I'm not a fan of watching movies on TV. At all. That's probably part of what helped make me become the film collector I am today. Once my kid-self had discovered movies were being chopped to bits on television, I found it a total waste of my time and unfair to the film itself to watch it on TV. Especially with horror. All the good gory bits and such are chopped up. Where's the fun and effectiveness in that? I'll admit, sometimes the substitute dubbing for swear words can be funny as most will make not a lick of sense. The tension in movies is sliced when it hits a commercial break. I don't think we need to even get started on the cropping and pan-and-scanning of them either. To me, watching a movie on TV, ESPECIALLY back in the 80s and 90s was just horrible to me. Nowadays it still sucks too. And its a damn shame that movie channels that should be airing them correctly ARE STILL cropping movies. Yeah, it fits your 16x9 television, but they are butchering beautiful photography that is to displayed in 2:35.1 and the like. Its 2013...we shouldn't still be whining about black bars people.
So, sorry about that tangent. What I'm getting at is...i feel awful for anyone whose FIRST experience with Halloween II was the television cut. This goes beyond what I was discussing in the first paragraph. This cut of the film is a masterpiece in terms of being a complete disaster. For some reason, the film was edited in a completely different fashion. The sequence of events has been rearranged. The opening of the film following the credits doesn't appear til about 15 minutes in. There's also different musical pieces and added music cues and voice overs to other scenes. Four of the film's deaths have been omitted. Jimmy looks like he's just walking laps in the hospital. There are insert shots of people from completely other sets and moments in the movie. The film also uses deleted scenes, extended scenes and alternate takes and angles. Most of which are REALLY REALLY horribly acted. If you are a fan and have seen Halloween II, you MUST check this cut out. Its fascinating how messed up and horrible it is. It's so legendarily weird and bad, Scream Factory included it as a bonus disc for their Halloween II release last year.
In this cut you are given extra scenes which are what people flocked to it for early on. None of them prove much of anything and most of them make the film far worse. You get more of Janet, Jill and Doctor Mixter. Three characters which, the less you heard from them the better. A lot of Jimmy's extra scenes are pointless exchanges that are like "Hey, Michael Myers is dead, you hear?" or "Have you seen Laurie? We need to find Laurie." If you know this film well, you'd almost be embarrassed to admit you like it to someone after this version. While there is more character work here, it is not worth your time. But I must say, as inside baseball, its kind of a massively entertaining train wreck for hardcore fans like myself.
According to some, this television cut apparently is closer to Rosenthal's original cut. And if so, THANK GOD for your meddling, John Carpenter. It clearly makes sense why he went back and reshot and hacked this up in post. I've heard The Thing's story as we know it was pretty much created in the editing room and I wouldn't be surprised if this film was salvaged there as well. And you know what, now that we've seen Rosenthal do a Halloween without Carpenter, this isn't too hard to believe.
The TV cut of Halloween II is really bad. I recommend it only if you're really familiar with the film. if not, you may notice it shoddy, but not the exact moves made to make it so. If you're a fan and well versed you'll get a kick out of it. Considering how good Halloween II is, they've managed to turn it into one of the shittiest movies possible. It's an incredible feat. You might be able to find it on YouTube, i dunno. But HERE are a list of the insane amount of differences between the TV Cut and the Theatrical versions. Moral of the story, if you're going to watch a movie for the first time...go to the theater, rent it, buy it, (ugh...i hate this but) stream it. Give the movie its best possible chance to entertain you. DON'T watch it via TV.
Before I go, congrats must go to Mrs. Alves, Dr. Mixter, Janet and Alice...thanks to this cut, you're now survivors!
One thing many fans sought after this for was the (really crummy) alternate ending, which i'll share here-