My Audio Commentaries: What was Cut
Some of you have noticed the occasional and/or abrupt gaps in my audio commentaries on the Scream Factory Collector's Editions of "Poltergeist II" and "Poltergeist III."
It's my understanding that MGM Legal had final review of all the special features. While most of my commentaries were left intact, I did notice some things that were removed. They included:
*Mention of the absence of a credit saying "A Brian Gibson Film" in the opening. I speculated that maybe it was a contractual thing, and could have had something to do with the controversy resulting from the first film's director issue.
*After I mention the real skeletons that were bought from a medical supply company in India, removed was the next thing I said, which was "some would find this a highly questionable use."
*After I say there was a question of whether they could get the original cast back, removed was when I said that Craig and JoBeth were paid a lot more to do P2 than what they made on the first film.
*Executive Producer Freddie Fields was quoted in an article at the time of filming saying that while Spielberg was not involved with P2, he (Spielberg) did retain a financial interest. I speculated that it was because the story was based on his original characters.
*Zelda Rubinstein did not get along very well with Brian Gibson.
*One of the kids who played Kane’s followers (in the cavern flashback scene) would later go on to play “Jacob” (the spirit of Alice’s unborn son) in “Elm Street 5.”
*The crew and special effects team grew frustrated with Brian Gibson during filming, especially regarding the “other side” sequence. Concepts kept getting changed and things had to be shot multiple times.
*As a whole, the film has some problems in terms of the structure, and that the post production tinkering probably had something to do with that.
*During the end credits, after I thank my friends Ben and Michael (of the Retro Movie Love podcast) for finding out some information I didn’t know, left out was what I thanked them for discovering (in an old article): Freddie Fields said that, since “Poltergeist II” was doing so well in France and Belgium, they were considering having “Poltergeist III” take place “in Europe and/or the Orient.”
*Mention of how much Heather O’Rourke made: $75,000 for P2 and $140,000 for P3. I’d stated how I discovered this information after obtaining a copy of Heather’s contract from the LA County Superior Court. Apparently, child actors’ contracts have to be filed with the Court in California so the Court can approve them working on a set.
*Mention of the city where the parking garage scenes were filmed: an office building in “Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois”
*Mention of the other school kids all being “mean assholes” to Carol Anne.
*Heather was misdiagnosed as having Crohn’s disease, and was put on cortisone and sulfa during filming, which caused her cheeks to puff up. When in reality she had a blocked intestine. But yet they left in my statement right after this, when I say “my Mom and I were taken aback by the way Heather looked when she came on screen.” Then they cut this: “After filming, by September of 1987 (once she was back in school), her face had gone back to its normal proportions.”
*After I say that Heather really enjoyed working on P3, left out was when I say that she did not like filming P2 as much because it was “a very disorganized movie, they would only get a couple scenes done per day.”
*When Scott and Donna are headed back to the security room after visiting the grocery store, left out was when I mentioned the “Coke and Coors product placement.”
*Left In: When I’m discussing the ending, I start by saying “As anyone who’s read my site knows, there’s been some controversy over whether or not Heather O’Rourke actually filmed the original ending before she passed away.” Left out was: “but as evidenced from the fact that Scream Factory discovered the original ending footage, stored in Seattle of all places…I guess I was proven right, and the ending was filmed.”
Finally, I also recorded a short commentary for the original ending footage that wasn't used at all. Since Scream Factory used the audio recordings I made for both movies (that I recorded using my own cell phone, at my home), you can listen to it here: