The television version of Halloween has an interesting story–the original film ran so short, when the network wanted to run it on TV, there wasn’t enough film after they cut out the violence. Carpenter was producing Halloween II at the time so he came back and filmed some more scenes to pad it out.
Most of these scenes are with Donald Pleasence, which seriously throws the film off-balance. Besides the opening, Pleasence disappears for long stretches while Carpenter establishes Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes and P.J. Soles. With so much more Pleasence at the beginning of the picture, one notices his absence more. He ought to be around, given his lengthy presence at the beginning.
The added scenes are also done with the sequel in mind, which means the film no longer makes sense if one has seen the second one and how the new scenes fit. However, during the final sequence everything happens at such an insistent pace it’s hard to dwell on the plot holes.
I’ve seen the television version a couple times and it always seemed like a lesser work, even though it does give Kyes (Halloween‘s unsung comedic star) another scene. This time’s no different.
This viewing must be my seventh or eighth of Halloween and I just now noticed the Psycho reference at the open and how Dean Cundey’s subjective camerawork does everything for the film’s mood.
In other words, awkwardly added scenes or not, Halloween‘s always got more to offer.
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