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Halloween: 25 Years of Terror

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Anchor Bay
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Stefan Hutchinson
Bottom Line: 

 His name is spoken in whispers. His childhood home stands derelict. He is the skeleton in a small town's closet; a place where everyone knows everyone's name, nobody locks their doors, and violence is something you only hear about on the evening news.
But that all changed on a cold and windy Halloween night back in 1963, when six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his older sister, Judith, in their Illinois home. It was a crime that shocked the small town of Haddonfield, but, like all good secrets, theirs was well-kept; in this case, behind the walls of the Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where, to paraphrase his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence, whose character was playfully named after Marion Crane's boyfriend in Psycho ), he didn't speak, didn't sleep, and hardly even moved for fifteen years.
So, for more than a decade, Haddonfield slept easy, knowing that their particular boogeyman was safely under lock and key. What they weren't aware of, however, was that Michael Myers' work wasn't done, and that, for fifteen long, silent, and motionless years, he was waiting.
Waiting for the night He came home.
So home he would come, and, along with a modest body count, Myer's towed in the largest profit of any independent film to that date (and would only finally be usurped of its most-profitable indie crown by The Blair Witch Project two decades later). The film also launched the careers of Jamie Leigh Curtis and John Carpenter, triggered the start of the slasher boom, and developed into the first true-blue horror franchise.
Now, for the first time, the entire series of Halloween films are chronicled in the exemplary documentary, Halloween: Twenty Five Years of Terror (it's actually been twenty eight yeas, but that wouldn't look nearly as cool on a poster, would it?). While most of the film focuses on the original movie, there's a healthy dose of insight into the sequels, featuring scads of interviews with virtually everyone who has been in a Halloween movie (as well as celeb fans like Clive Barker, Rob Zombie, and Edgar Wright), nifty vintage on-set stuff, and loads of fan-oriented extras. My only real gripe with the set is that, while the first film obviously deserves the most attention, much of what we see here is stuff we've seen before, in various guises. I was far more interested in hearing about the much-maligned Halloween III, and the troubled production, The Curse of Michael Myers (I was especially hoping for more drama regarding the producer's cut debacle), but, alas, them's is the breaks when the first film is no less than a horror masterpiece.
This 2-disc set features more extras than you can shake a dead Annie at, with extra interview segments, panel discussions, memorabilia, way too much stuff involving the dreadful Halloween 5, and much, much more. There's even a little Halloween comic book! 
Despite my minor grumblings about the lack of “dirt” on some of the films, there's an amazing assortment of characters assembled here, each offering up varying degrees of Halloween wisdom (Arrow in the Head's John Fallon being funniest, Danielle Harris being the hottest, while cigar-chomping Clive Barker, sporting an oddly tanned and muscular face, and a voice like a death rattle, is, by far the creepiest). There's also a ton of great fan stuff (including a certifiably insane girl who flashes her breasts at the camera…a moment I'm not proud to say I watched again, and again, and again…), previously unseen footage, and all manner of Halloween-related madness, making this an essential buy for even the most casual fan of the series.

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