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Dominique Othenin-Girard
Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris
Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard, Shem Bitterman

The Shape returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 8/21/12

• Audio Commentary with Director Dominique Othenin-Girad and Actors Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman
• Audio Commentary with Actor Don Shanks
• “On the Set” Featurette
• Original Promo
• Trailer


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Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers [Blu-Ray] (1989)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 15, 2019)

After a six-year hiatus, the Halloween franchise came back via 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. The studio must’ve liked what they saw, as the next chapter materialized quickly with 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

Set a year after the events of Return, sadistic killer Michael Myers (Don Shanks) intends to finish what he couldn’t do earlier. He sought to slay his niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) but failed to complete that action.

After the trauma she suffered, Jamie goes mute, and she receives treatment for this. In addition, the earlier events created a telepathic bond between Jamie and Uncle Michael.

While Michael heads to find and kill his niece, others work to stop him. Once again, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) embarks on a crusade to finish off his long-time foe.

When I reviewed Return, I felt it offered a virtual remake of the original film. In this case, I feared Revenge would become a recooked version of Halloween II.

However, that doesn’t become the case, as Jamie’s hospitalization plays a fairly small role in the proceedings. Halloween II mainly revolved around Michael’s shenanigans at the medical facility, while most of Revenge takes place elsewhere.

While it may not remake Halloween II, that doesn’t mean Revenge offers anything fresh, however. Even with the twist related to Jamie’s newfound psychic abilities, the film feels like the same old same old.

I almost referred to the Jamie/Michael link as a clever angle, but that doesn’t make sense. The movie doesn’t use their connection as anything other than a cheap plot gimmick, and it usually seems as cheesy as it sounds.

Silly as the psychic elements are, at least they threaten to break Revenge out of the series’ mold. It flops, though, and it usually relies on the standard set of threats and scares.

No one in Haddonfield ever learns any lessons. Every Halloween they act carefree as can be and ignore all the danger. The town slogan must be “Haddonfield: Dumber and Dumber!”

Once again, Michael finds a way to go after horny teenagers. The original Halloween established that cliché, so I guess its follow-ups come to the trite plot choice organically, but it doesn’t work.

Again, some of that stems from the basic stupidity required to make the theme function. No one here seems to understand the danger around them, so we actively hope to see them die.

Successful horror movies need the audience to root for at least some of the characters, but that largely fails to occur here. We kinda sorta care about Jamie, but only kinda sorta.

Harris proves pretty good in the role, at least, especially when the movie requires her to exhibit pain. An early scene at the medical facility becomes borderline harrowing due to the trauma Harris manifests.

Alas, Harris pulls off other aspects of the part less well. She does as well as anyone else, especially given her youth, but she doesn’t excel most of the time.

At least Harris easily tops veteran actor Pleasence, as he gets hammier and hammier with each new Halloween. I suspect Pleasence made these movies for paycheck value, and he becomes less effective each time. Revenge acts as Pleasence’s nadir – at least through the first five films.

The series should’ve dispensed with Loomis anyway, as he seems ridiculous at this point. Why would anyone listen to the doctor’s claims that he can handle Michael when he’s failed so spectacularly so many times?

In terms of drama, Revenge tends toward garden-variety slasher scares, and it can’t develop them well. Some take forever to develop, such as a painfully long sequence in a secluded barn.

Did the filmmakers believe the slow pacing would build tension? Perhaps, but instead, the scene drags and fails to find any terror or basic menace.

I don’t know if I’d call Revenge the worst of the first five Halloween films, as all four after the original suffer from significant flaws. I do know it fails to create an effective horror experience.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a terrible presentation, the transfer showed its limitations.

Definition was acceptable, as the film showed reasonable accuracy. I’d never call it razor-sharp, but it usually offered fair delineation.

Sporadic soft shots popped up, though, especially during interiors. These seemed a bit smeared at times and appeared to use a little too much digital noise reduction.

No issues with shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws were minor, as I saw nothing more than a couple small specks.

Colors seemed acceptable. Revenge provided a natural palette that never favored any particular tones. The hues could veer toward the messy side at times but they also often exhibited pretty good pop.

Blacks were moderately inky, and low-light shots tended to appear somewhat dense. The transfer seemed dated but decent.

I felt a bit more impressed with the reasonably positive DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Revenge. The soundscape offered good stereo presence for the score, and effects cropped up from the side and rear channels at times. Most of these elements greeted broad scares as well as thunder/rain, so they offered sporadic pleasures.

Speech appeared a little reedy and thin, but the lines showed good intelligibility and lacked overt flaws. Music was clear enough and showed moderate pep.

Effects boasted fairly positive impact, though they also came with some minor distortion at louder spots. All of this left us with a “B-” soundtrack that seemed moderately above average for its era.

Two audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from actor Don Shanks. Along with moderate Justin Beahm, he provides a running, screen-specific look at his performance, his experiences on the shoot and thoughts about cast/crew.

Shanks offers an engaging chat but not one with a ton of great insights. While Shanks offers a decent overview of his work and impressions of the film, the track never becomes anything better than average.

For the second track, we hear from director Dominique Othenin-Girad and actors Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landman. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of story and characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, and general memories.

Don’t expect a whole lot of substantial information here, as much of the track leans toward happy thoughts of the production. Occasional nuggets emerge, usually from Landman, who seems to recall the shoot better than the other two.

Or at least Landman understands commentaries should discuss details, not just pleasant reflections. This ends up as a pretty mediocre discussion.

On the Set runs 16 minutes, 16 seconds and offers a circa 1989 reel. It indeed stays on the movie set, so interview clips come from these locations.

We get notes from actors Wendy Kaplan and Beau Starr. They offer basics about their roles and the movie but don’t give us much. This becomes a simple promo piece most of the time.

In addition to the film’s trailer, Original Promo fills five minutes, 50 seconds with comments from Harris, Othenin-Girad, producer Moustapha Akkad, and actor Donald Pleasence. It acts as little more than a long trailer.

Five films into the franchise and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers shows a series on fumes. Slow, disjointed and fright-free, the movie feels like a cheap money grab. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture along with fairly good audio and two passable commentaries. Revenge does nothing memorable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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