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Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers

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    Horace Cordier
    Senior Member

  • Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (Blu-ray)



    Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Releasing on: August 21, 2012.
    Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
    Cast: Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasance, Donald Shanks
    Year: 1989
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Michael Myers lives! His niece Jamie (child actor Danielle Harris), having been thoroughly traumatized by the events of the last installment, is now in a psychiatric facility and has been mute for almost a year. Dr. Loomis (franchise icon Donald Pleasance) is trying to help her but seems more intent on destroying Myers than anything pesky like trying to preserve the sanity of a defenseless child. It's that time of the year again and Michael is planning a comeback (after being in an apparent coma) - with the goal of killing little Jamie. Jamie however seems to be protected as long as she stays close to Loomis and the children's hospital.

    The plot of HALLOWEEN 5 primarily revolves around Jamie (who has developed a scary psychic bond with Myers) and her attempt to protect her stepsister Rachel (Ellie Cornell) and Rachel's best friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan). Both have stayed close to Jamie and visit her regularly so Myers seems to know that going after these two girls will force Jamie to venture away from the sanctuary of the facility where she is getting treatment. There is also an utterly nonsensical subplot involving some guy in stylish boots but that's something that gets dealt with mostly in the NEXT installment. It should also be noted that this film features an astoundingly annoying character in the "best friend role" played by Kaplan - this role was sadly standard fare in the 80's. And lets not forget the GREASE-reject boyfriend that Kaplan's character is involved with - another goofy stereotype. And in case you were wondering the film does feature idiotic cops which is a crucial component of the 80's slasher.

    After the excellent fourth installment, HALLOWEEN 5 is where this series starts to go off the rails. The only saving graces are the truly excellent performance of Harris and the highly enjoyable histrionics of Pleasance. Harris has to spend most of the film playing fear and mental instability and she does an amazing job. Unlike most child actors in horror films, she is neither a "cute" smartass or a trembling cipher. With her big eyes and expressive face she also shows heartbreaking vulnerability. The viewer is naturally invested in her survival. As for Pleasance - he just keeps getting crazier and more over the top with each HALLOWEEN and this one is a winner. His line readings tend to veer from yelling to my favorite - a choked hoarse whisper that he tends to use while grabbing poor Jamie as he tries to get information from her. I also love his shambolic posture and shuffling gait - he really just screams unhinged in every frame.

    As for the inevitable kills they are basically well done but standard slasher fare involving barn tools and the like. Most of the victims are boring ducks in a shooting gallery but it should be noted that the scene that takes place in the barn is a highlight of the film.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Anchor Bay's AVC encoded 1.85.1 transfer of the film is a solid, if not earthshaking, piece of work. There are essentially two kinds of good Blu Ray transfers - one is the grand restoration that carefully balances original elements and grain structure with proper use of advanced restoration tools (think the new JAWS disc) and the more basic kind of work you see here. AB have avoided DNR and other sharpening tools that strip detail and make film look unnatural. This transfer has strong and vibrant color, a very nice upgrade in detail from the DVD and very little in the way of print damage. For fans, it's a no-brainer.

    The Dolby True HD 5.1 track on this is solid with decent use of surround effects. It has a good bottom end and all dialogue and effects are clear and free from distortion. Not a reference quality track but faithful to the source elements.

    Bit of confusion here relating to what is listed on the packaging and what is actually on the disc. The commentaries are as follows - one new one with actor Don Shanks (who plays Michael Myers in the film) and one from the previous DVD with director Dominique Othenin-Girard and actors Harris and Jeffrey Landman. Both are good tracks with the second one being a bit livelier due to the obvious camaraderie among the three participants who clearly had a good time making the film. The Shanks track is surprisingly engaging however as he has some interesting things to say about the Myers character.

    There is also a 16 minute vintage featurette called "On The Set Of Halloween 5" featuring actors Wendy Kaplan and Beau Starr in pretty rough standard def. Finally you get the theatrical trailer and a short promo.

    The Final Word:

    HALLOWEEN 5 is a pretty weak film in many ways and the beginning of the end in terms of real quality for the series but for fans of the franchise and this particular installment this is a worthy purchase. And for fans of quality overacting Pleasance alone makes this a must-buy.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





























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