Special Editions That Never Were: Poltergeist


Too many films these days get an inferior treatment on Bluray or DVD.

Sometimes it's because it just doesn't make sense, from a financial point of view, to create an expensive multi-disc special edition, but I fear the reason is also that the Bluray and DVD companies simply have no idea what they should include on a proper release.

So, to help these poor souls I now present MY proposal for a special edition of the classic Spielberg-produced Poltergeist (1982).

Now, I realize that this is a rather expensive proposal, but sometimes you gotta do what's right, and not worry about the bottom-line.


Poltergeist: The Ultimate Restored Collector's Deluxe Edition

DISC 1: The Movie (Bluray)

New, completely restored transfer, from original film elements, scanned at an unparalleled high resolution.

Five previously unreleased commentary tracks:
  • Audio commentary by Steven Spielberg
  • Audio commentary by Tobe Hooper
  • Audio commentary featuring the actors
  • Audio commentary featuring Cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti, Editor Michael Kahn, and Production designer James H. Spencer   
  • Audio commentary featuring Visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund, Mechanical effects supervisor Mike Wood, Special effects makeup designer Craig Reardon, and Sound editor Stephen H Flick.
  • Special bonus commentary track featuring David Bjerre and Dennis Rosenfeld from Double D
Special marker: SS or TH?
- A special feature showing which scenes were directed by Spielberg and which were directed by Hooper

DISC 2: Documentary (Bluray)

"Back to the Other Side: Poltergeist Revealed" (3 hrs. 28 mins.)
- Documentary looking at the entire production and the legacy of Poltergeist, including:
  • Vintage interviews with every member of the crew & cast
  • Original on set footage
  • Deleted moments and alternate versions of selected scenes

DISC 3: Documentary (Bluray)

"...And then the house implodes - The Magic of ILM and Reardon"
(3 hrs. 47 mins.)
- Documentary covering every aspect of the incredible visual effects and makeup effects, including:
  • Early test footage
  • Deconstruction of every single effect shot
  • Every effect shot badly recreated with modern CGI for comparison

DISC 4: Special Features (Bluray)

Additional special features, not included in the documentaries.

The directors' reunion
- Tobe Hopper and Steven Spielberg meet and talk about the controversial production.

Interview gallery
- Featuring: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Oliver Robins, Dominique Dunne, James Karen, Beatrice Straight, Martin Casella, Richard Lawson, Zelda Rubinstein and others.

Deleted scenes
Vintage featurettes
Trailers & Teasers

DISC 5: DVD-ROM extras (DVD)

The Complete Script (pdf)
- 28 different versions of the script, including earlier versions.

1500+ stills (jpg)
- High quality behind the scenes and continuity stills
- Including previously unseen material from ILM's vault

Audio commentaries (mp3)
- All commentaries in mp3 format, ready for transfer to your iPod

DISC 6: Soundtrack (CD)

The complete soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith



And there you have it.

Dear MGM, Warner or whoever the hell owns the rights, is it really too much to ask for a thorough special edition of one of the best 80's movies ever? Please feel free to use any ideas here, completely free of charge. In fact, feel free to copy this verbatim, without giving me any credit or compensation whatsoever.

The only compensation I need is a super cool special edition of Poltergeist right here in my hand.