Halloween (1978) Poster

(1978)

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  • When Michael Myers (Tony Moran), a psychotic murderer who has been institutionalized since the age of six for stabbing to death his 15-year-old sister on Halloween in 1963, escapes from the Smith's Grove Sanitarium 15 years later and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, his psychiatrist Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is hot on his trail, hoping to catch him before he murders again. Meanwhile, Haddenfield high school students Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes), and Lynda van der Klok (P.J. Soles) have plans for baby-sitting on Halloween and maybe carrying on a bit with their boyfriends.

  • Halloween is based on a script by director John Carpenter and screenwriter Debra Hill. Halloween actually started as The Babysitter Murders, but it was changed when producer Irwin Yablans suggested setting the story on Halloween. Halloween was subsequently novelized in 1979 by Curtis Richards. The success of the movie led to seven more movies in the film series: Halloween II (1981) (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) (1988), Halloween 5 (1989) aka The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) (1995), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) (1998), and Halloween: Resurrection (2002) (2002). Rob Zombie has subsequently remade the series with Halloween (2007) (2007) and Halloween II (2009) (2009).

  • A cute little ditty: Black cats and goblins and broomsticks and ghosts, / Covens of witches with all of their hosts / You may think they scare me, / You're probably right / Black cats and goblins / On Halloween night / Trick or treat!

  • No explanation is given. After Michael steals Dr. Loomis' car and escapes, Loomis and Dr. Wynn are yelling at each other about where Michael is going and Wynn says "Haddonfield is 150 miles from here; how's he gonna drive a car?" to which Loomis shoots back, "He was doing all right last night!!" So while it is not explained, it is made note of, that somehow Michael has learned to drive. The novelization of the film offers the explanation that Michael learned by watching Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) as he drove him to various hearings over the years. Alternatively Dr Loomis speculates to his colleague Dr Wynn that someone at the asylum had been giving Myers driving lessons and this idea is explored further in the sequal Halloween 6; The Curse of Michael Myers.

  • Michael's mask was created from a Captain Kirk mask purchased for $1.98. The producers had no money to create an original mask so they altered an existing one. When going through the choices, they liked the Kirk mask because it had a blank, emotionless look. The eye holes were widened, hair altered, and the mask was spray-painted a bluish white.

  • The first one was The Thing from Another World (1951) (1951). The second one was Forbidden Planet (1956) (1956).

  • The assumption is that, when Laurie dropped off the key to the Myers' house, Michael saw the two of them and associated Laurie with his sister Judith and with Tommy as himself.

  • After finding the bodies of Annie, Lynda, and Bob (John Michael Graham), Laurie is slashed and chased by Michael. She runs back to the Wallace residence, locks the front door, and sends her charges—Lindsey (Kyle Richards) and Tommy (Brian Andrews)—upstairs to hide. She finds the phone is dead and notices a window open and realizes that Michael is in the house. She hunkers down against the couch and grabs a knitting needle. When Michael suddenly pops up from behind the couch and swipes at her with his knife, she buries the knitting needle in his neck. He pulls out the needle and collapses behind the couch. Laurie goes up stairs and tells Lindsey and Tommy that she's killed him. "You can't kill the boogeyman," Tommy warns. Sure enough, Michael is right behind her baring his chef's knife. Laurie locks the kids back in Tommy's bedroom, and she tries to hide in a closet. When Michael breaks through the louvered doors, Laurie jabs a clothes hanger into his eye. Michael drops the knife, so Laurie picks it up and plunges it into his gut. Again, Michael falls to the ground. Certain that she's killed him this time, Laurie instructs the kids to run to the McKenzie house and tell them to call the police. Then she collapses against a wall, unaware that Michael has gotten up from the floor, picked up the knife, and is coming at her again. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is walking down the street, after having found Michael's car about three blocks away. When he sees Lindsey and Tommy come tearing out the front door, screaming and yelling, he goes inside. He sees Michael trying to choke Laurie. She rips off Michael's mask, forcing Michael to pause to put his mask back on. This gives Loomis an opportunity to fire a bullet into Michael's back. When it doesn't seem to faze Michael, Loomis blasts five more bullets into Michael's chest. The force of the shots causes Michael to topple over the porch railing, falling two stories to the ground below. Sobbing, Laurie asks Loomis, "Was that the boogeyman?", to which Loomis replies, "As a matter of fact, it was." When Loomis walks out on the porch to look down at Michael's body, he is not surprised to find that it has disappeared.

  • Yes. At the beginning of the movie Michael's father takes off his mask showing. At the end just before Dr. Loomis shoots Michael, Laurie rips off his mask, showing his face for about four seconds before he puts the mask back on. He looks like a normal man, except for a wound on his left eye (inflicted by Laurie).

  • In the context of the movie, Michael is seemingly human but there are all of these indications that maybe, just maybe, he is pure evil and inhuman, thus the boogeyman. Director John Carpenter's answer to this is simple. He chose to make Michael a human being in the beginning of the film, and then we slowly start to realize that he's a force of nature that won't stop. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers provides a retroactive explanation to this question.

  • For the US TV broadcast of this John Carpenter classic, some additional plot-scenes were inserted. These originally not planned scenes were shot during the shooting of Halloween II. The goal was to reach a running time that was more suitable for television in order to be able to place more commercials. In the meantime, the longer version has been released on several DVDs.

  • The adult, masked Michael Myers is credited as The Shape (as he has no lines whatsoever). Many people played him for unknown reasons. Other people who portrayed Michael/The Shape in the first Halloween include: (1) Debra Hill - The hand that reaches out and grabs the kitchen knife, and appeared as The Shape in Tommy Doyle's "boogeyman sightings"; (2) Will Sandin - When Mr. and Mrs. Myers removes 6-year-old Michael's mask; (3) Tommy Lee Wallace - In the closet scene; (4) Nick Castle - Played Michael Myers/The Shape (masked) throughout the rest of the movie; and (5) Tony Moran - Tony appears from the moment Laurie rips off his mask to the point where he is shot six times.

    In an interview with Bloody Disgusting Tony Moran describes how he moved like an athlete when Dr. Loomis shoots him to the edge of the balcony. Stuntman James Winburn plays the character of Michael Myers falling off of the balcony. Both John Carpenter and Debra Hill could not remember who wore the mask when Michael is seen lying on the grass after being shot.

  • The original "Halloween" film is responsible for many of the themes and tropes that we now take for granted in the modern horror genre. This includes the trope of the final girl, the implied connection between sex and death, and the moralizing undertones that we often find in horror. Read a fuller answer here.

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