- LIMITED EDITION
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles
escapes and stalks the quiet
town he grew up in.
Touted as the ultimate
presentation of John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece, Anchor Bay's
limited edition Region 0 two-disc DVD offered a completely re-mastered
version that simultaneously preserved and renovated the 1979 film. The
transfer was supervised by Lucasfilm’s THX Digital Mastering Services
division. Award-winning colourist Adam Adams worked from a new 35mm
interpositive (one step down from the original negative), and original
cinematographer Dean Cundey approved the 2.35:1 transfer, which is
enhanced for 16:9 TVs.
disc features a new 5.1 Dolby Digital sound mix created by Chace
Productions, working with Alan Howarth’s original 16-track music master
tapes, and a rediscovered 35mm magnetic dialogue and sound effects tracks.
The new mix is commendably subtle, shifting what were background ambient
noises around the room to create a new sense of space. The new mix
heightens the dramatic tension of the film, and greatly increases the
potency of Carpenter’s score. (For purists, the original mono mix is
are two versions of the film in the package. The first is the theatrical
version, in either 2.35:1 or pan-and-scan formats. The second is a
substantially re-edited version of the movie,
adds several scenes that Carpenter shot during the filming of Halloween
II for the film’s American network TV premiere. (Twelve minutes of
gore and nudity were cut, and so Carpenter shot extra material to restore
the running time to fill a two-hour timeslot). This amounts to about
eleven minutes of extra material, which adds a little more information
about Michael Myers’ relationship with Loomis.
were previously available on Criterion’s excellent laserdisc version,
but the entire TV variant – the theatrical version with the added TV
scenes - is presented here for the first time in widescreen ratio.
commentary track on the laserdisc is not on the DVD, sadly, but Anchor
Bay’s package does contains a number of supplementary materials,
including a stills and posters gallery, and a plethora of theatrical
trailers, radio and TV commercials. There’s also a new thirty-minute
documentary, Halloween Unmasked 2000, which features new interviews
with key contributors. The net result is a stunning 21st
anniversary edition, fit for the 21st century.
surprisingly, the two-disc Limited Edition version is out of print, and a
collector's item. Anchor Bay has subsequently released several versions of
Halloween (basically spltting the two versions offered in the box
set, and issuing them separately), but this set is still very desirable. A
similar package was issued in the UK, and is more widely available.