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The Scream Factory – Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch Blu-ray Reviews!

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The very first two Blu-ray releases from horror’s new best friend, The Scream Factory, are here; and we have the verdict on how well they did ready and waiting for you. This bodes very well, dear reader! Dig it!

Check out our Halloween II Blu-ray review here!
Check out our Halloween III: Season of the Witch Blu-ray review here!

On September 18, 2012, fans will rejoice as Shout! Factory unleashes HALLOWEEN II Collector’s Edition and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray and DVD. These two formidable titles inaugurate the SCREAM FACTORY™ home entertainment series and are now available to preorder at ShoutFactory.com and Amazon.com.

Pre-order links:
HALLOWEEN II Collector’s Edition
Blu-ray
DVD

Pre-order links:
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition
Blu-ray
DVD

Avid horror movie fans and collectors take note: those who order HALLOWEEN II: Collector’s Edition and/ or HALLOWEEN II: SEASON OF THE WITCH 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition will receive special collectible item(s) as gift(s)-with-purchase. For more information, please visit Shout! Factory Store or the Scream Factory website .

HALLOWEEN II Collector’s Edition Blu-ray & DVD
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, Halloween II follows the same ill-fated characters as they encounter the knife-wielding maniac they left for dead in the first film. It seems the inhuman Michael Myers is still very much alive and out for more revenge as he stalks the deserted halls of the Haddonfield hospital. As he gets closer to his main target, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) discovers the chilling mystery behind the crazed psychopath’s actions. Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Halloween II is a spine-tingling dark ride into the scariest night of the year.

EXCLUSIVE LIMITED OFFER: Order the Blu-ray or DVD directly from ShoutFactory.com and receive an exclusive “Haddonfield Memorial Hospital nurse’s hat!” Less than 500 have been made, so these are only available while supplies last.

HALLOWEEN II Collector’s Edition Special Features (preliminary confirmed line-up):

  • Audio commentary with director Rick Rosenthal
  • Audio commentary with stunt coordinator / actor Dick Warlock
  • The Nightmare Isn’t Over – The Making of HALLOWEEN II, featuring Rick Rosenthal, Lance Guest, Dick Warlock, Alan Howarth, Dean Cundey and more..
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds- Revisiting the original shooting locations
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer, TV and Radio Spots

    HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and DVD
    A murder-suicide in a northern Californian hospital leads to an investigation by the on-call doctor, which reveals a plot by an insane toymaker to kill as many people as possible on October 31st through an ancient Celtic ritual and deadly Halloween masks. Starring Tom Atkins, Stacy Nelkin and Dan O’Herlihy, this third chilling film from the popular Halloween franchise is produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill and is directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.

    EXCLUSIVE LIMITED OFFER:: Order the Blu-ray or DVD directly from ShoutFactory.com and receive an exclusive 18”x24” poster featuring the newly commissioned artwork! Less than 500 have been printed, so these are only available while supplies last.

    HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Tommy Lee Wallace
  • Audio commentary with actor Tom Atkins
  • Stand Alone: The Making of HALLOWEEN III: Season of the Witch featuring Tommy Lee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dick Warlock, Dean Cundey and more
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds- Revisiting the original shooting locations
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots

    Shout! Factory will continue to present the on-going SCREAM FACTORY™ home entertainment series in 2012 and 2013 with specific release dates, extras and key art for the rest of the title lineup. Meanwhile, fans will are encouraged to follow us and click the “Like” tab on the official SCREAM FACTORY FACEBOOK page for up-to-the-minute updates or visit the Scream Factory website.

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    Get Out Scores Golden Globe Nominations… as a Comedy

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    It was a few weeks back now when we let you guys in on the rather puzzling news that the Golden Globes was considering Jordan Peele horror-thriller Get Out as a nominee…

    As a comedy.

    As strange as that news was, it seems it wasn’t a joke in its own right as Jordan Peele’s Get Out has scored a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The news broke this morning with the full release of this year’s nominations via EW.

    You can check out the full list HERE.

    One cool thing is that actor Daniel Kaluuya also scored a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – again, Musical or Comedy. Sad and borderline ridiculous that Peele didn’t score nods as director OR screenwriter. For shame, Golden Globes.

    What do you think of this news? Are you just glad Get Out got SOME love from this year’s Gloden Globes, or could you care less about awards season? Let us know below!

    Synopsis:
    Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship; but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could never have imagined.

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    Exclusive: Scream 2’s Jerry O’Connell and Kevin Williamson Talk Leaked Scripts and Different Killers!

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    Twenty years ago, Wes Craven’s Scream 2 managed to break box office records, opening with a domestic total of $39.2 million. Despite heavy competition against Titanic and Tomorrow Never Dies, the film went on to gross over $172 million worldwideDue to the runaway success of the original film, anticipation for its sequel was high and come December 12th, 1997, audiences flocked to the theatre to follow the continued exploits of traumatized survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell); Woodsboro’s sheepish deputy Dewey (David Arquette); and his media-obsessed flame Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox).

    While few would argue that any of the Scream sequels could top the original, Scream 2 comes pretty close; the series only consists of four films, so there’s not much room for competition (with each having their own strengths) — but Scream 2 has consistently rated as a fan favorite. The film takes the self-referential commentary to the next level with its dissection of horror sequels, as well as the introduction of the film-within-a-film Stab (based on the events of Scream).

    Aside from its pop culture references, part of the appeal of the Scream franchise is that it isn’t your typical slasher series. Rather groundbreaking at the time, the films incorporate elements from all genres — horror, comedy, action, drama — all wrapped within an Agatha Christie-esque ‘whodunit?’ mystery thriller. The guessing game as to who is behind the Ghostface mask is what makes these films all the more enjoyable.

    One of the more notorious killers of the series is Scream 2‘s Debbie Salt. Initially thought to be a pesky reporter looking to ride on Gale Weathers’ coattails… In a Friday the 13th-inspired(?) twist, it is revealed that Debbie Salt is none other than Mrs. Loomis — the mother of the previous film’s killer — seeking revenge on Sidney and Gale for the murder of her son. While Mrs. Loomis was always set to orchestrate the events at Windsor College… rather than “freaky Tarantino film student” Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), one particular draft implies the enraged mother was intended to have a different set of accomplices…

    In response to the hype for Scream 2, major precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the film’s ending. Despite this, it is well known that a draft of the script was leaked onto the internet before production began. In the 2011 documentary Still Screaming, the late Wes Craven remarked, “[Writer] Kevin [Williamson] sent us, I think, something like thirty pages by email. We read it, it was fabulous — it was on the internet, in its entirety, that night.” 

    “One of the endings was definitely posted on the internet,” added producer Marianne Magdalena. Indeed! There is an online version of the script which features none other than Sidney’s boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell) and best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) as the killers.

    On whether he was aware of this, Jerry O’Connell tells us, “I didn’t know about that until after — like years after. Somebody told me — I think at a comic con or something… because we never got the ending. When we first got the script, I got everything but the last twenty pages. I think they rewrote the ending — I’m not sure if it got leaked or what, but the script had a weird non-copyable pattern on it that you couldn’t make xerox copies of it.

    It’s funny. Revisiting the film, I guess I could see that but Timothy Olyphant was so good in that — in that turn — it was sort of fun to see him do that.”

    Initially believing this script to be real — with the change in killers an effort to combat the script’s leak — we caught up with writer Kevin Williamson to discuss this purported draft. As he revealed, this script (which has been circulating the web since 1997) isn’t real at all — but it’s not entirely fake either. “The Hallie and Derek ending was a dummy draft. At the time the script was written, the studio was determined to keep the plot details under wraps.

    They were worried the killer’s identity would be leaked, so we wrote several endings. Three in all, if memory serves, and when actors and potential crew members asked to read the script, we would send the script with the dummy ending.”  

    As it turns out, Mickey was always intended to be Mrs. Loomis’ accomplice… but one can’t help but ponder the idea of different killers. “There was even a fake ending where Dewey was the killer. They existed as a decoy and nothing more. Extreme measures, but we really wanted to keep the killer’s identity a secret!”

    The details of this particular script are rather interesting — it reads fairly similar to the final film, but contains a few extra scenes and reversed character roles. As in the film, Sidney is taken into protective custody after Randy’s death — but in this version, Hallie does not accompany her; she and Joel had to Windsor’s film department to retrieve footage for her film class. After watching Mickey fall prey during an attack with Ghostface, Sidney heads for the campus theatre, closely followed by Gale — who has just survived her own encounter with the killer; Dewey, on the other hand, not so much…

    Inside the theatre, Sidney finds the bodies of Joel, Hallie, and Dewey — all strung up in the same manner as Derek in the film. Terrified, she tries to escape but comes across Cotton Weary — his arms and legs bound by tape. She attempts to help before Derek enters, revealing himself to be the killer.

    This would have been an odd choice to consider — the Derek we know in the film is a genuinely likable character. Considering her poor taste in previous boyfriends, Derek as an innocent adds warmth to Sidney’s story (she would carry his gifted fraternity letters in Scream 3). But in this script, he’s totally whacked in the head…

    The revelation scene follows closely to the final version. Derek begins taunting Sidney as she contemplates whether or not to unbind Cotton. Knowing that her boyfriend couldn’t have acted alone, Sidney fears Cotton might be his accomplice… until one of the nearby bodies springs to life. Hallie emerges from behind, grabs Sidney, and cackles.

    Personally, I would’ve loved to have seen Elise Neal as the Ghostface killer… In the final film, when Dewey considers this, he notes, “Serial killers are typically white males,” to which Randy retorts, “But that’s why it’s perfect! It’s sort of against the rules, but not really!”

    According to this script, Derek and Hallie had met on a horror movie chat board. Both serial killer fanatics, the two had forged a relationship and initiated themselves into Sidney’s life. O’Connell’s response? “That’s hilarious. My own relationship with Elise is still great. It’s super fun to see her career — everyone’s career — do well after that. I’ve really stayed in touch with Elise over the years and that would’ve been a lot of fun. She’s a great actress.”

    The motive isn’t particularly fleshed out. Like Mickey, neither were preoccupied with being apprehended for the crimes. The only goal was to reap the rewards(?) of a high-profile media trial. Soon after, Mrs. Loomis arrives with Gale at gunpoint. She proceeds to shoot her helpful but worthless sidekicks, revealing she intends to frame Cotton Weary for the murders — the same man who was erroneously charged with the murder of Sidney’s mother.

    Unbeknownst to Mrs. Loomis, Cotton has managed to free himself from his ties and lunges at the crazed woman, knife in hand. He repeatedly stabs her until the madness ceases. But Cotton has truly considered Mrs. Loomis’ words; he stabs Gale and tosses her body into the theatre’s orchestra pit. And with that, we now have Scream 2‘s pseudo-fourth(!) killer…

    If we were to consider this version, having Sidney’s boyfriend serve as the killer again might’ve proved repetitive… but in turn, might’ve also served as a greater red herring — one wouldn’t have expected Kevin Williamson to tread down that road again. McConnell is equally dismissive of the possibility:

    “No, I mean, I love that final ending. It’s a little disturbing — spoiler alert, everybody — to see a hole get blown through my chest. It was thrilling, sort of like an iconic ending — and a lot of people argue that the sequel was just as good as the first one. So it’s sort of fun to be a part of that whole crucifixtion ending… It’s fun to be a part of an iconic death scene. Between that and Piranha, I’m doing pretty well in the horror world.

    But yeah, I would’ve had fun playing the killer! But I’m not here to tell Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven what they should be doing with their stories… If they felt I was dying at the end, then that was it, I was dying at the end!”

    In any case, had this draft come to fruition, it would’ve been notable for featuring not two… not three… but four(!) killers, as well as the first (and so far only) African-American killer. Diversity? I don’t know… but I still say Elise Neal would’ve killed in that role — literally.

    In honor of the 20th anniversary, O’Connell also reminisced on the film’s success, saying, “I think it was the first film that really set the tone — so a lot of praise has to go to that first film — and it was a combination of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. Wes — God rest his soul — was just such a cool cat. And one of the most confident, kind, nice – one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. Literally, every time I walk on a set, I really say a small prayer for him because he was the best. The best. And I think it was just him and Williamson getting together – it just made for a great team.

    Also, it was a really fun, young cast. We had a lot of fun off set, we had a lot of fun on set… Liev Schreiber (Cotton Weary) was there to goof around with everyone as well. It was just… everything fell into place.

    Big props have to also go to a guy named Richard Potter, who’s sort of an unsung hero of it. He worked at Dimension at the time and he had a lot to do with the story — I believe he was the Dimension executive on the project. He had a lot to do with everything as well, so Richard Potter was a dude that was really elementary. And also Julie Plec [Wes Craven’s assistant].

    I know Richard had a lot to do with Scream and the decisions — the first film, the second film, the third film — he and Julie Plec were the real sort of advocates for the whole Scream world.

    I love Scream 2 and anytime anybody wants to talk about it? It’s a real favorite of mine. I’m really proud of the film.” 

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    Eight Nights of Horror: Celebrating Jews Who Have Brought Us Terror

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    Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday centered around the Maccabean rebellion against Antiochus IV, who pretty much made being a Jew illegal. There ya go. That’s your history lesson of the day because this article isn’t going to be about Hanukkah. Rather, it’s going to be a celebration of eight Jews in Hollywood who have been a major part of horror in some way, shape, or form.

    I’m going to highlight people like Daniel Radcliffe, who embraced horror with films like Horns and The Woman in Black, Jon Bernthal and Lauren Cohan from “The Walking Dead,” Lizzy Caplan of “True Blood” and Cloverfield, and Jane Levy from Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe.

    And while the names I just mentioned have done some incredibly important work of their own, it’s the following names that have helped shaped horror in some truly astonishing ways over the past few decades.

    So without further ado, join me in lighting the first candle, spinning a dreidel, eating some latkes, and let’s get Hebrew up in here!


    Jamie Lee Curtis

    Often referred to as the first “scream queen”, Curtis has terrified audiences for a while now, starring in such classics as Prom Night, Terror Train, The Fog, Roadgames, Virus, and, of course, the Halloween series, where she played Laurie Strode. Curtis delighted horror fans the world over when she announced that she would be returning to reprise her role as Strode in Blumhouse’s Halloween, which will be coming out in October of 2018.


    John Landis

    The director of An American Werewolf in London as well as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, which has been hailed as one of the best music videos of all time and was the first of its kind to be inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, Landis also brought us Twilight Zone: The Movie, Innocent Blood, and the ghoulish black comedy Burke and Hare. He’s also done cameo appearances in films like Darkman, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Vampirella, and Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader. He got his start with the low-budget horror comedy Schlock at the age of 21!


    Steven Spielberg

    Perhaps one of the most esteemed names on this list, Steve Spielberg’s influence on horror simply cannot be denied. The director of Jaws and Jurassic Park, the producer of Poltergeist, Gremlins, Arachnophobia and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and the story writer of The Goonies, Spielberg’s impact on Hollywood is unmatched.


    Neve Campbell

    Here’s an interesting one as Campbell is a practicing Catholic. However, she has stated that when someone asks if she is Jewish, she says “yes”. But putting that to the side, Campbell led the Scream franchise and, in doing so, helped revitalize the slasher genre. Her strength and perseverance as Sidney Prescott has inspired countless people and we love her for it. Plus, she was in The Craft. ‘Nuff said.


    Sarah Michelle Gellar

    She’s Buffy. Do I really need to say anything else?

    Okay, let’s go a bit deeper. She helped bring about the J-horror remake craze when she starred in 2004’s The Grudge and starred in two slasher franchises, Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer. But Gellar’s horror influence isn’t just for late teens and older. She was Daphne in both Scooby-Doo films, which brought a delightful taste of horror to younger audiences, setting a foundation upon which to love the genre for years to come.


    Danielle Harris

    One of the most vocal supporters of horror on this list, Harris’ work throughout the genre is staggering. On top of being Jamie Lloyd in the Halloween franchise, she starred in Urban Legend, Hatchet II and III, Stake Land, Inoperable, Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. She is a director, producer, and voice actor, specializing in kids shows like “The Wild Thornberrys” and “Rugrats Go Wild”.

    She has embraced her horror status and proudly appears at conventions and other horror gatherings.


    Danny Elfman

    One of the most recognized and lauded composers in cinema history, Elfman’s music has been heard in films such as Before I Wake, Goosebumps, Army of Darkness, Red Dragon, Dolores Claiborne, The Frighteners, Darkman, Nightbreed, and much, much more. But where most people know his work is his multitude of collaborations with director Tim Burton, such as Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow, and others.

    Elfman was also a member of the 80’s rock group Oingo Boingo!

    Photo by Brian Averill


    Sam Raimi

    When it comes to horror royalty, a few names immediately spring to mind. There’s George A. Romero, whom we thank for essentially creating the modern zombie as we know it. There’s Wes Craven, whose multitude of horror films challenged viewers and pushed the genre every step of the way. There’s Tobe Hooper, whose Texas Chain Saw Massacre influenced countless independent filmmakers. And then there’s Sam Raimi, the man who brought us the Evil Dead franchise. It’s because of this man that we have the grooviest of heroes, Ash Campbell. We also give thanks to Raimi for Darkman, The Gift, and Drag Me to Hell.

    Raimi and his frequent collaborator Rob Tapert founded the production company Ghost House Pictures in 2002. Some films under their company include Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead, 30 Days of Night, and The Grudge.


    Did we miss any of your favorites? Chime in below!

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