Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 10/31/00
Halloween 5: The
Revenge of Michael Myers
1989 (2000) - Anchor Bay
review by Dan Kelly of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
96 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
full-frame (1.33:1), single-sided, dual-layered, Amaray keep case
packaging, theatrical trailer, introduction by stars Danielle Harris
and Ellie Cornell, Inside Halloween 5
documentary, animated film-themed menu screens with sound, scene
access (26 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 and 2.0),
subtitles: none, Closed Captioned
Some things get better
with time. Others, sadly, just get more and more harebrained and
contrived. Such is the life of the Halloween
series. Halloween was one of
the best movies of the 1970s, and was hailed by critics for its
eerie blend of suspense and virtually gore-free scares. With
accolades like that, there's nowhere else to go but down, it seems.
Though Halloween 5 has its
moments of inspiration and a few scares sprinkled throughout the
mixture, it's ultimately an especially weak entry into the series.
Halloween 5 picks up (for a
brief few moments) right where Halloween
4 left off and starts right away with the silliness.
After Michael Myers is shot and left for dead in an abandoned mine,
he finds a way out and floats down river to safety. He takes shelter
in the shack of a generous hermit and hibernates for a year, then
butchers the hermit and heads off to find his precocious little
niece. Jaime (Danielle Harris) is now living in a children's
hospital and is so traumatized by the events in the past film that
she doesn't speak anymore. Her foster sister, Rachel (Ellie
Cornell), is also struggling to get on with her life and decides to
party her problems away. Naturally, Michael will make his way toward
Jamie and kill a handful of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis (Donald
Pleasence) will wave a gun around madly and act like an idiot.
Early on in the movie, the filmmakers try to pull a Hitchcock and
kill off Rachel. Though Danielle Harris is a competent actress (even
at a young age), the movie suffers a great deal after this point in
the film. Cornell's character was one that created a lot of sympathy
and, unfortunately, the same can't be said for the other lead, Tina
(Wendy Kaplan). There are a million reasons I could go into as to
why she was bad for this movie, but why bother when there's other
horrible things to mention?
The powers-that-be decided a flashier look should be applied to
Halloween 5 and hired European
director Dominique Othenin-Gerard to helm this installment. That may
be the biggest downfall of the film. Up until this point in the
series, all of the Halloween
films had been filmed with simple camera angles and editing. This is
a very busy looking film, with lots of cuts and strange angles.
Distracting as they may be, they don't take your attention away from
the poor story, bad editing and overall goofiness of the whole film.
If you want someone to blame for the horrendous thorn
plot that weighed down the next film in the series, look no further.
It's all here, and it's just as contrived and desperate as it was in
Halloween 5 is good for a few
things, but most of those are unintentional laughs. A few tense
scenes don't make up for the shoddy filmmaking that pervades most of
Strangely, the picture quality on this DVD is quite nice. Though
not quite up to par with the stellar special edition release of the
original Halloween, this DVD
produces a very good picture. Colors are rich and textured and skin
tones are natural, smooth and bright without being oversaturated. As
with any horror film, black level is vital to the overall quality of
the picture and this release doesn't disappoint. Blacks are solid
and dark and never impose on the integrity of the picture. There is
an intentional grainy look to the film, but on a few occasions, I
noticed some digital artifacts in the transfer. Edge enhancement is
visible sporadically, but doesn't present too much of a problem.
Anchor Bay created a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release, and
it turns out to be a pretty good one. There's a satisfactory amount
of bass to the mix, adding some needed depth to a track that could
otherwise be horribly dated. The intensity is immediately noticeable
during the opening credits montage, as the knife tears through the
pumpkin. Surround channels are used to good effect throughout the
film, and dialogue is aptly maintained in the center speaker.
Though the packaging boasts of a documentary on the making of
Halloween 5, there really is
nothing of exceptional interest on this release. The documentary is
not without its revelations, but its short, 15-minute running time
prevents it from getting too in depth. It was interesting to find
out that nobody on set (including the man playing him) knew the
purpose of the mysterious man in black who pops up now
and again in the film. If that doesn't tell you loads about the
quality of this film, I don't know what would. The promise of a
deleted scene on the packaging is more than a bit deceiving and is a
big let down. What you get is thirty seconds of low-quality home
video footage (with cameras and crew in frame) of an inconsequential
scene taken from the set. A short introduction (taped during the
documentary) by Danielle Harris and Ellie Cornell precedes the film
and the theatrical trailer and is the only other feature on the
disc. I have to mention the menu transitions here. I will say this -
technically, they're very well-done and utilize both sound and
animation. But do we really need to see poor little Jamie convulsing
madly in bed while we go from the main menu to the extras? It's
kinda sick looking, I must admit.
Halloween 5 looks and sounds
pretty dang good on this DVD. Still, I don't know that I can
recommend this movie with a clean conscience, if brain cells are
something you hold in high regard. This disc may only be worth a
rental for the casual horror fan, but followers of the series may
want to pick it up to complete the collection. If you want it, it's
there. If not, you're not missing out on anything.