myers’ survival from the gunfire and dynamite police onslaught. It reminded me of the 1930’s/40’s Universal films where Frankenstein’s monster would evade a posse-chase and fall into an iced lake below a burning windmill only to emerge unscathed for the next movie. We are then introduced to an array of irritating people (just like the old slasher films) who happily become victims at a Halloween party. In concentrating on the gore aspect Girard left us without anybody to care about. The only interesting character, aside from the ever-entertaining Dr. Loomis, is Jamie who has been left mute from the shock of the events in HALLOWEEN 4.

Director Dominique Othenin-Girard attempted to bring a unique sense of European style to the Halloween franchise with the fifth instalment. In a parallel to the attitudes surrounding HALLOWEEN 2, Girard also wanted more blood as opposed to the suspenseful approach favoured by producer Moustapha Akkad. Girard throws in in everything from a pair of comedy cops (their appearance is marked by comical music cues as in Wes Craven's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT), a mysterious (or is that ludicrous) figure in black (whose presence merely serves to suggest another sequel), deadly sex in a barn (but not up to the dual-victim standard of Mario Bava’s TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE or Steve Miner’s FRIDAY THE 13th Part 2), and the film’s only real highlight - a nail-biting chase sequence involving a laundry chute.

HALLOWEEN 5 was rushed into production before the script was perfected. It was released too soon and consequently ended up competing with its predecessor’s video release. It ended up being the least successful film in series and was released straight to video outside of the US.

HALLOWEEN 5 really is for completists only. However, it looks good, it’s cheap as chips and goes well with HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS which has been released simultaneously.

Special Features:

  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio
  • On The Set
  • Original Promo
  • Trailer
  • Audio commentary with actor Don Shanks (Michael Myers) and author Justin Beahm
  • Audio commentary with director Dominique Othenin-Girard, Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman