Several months back and hot on the heels of the great news that Shout Factory was kicking off their new label “Scream Factory” with brand new proper special editions for the vastly underrated sequels HALLOWEEN II and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, Anchor Bay also announced their intentions to release Blu-Ray editions of HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS and HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS. Most notable to fellow die-hard fans from the original press release was news that HALLOWEEN 4 would feature 30 minutes of deleted and extended scenes! Tack on a brand new commentary from director Dwight H. Little and these Anchor Bay releases were “shaping” up to be getting the same love and care as the Shout Factory releases. Well… not so fast.
The Blu-Ray editions are set to be released on August 21st and for LA residents, fan favorite local shop Dark Delicacies is planning a huge signing event. But alas, we’ve received early review copies here at Icons Of Fright and noticed some glaring omissions from these discs. HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS doesn’t have the originally promised 30 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. There’s no mention of them anywhere on the package, nor on the disc’s menus. Sure enough, the new commentary with Dwight H. Little moderated by author Justin Beahm is on there, as well as the original DVD commentary with stars Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris, but missing from the Blu-Ray upgrade is the original DVD commentary with writer Alan B. McElroy moderated by Halloween Movies.com webmaster Anthony Masi. It was listed on the original press release, but it’s not listed on the Blu-Ray packaging. The theatrical trailer and HALLOWEEN 4/5 panel discussion from previous releases is still here.
The HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS Blu-Ray has all the promised features, but there’s a misprint on the back of the packaging. Carted over from the DVD edition is the commentary track with director Dominique Othenin-Girard and stars Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman. New to this Blu-Ray is a commentary track with Michael Myers himself Don Shanks moderated by author Justin Beahm. The back of the Blu-Ray box mixes up the names and lists Dominique Othenin-Girard as doing a new commentary with Justin Beahm. On the actual disc, it’s as originally listed. There is some raw on-set footage, as well as the theatrical trailer and some vintage promo footage from the films’ release.
On the plus side, the new high definition transfers on both movies are rather fantastic and they both look and sound better than ever. (Although… I would love to see that deleted scene from H5 with a completely different actor finding the “Shape” early on in the film.) But transfers aside, I’m amazed that the discs could make it to print without anyone noticing the misprint on the packaging, nor the omission of the deleted scenes from 4 which for a lot of Halloween fans (myself included) was the main incentive behind this particular double-dip.
I double checked with my source at Anchor Bay and they are aware of the problem and prepping a new press release shortly to address it.
As the release dates approach, we’ll have more extensive reviews of both Blu-Rays for you guys, so check back soon!