HalloweeN 2 by Rob Zombie on DVD & Blu-ray

Five years have passed since the last HalloweeN film. The most recent movie in the franchise is Rob Zombie’s Halloween II. Before its theatrical release in August 2009, Halloween II already faced criticism from many fans. Rumors alleged that Michael Myers would not be wearing his iconic mask for most of the film. There were stories about a horse appearing throughout the movie. It also became known that Sheri Moon Zombie would be starring in Halloween II although her character, Deborah Myers, died in part one.

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A full-length trailer for Halloween II showed Michael Myers encountering a small child and lifting a car. In some promotional spots, Dr. Loomis stated that, “Michael is more evolved,” a line that was said in a different context in the movie than in the teaser. More troubling was that the trailer was essentially a summary of the film’s plot. It gave away such details as: the moment when Michael came back to life, Laurie Strode’s psychological instability and her finding out that she’s the sister of Michael Myers, and the survival of Loomis and Annie after the events of Halloween (2007).

Despite the above concerns, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is a sequel that tried to offer what most horror sequels don’t. Halloween II has character development, even for Michael Myers. H2 also showed us both the immediate and long-term consequences of extreme violence. The scenes where the medics are tending to Laurie after her confrontation with Myers are very well done. Lynda‘s dad is shown as a man who has turned his grief into desperate rage when he confronts Dr. Loomis with a gun. Meanwhile, by penning a second book on Myers, Loomis has become so reckless he’s as much a danger to the characters in this story as Myers is.

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As with his first Halloween, Rob Zombie made available two versions of Halloween II to North American DVD and Blu-ray in January 2010: The Unrated Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Edition. Both variations have the same cover art (whereas each of the two variations of H1 had their own respective artwork). Both cuts of H2 were single disc releases (H1 was released as a double DVD).

The graphics on the DVD disc for both versions of H2 look like they were made with LightScribe (the discs for H1, on the other hand, had color images printed on them). Judging by presentation alone, one could conclude that less time and care went into preparing H2 for the home video market (not to mention H1 was also re-released in an expanded Collector’s Edition).

Rob Zombie’s commentary track for H2 is less enthusiastic and less informative than the one he provided for H1. The commentary for H2 is downright lazy at times, with Rob Zombie simply describing what is happening on the screen. For example, when Myers is shown walking, Zombie says, “Here’s just more shots of Michael Myers walking.” When Laurie is shown returning to Sheriff Brackett’s house at night, Zombie states, “Back to the Brackett house at night. Laurie comes rushing in.”

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Rob Zombie autographed H2 DVD cover on the left.

Regarding the different endings for the H2 Theatrical Edition and the Unrated Director’s Cut, Rob Zombie comments, “Why we went back and changed the ending I’ll never know. I still think the original ending, which is on the director’s cut, is the right ending.” With that statement I would humbly agree. The Unrated Cut‘s conclusion is dramatic and provoking.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is derided and it is considered a travesty by some. I could’ve done without the prolonged sequences of Scout Taylor-Compton and her friends at the Halloween party, but H2 is not a low-point in the franchise. Rob Zombie’s H2 is a more worthy HalloweeN film than Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: Resurrection.

The Unrated Director’s Cut of H2 was released on DVD and Blu-ray. Some of the DVDs for H2 Unrated came with a lenticular slipcover showing Michael Myers stabbing away. The Theatrical Edition and its bonus features, however, only made it to DVD. The Theatrical Edition of H2 isn’t even included on the upcoming Halloween: The Complete Collection Blu-ray set.

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If you really want the H2 Theatrical Edition on Blu-ray, then there is the Rob Zombie’s Halloween & Halloween II Blu-ray Double Feature released by Alliance Films in Canada. This Blu-ray disc contains the Theatrical Editions of both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, but not the special features. It’s not often that Canada gets any exclusive releases (or slipcovers. Plus, when it comes to ordering from the U.S., Canada gets treated like it’s anything but a country that is right beside the U.S. Shipping to Canada should not be like shipping to Antarctica). This Alliance Films Blu-ray is a welcome addition for completists.

4 thoughts on “HalloweeN 2 by Rob Zombie on DVD & Blu-ray”

  1. Michaelantern says:

    Good blog and I agree that Halloween Resurrection MAY be even worse than RZ’s H2. At least Michael wasn’t fighting rappers in Zombie’s sequel! However, NO WAY would I say that either aforementioned film was better than Halloween 5. No question H5 wasn’t the best entry (I would only put RZ’s H2 and Resurrection lower on the list of entries in the franchise)BUT H5 had Loomis, some great Fall settings and an inspired soundtrack. Loomis ALONE elevates Halloween 5 over the likes of Resurrection and White Horsey Ghost Mommy….errr…I mean RZ’s H2.

    1. knowbody says:

      I love Pleasence as Loomis (legendary actor and character). However, H5 doesn’t take itself seriously- it’s a circus. The Man in Black shows up out of nowhere, Jamie Lloyd can’t speak, Rachel gets killed off and I didn’t care (no one in the film did either), Tina’s acting is ridiculous, the Michael Myers mask is horrible, and Myers is so un-Bogeyman-like that he’s out stalking people in broad daylight with no subtlety whatsoever.

      RZ’s H2 took its story seriously (dream sequences, ghost mom and all). Sheriff Brackett’s reaction to losing Annie was well done. I cared for him. It’s all personal opinion. When I rank movies, I ask myself, “Would I feel embarrassed if I watched this film with other people?” I’ve watched Rob’s H2 with others. I’ve never pulled out H5 and said, “Who wants to watch a movie?” I feel shame watching H5.

  2. RZ's H2 started off really strong and it looked as if he was going to stay on course with the original sequel (hospital scenes) with a violent zombie twist. I would have loved it if he did this ,instead after the fist 20 minutes it took a strange and bizarre turn of events that was dreams and ghost visions. Giving Michael Myers a voice ,as Zombie stated in an interview, did not pay off and was a poor choice to take this new franchise which led to a screeching halt. Just because Zombie didn't want to carry on with doing anymore Halloween's he killed off all the main character's including Myer's which left this short lived franchise at a dead end. I was very surprised that the power's to be let him end it this way with no where to go but high and to the right or yet another dream sequence that would just piss people off. He did however used brilliant camera angles, close ups, and multi positions to give this movie a gore and violence without the ratings board jumping down his throat. What I mean is, I hear people talking about how violent Michael Myers was in this movie but if you go back and look at the movie again you will see that there is not one scene with Michael Myers and the victim in the same frame as he is killing them but everybody swears that they see and can describe a scene that never showed how they remembered it happening. So this film style is very effective and should be noted by up and coming film director's. Cheap and effective!!!!!!!! All in all I wasn't crazy about this installment and I cringe to think about what the 3rd one will be about or like.

  3. RJIS says:

    Nice blog! I actually like the theatrical cuts of both films. I wish there was a Halloween 3 that followed Halloween 2 Theatrical Cut.

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