2008 UNIVERSAL DVD (TOP)
SCREAM FACTORY BLU-RAY (BOTTOM)
THE PLOT THUS FAR
A large Halloween mask-making company has plans to kill millions of American children with something sinister hidden in Halloween masks.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
On Saturday, October 23, shop owner Harry Grimbridge is chased by mysterious figures wearing business suits. He collapses at a gas station clutching a Silver Shamrock jack-o’-lantern mask and is driven to the hospital by the filling station attendant all the while ranting, “They’re gonna kill us. All of us.” While Grimbridge is hospitalized, another man in a suit enters his room and pulls his skull apart. The man then returns to his vehicle, douses himself with gasoline and lights himself on fire, causing the car to explode. Challis, together with Grimbridge’s daughter, Ellie, begins an investigation that leads them to the home of the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory. They learn from a hotel manager, Mr. Rafferty, that the source of the town’s prosperity is Irishman Conal Cochran and his factory and that the majority of the town’s population is made up of descendants of Irish immigrants.
Cochran wants to re-enact the sacrifices that supposedly occurred hundreds of years ago at ritualistic monuments like Stonehenge. The story closely follows the legend of Samhain, the Celtic lord of death – the very God that children and animals were supposedly offered to as a sacrifice on the one night when the dead and the living walk together and children go ‘begging for candy’. Indeed, Cochran is attempting to re-awaken the Celtic festival by way of the traditional elements of witchcraft and modern technology.
It’s true that the film borrows heavily from the science fiction and fantasy genre but horror still remains its primary genre with ‘to scare’ still the primary aim. When we are first shown the trailer for Halloween (1978) on a television, this immediately zones us out of whatever world Halloween is set and distances itself from Myers and Haddonfield as a whole – it was at this point that the film could’ve crashed and burnt since it’s supposed to take place in the ‘real’ world where only so much is physically possible; thankfully, Halloween III stays realistic until the final twenty minutes and even then given the science fiction and fantasy that has crept in, it still remains plausible.
The DVD and Blu-Ray both sport the same special features. We get even more new interviews, featurettes and archival materials. Plus, you get a rather in-depth commentary that covers the most about the most underrated Halloween installment yet. Sean Clark should be commended for his work touring the original location shoots with Tommy Lee Wallace. I love these educational pieces about cult movies and what it took to make them. Why can’t we get more educational pieces like this?
The Blu-Ray comes with a DTS-HD Mono track that plays close to the original audio samples. The 1080p transfer is pretty smooth, but it doesn’t pop like the transfer for Halloween II. That being said, there are some daytime shots of Santa Mira that look print quality. Not to say that the print looked all that amazing for theatrical exhibition, but the restoration is there onscreen. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to all.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!
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