Michael Myers returns to theaters this weekend in a revisionist sequel to “Halloween” called, well, “Halloween,” and fans of the franchise can enjoy a new eight-episode podcast devoted to the slasher film that changed the movie landscape 40 years ago.
Hosted by film pundit Amy Nicholson, “Halloween Unmasked” isn’t one of those movie podcasts that puts two dudes in front of a microphone while they talk about how much they love movies for an hour. (I may or may not have participated in a few of those.) It’s a polished oral history of the influential franchise that’s produced like a radio documentary, featuring new interviews with all the key players.
Jamie Lee Curtis talks about her experience watching the movie with a packed theater on Halloween night. Director John Carpenter talks about growing up in a log cabin in Kentucky and being friends with “evil people,” as he puts it. Editor Tommy Lee Wallace heaps praise upon late producer Debra Hill, who didn’t care who was responsible for things going wrong as long as those things were fixed.
A chronicle of the film’s production itself would be fascinating enough, but Nicholson goes further — the third episode delves into the national psyche in 1978 when the film came out, the psychology of serial killers and why Michael’s pursuer, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), was actually a terrible doctor.
“Halloween Unmasked” is essential listening not only for horror fans, but for all movie fans. Here’s hoping Nicholson and the podcast’s host site, Bill Simmons’ The Ringer, delve into another classic movie soon. (Judging by the hilarious John Malkovich story Matt Damon tells on Simmons’ podcast, “Rounders” should be next.)
Listen to “Halloween Unmasked” on iTunes, Stitcher or theringer.com.
Remember “City Slickers”? Remember Mitchy the Kid? Remember Norman the cow? (“Helloooooo!”)
“City Slickers,” one of the biggest hits of 1991, seemed to play on cable every day for about 10 years and inspired a legendary Oscars speech that included one-armed pushups. It seems to have passed from memory — it’s not available via streaming services or digital rental — but Shout Factory’s new 4K restoration on Blu-ray aims to change that.
Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby and Daniel Stern play big-city big shots who wind up leading cattle to Colorado when their fantasy vacation’s trail boss (Jack Palance, who won Best Supporting Actor and did those pushups) is put out to pasture. The wild Western features Crystal at his big-screen peak amid a stretch of funny films that included “Throw Momma From the Train,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “Forget Paris.”
This week’s Blu-ray release includes a commentary track by Crystal, Stern and director Ron Underwood, as well as the expected collection of behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.
The disc retails for $24.99; a bare-bones digital version is available for purchase from iTunes, Vudu, Google Play and the like.
‚ÄĘ Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.