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Halloween: 25th Anniversary Edition

In its fifth iteration, the seminal slasher standard Halloween offers some new benefits and drawbacks in its far from definitive journey on DVD. As has been covered in Gregory Dorr's previous review , the film follows three teenage girls (Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, and Nancy Loomis) as they are stalked by a mask-wearing killer named Michael Myers (future Last Starfighter helmer Nick Castle) on Halloween, while his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) tries warning everyone that Myers is "purely and simply evil." Though some of the dialogue is clunky, this is still the definitive slasher film because of quick pacing (the movie runs 91 minutes) and John Carpenter's eerie panaglide camera. Everything works here: The frights are delivered, the score is a low budget synth classic, and Myers remains one of the great boogeymen because he doesn't come across as a stuntman in a mask. Anchor Bay's 25th Anniversary edition presents the film in a new anamorphic (2.35:1) "Divimax" transfer (which comes under some criticism for changing the look of the film) in Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby 2.0 Surround, and the original mono mixes. On the first disc is the long-sought-after Criterion commentary track that accompanied the CAV Laserdisc release. It features Jamie Lee Curtis, Carpenter, and producer Debra Hill, and they all wax nostalgic over the film, while Carpenter talks about his influences (including Alfred Hitchcock and Dario Argento). On the second disc is the new 87-min. documentary "Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest," which features footage from earlier interviews of Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter, but also features new interviews with actors P.J. Soles, Nick Castle, Charles Cypher, cinematographer Dean Cundey, editor Tommy Lee Wallace, Compass International's Joseph Wolf, producers Irwin Yablans, Debra Hill, and Moustapha Akkad, and Fangoria's Tony Timpone. Also included is an 11-min. featurette called "On Location: 25 Years Later" as Debra Hill and P.J. Soles talk about where the movie was filmed, and features Soles going to the locations with her daughter. Also included are the trailer, two TV spots, two radio spots, a stills gallery, and bios of John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Donald Pleasence. Dual-DVD slimline keep-case.
—DSH



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