Blu-ray Review: John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ 4K Ultra HD
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4K Ultra HD
Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release date: September 25, 2018

John Carpenter‘s Halloween is one of the greatest horror films ever made, and turned the filmmaker from an up and coming director to a horror legend. If Psycho is the mother of all horror movies, then Halloween may be its spiritual son.

Forty years after its 1978 theatrical release, Halloween spawned not only sequels and remakes, but an entire sub-genre: the slasher film. This Friday, October 19th the 11th movie to enter the long-running franchise opens worldwide. This new film, also called Halloween, was directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and written by Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley and is a direct sequel to Carpenter’s seminal classic. With that in mind, it’s a perfect time to revisit the original in the best way possible, with the new 4K Ultra Blu-ay Combo Pack.

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FEARnyc 2016 Retro Movie Review: John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)
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Halloween – 1978
Available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon Video
Written by John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Nancy Loomis, Nick Castle
Original release date: October 25, 1978
FEARnyc screening: October 27, 2016

There is almost nothing left that can be said about John Carpenter’s Halloween. It is widely recognized as a classic of horror, one of the scariest movies ever made, and the film that inspired and jump-started the slasher sub genre. What I can offer is perhaps a fresh perspective. You see, on Thursday night, at the final night of the weeklong FEARnyc horror film festival, I took my 12-year-old son Brandon to see Halloween on the big screen for the first time.

Introduced by FEARnyc director John Capo, Halloween starts with a long uninterrupted take tracking the killer arming himself, heading upstairs, putting on a clown mask, and stabbing a girl to death. We find out this was 6-year-old Michael Myers, and the victim was his older sister Judith. “That’s him?,” Brandon whispered. A few seconds later, when a 21-year-old Michael leaps on top of Loomis’s station wagon to escape, “That was him?” Sitting next to him, you could feel his body tense up when Carpenter used one of his taut musical cues. Having seen Halloween countless times, I was enjoying my son’s experience more.

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Blu-ray Review: Escape From New York
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Escape from New York
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: John Carpenter
Screenwriter: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, Ox Baker
Scream Factory
Rated R | 98 Minutes
Release Date: April 21, 2015

“Call me Snake…”

Co-written and directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), 1981’s Escape from New York is set in a then near-future 1997, in a crime-ridden United States that has transformed Manhattan into a maximum security prison.

Synopsis: In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. But when the US president (Donald Pleasence) crash-lands inside, only one man can bring him back: notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell). But time is short. In 24 hours, an explosive device implanted in his neck will end Snake’s mission – and his life – unless he succeeds!

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DVD Review: ‘Escape To Witch Mountain’ & ‘Return From Witch Mountain’
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Disney’sWitch Mountain

Escape to Witch Mountain Special Edition (1975)
Directed by John Hough
Starring Ike Eisenmann, Kim Richards, Donald Pleasence, Ray Milland, Eddie Albert
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2009

Return from Witch Mountain Special Edition (1978)
Directed by John Hough
Starring Ike Eisenmann, Kim Richards, Christopher Lee, Bette Davis
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2009

After the death of their foster parents, picture perfect blond siblings Tony and Tia Malone (Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards) are sent to a children’s home, where their attempts to fit in become increasingly difficult as their “special powers” become more apparent. Previously, the young siblings had little memory of their lives before they came to live with the Malones, but they always knew they had special powers. But the more they use their powers, the greater the danger to them will be, as the greedy millionaire Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland) and his opportunistic employee Lucas Deranian (Donald Pleasence) scheme to use the children’s abilities to their own advantage.

Luckily, children in Disney movies are as smart and intuitive as Disney movie villains are obvious, because although Bolt and Deranian try enticing the children with their own playroom and all the toys and ice cream they could ever want, the two men are simply up to no good — and the children realize this soon enough. With Tia’s special star case and as-of-yet deciphered map in hand, the siblings, along with their cooperative black cat Winky, go on the run from the bad guys. Along the way, they stowaway in the back of an RV driven by a cranky loner (Eddie Albert), who at first reluctantly helps the children, who think they know a place that will lead them to discover their true destiny — the mysterious Witch Mountain.

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