Thursday, December 27, 2007

Review: Jack Martin's HALLOWEEN II novelization

We all have seen it, probably more than a few times. We all know the differing versions, the TV cut, the "Rosenthal Cut" has even been spoken of. I'm here to tell you that Jack Martins Halloween II novelization is perhaps better than the actual film.

We start out with a scene not in the film; trick-or-treaters out and about stopping at the Elrod house. This serves as a device for Mr. Martin to set the novel in its own mythology of Halloween. The book has an atmosphere all its own. Thick with autumnal alliteration, we weave through the story in a way that the film seems to limp through at times.

Like the film, Martin takes us back into the third act of the first Halloween. But the novel goes back even further, to a point in which three pre-teens try to find the gumption to send one of their own up creaking steps to ring the doorbell of the old "Myers Spook House" in a test of burgeoning manhood. And yes, you know what follows; Loomis joyfully taunts Lonnie and the boys as his own little Halloween prank, partaking in the right of passage of these young men. At this point the book really takes off. Although we are re-treading old ground the difference is in the medium itself. Martin takes us into the characters thoughts. Only in a novel are we capable of witnessing such introspection, and Jack Martin does not let us down. The inner monologues of Loomis take us on a painfull journey of regret and self loathing that the film merely hinted at. Other characters are also exposed this way, allowing a better understanding of even secondary players motivations. Reading this text actually makes the film better! I found that all the nuances of Martins book stayed with me while viewing the film afterwards.
From print to film different paths are not taken in the plot itself, the main difference is in the way the characters are allowed to breathe in the novel. The town and hospital become characters in their own right. What Jack Martins book allows us fans of the Michael Myers mythology is a chance to linger a bit longer on the streets of Haddonfield, in the corridors of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, and, perhaps more importantly, in the shadowy recesses of the characters minds.
This is not a review of "content", as it were. We all know the story. We all know how it ends. I simply want to explain the difference beyond the story itself. "Why should I read a book based on a film I've seen already 20 times!?". The Halloween II book will never be considered "great lit". Its prose may be academic to some but its colorful descriptions are certainly not economical. Above all, this is a very entertaining read that a fan of the first two films will find deepens the storyline and sense of community in Haddonfield, hence expanding the mythology of our favorite "boogieman".
I highly recommend purchasing a copy, either on eBay or your local re-seller of used books. I've personally found copies in Half-Priced books for as little as $2. Owning three copies myself, I can tell you that this 25 year old mass market paperback aged well, even the pictures of the film are still in good looking order. As with all older paperback books it would be a good idea to keep yours in plastic and out of the light to stretch its lifespan. Remember, these books were made to last just under 15 years.

Next week sometime I plan on reviewing more printed materials so don't forget to stop by!

Buy Halloween II DVD

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I'll be honest, I'm not religious at all. I do not celebrate the birthday of sweet baby Jesus! However, I do love this most Christian of holidays!

Before I'm off to the family ceremony of gift giving, eating, and imbibing, I just wanted to give you a glimpse of things to come at CINE AUTOPSIS.....

SOON: review on Midnight Media's "Giallo Scrapbook" series and "Slash Hits" series, Jack Martin's novelization of "Halloween II", Kim Newman's classic "Nightmare Movies", and appreciations of a few classic films rarely mentioned in the current "Terror Film" dialogue.

Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"It begins..."

Wow, well we'll see if I am able to keep this thing going...

There have been many great blogs popping up over the past two years in regards to the "underground" film, or, rather, non-populist cinema. While I am aware right from the beginning that this particular blog will not be able to "keep up" with the post count of some other blogs in the same vein, a stout belief resides that this blog will find its way through the viscera of online film commentary to those who appreciate the same films and genres as myself.

My hope is to add a not-entirely-useless dialogue to the community who adores the Giallo, the Krimis, the Slasher, the occasional oddity, and the rarely seen. I will also share my reviews on the newly published material from some of our favorite book imprints. To sum up, I wish to build a blog over time that a fan of "The Terror Film", my little compression of all things horror, would like to visit while in a transitory moment at the coffee shop or a fleeting few seconds just before bed.

Let the autopsy begin...