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Anchor Bay presents
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

"You're talking about him as if he were a human being. That part of himdied years ago."
- Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 23, 2000

Stars: Donald Pleasence
Other Stars: Ellie Cornell, Michael Pataki, Danielle Harris
Director: Dwight H. Little

MPAA Rating: R for Nudity, sexual situations, violence, language
Run Time: 01h:28m:16s
Release Date: August 10, 1999
UPC: 013131053791
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-BB+ D+

DVD Review

Yes, the man in the mask is back to wreak more havoc in Haddonfield. It's been ten years since the events recounted in Halloween and Halloween 2, and demented and indestructible Michael Myers is on the rampage again. The Jamie Lee Curtis character from the first two films, Laurie Strode, has died, but left a seven-year-old daughter, Jamie Lloyd. Of course, Michael escapes, and determinedly makes his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois, to meet and kill his little niece. Donald Pleasence again returns as Dr. Loomis, the psychiatrist who seems to be the only one able to take on Michael and walk away.

Although much of this film is typical slasher movie fare, there are some extremely effective moments, especially in the flashbacks which little Jamie inexplicably suffers. The unstoppable nature of Michael Myers gets a heavy workout here as he is shot repeatedly, thrown off a speeding truck, run over and otherwise roughed up without being much worse for wear. The idea of Myers as a "force of nature" that was part of the theme of the original Halloween is really taken to completely unreasonable lengths here, almost to the point of being laughable.

There are several interesting subplots, the best of which is the band of yokels who form a vigilante posse to bring down Michael Myers; of course, they end up shooting one of their own instead.

John Carpenter's music from the original film is retained, and gives the sequel much of its power. There are a number of other disquieting bits, such as the raving drunken religious fanatic who picks up the hitchhiking Dr. Loomis after Myers blows up his car. Finally, there is a very memorable shock ending that ties up matters quite nicely.

While the film often teeters toward self-parody, it is nonetheless a tense, suspense-filled movie. Overall, this is definitely a disc worth renting.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The non-anamorphic picture is generally quite good. The color scheme is heavily skewed toward traditional orange and black, and these colors come across most effectively. The blacks are rich and dark, and shadow detail is generally pretty good. There are a few moments where blue is emphasized, and these moments have a definite power, being set off against the contrasting orange. Fleshtones appear accurate. Some grain is present, but the picture is watchable throughout. The source print appears absolutely pristine; no damage is visible at all.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: We get both a DD 5.1 and a Dolby Surround track. They are fairly similar in character, with dialogue heavily weighted toward the center. There are ominous rumblings from the surrounds throughout, and the subwoofer occasionally comes into play on the 5.1 track. Sound effects are highly directional, although the dialogue is not, which is occasionally somewhat disorienting. The sound design is interesting, with plenty of peculiar noises emerging from the surrounds. While this isn't a perfect 5.1 track, it's certainly more than adequate for the purposes of this film; it enhances the picture significantly.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

no menu with music
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
1 Disc
single-Sided disc(s)

  • 230Extras Review: The sole extras are a trailer for the film, and also a trailer for the original Halloween. Neither of the trailers looks as good as the film itself. The chaptering is adequate for a film of this length. No subtitles are provided.

    Extras Grade: D+

     

    Final Comments

    Horror fans will definitely want to see Michael Myers back in fine form; the subplots and the ending make this a worthy entry in the series. At least worth a rental; the lack of extras will make it a must-purchase only for die-hard fans.

     


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