20th Feb2019

‘Halloween 4 & 5’ DVD Review (Budget Re-release)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasance, George P. Wilbur, Don Shanks | Directed by Dwight H. Little (4), Dominique Othenin-Girard (5)


If there is one thing that horror fans love it’s Michael Myers, that’s probably why when he never even bothered to turn up to Halloween 3: Season of the Witch they took it so badly (I jest of course). Halloween 3: Season of the Witch for me is one of the underrated in the series but of course thi is not a look at that film but a review of Halloween 4 & 5 – out now on budget DVD just in time to cash in on the forthcoming home entertainment release of Blumhouse’s new Halloween next week!

Halloween 4 saw the return of the masked bogeyman when he discovered that he had a niece, Jamie Straude which strangely enough comes at just the right time as he’s once again given the chance to escape. Doing so and making his way to Haddonfield once again (ironically just in time for Halloween) a course is set for him and his little niece to have a little family reunion. Moving onto Halloween 5 we saw the continuation of the story after the shocking events at the end of the fourth film. Jamie is in a mental hospital and this time mute, Michael believed dead takes a little time to re-cooperate and build himself up for his second attempt as Halloween comes around yet again. The only thing that stands in the way of Michaels plans of course is Dr. Loomis who is ready to defeat Michael at whatever costs to himself and everybody around him. Oh, and just who is this Man in Black that keeps on appearing around town?

Halloween 4 & 5 are interesting because they connect very easy together; they are of course the big come back for Michael Myers and a hope to pull the series back into slasher territory. As much as it can be lauded that there was a well-meaning attempt to pull Halloween into an interesting and more surreal direction, the fans really wanted to see Myers back doing what he does best. With these two movies there is a good attempt at that and plenty of good gory death scenes (you can’t beat the original though) but for me this is not the important element that makes them so good. If anybody steals the show in these set of films it’s Dr. Loomis and his Captain Ahab like obsession with Michael Myers. In the fourth film it’s not so evident but as we get into the fifth Donald Pleasence plays Loomis in full obsession mode, even using Jamie to entice Michael into a final battle with him. You can feel the showdown building up and although it does not disappoint – yet as horrors fan we all know what came after, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, a film that had so much development issues that even the producer decided to just do his own cut to try and improve the final product!

In terms of acting, it’s almost the case that I don’t even have to mention who is the star of these ones; it’s Donald Pleasence of course. When the Halloween series lost him they lost the main focus of the films: that obsessional struggle between doctor and patient. Yes, I know Myers is meant to be the obsessed one but Loomis never gave up that fight, never believed Michael was gone and always waits to have that last battle. Adding to Pleasence we also have Danielle Harris of course, she’s arguably one of the big “scream queens” of the modern generation and is beloved by all Halloween fans, she’s even forgiven for being in the Rob Zombie remakes, probably because she’s so such a strong part of the horror community now it would be hard to hate her If we needed a reason, Stake Land and Hatchet II would be two very good reasons to say “well her part in the Halloween remakes were good at least”.

These “new” Halloween DVDs are budget releases and so aren’t exactly packed with special features – they’re pretty much bare bones and it just feels a better job could have been done with them. The picture quality is not the best but adequate, if you’ve not already got them on DVD and want them fully uncut then these are definitely worth a buy – though I doubt there’s ANY Halloween fan who doesn’t own these already, and probably the 2012 edition Blu-rays at that too… So just who are these releases aimed at? God knows!?!

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers are available on budget DVD now from Lionsgate.


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