September 23, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition'

Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition (1978)

Review by Jude Felton

Yes, yes, I know what you are all thinking; do we really need another edition of John Carpenter’s classic boogeyman flick? I am sure most of you own at least one edition of this wonderful movie and, more than likely another Anchor Bay version, feel like we have bled this cash cow dry over the years. Well, the simple answer is, yes you do need this edition.

The plot, as if you didn’t already know, concerns Dr. Loomis’ (Donald Pleasance) attempts to track down and find escaped killer, Michael Myers, before he makes his way back to his hometown off Haddonfield. It’s in Haddonfield that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and friends, are getting ready for Halloween and a night of babysitting some kids. But rest assured, the boogeyman is coming to their little town.

There’s not much more I can add about the film itself that probably hasn’t been said a million times before, and probably far more eloquently. Suffice to say, Halloween still remains the benchmark of slasher flicks, with each and every element of the film combining to make an absolute classic. From the terrific cast, the iconic imagery of Michael Myers and Carpenter’s monumental score, the film is nigh-on perfection. That being said though, I did have one question upon watching it again; why is the closet, that Laurie uses as a hiding place, virtually empty? Did they not have clothes in 1978?

So, the film itself would make this an essential addition to any collection that is lacking any previous release of the film. However, when you add into the fact that this edition contains a brand new HD transfer, which cinematographer Dean Cundey approved, you are already onto a winner. The film looks absolutely stunning, and I am not lying when I say that it was like watching the film for the first time again.

As well as the amazing visual transformation, there are also great improvements in the sound department, with a Dolby True HD 7.1 track that rocks the speakers. They really did a wonderful job on the audio and visual areas of this Blu-ray release; the film has never looked or sounded better, in my opinion.

If that is not enough for you, to make you part with your hard earned cash, there are also a few other spicy extras to whet your appetite. There’s a brand new audio commentary from John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis, an On Location feature, trailers, TV and Radio spots and TV version footage.

The main selling point to me though was The Night She Came Home. This is an hour long film which follows Jamie Lee Curtis’ visit to the 2012 HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis. It follows her entire journey, and quite truthfully answers a lot of questions that cynical “fans” raised at the time, such as her charging an appearance fee, of which she didn’t. It’s a great film, and you really get to see the real Curtis, and the effect she still has on the fans. Seriously, it’s damned fine viewing and worth the price by itself.

I could go on about how good this release is, but I think you get the picture; it’s a great film given the treatment it deserves, with some more than worthy extras. Even the Digibook packaging is great. Die-hards will buy it regardless of what is on it, so it’s a real bonus that it is actually worth your money, and newcomers to the film have the perfect release in which to start off their collection.

So, do we need another new edition of Halloween? When it is as good as this one, yes we do!

Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition is released on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay on September 24th.

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