It’s one year after the events of Halloween 4. Michael (Donald L. Shanks) has survived the shootings, and October 31st he returns with a vengeance, determined to take care of some unfinished business. His young niece Jamie (Danielle Harris) who hasn’t spoken a word since that horrible night is in a mental hospital under the care of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). Jaime’s step-sister, Rachel (Ellie Cornell) and her friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan) are doing what they can to help her recover, but it hasn’t been easy.

Michael was found, and nursed back to health by an old hermit. Come Halloween Eve, Michael suddenly skewers his rescuer, and heads on out to stalk Jamie again. Unbeknownst to anyone else, Jamie can telemagically “see” her uncle’s actions, but only when he’s killing people.

Halloween 5To get to Jamie, Michael plans to use Tina and Rachel as bait. In order to save their lives, Jamie knows she must leave the safety of the hospital, but at least she’ll have Dr. Loomis to depend on. That said, who is the mysterious Man In Black? What is the meaning of the tattoo on his wrist? Why does he seem intent on helping Michael Myers? Are they somehow connected?

While the Man in Black is a potentially interesting plot twist, the disjointed story wastes its potential. The film begins with its focus on Jamie’s damaged psyche, but abandon’s that in favor of the mysterious man.  Eventually though, the Man In Black is relegated to the background, creating even more plot confusion. In the end, Halloween 5 is little more than your standard, paint-by-the-numbers slasher film.

Thankfully for fans of the Halloween series, the actors keep this fifth installment from being a total failure. For her part, young Danielle Harris delivers a surprisingly convincing performance as the damaged Jamie. She makes us believe she’s truly scared for her life. Once again, the real standout here is Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis. By now, Pleasance was in his seventies and his character was starting to show signs of mental instability. The actor really dives into the role, chewing up scenery with the best of them. Loomis’ all consuming obsession with Michael Myers is obvious and probably the best aspect of the film. It’s also worth noting that the kill scenes are quite effective, which is an important element of any slasher film.

While it’s one of the lesser entries in the Halloween series, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is worth a look for fans, but casual observers may find the plot to scattered to warrant their attention. It seems clear that by the time the fifth film rolled around, the creative forces behind the Halloween series were running out of steam.

Presented in the 1.85 aspect ratio, Anchor Bay’s 1080p transfer of Halloween V: the Revenge of Michael Myers is quite good. Colors are reproduced faithfully and shadow detail is above average. Other than some minor specks here and there, print damage isn’t an issue. Textures come through nicely throughout, though faces do have a slightly smeared appearance in a few shots.

The Dolby True HD 5.1 soundtrack won’t blow you away, but it serves the material well. Bass levels are well balanced, offering solid directional effects. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout.

English and Spanish subtitles are available.

The following special features are included:

  • Audio Commentary: mislabeled on the back of the packaging, this commentary track features Don Shanks, who played Michael Myers, not the movie’s director Dominique Othenin-Girard. Author Justin Beahm of interviews the stunt performer/sometime actor about his performance and the preparation for getting into character. While it takes a little prodding to get Shanks talking, he does share some great memories of making the film.
  • Audio Commentary: Stars Danielle Harris and Jeffrey Landham, who played Billy, share a conversation with director Dominique Othenin-Girard, accidentally named Don Shanks on the back of the packaging. While full of information, those involved aren’t particularly engaging, making for a somewhat dull delivery.
  • Halloween 5: On the Set (SD, 16:17) Sourced from a VHS recording, these are interviews with Wendy Kaplan and Beau Starr talking about their characters, careers and the plot. There’s also some solid behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Halloween 5: Original Promo (SD, 5:50) A vintage EPK with interviews of cast & crew discussing their characters and the plot.
  • Trailer (SD, 0:36) A short TV promo.