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Published:October 24th, 2013 08:23 EST
John Carpenter`s 1978 Masterpiece 'Halloween' Released Yet Again on Blu-Ray (This Time)!

John Carpenter`s 1978 Masterpiece 'Halloween' Released Yet Again on Blu-Ray (This Time)!

By John G. Kays

I see that John Carpenter`s 1978 slasher masterpiece, Halloween is getting reissued on Blu-ray (Anchor Bay for $34.99); it`s the 35th anniversary of what`s now considered a solid classic (it took it a long time to gain this level of respect), and I suspect this newest edition will sell like hotcakes, just as it always has in the past (it`s made more than $47 million to date)! This new print is suppose to be more subdued with the colors, according to The New York Times, and the terrific (rather, horrific) soundtrack now can be heard in 7.1 surround sound (don`t know if that`s a good or bad?).

Tweaking this film one more time, technically speaking, is probably not going to make too much difference, but if it restores it to what John Carpenter had originally intended, then I suppose it will have served a useful purpose. Carpenter himself and Jamie Lee Curtis have recorded some commentary for this new edition, so that`s something I`d be interested in hearing, to hear their reflections on its making there back in the late `70s (for me, it nearly defines the late `70s). I pulled out my 2007 edition about a week ago and am on my 3rd viewing, looking about for things I may have missed on the first one million views.

Well, what comes to me most, is what I was doing in my own life then in late October of 1978; setting the context for the event in terms of my own life, helps me to watch the film more objectively, although it`s against my own subjective experience. That sounds a bit ironic, but maybe you can understand it better by thinking that partial objectivity can only be achieved through the recognition that we are slaves to our own absolute subjectivity! That`s better, anyhow, I was living in Dallas, Texas at the time, managed a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store in North Dallas (a near perfect suburb of America) and when working a split shift, viewed Halloween at Gordon McLendon`s indoor theater, The Preston-Royal (which is no longer there).  

That might seem a trifle trivial, but the first viewing totally blew my mind! The film is viewed more an Art Film now, but when it was originally released, it was considered a total B Flick! I remember, when exiting the theater (and knowing I`d have to return to the drudgery of work), I realized John Carpenter was onto Something New here; the way I`ll phrase it, is somehow a B Flick morphs to an Art Film - the two become one and the same, you might say. Now that`s profound, this is the genius of John Carpenter! Doggone it if he didn`t do the same thing with his 2010 film, The Ward, which I`ve seen 3 times now. The twisted ending sequence will rattle your bones, and you`ll want to see it again!

I looked over Halloween`s Wikipedia page this morning, and found a link for an original review in the Village Voice. This is, I`ll suggest, the way to go, if you`re attempting a simulation of the historical context of this timeless horror masterpiece. The writer knew it was great, but was obviously still grasping for straws as to the exact reason why it was so good. That`s forgivable, `cuz we`re still trying to figure out why it Breaks Out in such a big way; the confusion still exists even after 35 years. The Freudian Psycho-Sexual Thing, is of course, a big part of it, but even more important (for me), is the angle of a Threat to Suburbia. This is a Motherlode of an angle!