When it was announced that Scream Factory would be releasing the first five Halloween movies in 4K on October 5th, it quickly became apparent that one of the highlights of these releases was going to be Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, which will include some footage that has long since been lost from previous releases. Included in these new scenes are the appearance of Dr Death in the rare alternative opening sequence, and some extra scenes of gore that were cut from the movie to achieve an R-rating. So the question is, what will these new scenes entail?
First, there is the alternative opening to the 1989's Halloween 5, which features a character called Doctor Death, who in the theatrical version was turned into a hermit who looks after Michael and nurses him back to health at the start of the movie. This long lost opening was discussed by Halloween 5 star Don Shanks, who talked about filming the scene with HalloweenMovies.com a couple of year ago. His description of the scene ran like this.
"(I was) placed on this stone alter, and all around (the set) were things that the production had gotten from witches, and people that sell you the occult," Shanks explained. "And there were scrolls and different chants and this and that. And (suspended from) the altar, right above me, was this rock that looked like a stalactite - it was on a string and it would circle. And Dr. Death was doing an incantation on me, and then he tattoos on me the Thorn rune, which is the sign of eternal life. And so he does all these incantations, and on Halloween Eve (one year later) I come back to life."
He went on, "So I put the mask on and I grab Doctor Death by the throat and pick him up over my head and break his back, and then put him on the altar, and take the stalactite and I go through his chest with it. I thought it was one of my better kills. But Moustapha [Akkad] thought it was too much of the occult type thing. So they decided to shoot it differently."
The task of restoring this old footage fell to Michael Felsher, who wrote about the process he has gone through to bring the alternative opening back to life on his Facebook page this week. He wrote, "Basically I was delivered a series of raw takes scanned direct from the negative trims and using a shooting script, as well as some existing footage from the theatrical cut, I was able to put together what amounts to a new opening sequence for the film. Most H5 fans know that the existing Mountain Man character was a re-shoot added in to replace Dr. Death, and it was interesting to discover that a lot of shots used in the theatrical cut for his "lair" were just shots taken from the original Dr. Death shoot which I was able to repurpose for the restored scene. A big part of my job was to create an audio mix for this scene, so when you watch it, every sound you hear with Dr. Death on-screen was created here at my desk."
What the additional scenes of gore amount to is unknown, but like many other movies such as The Evil Dead, which had similar cuts made at one point to secure an R-rating, these will likely be scenes extended by a couple of seconds featuring additional shots of injuries and blood. Scream Factory have in the past delivered some real treats for horror fans with gore footage restorations on My Bloody Valentine and Friday The 13th Part 2, and their new Halloween 5 release seems like another winner.