Review Detail

9.6 21 10
nightofsamhain_front
FanMix October 29, 2020 6811
Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
(Review was initially written on social media)

THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN (2020, 1982/1995; Horror/Fanedit/Fanmix; Original Sources: HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH and HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS; Edited by LastSurvivor; Dir. by Tommy Lee Wallace, Joe Chappelle; Starring Donald Pleasence, Tom Atkins, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, Stacey Nelkin, Mitchell Ryan, Dan O'Herlihy, J.C. Brandy, George P. Wilbur, Al Berry, et al.)
SYNOPSIS: The year is 1995 and it is the night before Halloween. Silver Shamrock masks are in. Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur), the holiday’s serial killer posterboy, is out. In fact, it has been quite some time since the notorious “Boogeyman” of Haddonfield, IL has been seen stalking the streets. Myers, along with his perennial target and niece Jamie Lloyd (J.C. Brandy), have seemingly vanished without a trace.
That all changes, however, when Jamie suddenly resurfaces after escaping a mysterious cult whose calling card is a strange runic symbol. Led by an enigmatic Man in Black figure, said cult has forced Jamie to bear a child and is somehow connected to Michael Myers, who it seems has returned for another round of killing this All Hallow’s Eve.
With Michael Myers back on the loose again and a mysterious cult now part of the mix, a now elderly Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael’s psychiatrist and arch-nemesis, prepares himself for yet another showdown with “The Boogeyman”. This time, however, he’s joined by his old colleague Dr. Terrence Wynn (Mitchell Ryan) of Smith’s Grove Sanitarium; Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), a childhood survivor of Myers’ 1978 killing spree; and Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), whose young son is being plagued by visions of the Man in Black commanding him to commit violent acts.
Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) has an otherwise quiet night at his hospital interrupted by an injured and disoriented man who babbles mad words about forces trying to “kill us all” after seeing a commercial for Silver Shamrock masks. When the man is killed by what appears to be an inhumanly powerful assassin, who then self-immolates in a fiery explosion, Challis joins forces with the man’s daughter (Stacey Nelkin) in attempt to get to the bottom of what happened and uncover how it relates to the Silver Shamrock mask company led by successful Irish businessman Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy).
When all is said and done both these stories will collide in a horrific way fitting for that old druid holiday… THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN.
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The vast majority of fan edits, those passion projects by fans to re-edit films both much loved and much hated, are not of an overly ambitious variety. Sometimes they merely seek to, for example, reinsert a deleted ending that studio bigwigs removed from the final product. Other times they merely make a few tweaks and alterations to tighten up the pace or change the atmosphere.
Long-time fan editor LastSurvivor’s THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN, however, is another beast altogether. It is one of those passion projects that, when unveiled to the fanedit community, no doubt sparks curiosity and eyebrows. It is an attempt to create an entirely new and different experience out of old materials.
Put simply, THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN is LastSurvivor’s ambitious attempt to bring together HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS with the notorious Myers-less entry HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH.
For the uninitiated, HALLOWEEN III was an attempt to take the franchise away from the masked killer Michael Myers and into the realm of a yearly anthology film series premised on different stories related to the Halloween season. Although the film was largely derided by fans of the franchise upon its initial release, it has since developed a much deserved cult following for its own discreet charms.
The reason that LastSurvivor chose HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS, the 6th entry in the long-running slasher franchise, as the sequel with which he could potentially meld the Myers storyline with the SEASON OF THE WITCH storyline is fairly simple: a central element of both films is the involvement of an insidious cult. It also doesn’t hurt that both films make reference to a character named “Mrs Blankenship”.
As with all fan projects of this rather incredibly ambitious nature, THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN could easily have been a disaster. For example, both film’s were made in extremely different times. HALLOWEEN 6 is from 1995. HALLOWEEN 3 is from 1982. This means they feature many technical differences, such as framing and color schemes. And, of course, the fashions displayed by the characters in the two stories are miles apart.
But, although LastSurvivor couldn’t do much about the fashion issue, this ambitious fan edit manages to match the two films through some relatively nifty tricks including a brilliant use of color correction. Even the framing issue is dealt with in an effective manner. The addition of some special effects and a rather stunning opening credits sequence featuring a synthwave remix of John Carpenter’s “The Shape Hunts Allyson” track from HALLOWEEN 2018 are just some of the most notable elements THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN uses to make what feels like a strikingly professional edit and a rather special, inventive fan edit.
Additionally, the way THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN cuts back and forth between the two stories is handled with great care. Specifically, the way in which the length of the scenes kept in the final cut (75 minutes in total are removed) are meant to match the pace of both stories’ pace( especially as it all nears a finale) proves to be quite impressive. Moreover, the fact that the two stories manage to be coherent and ultimately are able to ultimately coincide with each other in the film’s finale is also an impressive feat.
For fans of the franchise this one’s a real treat. But what’s even better is that one could easily show this to someone new to the series and they probably wouldn’t be able to tell that its a fanedit. In that sense, THE NIGHT OF SAMHAIN is, excuse the pun, both a trick and a treat.

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