While there’s been an abundance of buzz on the Halloween film series of late, the majority of it has been focused on the forthcoming David Gordon Green-helmed sequel hitting theaters October 2018. The attention isn’t surprising, with Jamie Lee Curtis set to reprise her iconic role as Laurie Strode, sister of the original boogeyman himself, Michael Myers, and the involvement, as ambiguous as it may currently be, of the man that started it all, John Carpenter.
But that’s still a year away.
Enter Retro Picture Show, the New York-based motion picture revival company that has facilitated a number of screenings of classic genre films back into movie theaters. The latest flick to be honored was Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. But this wasn’t any ordinary showing, as those lucky enough to score tickets were treated to The Producer’s Cut—a previously unreleased in theaters, ultra-rare 35mm version, one exceedingly different than the version released commercially in 1995.
It took nearly 20 years for this edition to be granted an official home video release, in the form of a deluxe Blu-ray set, in 2014. However, most devout Halloween fans were certainly not strangers to it before that as bootlegs had been widely circulating for years, prompting numerous debates over which was superior.
The Cinema Arts Centre, located in Huntington, NY, played host to the one-night only event on September 29, as it has for past Retro Picture happenings. It’s a collaboration that has proved to be fruitful for both, as the theater provides an outstanding, comfortable outlet for the gatherings while the movie outfit assembles not only screenings, but also vintage trailers, contests, raffles and specialized merchandise around horror’s best.
Preceding the feature, attendees were treated to deliciously campy trailers for horror mainstays such as Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Child’s Play 3, each met with chuckles, shrieks and raucous applause. The main event, the sixth entry in the Halloween series, but fifth with Myers, started immediately after the trailers’ concluded and the jam-packed theater quickly quieted down, giving their full attention to the opening sequence of Jamie Lloyd being wheeled into a makeshift delivery room, where she eventually gives birth to the boogeyman’s inbred seed.
The plot of the movie is generally considered to be one of the weakest in the franchise’s history, primarily due to its introduction of the nonsensical ‘Thorn’ storyline, which established Myers as being inflicted with an ancient druid curse. But despite the murky storyline, there were certainly bright spots sprinkled throughout the film.
Donald Pleasence, arguably the crown jewel of the series, was in top form as the legendary Dr. Sam Loomis in what ultimately turned out to be his final screen performance before passing away at the age of 75. In addition, eventual breakout star Paul Rudd’s slightly maniacal portrayal of Tommy Doyle never failed at keeping viewers engrossed in his pursuit of Myers. Also notable was Bradford English’s wonderfully despicable performance as the abusive patriarch of the Strode family.
If there was ever any doubt of the rabid popularity and pure love that Halloween and its plethora of sequels evokes, try telling that to the throngs of fanatics in attendance who helped make this event Retro Picture Show’s most successful to date. But with several more scheduled and no signs of slowing down, it’s a record that likely won’t last very long.
Upcoming Retro Picture Show screenings at Cinema Arts Center:
Victor Crowley Theatrical Roadshow (October 13)
2017 Halloween Horrorthon featuring House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween 3, Scream Blacula Scream, Psycho 3, Tourist Trap, and Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (October 21)
The Beyond & The Sentinel (November 10)
Suspiria & Inferno (January 12, 2018)