Halloween Home Entertainment Preview: Halloween II and III

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Welcome guys and ghouls to another week of thrills, chills, and spills on The Big Scare.  This week, we have a complete lineup of the “must-have” home entertainment releases of the season.

The News:

Don Post Studios Halloween III Silver Shamrock Masks 3 SkullCertainly two of the biggest releases this year are the second and third installments of John Carpenter’s Halloween series.  While both titles have been out on DVD for years, and Halloween II had a bare-bones Blu-Ray release last year, Scream! Factory, a new division of Shout! Factory, will unveil its treatment of these classics tomorrow, September 18.

Not only has Shout! Factory produced some of the finest artwork ever created for a home video release, but both titles come with extras, including audio commentaries, “making of” specials, trailers, and more!

The Views:

So just how good are these movies anyway?

If you haven’t had a chance to see Halloween II, you need to.  It’s a sequel that is definitely worthy of the “Halloween” name, quite unlike later installments which shall not be named here.  While II is not as good as Halloween, and lacks a lot of its predecessor’s subtlety and substance, it manages to evoke many of the same feelings and allows for further commentary on the concept of “evil.”   But what makes it exceptionally memorable is the fact that Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis get to share some screen-time.  This is the last film in the series in which both original stars appear.  And neither talent is wasted.  But it is Pleasance’s character, Sam Loomis, that manages to steal the show.  Halloween II gives the Loomis character the opportunities to achieve depths impossible in the original film, and Pleasance pulls it off brilliantly.  This film gets 3 1/2 skull pumpkins out of 5.

As for Halloween III?  You’ve probably heard some negative things about it, mostly from the biggest fans of Michael Myers.  While the film does lack the illustrious villain, it makes up for his absence with its strong Halloweentime imagery.  Case in point:  The masks.  Need I say more?  Those Don Post masks symbolize this time of year as much as Jack-O’-Lanterns and Candy Buckets.  In addition, there are plenty of other opportunities to spot signs of the season throughout the movie. It’s worth a watch, if only for this reason.  All in all, while the plot is a little far-out, it’s still stronger than a lot of the stories that came out of  1980s Horror.  Halloween III: The Season of the Witch gets 2.5 Don Post Masks out of 5.

If we have managed to pique you interest, you can pick up copies of both films tomorrow or rent them from your favorite video rental service.

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Spook Spotter: Modern Horror Decor: Jason Candle Holder, Air Blown Freddy, More!

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

While we spend a lot of time at The Big Scare discussing the monsters from the Golden Age of Hollywood, it would be unfair to discount the mark (or marks!) that have been left by the fiends of modern Horrors.  Where would we be without Michael Myers and his mask?  Freddy Krueger and his glove?  Jason Voorhees and his mother?  The fact of the matter is that they have become as much a part of our favorite season as Dracula and werewolves.  As such, there is some interesting new merchandise featuring these modern monsters this Halloween season.

While we haven’t seen any of the following items in person, we invite you to hunt them down, check them out and decide for yourself just how cool they are.  Share your comments below!

First up is one of the most unique items we have seen for the Friday the 13th franchise — a Jason candle holder!  This is one of the first “classic” tabletop items we have ever seen for any of these modern monsters.

If you like outdoor air-blown displays, you may enjoy this one featuring Freddy.

And last, but not least, Michael Myers Halloween Luminaries!

What do you think of them?  Have you found others?  Tell us in the comments section!