Halloween 5 is really the first film in the series I disliked. The premise is ridiculous even one where the villain can’t be killed and gets out of every situation seemingly unscathed. Still, the plot is slow to develop and the acting is pretty bad especially from Donald Pleasence who I get his performance where his character has become increasingly obsessed but it comes off a bit cartoony.
Genre(s): Horror, Suspense
Anchor Bay | R – 98 min. – $24.99 | August 21, 2012
Directed by: Dominique Othenin-Giarard
Writer(s): Debra Hill and John Carpenter (characters); Michael Jacobs & Dominique Othenin-Giarard and Shem Bitterman (written by)
Cast: Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Wendy Kaplan, Tamara Glynn, Don Shanks
Theatrical Release Date: October 13, 1989
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 24.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.0/5
It only took the opening scenes that I knew Halloween 5 (The Revenge of Michael Myers) was going to be a chore to get through. Taking place immediately after the events in Halloween 4, this fourth entry into the Michael Myers saga recaps the last scene where a plethora of gunfire (though shortened to a mere few shots) takes Myers down into some sort of pit leaving the residents of Haddonfield, and Dr. Sam Loomis (DONALD PLEASENCE) relieved that the pure evil might finally be dead!
Ah, but that would be too good to be true and we see Myers escape through the sewers, washed out through a dam where he’s rescued by a nomad who takes him in and helps Myers to recuperate. Fast forward one year to Halloween 1989 and I’m sure that old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished” popped into his head when Michael snapped his neck…
We next are re-introduced to Michael’s niece, Jamie who now has a telepathic connection with her Hell-rejected Uncle as demonstrated with the stunning conclusion to H4 when she brutally stabbed her foster mother… who somehow survived. This storyline feels disjointed at best and at worst, utterly preposterous. Add in some campy acting from the normally reliable Donald Pleasence who routinely baggers this little girl. Again, as in Halloween 4, I understand his continual descent into madness hunting down the monster.
Also making a brief return is Rachel Caruthers (ELLIE CORNELL), Jamie’s foster sister, who isn’t long for this world and unceremoniously becomes Michael’s latest victim leaving her best friend Tina (WENDY FOXWORTH) to take over some of the duties of a horror heroine and semi-main character (i.e. somebody that can be an additional wrath for Michael).
I think at this point in the series you can guess the rest: Michael slowly chases down various people in Haddonfield, manages to be in a couple places at once, gets from one location to another in record time and also slashes some asshole characters we couldn’t care less about.
There was a lot I could, and had to, ignore in Halloween 4 in order to even give it a pass but the ridiculousness quotient went to a whole new level for Halloween 5. I understand that Michael Myers is a supernatural being. I know Dr. Loomis is obsessed with saving him no matter what the cost. However, this addition to the series was a bit on the cartoony side rife with dumb plot points, poor acting (though Danielle Harris is a bit better, especially since she doesn’t have many lines), goofy/inept cops (with comedic sound effects in one scene to boot) and just an all around dull and tired story.
I guess if you’re a diehard fan of the Halloween franchise you might get something out of this addition but for me, I’ve grown bored of this character and really only found interest again in the half-decent Halloween H20.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Well, not everything was ported over. First, missing from the 2006 Anchor Bay Special Edition is a 15-minute documentary as well as another on-set featurette and a short introduction. I have no idea why either of these weren’t also ported over.
Feature Commentaries – 1) Actor Don Shanks (Michael Myers), moderated by Author Justin Beahm and 2) Director Dominique Othenin-Girard and Actors Danielle Harris (Jamie Lloyd) and Jeffrey Landman (Billy Hill); the former is exclusive to this release. The first track with Shanks is alright but features quite a bit of quiet space though with some prodding, Beahm gets some info out of Shanks. The other track is a bit better providing some useful information about the production.
Halloween 5: On the Set (16:16; SD) – This is a more or less a fly-on-the-wall feature with behind-the-scenes footage and some interviews with the cast and crew. It apparently came from an old release so not sure how much longer it is.
Halloween 5: Original Promo (5:50; SD) is a basic making-of used as a way to advertise the film.
Theatrical Trailer (0:36; SD)
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Halloween 5 escapes death and finds its way onto Blu-ray with a nice-looking 1080p high-definition transfer. Presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio, the transfer isn’t bad with some fine black levels and decent details throughout. Compared with H4, it comes across a tad better and is certainly a good upgrade over its DVD counterpart.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track thankfully is head and shoulders above Halloween 4’s lossless track. Where that disc was absolutely flat in the audio department, this one is far more dynamic from the score, including John Carpenter’s awesome theme, to the dialogue and other action elements which make use of all 5 channels. This is an all around impressive track.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Halloween 5 is really the first film in the series I disliked. The premise is ridiculous even one where the villain can’t be killed and gets out of every situation seemingly unscathed. Still, the plot is slow to develop and the acting is pretty bad especially from Donald Pleasence who I get his performance where his character has become increasingly obsessed but it comes off a bit cartoony. In any case, fans of the series might get something out of it but for me, it pales in comparison with the original.
As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, it’s a mixed bag. First, the featurettes are OK but the ones on the 2006 Anchor Bay Special Edition was not ported over. However, there is a new commentary to go along with the one that was on the DVD.