Oct 17, 2021

HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS — FULL NBC BROADCAST, 1989

Following my previous fan edit "broadcast" of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, I decided to do something similar in honor of the spooky season. Much like Dawn of the Dead, some of the Halloween sequels never enjoyed network broadcasts in their hay day. To date, the most high profile broadcast of a Halloween movie was the 1978 original, which premiered on NBC in 1981 the same weekend that Halloween II opened in theaters. (This was the edit that's become known as the "television version," which includes three new sequences shot by Carpenter using Halloween II's crew to help pad the running time to fit within a two-hour time slot.) While Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch did air on television in the mid-1980s, both aired on syndicated stations with pre-existing licensing agreements with Universal Studios, who owned both sequels (and who also own the current Halloween timeline, comprising 2018's reboot and this year's disappointing Halloween Kills). Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers were made independently and never aired on network television or even on local syndicates outside of premium cable channels. Because of this, and being someone who owns a copy of every known broadcast of a Halloween movie, the lack of a Halloween 4 broadcast always felt...wrong. 

Decades spent watching the Halloween series has allowed me to embrace a possibly controversial truth: after Carpenter's original, Halloween 4 is my favorite of the series by a lot (not counting the Shapeless Halloween III, which is nearly tied). There's a variety of reasoning behind this: one, it's well made and appears genuinely respectful of the source material; two, because if you've stuck with the series through thick and thin, then you know how off-the-rails the series went with each timeline, making Halloween 4 look better and better by comparison; and three, and this is the biggest one—nostalgia. While the series' original run that began with the very first and ended with 1998's Halloween: H20 all lovingly exists under that warm and comforting nostalgia umbrella, there's something about Halloween 4 that really hits me in the feels. All of that is what led me not just to fan-editing a network broadcast that never actually happened, but it had direct influence on how I designed the edit. 

With my Dawn of the Dead edit, I kept all commercials confined to a late-70s and very-early-80s aesthetic, with most of the commercials being in-jokes based on Dawn of the Dead's content. (There's a bonafide commercial for Monroeville Mall—that kinda thing.) With Halloween 4, I kept the era appropriate to 1989 or close to it, but I also I made it a full-on nostalgia boner for everything Halloween season—commercials for costumes and makeup, all kinds of weird and spooky 900 numbers geared towards children (including Freddy Krueger's infamous hotline), and of course, TV spots for notable or infamous horror flicks released that year. It was designed for background play during your Halloween party, or to sit down and watch in its entirety—the hope is to stoke your own fires of nostalgia as you get lost in this more and more celebrated decade. 

Like Dawn of the Dead, this edit of Halloween 4 has been censored for content to adhere to network standards, but luckily, unlike Dawn of the Dead, Halloween 4 didn't have that much content to remove because it was a pretty tame and chaste sequel compared to what would come in the franchise's future, so this edit isn't very jarring. It also felt right using NBC as the hosting network, as it had aired the premiere of the original almost a decade previous to this one—it felt like the series had gone home. I hope you enjoy this newest addition of TEOS Theater and can embrace the shitty-on-purpose look and feel of a broadcast recording designed to look like a 37th generation copy—all blips, static, and tracking issues included.

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