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HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS

While nowhere near being the best entry in the franchise, HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS ($30) isnít as terrible as it is reputed to be. The plot of HALLOWEEN 5 picks up soon after the events of the previous outing, where we find that Michael Myers survived being shot and falling into a mineshaft that way quickly dynamited by the authorities. Moving forward one year, we discover Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the young heroine of the previous film, is now in the Haddonfield Childrenís Hospital as a result of her psychotic episode in which she stabbed her mother.

As another Halloween approaches, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is in attendance, waiting for Michael Myers to return to the town of Haddonfield. Because little Jamie is now psychically linked to Myers, Dr. Loomis is prepared for the Halloween arrival Haddonfieldís boogeyman. Speaking of Loomis, his obsession with Michael Myers has placed the good doctor firmly on the road to becoming as crazy as the killer that he has been hunting. Donald Pleasence makes the most of the role that he turned into a cottage industry, delivering a manic performance that is perfect for the material, but occasionally garners a few chuckles. Danielle Harris also does a very good job of carrying much of this movie on her shoulders; her performance is sharp and believable, which makes her character far more sympathetic than the average kid in a movie.

The plot of HALLOWEEN 5 also introduces a mysterious man in black to the Michael Myers mythology. Whether successful or not, the appearance of the mysterious man in black shows that the creators of HALLOWEEN 5 were making the attempt to add some originality to the series, instead of blindly following the established formula. Additionally, director Dominique Othenin-Girard gives HALLOWEEN 5 a different look than the preceding entries in the series, as well as creating a few very suspenseful moments. The romantic tryst in the barn, which is interrupted by Michael Myers, is one of the film most interesting moments. I am also kind of partial to the credit sequence, in which a pumpkin is savagely carved for Halloween, although I am unsure if the director had a hand in this. The cast of HALLOWEEN 5 also includes Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Wendy Kaplan, Max Robinson, Jeffrey Landman, Betty Carvalho, Tamara Glynn, Karen Alston, Matthew Walker and Jonathan Chapin.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has a great job of transcribing HALLOWEEN 5 to DVD. HALLOWEEN 5 is properly framed at 1.85:1 and the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays (a full screen version is also provided). The wide screen image on the DVD is crisp and very well defined, which is a long way from the awful looking presentations of the past. Nighttime sequences appear pretty impressive, loosing none of the important details to the shadowy areas of the image. Colors are strongly rendered, with accurate flesh tones. Black are pure and the image has very smooth contrast. The film element used for the transfer exhibits very few blemishes, making this a truly first rate transfer of a low budget horror movie. Digital compression artifacts never make their presence known on this cleanly authored DVD.

HALLOWEEN 5 has been given a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel remix by the folks at Chase, who have really worked some fine magic on this track. The new sound mix is aggressive, making the most of the five discrete channels. There is very good channel separation and sound effects are precisely placed in both the forward sound stage, as well as the split surrounds. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced, although the rest of the sound elements threaten to overwhelm the actorsí voices in one or two spots. John Carpenter collaborator Alan Howarth has created a new score for the film, in which he works in Carpenterís very recognizable Halloween Theme. The music is well represented in the new mix, reproducing with very good frequency response. Bass is fairly strong, which gives the new mix a solid foundation. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack has also been encoded onto the DVD.

Full motion video, animation and music have been incorporated into the DVDís interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. An introduction by Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell has been provided, as has a new 15-minute documentary featuring the actresses, as well as Executive producer Moustapha Akkad, Cinematographer Robert Draper and Don Shanks, who played Michael Myers in this outing. The documentary also includes behind-the-scenes footage from the filmís production back in 1989. A theatrical trailer closes out the DVDís extras.

HALLOWEEN 5 is a movie that will appeal primarily to the fanatics who have followed the Michael Myers series religiously, as well as the die-hard horror fans. Anchor Bayís presentation is terrific, making this DVD a worthwhile acquisition for fans.

DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.
ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS


 
HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS 



ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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