The television cut of Halloween II went through a lot of changes, but there’s one that was so badly edited that it reveals a more shocking scene that didn’t make it to the theatrical cut nor the TV version: Dr. Loomis accidentally committing murder. In 1978, viewers were introduced to Michael Myers in the movie Halloween, directed by John Carpenter and written by him and Debra Hill. Although Halloween wasn’t well-received during its initial release, time has been great to it and it’s now considered one of the best horror movies ever and one of the most influential ones too, as it helped popularize and develop the slasher genre in the 1980s.
Halloween made way for a franchise with a total of 13 movies, including Rob Zombie’s remakes and the reboot movies Halloween, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends, and the franchise has stood out for its different retcons, ending up with different timelines and changing Michael Myers’ targets. The first sequel to Carpenter’s original movie arrived in 1981 and was simply titled Halloween II, and it picked up right after the end of the first movie. Halloween II, then, followed Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) at the local hospital, where Michael carried on with his mission of killing her. When it was time for Halloween II to air on TV, the movie had to go through some changes that mostly censored and cut graphic violence, but in the process, it got rid of a rare scene in which Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) accidentally killed someone.
After learning that Laurie is actually Michael’s sister who was put up for adoption following the death of Michael’s parents, Dr. Loomis forces the US Marshal escorting him to drive him to the hospital, as he knew well that Michael was still trying to kill Laurie and was not going to stop until he did it. They, along with Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), arrive at the hospital right on time to save Laurie, and Loomis shoots Michael five times. Michael falls down, seemingly dead, but once the Marshal comes close to him to check if he’s dead, Michael gets up and cuts his throat with a scalpel. The Marshal’s death was too graphic and violent for TV, so it was changed to make it look as if Michael stabbed him from the back, but the bad editing of the scene reveals something else.
Fans of the Halloween franchise have pointed out that the scene wasn’t originally intended to show Michael grabbing the Marshal and stabbing him from behind, as the wound doesn’t look like a stab one. Instead, there’s a hole on his chest and faint smoke can be briefly seen coming out from it, showing that, in reality, Michael grabbed the Marshal to use him as a shield as Loomis shot in his direction once more. The scene is edited in a way that Loomis isn’t shown shooting again and Michael isn’t shown stabbing the Marshal either, so his death ends up being confusing and unclear. YouTube user Filip Önell reconstructed the scene with footage from other scenes from Halloween II to show what the original context of the scene was actually like, showing Loomis shooting at Michael one more time but hitting the Marshal instead, accidentally killing him.
This is not the only scene edited and/or replaced in the TV version of Halloween II in order to get rid of some of the violence from the theatrical cut, but it’s definitely the weirdest and worst edited of all. Loomis killing an innocent man by accident would have obviously affected him on a psychological level in the rest of the movies and would have been one death less in Michael Myers’ long list of kills, and while it’s understandable that the scene was changed for the TV cut due to censorship, it ended up hurting the final product and the characters of the Marshal and Dr. Loomis in the process.