9.16.2011

For Shame: Halloween II Blu Ray


Now, I haven't seen the transfer of Halloween II (1981) and so I'm not complaining about technical details here. The reason I am urging you not to purchase this newly released Blu Ray is based on principle. Moustapha Akkad's title card has been removed from the opening credits and replaced with Universal's. Moustapha Akkad is the executive producer behind all of the pre-Zombie Halloween films. In 2005, he was killed during a tragic bombing in Jordan. His son, Malek Akkad, has carried on his father's role in producing several Halloween films, including the Rob Zombie reboots.

Without Moustapha Akkad, there would be no Halloween. By stripping "Moustapha Akkad presents" from the film, the producer's memory has been disrespected and it shows a callousness for preserving the authenticity of the original film. If something like this is altered, then what else might be changed under the guise of "updating" a film? Don't even get me started on George Lucas.

In a landscape where we have countless versions of what is supposed to be the same movie--director's cuts, unrated cuts, producer's cuts--what version of the film will be preserved in the future? Who chooses which one is the right cut? If you watched the theatrical cut of Zombie's Halloween, then you might be confused why Dr. Loomis appears in the second film at all since Michael crushes his skull, leaving a lifeless body behind. You see, in the unrated director's cut, Dr. Loomis doesn't die after all. In order to understand the series, you need to see the unrated DVD, not the theatrical version.

If there needs to be so many iterations of a film, then there is surely something inherently wrong with the film industry (surprise!). A filmmaker should be able to release the film that best communicates the story. Period. The version released in theaters should always be the director's cut. If not, who's cut is it? The studios?

I know I'm not bringing up anything groundbreaking here, but the controversy with the Halloween II Blu Ray has just reminded me of the convoluted, studio-centric state of the film industry. Stories are rendered  through so many channels that the original purpose becomes lost.

Although word on the street is that Universal plans to respond to these complaints, I'm not holding my breath. If you'd like to join the Facebook boycott, here is the page: Boycott Universal's Halloween II.
 
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