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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Halloween 2 - Unrated Director's Cut'
(Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, et al / DVD / NR / 2010 / Sony Pictures)

Overview: Rob Zombie's 'HALLOWEEN II' picks up at the exact moment that 2007's box-office smash, Halloween stopped and follows the aftermath of Michael Myers's (Tyler Mane) murderous rampage through the eyes of heroine Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor Compton).

DVD: The original 'Halloween II' (1981) opens exactly like the new Rob Zombie version, with the seemingly indestructible Michael Myers' last intended victim, Laurie Strode (then played iconically by Jamie Lee Curtis and now played fearlessly by Scout Taylor Compton) wandering blood-soaked away from the house of horrors; gun clenched tightly in hand.

But, to say that Zombie faithfully follows the path all the way through would be like saying circus peanuts are the exact same as 'circus' peanuts! For a start, our old friend Dr. Loomis (back then the brilliant Donald Pleasence, and now the understated Malcolm McDowell) is still in pursuit of his patient, Myers, but here he is only in pursuit of the almighty dollar!

Anyway, not to give too much away, as aside from buckets of blood, head removals, slicing-and-dicing exploits, and knife-weiding moments of pure, overkill craziness, this Zombiefied sequel is actually very good - as a stand alone project, perhaps.

Sure it's naturally the next stage of the story, but come the ending, well, and again, not to give anything away (but Zombie does reveal it in the audio commmentary, so be careful!), but there will have to be some major changes made to the casting for Part 3!!

Anyway, Michael Myers (played with foreboding allure by a thickly-bearded Tyler Mane - and yes, we get to see his face for a huge chunk of the movie this time!) is perfect for the role of the hulking drifter of a killing machine, but its the internal roles that bring this film together. As Laurie, Scout Taylor Compton is trying to pick up the pieces of her life with fellow survivor Annie (the original films' Danielle Harris), and her father the Sheriff (the always fantastic, Brad Dourif), while Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) profits off of Michael's rampage.

But, just when you think the movie is dying somewhat, Myers seemingly randomly killing for killings sake, Loomis reveals the familial link with Laurie and Myers within his new best-selling tell-all book; and yes, then, once and for all, all hell doth breakth loose!

The (Rob) Zombie-inspired dream sequences that feature Myers' dead mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) and a young Michael himself (Chase Vanek) - with a white horse - are, well, sorry, overdrawn, annoying, and pointless! Sure we understand they don't exist and that their voices are just those already filling his mind, but they appear so often its redundant.

Finally, and just so we're all clear (and remember, no spoilers here, as promised), in the original final scene after the battle Laurie sees Michael's fiery body emerge from the flames, before finally collapsing. The next morning, Laurie is transferred to another hospital. In the final scene, it shows Laurie with a calm, serene look, indicating that her mind is at ease. Nope, that sure as frick doesn't happen here! Well, I guess it does in one visual sense or another, but (as Zombie himself points out in the audio commentary), what's done is done and his version is final!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary with Writer/Director Rob Zombie
Deleted and Alternate Scenes
Blooper Reel
Audition Footage
Make-Up Test Footage
Uncle Seymour Coffins' Stand-Up Routines
Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures Music Videos