It’s that time of the year again, when we look back at last year… The 40oz. Awards! Listen now to find out who won the 40 in each category as voted on by you.
“Enough of this Michael Myers bullshit.” was a line spoken by character John Strode (portrayed to brilliance by actor Bradford English) in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers.
Turns out in 1995 when the movie was released theatrically, many of the Halloween fans and genre fans alike said the same thing. One of the most renowned cases of poor test audience and studio interference, Halloween 6 has become one of the most talked about entries in the franchise. Many feel that it was a hack-and-slash mess that left fans more sour than satisfied. It was not until after the release when the world of horror learned of the original edit – a concept and piece that much more related to Screenwriter Daniel Farrands’ vision and brought the series full circle.
On September 23rd, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory (two distributors who have become Gods to the many VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray collectors out there) have combined their strengths to produce the ultimate combination of the Halloween Franchise into one large box set. Although countless versions have been released over the years, this box set not only has new material but the long awaited and too-often-bootlegged version of Halloween 6 known as “The Producer’s Cut.”
Thanks to Rue-Morgue magazine out of Toronto, Halloween fans got treated to the first ever theatrical release of The Producer’s Cut on Thursday night. The magazine routinely hosts movies in what they have called their ‘Cinemacabre’ movie nights. Rue-Morgue Editor-in-Chief Dave Alexander took a few minutes to discuss how it came about.
“Well, with Cinemacabre, I’m always trying to do things that are a unique experience,” said Alexander, “or a little bit outside of the box. There is a lot more competition for genre screenings especially in Toronto, a lot more than when we started Cinemacabre years ago. We showed the Director’s Cut of Mimic when it came out and Guillermo Del Toro came out to the screening and did a Q&A with us so I kind of had that stuff on my mind.”
With many cases in filmmaking, often what is seen on screen was not the original concept and Alexander continues that “the idea [is] that we have these interesting filmmakers [that] have their version or what’s close to their version shown on the big screen. The fans love it and often the companies like it too because it’s good promotion for them coming out so it’s just kind of one of those things that work well for everybody.”
On the Producer’s Cut showing specifically, Alexander says it is for “the horror fans and for the Halloween fans that drove in from out of town that want to get a chance to see a totally unique screening.”
The film begins on October 30, 1995 and picks up six years after the events of Halloween 5
The now 16-year-old Jamie Lloyd (sadly not portrayed by original actress Danielle Harris due to the studio unwilling to negotiate a fair salary) is being treated inside Smith’s Grove Warren County Sanitarium. Through a flashback, the audience gets to see how Jamie ended up in the clutches of the mysterious Man-In-Black and still threatened by her Uncle, Michael Myers. From there, we are introduced to the Strode family – relatives of Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie character – who are now living in the old Myers house. Besides Michael and Jamie, the main character we are pleasantly re-introduced to is Dr. Loomis portrayed by the legendary Donald Pleasance. Sadly this was Pleasance’s final appearance in the franchise and the swan song for Dr. Loomis. Pleasance’s untimely death was not foreseen and unfortunately, caused the iconic character minimalized screen-time in the theatrical release because no new footage could be shot. With over 40+ minutes of scenes cut or altered, it is no wonder fans were left with a product that bordered on dismal. If The Producer’s Cut had of been released in its original form, it very well could be the best of the sequels in the series. With the emphasis on the origins of Michael’s evil that included the ancient rituals of Sam Hain and Celtic Legend (all primary factors into the essence of the Halloween lore), the film fleshes out and brings to a close certain elements established through the previous three Myers entries. Eliminating spoilers as much as possible, it is safe to say though that by the end of this cut, Loomis has now discovered why he was destined to battle Myers for all these years but no matter what curse was imposed on Myers as a child, he is what original creator John Carpenter always envisioned, his own, independent agent of evil. If this were to be the last entry in the franchise (which was not the intention but could have been following Pleasances death and prior to Jamie Lee Curtis willing to return), The Producer’s Cut brings closure to the entire series while leaving just enough for the fans and the story to retain its longevity.
Lively helping-hand and current Rue-Morgue Intern, Brett McNeill, had not seen the theatrical cut so watching the series up to that point; it was a first time experience which left him very pleased. After the credits rolled, McNeill was happy to share why he found it to be “the best Halloween sequel.” Many fans that have seen the movie will probably agree with him that “the fact that it all happened in the Myers house” brought relativity back to the original and because of it, brought the audience “more suspense.”
Alexander elaborated on the film’s significance to the franchise, “For the people who know The Producer’s Cut, it gets a lot more into the whole curse of Thorn subplot which was subsequently abandoned after they re-cut it, which, was one of the most interesting things to happen to the Halloween series when they introduced occult nature to the evil of Michael Myers. You get to sort of go back into that world and there is a real interest in it. There are people that have done fan films based around the whole curse of Thorn cult stuff that we’ve done articles on. It’s sort of like a ‘What If?’ kind of scenario. What if the Halloween franchise went in that direction and embraced this whole other path.”
Both the theatrical and the Producer’s Cut plot-points were abandoned for the next installment, Halloween: H20 – a decision that was made during the course of production by Jamie Lee Curtis. H20 was not without its share of script revisions but in relation to Halloween 6, could not compare. Alexander mentioned that he “talked to a fellow tonight that has read several different versions of the script that were posted online and this is still far from what Screenwriter Daniel Farrands had in mind, but at least it puts a whole different coat of paint on the series.”
The landscape of Film and Television in 2014 has certainly changed and that is where the importance of The Producer’s Cut cannot be overlooked. For almost 20 years, petitions surfaced online pleading for the movie’s release onto DVD. It is fitting then that this pinnacle version of Halloween 6 is now getting the treatment it deserves and speaks volumes for the power of the fans and followers of these films.
In a last note, Alexander brought up a very valid take on the subject: “I think that’s what is significant [about the film]. We sort of live in an age now where everything comes out, people’s scripts get posted online [and] stuff gets leaked. People talk about what could have been, you know they make trailers for movies that don’t exist and posters for things that don’t exist so it’s kind of come into the control of fans. They let their imaginations kinda run wild on it and I think this [film] fits firmly into that mindset.”
It is a blessing that events such as Cinemacabre and the people responsible exist. Through the support of the distributor, Anchor Bay Entertainment (who now own the rights to this version), the Rue-Morgue crew was able to bring life back to the Halloween series one last time. Maybe by coming out to The Royal Theatre, and buying the upcoming Box Set, the admiration of The Producer’s Cut release allowed fans victory and closure; allowing them to properly say with pride:
“Trick or Treat, Mother-Fucker!”
Special Thanks to Dave Alexander, Brett McNeill, Rue-Morgue Magazine and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Horror movies continue to make a dent in the cinema world primarily because of films that center on zombie attacks and the supernatural. These topics have been hot ones for the past few years and that remains true in 2013. Now that we’re getting close to the year’s end, we wanted to take a look at which films have made the most bank this past year. Some of them might surprise you, especially when it comes to the money they have made, while others might have slipped by your radar. The following revenue amounts are for the U.S. market only and they’re according to website The Numbers.
1. World War Z
Based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as a former UN investigator who’s tasked with putting an end to a zombie outbreak. He treks across the globe from Philadelphia (where the film starts) to Jerusalem to Nova Scotia in his quest. Speaking of his quest, we expect to see it continued on in future films in this series.
Release date: June 21
2. The Conjuring
It’s no surprise to see The Conjuring here given its universal praise from critics and viewers alike. With good reason, because the film is realistically creepy. The direction makes you feel like you’re in the house back in the 1970s with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as their characters investigate the haunting of a Rhode Island home in the 1970s.
Release date: July 19
3. Insidious: Chapter 2
In the follow-up to 2011’s Insidious, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne again play couple Josh and Renai Lambert. And they’re still trying to figure out how and why they have become linked to the spirit world, which brings the viewer from the past to the present with plenty of creepy scenes in between. If you’re looking for a film to mess with your head, well, this would be it.
Release date: Sept. 13
If anyone has an eye for equally trippy and creepy horror films, it’s Guillermo del Toro. He’s the executive producer of Mama, which centers on two young girls aided by a chilling creature/presence (named Mama) that kills their murderous father. Throughout the movie, you learn the backstory of Mama amid a chilling, sometimes-confusing narrative that can get grisly at times.
Release date: Jan. 18
5. Evil Dead
The 2013 version of Evil Dead serves as a reboot for the cult favorite and it centers on much of the story associated with the original films. You have people getting possessed, terrorized, and killed off by demons in the middle of the woods. There are plenty of differences, though, including the origin story and the reason for the protagonists going to the cabin. It turns out that they’re trying to end a friend’s heroin addiction, which provides an interesting spin on the plot.
Release date: April 5
6. Texas Chainsaw 3D
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series traveled to the realm of 3D films earlier this year. The latest movie featuring the chainsaw-wielding madman known as Leatherface takes place after the original. It follows the story of protagonist Heather, who travels to Newt, Texas with friends to collect her inheritance. As you can probably guess, that’s when things immediately go south for the crew.
Release date: Jan. 4
Part of the reason for the success for these films, especially World War Z, is the incredible popularity of television series The Walking Dead. The show is so popular, in fact, that it’s been made into a slot machine by Australian company Aristocrat. Likewise, other chilling/horror-tinged films like Blade and Ghost Rider have been further immortalized as games at online casino Betfair. There’s even a Halloween-themed game, which makes sense considering we’re but a few days away from the best holiday of the year.
What do you think of the financial success of these films? Do you think it’s warranted or did too many folks shell out money for the wrong movies? Let us know in the comments section.
Have you seen Pacific Rim yet? No? Go see it. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and go see it. NOW.
OK good, now that you’ve seen it, tune in to this episode to find out what the 40oz. crew thinks (No spoilers.) Is it the best movie of the year? …Decade? …Ever? We discuss that and where we think Guillermo Del Toro ranks among top directors.
Also, some other stuff and a little bit of news.
While Bub gets annihilated on a bottle of cognac, we keep it together. We talk Hitchcock, American Horror Story, and the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Me and James almost come to blows over the Paranormal Activity franchise and we read a very controversial Boozin’ Gone Bad.
Warning: You may find the Boozin’ Gone Bad segment to be offensive. Boozin’ Gone Bad stories are public submissions and we do not screen them. The writings are not those of 40oz. Of Horror, nor do we endorse anything said. Enjoy!
After weeks of never-ending parties, Chad and James are joined by Brandon in an all new hangover episode. We discuss Bloody Disgusting, V/H/S, Dredd 3D and James tells us about “Tugging.” Check out Chad’s news, James’s releases and more.
The guys have been also recently flooded with 40oz. Of Horror fan activity — we’ve got the deets on free 40oz. t-shirts, more #BoozinGoneBad stories than you can shake a stick at, and the term “Tri-dick” is coined.
I never really get into vampire stories. The whole genre is beginning to get overplayed. (I suppose you could say the same about zombies, but personally I can never get enough.) But The Strain intrigued me. It starts off somewhat slow, but becomes kind of a mystery. By the time it becomes a full blown vampire thriller, you’re sucked in. The Strain is the first book in a trilogy and I have yet to read the third book. So far this one is my personal fav. ‘The Fall’ is the second book and is good, but it’s pretty long and has some slow parts. The aforementioned third book is titled “The Night Eternal.”