Moustapha Akkad’s Name Removed From Universal’s Halloween II Blu-ray

It’s a tough time to bask in nostalgia. Between the already notorious (and unwanted) changes to the as-of-yet-to-be-released Star Wars saga collections to a much less publicized edit on Universal’s Halloween II Blu-ray, old school fans are certainly getting the shaft when it comes to reliving childhood favorites in glorious high definition.

If you haven’t followed Twitter incessantly or trawled the right message boards, you might be wondering what chicanery Universal pulled with the anticipated 1080p version of Halloween II. It’s a significant alteration to the opening credits which sees the exclusion of one of the franchise’s most prominent names: Moustpha Akkad (see below).

Yes, the late Mr. Akkad’s name has been edited out of Halloween II’s opening credits, only to be replaced with a far more jarring Universal, an MCA Company, Presents title card that couldn’t even be bothered to match the rest of the credits font. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed knows I was appalled to learn this last night, pointing out the further inconsistency that while Moustapha Akkad apparently no longer presents the film, the credits on the Blu-ray box remain unchanged. So much for quality check, Universal.

What’s the purpose of this? Does a transference of rights have anything to do with it? While Universal has yet to comment on this bizarre edit, Malek Akkad, son of the late producer, is understandably furious about the whole debacle, and on Facebook there's a fan-made campaign urging everyone not to buy this release that dishonors his father’s invaluable contribution to the iconic horror franchise.

Honestly, it’s bullshit. To any Halloween fan, the name Moustapha Akkad is an intrinsic piece of the franchise. It was Akkad who constantly kept the franchise running (well, until he got mixed up with those hatchet men at Dimension), and there’s no reason for his name to be stricken from the record when it comes to Halloween II.

"I am very disappointed that anyone would remove any filmmaker’s credit posthumously," said Moustpha's son, Malek Akkad, when reached for comment. "Obviously this is more personal as it is my father, but this would hold true for anyone who worked on the film, down to the caterer. It has been that way for 30 years, and for them to change it now after his death is shameful."

We couldn't agree more. As you would imagine, fans are incensed by this travesty. If you are, too, visit the official Facebook page that has been set up for everyone to air their opinions and work together to try to right this wrong.

Moustapha Akkad’s Name Removed From Universal’s Halloween II Blu-ray

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jkincer's picture

So much for buying this release. This has to be one of the most petty stunts I've ever seen by a major studio. Shame on you Universal, even you should know better.

Submitted by jkincer on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 8:07am.
kiddcapone's picture

For me, the name Moustapha Akkad Presents before each Halloween movie was the FUCK YEAH moment that got me pumped up for Michael Myers mayhem I was about to witness (sometimes great, sometimes not so much). It always gave me the same kind of precipitous smile like the John Williams orchestra playing at the beginning of Star Wars...but it’s really not that big of a deal.

It’s not like they super-imposed Malcolm McDowell’s face over Donald Pleasence ala Christopher Lee as Count Dooku in the Yoda lightsaber fight scene or re-edited the film so that Love Hurts plays while Laurie shoots Myers in the eyes at the end...

Is it completely bushleague and fucked up what Universal did? Absolutely. Do I really care enough that I won't buy the Blu-Ray? No. I already ordered it.

Submitted by kiddcapone on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 9:18pm.
Cinemascribe's picture

kiddcapone wrote: "For me, the name Moustapha For me, the name Moustapha Akkad Presents before each Halloween movie was the FUCK YEAH moment that got me pumped up for Michael Myers mayhem I was about to witness (sometimes great, sometimes not so much)."

Agree with you on this. The screen is dark. Then the iconic theme starts and Akkad's name appears in that instantly reocgnizable pumpkin orange font...and you know its time to go home to Haddonfield.

I have to disagree on the rest though. This isn't an instance where a filmmaker made a conscious decision to alter something he created. Fans may not like the changes to Star Wars, but it's Lucas's franchise.. at the end of the day, he can do whatever he wants with it.

This is different. Akkad was in a very real sense the guardian of Michael Myers. He guided the entire process and nursemaided the series all the way. If not for his involvement, we wouldn't have the series to begin with...and so the studio decides to posthumously remove his name from the opening credits of the long anticipated Blu ray of the first sequel? When you also factor in that Moustaphha Akkad died tragically, this seems particularly appalling and disrespectful. His son is right to be angry and it was a genuinely shitty thing Universal did.

It may not have the same picture quality, but my widescreen DVD of Halloween II still opens with his name -as it should. So that's where I'll be spending my time.

Submitted by Cinemascribe on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 11:50pm.
kiddcapone's picture

It is appalling, disrespectful, classless, gross..any adjective of disgust will be 100% accurate. And if it were my DAD, I'd be fucking furious. But, he's not. We're talking about a 3 second title card on a 30 year old movie of a dead guy that is completely inconsequential to the actual film itself. The fact Universal isn't getting the 13 bucks of a few angry fanatical fanboys isn't going to teach them a lesson or get this ridiculous choice reversed.

Submitted by kiddcapone on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 10:08am.
LifeMi's picture

Even someone like me, who thinks Akkad was a sellout who didn't care about the property beyond making money, thinks this is disrespectful. There wouldn't have been a Halloween franchise (for better or worse) were it not for Akkad.

Submitted by LifeMi on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 5:41pm.
DavidFullam's picture

Bullshit? More like Total Bullshit.

Submitted by DavidFullam on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 5:37pm.

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