Thursday, September 15

Go ahead and boycott Universal's Halloween II Blu-ray, while I sit back and enjoy...

Profanity-laced rant henceforth...

I'm sorry, but those who are boycotting Universal's new Blu-ray of Halloween II because the credit of executive producer Moustapha Akkad is missing are making an asinine move. I understand how important producer mogul Akkad was to the series and speculation has already run wild across horror forums as to why. Questions of Qaddafi's financial involvement in Akkad 1981's Lion of the Desert and Universal getting leery over that with Libya's ongoing strife. Or is it because of this BD being released just after 9/11?

If this is the case, then yes, the studio is indeed being rather asinine themselves for worrying over such a thing in regards to a slasher flick from decades ago that probably only 2% of that part of the world has actually seen. The last thing on anyone's mind involved in or concerned about the conflict is whether a film producer's name is retained on a film. No one cares. Yes Universal, I'm sure if Akkad's credit included on this Blu-ray, jihad would have been at your doorstep yesterday. But whatever the truth may be, I couldn't fucking care less.

The following gripe doesn't just apply to Halloween fans, but the priorities horror fans decide to climb upon their collective soapboxes to stand up against in general. You know what the bigger issue is with this Blu-ray? Unlike virtually every other Universal BD, this one doesn't include a lossless audio option. The studio only saw fit to include lossy standard DTS Stereo and 5.1 surround tracks. Where's the uproar over that?

This is what I can't understand and I know I've bitched about this before here. Dare to question the picture or sound quality of a beloved film on a horror-themed forum and prepare to face an instantaneous flamewar with the usual bullshit dredged up. Garbage like image quality being "subjective" or how fans should just shut up and be grateful studios are even caring to release a Blu-ray of the given material at all. I'm not saying this is everyone, but it is a biggest factor in myself never joining in on the fray. Basically, I love horror but can't tolerate a sizable portion of its fan presence online.

Would there be an outcry if Universal pushed off another shitty ancient high definition master struck for DVD like they historically have done on Blu-ray time-and-time again? Of course not. Apparently, many believe the omission of Akkad's credit shows that Universal has contempt for fans. Go walk off a cliff with that bullshit right now. Why? If the studio really didn't care we wouldn't even be getting a Blu-ray release; however, they went one step further and produced what might very well be their best looking catalog title on the format thus far. It looks gorgeous and completely untouched by any digital erosion. Far superior than their track record of lifeless, clumpy transfers and Anchor Bay's Blu of the original. This one ranks up there with the perfection of Warner's A Nightmare on Elm Street and Anchor Bay's The Evil Dead. Truly thank you Universal for finally using the format's true video quality potential.

So go right ahead and boycott Universal's Halloween II Blu-ray, while I sit back and enjoy. You already have a multitude of old DVDs of the sequel so let that be your sanctuary. The presentation of the film is what matters most and I'd easily accept a missing credit to a vastly worse fate of another piss poor Universal catalog Blu-ray. I wouldn't be half surprised if Universal fixed this issue while also "fixing" the transfer's problem of looking too beautifully film-like. Certainly can't have that, now can we, horror mavens? If this comes to fruition, let me be the first to say thanks, dumbasses. Forest from the trees, people.

Shot cropped from's review


Anthony1138 said...

Hear, hear! The missing credit is a shame and I would love to see Universal rectify this "mistake", however I agree that it's no reason to boycott the disc. And I also agree that the more egregious error on Universal's part is the lack of a loss-less audio option on an otherwise excellent release.

What I'd really like to know is how a catalog sequel like this gets a better transfer than a big budget, certified cult classic like The Big Lebowski? WTF Universal?

Jayson Kennedy said...

You know, with regards to how bad Uni's Big Lebowski looks on Blu, actually Universal may *not* care that much about HII.

It would work with my theory of the less "loved" a movie is, the more likely it will arrive on Blu-ray with great picture quality. The studio merely creates a new master and throws it on a disc without fucking with it to make it "better".

Anthony1138 said...

That's probably a pretty good assessment of the big studios. The colors on the Lebowski disc are boosted to high hell and DNR is applied with reckless abandon, which is how HD is usually fed to the general public. Just go to Best Buy where every HDTV on display is set to 240Hz, noise reduction is on high, brightness, sharpness and color are at 100. Apparently big studios think HD means blinding overly bright, waxy, haloed, grain-free images.

Anonymous said...

"Basically, I love horror but can't tolerate a sizable portion of its fan presence online."

It's nice to hear this opinion from someone else. I've often found horror fans, in general, to be intolerable, especially the frequent convention/festival goers. Way too many are juvenile, irrational, and exceedingly self-righteous. One of the worst film herds.

Jayson Kennedy said...

You funny you mention horror conventions, I went to last year's Horrorfind Con and after an hour of being crammed through tiny aisles and not being able to hardly look at anything (everything was way overpriced anyway), I left empty-handed with my ticket the only money spent. Last one I ever go to... you dare tread upon the staircase?

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