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Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut (Blu-ray Review)

Halloween-6-Producers-CutIt’s widely known that the holy grail of the Halloween franchise is the “Producer’s Cut” of the sixth film, The Curse Of Michael Myers.  The production overreacted to an unfavorable test screening following its final cut (Made up of 15 year old boys).  Joe Chappelle was charged with taking his film and trying to completely change the story, the tone and make it much more graphic and violent.  What resulted was a film that was disjointed, uneven and didn’t really make much sense.  This wasn’t the internet era where this would have been widely known to begin with.  It wasn’t until after the film had released that magazines and the like realized they had promo and set photos that seemed way off from what appeared in the final film.  Then, it dropped.  One of the most famous bootlegs in history started circulating and showed fans what was really intended for Halloween 6.  For years and years fans pleaded to have it released and it many of those plans wound up failing.  Now, 19 years later…this dream is finally coming true.  Now what do us Halloween fans do with our lives?

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 4

Film 

Haddonfield has been quiet for six whole years.  Nobody has heard from Michael Myers or his niece Jamie Lloyd after they disappeared following a police station firefight.  The town had banned Halloween during that time, but now, is finally bringing it back.  And on the eve of Halloween, Jamie resurfaces with a newborn.  After being stabbed by Michael, she is taken to the hospital and looked over by the retired Dr. Loomis.  Meanwhile, at a bus depot, the little boy who was terrorized by Michael back in 1978 now grown up Tommy Doyle has found her baby.  Tommy lives across the street from the old Myers house, no inhabited by Laurie Strode’s uncle and his family.  That include Kara whose young son Danny keeps seeing and hearing the mysterious Man In Black urging him to “Kill for him”.  Michael returns, but there’s more behind him this time and a great mystery of his origin comes full circle.

The Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6 is not a great film by any means, but its an important one.  It does help that its heads and shoulders above what was released theatrically.  The 90s was a weak time for horror, and for some reason all the horror icons being villains wasn’t enough.  They all apparently needed to have some sort backstory and retcon to the truth of the original.  Freddy started it, Jason and Leatherface followed suit and Michael Myers couldn’t even escape it (a could months later, Pinhead too would join in).  Things as they were weren’t good enough.  There was always something “behind the evil” or “this is what it REALLY is”.  The evil in all these needed to be explained where no explanation was necessary.  Mythologies were being forced where the makers didn’t realize they had spent the previous decade creating one on their own.  But, these are movie monsters and these mythologies did attempt to make them more classical in a sense.  They’re attempts at taking the characters into different places and its different, but not in all cases does it work.

For Michael, he’s apparently been under the control of the cult of the Thorn.  There was talk of Thorn in the original cut, but the Producer’s Cut relishes and feeds off of it.  We get a more in depth explanation of it from Tommy Doyle and the end of the film revolves around the cult.  We are treated to a flashback of their ritual with Jamie (revealing that Michael is the father of her baby…eww).  The end of the film is the biggie.  From the scene where Dr. Wynn is revealed as The Man In Black to its finish, this is a completely different movie.  Kara is set to be sacrificed by her son Danny at the same time Michael is to commit his final sacrifice of Steven.  Wynn is now more of a maniacal cult leader and tells Dr. Loomis he wants him to be his successor now that his work is done.  Its also revealed that the staff of Smith’s Grove is all a part of the Thorn organization as well. 

Tommy Doyle follows a member to the ritual and rescues Kara, Danny and the baby.  And in something that I don’t mind, but people lacking imagination hate, Tommy places a runes of light in a circle and offers his blood into hit.  With the word “Samhein” he stops Michael dead in his tracks.  There are those that hate this, but I think its kind of fun adding this little witchcraft angle and a bit of a payoff for things earlier.  This is much more inventive than just beating Michael with a blunt instrument again.  And after Tommy and Kara leave we are treated to Dr. Loomis reentering Smith’s Grove finding Michael on the floor in the circle.  But it’s not Michael, its Dr. Wynn, Michael switched the clothes.  He then says “It’s your game now, Loomis” and gives Loomis the mark of the Thorn.

This final act is far more satisfying and rewarding for the 2 acts that came prior.  What replaced it was a whole bunch of super violent stuff that didn’t make sense and oddly contradicted everything prior making it make even less sense.  Yes, its a bit more fantasy land and more fan fiction-y but that’s the film they were telling.  It also features Donald Pleasence’s final scenes in all their full uncut glory.  They’re not random chopped to bits scenes.  And he’s actually acting with the other actors in the same scene.  Mitch Ryan is far better here as the deranged Wynn as well.  I like him better as a crazy cult leader than just some asshole working at the hospital.  And like it or not, the cult of the Thorn makes far more sense than the “harnessing evil” bullshit they tried to feed in the theatrical cut.  And it also makes more sense as to why Michael is hanging out there and cooperating with them.

The ending is the big point of difference in this movie, but there’s a lot more alternate and extended stuff to enhance the enjoyment.  For instance, Jamie survives the barn.  She’s only stabbed.  She’s in a coma and in the hospital with Loomis at her watch.  We’re also treated to exactly what happened at the end of Halloween 5 and how her baby came to be.  She still dies in this cut, but she his shot in the head at the hospital by Man In Black.  For a fan of the series and the character of Jamie Lloyd, its a far more tasteful exit than here gruesome farm equipment slaughtering in the theatrical cut.

Thorn dialogue wasn’t the only stuff that was trimmed out in the theatrical cut.  Pretty  much all connective tissue to Halloween 5 was removed for who knows why as well.  Dr. Loomis explains his skin grafting plastic surgery to fix his face following his stroke at the end of 5.  As mentioned before, there’s a flashback.  There are plenty of bits of info and exposition dropped throughout referring back to Halloween 5 and I don’t understand why.  This movie is following its massive cliffhanger.  People coming to this movie were pining for the follow up.  While the film didn’t flat out ignore it and is a follow up, they chopped out a lot of the stuff that would have made the movie more fun for fans.

One of the biggest pluses in the Producer’s Cut is the temp score.  Its appears to be a hybrid of different scores throughout the series (though light on the II, but it is there in the jump scare score moments).  This is SOOO SOOO SOOO much better than the damn electric guitar rendition.  Granted, the beloved Brother Kane songs are missing in this version (come on, hardcores, you know you own their album).  The flash cuts are also nonexistent here and the Rear Window death isn’t all zoomed up and slow mo.  John Strode is also stabbed then just electrocuted with no head explosion.  Its all little differences, but you can see this film was kind of “just fine” and their tinkering afterward kind of harmed it.

Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers or The Producer’s Cut has a special place for me.  It was the first time I was privy to a work print or bootleg of a film.  It showed my how much a film could be changed, tampered with and manipulated.  I had seen and heard of deleted scenes before, but nothing this extravagant.  The theatrical release and Producer’s Cut almost 2 completely different films.  You can honestly watch these back to back and not be the slightest bit bored.  As a matter of fact, the Producer’s Cut has been such a staple for me in this series that it is the one cemented in my brain, not the theatrical.  Ever since I acquired that tape, the theatrical version was pretty much retired for me.  I’ve not watched it that much since 1997ish.  And whenever I have, its quite a surprise to me, the stuff missing and watching the final act play out.  The Producer’s Cut is a much superior film and has become a seminal learning experience for me in my upbringing learning about film production, criticism and film history.

~This piece was originally published as a part of Naptown Nerd‘s ’31 Days Of Halloween’ event last October.  You can find the piece about how I originally acquired the bootleg VHS HERE and the rest of the content for the retrospective HERE.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 6

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  I don’t how to fairly judge this.  Has a film ever had this big of a jump in video quality?  Whenever I think of Halloween 6, I picture a soft, blurry overcopied VHS image.  I never watched the theatrical much after the theater because I preferred this version, so even that Blu-ray I own is fresh on my brain.  Now take that a jump straight to Blu-ray and WOWWWW!  Details are pretty high, but things like separate tiles or color variation make this thing outstanding because it never had them before.  I’m giving this such a high rating because no matter how you swing it, Scream Factory/Anchor Bay’s presentation of the Halloween 6 Producer’s Cut is like watching a whole entire new film on this Blu-ray.  Seriously, while familiar, it felt like I’d never seen this film before and I’ve probably seen the Producer’s Cut over 30 times in my lifetime.

Depth:  There’s some strong examples in the tunnel sequences early on with the orderlies rolling Jamie to delivery.  More highlights include the end chase scene and the barn sequence with Jamie.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and the massive crushing issue present in the theatrical Blu-rays is no longer here.  Blacks add to the atmosphere but don’t hide any detail.

Color Reproduction:  Oranges and browns are strong.  This film has always had sort of faded colors to add to the fall feeling.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones are natural and consistent.  Detail is pretty high.  Wrinkles, stubble and blemishes are all accounted for.

Noise/Artifacts:  A healthy layer of grain compliments the image.  During one of the final scenes, a shot of Mitchell Ryan on the ground has a brown line straight through it.  Not a big deal though.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 5

Audio 

Audio Format(s):  English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This is a pretty great track with an emphasis on its sound effects.  The score sounds rich and ever present.  I was quite impressed with how loud, involving and active this was.  The makers didn’t half ass anything on here and really want to make this release count, and it definitely shows.

Low Frequency Extension:  Subwoofer enhances some score, doors slamming, cars crashing and stabbing stabbing stabbing.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Creepy ambient noises as well as some low volume score come through the rear speakers.  Also creepy noises and such in the hospital.  Right to left works and designated thunder hits are planted around as well.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clear and front heavy.  The baby’s crying does peak a little early on, but nothing else really bothersome occurs.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 7

Extras 

This is the motherload and complete dream of mind come true.  Not only do we have the Producer’s Cut, but BONUS FEATURES for Halloween 6 which has been completely ignored in that department its entire lifetime.  There are some people I really wish they could’ve had come back for this, but some of them appear on the Halloween: 25 Years Of Terror DVD from a decade ago, so that makes up for it a little.  But, I can’t complain, this is outstanding.

Audio Commentary With Writer Daniel Farrands And Composer Alan Howarth – Farrands leads the way in this terrific informative commentary that I’m sure he’s been waiting for years to do.  While still not even close to what his original script envisioned, he does think this is the best version of the film and does comparisons to his script and theatrical cut throughout.  Howarth I don’t think has really kept up with the film as much, as he mentions electric guitar being in the score and that only appears in the theatrical cut.

Acting Scared – A Look At The Film’s Cast (HD, 19:25) – Mariah O’Brien and JC Brandy who played Beth and older Jamie in the film talk about their experience and what they’ve done since.  Mariah even talks about how she was the interior designer for Edgar Wright’s house and how he lost his mind when he realized who she was.  He even wanted to have people over for a special screening of the film with her there.  Edgar Wright…a big fan of Halloween 6, that’s awesome.

The Shape Of Things – A Look At Michael Myers’ Murders And Mayhem (HD, 11:36) – John Carl Buechler, Brad Hardin and Michael Myers himself George P Wilbur talk about the effects and stunts used on the film.  They also discuss how the film took a different tone and direction once they got called back for reshoots.  Also, even though Wilbur was shitcanned from playing Michael in the reshoots, he still stayed on to do the stunts and even cameo’d in a scene.  What a pro.

Haddonfield’s Horrors – The Sights Of Halloween 6 (HD, 11:17) – Directory of Photography Billy Dickson and Set Designer Bryan Ryman take us through the look and appeal of Halloween 6 aesthetically.

A Cursed “Curse” – An Interview With Producers Malek Akkad And Paul Freeman (HD, 10:00) – The basic rundown of how the shoot went, the test screenings and the reshoots of the film.  Both prefer this cut over the theatrical.

Full Circle – An Interview With Composer Alan Howarth (HD, 7:27) – A kind of mish mash about his work on both cuts of the film.

Jamie’s Story – An Interview With The Original “Jamie” actress Danielle Harris (HD, 7:35) – Finally, the actress sits down and detail by detail sets things straight about what went down with her and not being in this film.  She’s briefly discussed why in the past, but here’s the whole thing, no holds barred.

Cast And Crew Tribute To Donald Pleasence (HD, 3:07) – Some of the cast and crew interviewed for this release discuss what a joy and professional the legendary actor who played the fabled Dr. Loomis was to work with on his final film.

Teaser Trailer – Halloween 666: The Origin Of Michael Myers (HD, 1:01) – The first trailer for the film that appeared on a lot of horror home video releases features an alternate title for the film.

Archival Interviews And Behind The Scenes Footage (HD, 8:00) – EPK interviews for the film featuring Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan and Director Joe Chappelle.  None of these people came back for this release (Pleasence obviously has his reasons), so its nice to have something even if it was these folks at their happiest and most promotionalist working on the film.

Behind The Scenes Footage (HD, 24:04) – Personal video that Daniel Farrands shot during the first week of shooting the film.  Features some cast and crew interaction and the set up and shooting of a few scenes.

Alternate And Deleted Scenes – Not Present In Either Cut Of The Film (HD, 7:24) – Includes an alternate opening sequence that I never even knew existed and surprisingly wasn’t used in the theatrical cut of the film as it fits with the ending of that film.

Electronic Press Kit (HD, 4:51) – This is a quick little video selling the film, featuring the interviews and Behind The Scenes footage featured in the Archival Interviews bonus feature.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 1

Summary 

This is it Halloween fans, you got what you’ve been dreaming of and probably better than you could have possibly imagined.  Unless Paul Rudd or Joe Chappelle want to come out of the woodwork or we can somehow speak to Donald Pleasence in the afterlife, you there’s not much else you need from this release.  Its perfect.  The minute this came in the mail yesterday I couldn’t help myself from popping it in.  Had to see this immediately.  Could not believe what was in my hands.  And yeah, the whole time I was watching it, I was totally geeking out and my love for the Halloween franchise had definitely one of its biggest and most fond moments I’ve ever had.  Thank you so much Anchor Bay and Scream Factory for finally putting out something we all thought we’d never see come to fruition.  And you didn’t just get it out there, you treated it like royalty and gave it one of the finest releases any film could ever hope for.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut 2

Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut on Blu-ray is only available for purchase as a part of Halloween – The Complete Collection Deluxe Edition available September 23rd, 2014.  It is not available for individual purchase.  Pre-order using the link below.

Halloween 6 Producer's Cut

Halloween Complete 2

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

12 Responses to “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. J.W.

    Dude, you need to improve your writing and grammar skills. This review was almost unreadable. Jesus tapdancing Christ. Is there a reason you skip entire words while trying to form a sentence??

  2. Brandon Peters

    Thank you for for the praise, JW. I appreciate the support!

  3. Sypreme Essence

    Awsome, I loved reading your piece. I am a writer also, plus a die hard fan of the Halloween franchise. I am super excited about all the buzz about the Blu -ray box set, and can not wait to get mine! I will be the first in line.

  4. Brandon Peters

    Thank you for the kind words Sypreme Essence. The box set should not disappoint!

  5. Well Done You

    Great review! Even though I have owned the bootleg on VHS and two separate DVD’s, I have never made it all the way through – I was way too frustrated with the awful picture. Finally, I’ll be able to see it in all its glory. And your review made me even more excited!

  6. Jeff

    Awesome review. Got me even more excited for this release. Been a Halloween fan forever. Was wondering if you could show us or tell us how the discs are packaged in the set. When it was first announced they said each film would be in it’s own black blu-day case, but they’ve been pretty quiet about since the initial announcement. I’m hoping the packaging is still how they said it would be. Really don’t want this set to be like the shorty Friday The 14th set.

  7. Jeff

    Oops. I meant blu-ray not blu-day.

  8. Brandon Peters

    Thank you, Jeff. I wish I could show you the package, but all I was sent for review were these two discs with no packaging.

  9. Frank

    OUTSTANDING review!

    Can’t wait for this.

  10. Jack Burton

    Great review but as one comment stated, run your text thru a grammar/spell checker…

  11. Brandon Peters

    Grammar police, arrest this man
    He talks in reviews
    He buzzes like a fridge
    He’s like a VHS tape

    Grammar police, arrest this girl
    Her Jong Un hairdo is
    Making me feel ill
    And we have crashed her comment board

    This is what you get
    This is what you get
    This is what you get when you post reviews

    Grammar police
    I’ve given all I can
    It’s not enough
    I’ve given all I can
    But we’re still on the site

    This is what you get
    This is what you get
    This is what you get when you post reviews

    For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
    Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

    For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
    Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

  12. Eric with Cheese Ashley

    I’m in the minority here when I say that I liked the Theatrical Cut over the Producer’s One. Ever since I saw the Producer’s on my VHS bootleg, I admired certain aspects of it – like I love the score and music and pacing. But the “original” ending was so drawn out, anticlimatic, and completely void of any suspense, scares or tension. The theatrical was a mess, too, but it made a solid effort to amp up the tension, and Michael actually interacted with the core cast in it and there was a sense of real danger from him, as opposed to what we ended up with here. It may have abandoned some of the story that was set earlier, but it ended the way a horror movie should end…with a tension-filled climax. I was literally almost bored watching these final scenes.

    As for the extras, they were great. And as a side note, on the Theatrical Cut disc, I completely forgot that television advertising heavily promoted this one as the “final” installment of the series.

    I love the review. I always enjoy reading Brandon’s reviews, even if I don’t agree with them. 🙂