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Halloween (film series)

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Michael Myers
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« on: October 31, 2007, 02:38:34 pm »

Halloween is a horror film saga created by John Carpenter in 1978, with the financially successful independent horror film Halloween released on October 25, 1978 — became one of the most profitable independent films ever made and considered an icon and pop culture phenomenon in the horror genre, and spawned a long line of slasher films, well into the 1980s and 1990s. It spawned seven more feature films, including a remake in 2007, and an extensive collection of comics, books, and other merchandise. It has become one of the horror genre’s most successful entries. [citation needed]

All films, with the exception of Halloween III, feature Michael Myers as the villain. Myers has become one of the most iconic horror film villains, and is known for his silent gestures, slow-pace movement, emotionless mask and the large kitchen knife he usually uses as his weapon of choice.
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 02:41:37 pm »

Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by Debra Hill
John Carpenter
Kool Lusby
Irwin Yablans
Moustapha Akkad
Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
Nick Castle
Nancy Loomis
P. J. Soles
Brian Andrews
Music by John Carpenter
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Charles Bornstein
Tommy Lee Wallace
Distributed by Compass International Pictures
Release date(s)  October 25, 1978
Running time Theatrical Cut:
91 min.
Extended Cut:
101 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $325,000 US (est.)
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2007, 02:42:17 pm »

Halloween (sometimes referred to as John Carpenter's Halloween) is a 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. The original draft of the screenplay was titled The Babysitter Murders. John Carpenter directed the film, which stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and Nick Castle as Michael Myers (listed in the credits as "The Shape"). The film centers on Myers' escape from a psychiatric hospital, his murdering of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis's attempts to track and stop him. Halloween is widely regarded as a classic among horror films, and as one of the most influential horror films of its era.

Halloween was produced on a budget of only $325,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States, becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever made.[1] Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). The movie originated many clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s, although first-time viewers of Halloween may be surprised that the film contains little actual graphic violence or gore.[2][3]

Critics have suggested that Halloween and its slasher film successors may encourage sadism and misogyny. Others have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of young people in 1970s America, pointing out that many of Myers' victims are sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent. While Carpenter dismisses such analyses, the perceived parallel between the characters' moral strengths and their likelihood of surviving to the film's conclusion has nevertheless become a standard slasher movie trope.

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2007, 02:44:19 pm »

Michael Myers, "The Shape," played by Nick Castle.

On Halloween night 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin) stabs his seventeen-year-old sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) with a kitchen knife at their home in Haddonfield, Illinois. He is sent to Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium in Illinois and placed under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence). After years of treatment, Loomis begins to suspect that there is more to Myers than meets the eye and plans to have him committed indefinitely. Loomis, sensing that a tremendous amount of rage and emotion stir behind Myers's blank stare, describes Myers as evil. Myers escapes from Smith's Grove while being transferred and returns to Haddonfield. Loomis pursues Myers.

In Haddonfield, Myers stalks teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and some of her friends. Laurie glimpses a man in a white mask (Michael Myers) from her classroom window, behind a bush while she walks home, and in the clothesline from her bedroom window.

Later in the evening, Laurie meets her friend Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes) who is babysitting Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) across the street from where she is babysitting Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews). After arranging to pick up her boyfriend, Annie sends Lindsey to stay with Laurie at the Doyle house but is murdered by Myers (who had followed them). Tommy sees him carrying Annie's body into the Wallace house and thinks Myers is the Boogeyman. Laurie dismisses the boy's terror and sends Tommy and Lindsey to bed. Myers later murders Laurie's other friend Lynda Van Der Klok (P.J. Soles) and Lynda's boyfriend, Robert "Bob" Simms (John Michael Graham), in the empty Wallace house.

Laurie worries after receiving a strange phone call from Lynda at the Wallace house. She walks across the street and discovers the three bodies and Judith Myers's missing tombstone. She is attacked by Myers but escapes back to the Doyle house. Laurie stabs Myers with a knitting needle, a clothes hanger and a knife, but he continues to pursue her. Eventually, Loomis spots Tommy and Lindsey running from the house and finds Myers in the upstairs hallway. Loomis rescues Laurie, shooting Myers six times and causing him to fall from the house's second-story balcony. Upon looking out the window for Myers' body, however, Loomis discovers that he is nowhere to be found.

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2007, 02:46:24 pm »

After viewing John Carpenter's film Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) at the Milan Film Festival, independent film producer Irwin Yablans and financier Moustapha Akkad sought out Carpenter to direct a film for them about a psychotic killer that stalked babysitters.[4] In an interview with Fangoria magazine, Yablans stated, "I was thinking what would make sense in the horror genre, and what I wanted to do was make a picture that had the same impact as The Exorcist."[5] Carpenter and his then-girlfriend Debra Hill began drafting a story originally titled The Babysitter Murders, but Carpenter told Entertainment Weekly that Yablans suggested setting the movie on Halloween night and naming it Halloween instead.[6]

Akkad fronted the $325,000 for the film's budget, considered low at the time (even though Carpenter's previous film, Assault on Precinct 13, had an estimated budget of only $100,000).[4][7] Akkad worried over the tight schedule, low budget, and Carpenter's limited experience as a filmmaker, but told Fangoria, "Two things made me decide. One, Carpenter told me the story verbally and in a suspenseful way, almost frame for frame. Second, he told me he didn't want to take any fees, and that showed he had confidence in the project." Carpenter himself only received $10,000 for directing, writing, and composing the music, retaining rights to only 10 percent of the film's profits.[8]

Because of the low budget, wardrobe and props were often crafted from items on hand or that could be purchased inexpensively. Carpenter hired Tommy Lee Wallace as production designer, art director, location scout and co-editor. Wallace created the trademark mask worn by Michael Myers throughout the film from a Captain Kirk mask purchased for $1.98.[4] Carpenter recalled how Wallace "widened the eye holes and spray-painted the flesh a bluish white. In the script it said Michael Myers' mask had 'the pale features of a human face' and it truly was spooky looking. It didn't look anything like William Shatner after Tommy got through with it."[6] Hill adds that the "idea was to make him almost humorless, faceless — this sort of pale visage that could resemble a human or not."[9] Many of the actors wore their own clothes, and Jamie Lee Curtis's wardrobe was purchased at J.C. Penney for around a hundred dollars.[4]

The limited budget also dictated the filming location and time schedule. Halloween was filmed in 21 days in the spring of 1978 in South Pasadena, California and Sierra Madre, California (cemetery). An abandoned house owned by a church stood in as the Myers house. Two homes on Orange Grove Avenue (near Sunset Boulevard) in Hollywood were used for the film's climax.[10] The crew had difficulty finding pumpkins in the spring, and artificial fall leaves had to be reused for multiple scenes. Local families dressed their children in Halloween costumes and trick-or-treated them for Carpenter.[4]

In August 2006, Fangoria reported that Synapse Films had discovered boxes of negatives containing footage cut from the film. One was labeled "1981" suggesting that it was additional footage for the television version of the film. Synapse owner Don May Jr. said, "What we've got is pretty much all the unused original camera negative from John Carpenter's original Halloween. Luckily, Billy [Kirkus] was able to find this material before it was destroyed. The story on how we got the negative is a long one, but we'll save it for when we're able to showcase the materials in some way. Kirkus should be commended for pretty much saving the Holy Grail of horror films."[11] It was later reported, "We just learned from Sean Clark, long time Halloween genius, that the footage found is just that: footage. There is no sound in any of the reels so far, since none of it was used in the final edit."[12]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2007, 02:48:26 pm »

Yablans and Akkad ceded most of the creative control to writers Carpenter and Hill (whom Carpenter wanted as producer), but Yablans did offer several suggestions. According to a Fangoria interview with Debra Hill, "Yablans wanted the script written like a radio show, with 'boos' every 10 minutes."[9] Hill explained that the script took only three weeks to write and much of the inspiration behind the plot came from Celtic traditions of Halloween such as the festival of Samhain. Although Samhain is not mentioned in the plot of the first film, Hill asserts that

the idea was that you couldn't kill evil, and that was how we came about the story. We went back to the old idea of Samhain, that Halloween was the night where all the souls are let out to wreak havoc on the living, and then came up with the story about the most evil kid who ever lived. And when John came up with this fable of a town with a dark secret of someone who once lived there, and now that evil has come back, that's what made Halloween work.[9]

Hill wrote most of the female characters' dialogue, while Carpenter drafted Loomis's speeches on the evilness of Michael Myers. Many script details were drawn from Carpenter's and Hill's adolescence and early careers. The fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois was derived from Haddonfield, New Jersey, where Hill grew up, and most of the street names were taken from Carpenter's hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Laurie Strode was the name of one of Carpenter's old girlfriends and Michael Myers was the name of an English producer who had previously entered, with Yablans, Assault on Precinct 13 in various European film festivals.[4] In Halloween, Carpenter pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock with two characters' names; Tommy Doyle is named after Lt. Det. Thomas J. Doyle (Wendell Corey) of Rear Window (1954), and Dr. Loomis's name was taken from Sam Loomis (John Gavin) of Psycho, the boyfriend of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh). Sheriff Leigh Brackett shared the name of a film screenwriter.

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2007, 02:50:00 pm »

The cast of Halloween included a motley crew of veteran actors such as Donald Pleasence and then-unknown actress Jamie Lee Curtis. The low budget limited the number of big names that Carpenter could attract, and most of the actors received very little compensation for their roles. Pleasence was paid the highest amount at $20,000, Curtis received $8,000, and Nick Castle earned only $25 a day.[4]

The role of Dr. Sam Loomis was offered to Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee; both declined the part due to the low pay (though Lee would later tell Carpenter that declining the role was his biggest career mistake).[13] English actor Pleasence — Carpenter's third choice — agreed to star. Pleasance has been called "John Carpenter's big landing." Pleasence's daughter supposedly saw Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 and liked it, thus encouraging her father to star in Halloween. Americans were already acquainted with Pleasence as the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967).[14] In an interview, Carpenter admits that "Jamie Lee wasn't the first choice for Laurie. I had no idea who she was. She was 19 and in a TV show at the time, but I didn't watch TV." He originally wanted to cast Anne Lockhart, the daughter of June Lockhart from Lassie, as Laurie Strode. Lockhart, however, had commitments to several other film and television projects.[6] Debra Hill says of learning that Jamie Lee was the daughter of Psycho actress Janet Leigh, "I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in Psycho."[9] Halloween was Jamie Lee Curtis' feature film debut and launched her career as a "scream queen" horror star.

Another relatively unknown actress, Nancy Kyes (credited in the film as Nancy Loomis) was cast as Laurie's promiscuous friend Annie Brackett, daughter of Haddonfield sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers). Kyes had previously starred in Assault on Precinct 13 (as had Cyphers) and happened to be dating Halloween's art director Tommy Lee Wallace when filming began.[15] Carpenter chose P. J. Soles to play Lynda Van Der Klok, another promiscuous friend of Laurie's, best remembered in the film for dialogue peppered with the word "totally." Soles was an actress known for her supporting role in Carrie (1976) and her minor part in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976). According to one source, "Carpenter realized she had captured the aura of a happy go lucky teenage girl in the 70s."[16]

The role of "The Shape" — as the masked Michael Myers character was billed in the end credits — was played by Nick Castle, who befriended Carpenter while they attended the University of Southern California. After Halloween, Castle became a director, taking the helm of films such as The Last Starfighter (1984), The Boy Who Could Fly (1986), Dennis The Menace (1993) and Major Payne (1995).[17]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2007, 02:52:50 pm »

Historian Nicholas Rogers notes that film critics contend that John Carpenter's direction and camera work made Halloween a "resounding success."[18] Roger Ebert remarks, "It's easy to create violence on the screen, but it's hard to do it well. Carpenter is uncannily skilled, for example, at the use of foregrounds in his compositions, and everyone who likes thrillers knows that foregrounds are crucial ...."[19]

The opening title, featuring a jack-o'-lantern placed against a black backdrop, sets the mood for the entire movie. The camera slowly focuses on one of the jack-o'-lantern's eyes while the main music for Halloween plays in the background. Film historian J.P. Telotte says that this scene "clearly announces that [the film's] primary concern will be with the way in which we see ourselves and others and the consequences that often attend our usual manner of perception."[20]

During the conception of the plot, Yablans instructed "that the audience shouldn't see anything. It should be what they thought they saw that frightens them."[9] Carpenter seemingly took Yablans's advice literally, filming many of the scenes from a Michael Myers point-of-view that allowed audience participation. Carpenter is not the first director to employ this method or use of a steadicam; for instance, the first scene of Psycho offers a voyeuristic look at lovers in a seedy hotel. Telotte argues, "As a result of this shift in perspective from a disembodied, narrative camera to an actual character's eye ... we are forced into a deeper sense of participation in the ensuing action."[21]

The first scene of the young Michael's voyeurism is followed by the murder of Judith Myers seen through the eye holes of Michael's clown costume mask. According to one commentator, Carpenter's "frequent use of the unmounted first-person camera to represent the killer's point of view ... invited [viewers] to adopt the murderer's assaultive gaze and to hear his heavy breathing and plodding footsteps as he stalked his prey."[22]

Another technique that Carpenter adapted from Hitchcock's Psycho and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) was suspense with minimal blood and gore. Debra Hill comments, "We didn't want it to be gory. We wanted it to be like a jack-in-the box."[9] Film analysts refer to this as the "false startle" or "the old tap-on-the-shoulder routine" in which the stalkers, murderers, or monsters "lunge into our field of vision or creep up on a person."[23]

Carpenter worked with the cast to create the desired effect of terror and suspense. According to Jamie Lee Curtis, Carpenter created a "fear meter" because the film was shot out-of-sequence and she was not sure what her character's level of terror should be in certain scenes. "Here's about a 7, here's about a 6, and the scene we're going to shoot tonight is about a 9 1/2," remembered Curtis. She had different facial expressions and scream volumes for each level on the meter.[24]
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 02:53:43 pm »

Poster used to advertise Halloween to audiences in West Germany; the German subtitle is Die Nacht Des Grauens ("The Night of Horror").

Another major reason for the success of Halloween is the moody musical score, particularly the main theme. Lacking a symphonic soundtrack, the film's score consists of a piano melody played in a 5/4 time rhythm composed by director John Carpenter. Critic James Berardinelli calls the score "relatively simple and unsophisticated," but admits that "Halloween's music is one of its strongest assets."[2] Carpenter stated in an interview, "I can play just about any keyboard, but I can't read or write a note."[6] In the end credits, Carpenter bills himself as the "Bowling Green Orchestra" for performing the film's score, but he did receive assistance from composer Dan Wyman, a music professor at San José State University.[4][25]

Some songs can be heard in the film, one being an untitled song performed by Carpenter and a group of his friends who formed a band called The Coupe DeVilles. The song is heard as Laurie steps into Annie's car on her way to babysit Tommy Doyle.[4] Another song, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by classic rock band Blue Öyster Cult, appears in the film.[26]

The soundtrack was first released in the United States in October of 1983, by Varese Sarabande. It was subsequently re-released in 1990, and again in 2000.

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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2007, 02:55:11 pm »

Halloween premiered on October 25, 1978 in Kansas City, Missouri, and a few days later in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.[27] Although it performed well with little advertising — relying mostly on word-of-mouth — many critics seemed uninterested or dismissive of the film. The first glowing review by a prominent film critic, however, came from Tom Allen of The Village Voice. Allen noted that the film was sociologically irrelevant, but applauded Carpenter's camera work as "duplicitous hype" and "the most honest way to make a good schlock film." Allen pointed out the stylistic similarities to Psycho and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).[28]

Following Allen's laudatory essay, other critics took notice. Renowned American critic Roger Ebert gave the film similar praise in his 1979 review in the Chicago Sun-Times, and selected it as one of his top five films of 1978.[19] Once-dismissive critics were impressed by Carpenter's choice of camera angles and simple music, and surprised by the lack of blood, gore, and graphic violence.[2]

The film grossed $47 million in the United States[1] and an additional $8 million internationally, making the theatrical total around $55 million.[4] While most of the film's success came from American movie-goers, Halloween premiered in several international locations after 1979 with moderate results. The film was shown mostly in the European countries of France, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Italy, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Yugoslavia, and Iceland. Admissions in West Germany totaled around 750,000 and 118,606 in Sweden, earning SEK 2,298,579 there. The film was also shown at theaters in Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Peru, the Philippines, Argentina and Chile. Halloween grossed AU$900,000 in Australia, which was a large and impressive amount of money for a film to gross at the box office in Australia at the time, and HKD 450,139 in Hong Kong.[7]

Halloween was nominated for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Horror Film in 1979, but lost to The Wicker Man (1973).[29] The film has received other honors since its theatrical debut. Halloween is ranked at 68 on the American Film Institute's list AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills, compiled in 2001, featuring important horror and thriller films. In 2006, the United States Library of Congress deemed Halloween to be "historically, culturally or aesthetically important in any way" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.[30] The film was #14 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004), counting down cinema's scariest moments.

Since Halloween's premiere, it has been released on VHS, laserdisc, DVD and UMD. In its first year of release on VHS, the film earned $18,500,000 in the United States from rentals.[7] Early VHS versions were released by Media Home Entertainment and Blockbuster Video issued a commemorative edition in 1995. Anchor Bay Entertainment has released several restored editions of Halloween on VHS and DVD, with the most recent being the 2003 two-disc Divimax 25th Anniversary edition with a lenticular 3-D morphing cover and a commentary track including separately recorded contributions by John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Jamie Lee Curtis plus the documentary Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest.[27] The film was included with the 2006 documentary Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, commemorating the 25th anniversary of Halloween's release.

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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2007, 02:58:30 pm »

The film received a mostly positive critical response at the time of its initial release, and as of 2007 Halloween has maintained a rating of 90 percent "fresh" at Rotten Tomatoes.[31] Still, Pauline Kael wrote a scathing review in The New Yorker suggesting that "Carpenter doesn't seem to have had any life outside the movies: one can trace almost every idea on the screen to directors such as Hitchcock and Brian De Palma and to the Val Lewton productions" and claiming that "Maybe when a horror film is stripped of everything but dumb scariness — when it isn't ashamed to revive the stalest device of the genre (the escaped lunatic) — it satisfies part of the audience in a more basic, childish way than sophisticated horror pictures do."[32] Many compared the film with the work of Alfred Hitchcock, although TV Guide calls comparisons made to Psycho "silly and groundless"[33] and critics in the late 1980s and early 1990s blame the film for spawning the slasher sub genre that rapidly descended into sadism and misogyny.[34] Almost a decade after its premiere, Mick Martin and Marsha Porter critiqued the first-person camera shots that earlier film reviewers had praised and later slasher-film directors utilized for their own films (for example, Friday the 13th (1980)). Claiming it encouraged audience identification with the killer, Martin and Porter pointed to the way "the camera moves in on the screaming, pleading, victim, 'looks down' at the knife, and then plunges it into chest, ear, or eyeball. Now that's sick."[35]

Many criticisms of Halloween and other slasher films come from postmodern academia. Some feminist critics, according to historian Nicholas Rogers, "have seen the slasher movies since Halloween as debasing women in as decisive a manner as hard-core pornography."[34] Critics such as John Kenneth Muir point out that female characters such as Laurie Strode survive not because of "any good planning" or their own resourcefulness, but sheer luck. Although she manages to repel the killer several times, in the end, Strode is rescued in Halloween and Halloween II only when Dr. Loomis arrives to shoot Myers.[36]

On the other hand, other feminist scholars such as Carol J. Clover argue that despite the violence against women, slasher films turned women into heroines. In many pre-Halloween horror films, women are depicted as helpless victims and are not safe until they are rescued by a strong masculine hero. Despite the fact that Loomis saves Strode, Clover asserts that Halloween initiates the role of the "final girl" who ultimately triumphs in the end. Strode herself fought back against Myers and severely wounds him. Had Myers been a normal man, Strode's attacks would have killed him; even Loomis, the male hero of the story, who shoots Michael repeatedly at near point blank range with a large caliber handgun, cannot kill him.[37]

Other critics have seen a deeper social critique present in Halloween and subsequent slasher films. According to Vera Dika, the films of the 1980s spoke to the conservative family values advocates of Reagan America.[38] Tony Williams says Myers and other slashers were "patriarchal avengers" who "slaughtered the youthful children of the 1960s generation, especially when they engaged in illicit activities involving sex and drugs."[39] Other critics tend to downplay this interpretation, arguing that the portrayal of Myers as a demonic, superhuman monster inhibited his influence among conservatives.[40]

Carpenter himself dismisses the notion that Halloween is a morality play, regarding it as merely a horror movie. According to Carpenter, critics "completely missed the point there." He explains, "The one girl who is the most sexually uptight just keeps stabbing this guy with a long knife. She's the most sexually frustrated. She's the one that's killed him. Not because she's a virgin but because all that sexually repressed energy starts coming out. She uses all those phallic symbols on the guy."[41][13]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2007, 03:00:40 pm »

Halloween had a tremendous impact on cinema due to its commercial success. It has influenced many other films, most notably of the horror genre since its release. Although a Canadian horror film directed by Bob Clark titled Black Christmas (1974) preempted the stylistic techniques made famous in Halloween, the latter is generally credited by film historians and critics for initiating the slasher film craze of the 1980s and 1990s. (First-person camera perspectives, unexceptional settings, and female heroines define the slasher film genre).[42] Riding the wave of success generated by Halloween, several films that were already in production when the film premiered, but with similar stylistic elements and themes, became popular with audiences. The Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street films, and countless other slasher films, owe much of their success (if not inspiration) to Halloween.[43][44]

The unintended theme of "survival of the virgins" seen in Halloween became a major trope that surfaced in other slasher films. Characters in subsequent horror films who practice illicit sex and substance abuse generally meet a gruesome end at the hands of the killer. On the other hand, characters portrayed as chaste and temperate tend to confront and defeat the killer in the end. The 1981 horror movie spoof Student Bodies was the first mainstream film to mock this plot device; the killer's victims are invariably slain when about to have sex. Director Wes Craven's Scream (1996) details the "rules" for surviving a horror movie using Halloween as the primary example: no sex, no alcohol or illicit drugs, and never say "I'll be right back." Keenen Ivory Wayans's horror movie parody Scary Movie (2000) likewise lampoons this prominent slasher film trope.

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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2007, 03:02:15 pm »


There are several existing versions of Halloween. The version running at 91 minutes is the most widely known and seen. A modified television version released in 1980 that aired on NBC ran for 101 minutes and featured re-shoot scenes not included in the initial 1978 cut. This edition was released in 2001 on DVD as Halloween: The Extended Version. In 1998, for the 20th anniversary, new sound effects were added to the film's audio track with John Carpenter’s approval. Both versions where released on VHS and DVD.

Television rights to Halloween were sold to NBC in 1980 for $4 million. After a debate among John Carpenter, Debra Hill and NBC's Standards & Practices over censoring of certain scenes, Halloween appeared on television for the first time.[9] To fill the two-hour time slot, Carpenter filmed twelve minutes of additional material that include Dr. Loomis at a hospital board review of Myers and Dr. Loomis talking to six-year-old Michael at Smith's Grove, telling him, "You've fooled them, haven't you Michael? But not me." Another extra scene features Dr. Loomis at Smith's Grove examining Michael's abandoned cell and seeing the word "Sister" scratched into the door. Finally, a scene was added in which Lynda comes over to Laurie's house to borrow a silk blouse before Laurie leaves to babysit, just as Annie telephones asking to borrow the same blouse.

The new scene had Laurie's hair hidden by a towel, since Jamie Lee Curtis was now wearing a much shorter hairstyle than she had worn in 1978. The new scenes were shot during production of Halloween II. An extended cut of the television version was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2001 as Halloween: Extended Version, which was actually the same as the second disc from the 1999 limited edition DVD.[45]

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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2007, 03:03:55 pm »

Halloween novelization by Curtis Richards

Shortly following Halloween's release in theaters, a mass market paperback novelization by Curtis Richards was published by Bantam Books in 1979 and reissued in 1982, although it is currently out of print. The novel elaborates on aspects not featured in the film such as the origins of the curse of Samhain and Michael Myers's life in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. For example, the opening reads:

The horror started on the eve of Samhain, in a foggy vale in northern Ireland, at the dawn of the Celtic race. And once started, it trod the earth forevermore, wreaking its savagery suddenly, swiftly, and with incredible ferocity.[46]

In 1983, Halloween was adapted as a video game for the Atari 2600 by Wizard Video. Either as the result of poor research by game developers or as an effort to save on licensing fees, none of the main characters in the game were named. Players take on the role of a teenage babysitter who tries to save as many children from an unnamed, knife-wielding killer as possible. The game was not popular with parents or players and the graphics were simple, as was typical in the 1980s. In another effort to save money, most versions of the game did not even have a label on the cartridge. It was simply a piece of tape with "Halloween" written in marker. The game contained more gore than the film, however. When the babysitter is killed, her head disappears and is replaced by blood pulsating from the neck. The game's primary similarity to the film is the theme music that plays when the killer appears onscreen.[47][48]

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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2007, 03:08:22 pm »

Halloween spawned seven sequels, and a remake — titled Halloween and directed by Rob Zombie — released in 2007.[49][50] Of these films, only Halloween II (1981) was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Halloween II begins exactly where Halloween ends and was intended to finish the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Carpenter did not direct any of the subsequent films in the Halloween series, although he did produce Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), the plot of which is unrelated to the other films in the series.[51]

The sequels feature more explicit violence and gore, and are generally dismissed by mainstream film critics. They were filmed on larger budgets than the original: in contrast to Halloween's modest budget of $325,000, Halloween II's budget was around $2.5 million,[52] while the most recently released sequel, Halloween: Resurrection (2002), boasted a budget of $25 million.[53] Financier Moustapha Akkad continued to work closely with the Halloween franchise, acting as executive producer of every sequel in the series until his death in the 2005 Amman bombings.[54]

With the exception of Halloween III, the sequels further develop the character of Michael Myers and the Samhain theme. Even without considering the third film, the Halloween series is plagued with storyline continuity issues, most likely stemming from the different writers and directors involved in each film.[50]

1.   ^ a b Halloween at Box Office Mojo; last accessed April 19, 2006.
2.   ^ a b c James Berardinelli, review of Halloween, at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
3.   ^ Adam Rockoff, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978 – 1986 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2002), chap. 3, ISBN 0-7864-1227-5.
4.   ^ a b c d e f g h i j Behind the Scenes at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
5.   ^ Irwin Yablans, Fangoria interview, quoted at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
6.   ^ a b c d John Carpenter, Entertainment Weekly interview, quoted at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
7.   ^ a b c Halloween business statistics at the Internet Movie Database; last accessed April 19, 2006
8.   ^ Moustapha Akkad, Fangoria interview, quoted at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
9.   ^ a b c d e f g Debra Hill, Fangoria interview, quoted at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
10.   ^ Halloween Filming Locations
11.   ^ "Synapse Finds Complete Halloween Negatives," August 29, 2006, at Fangoria; last accessed September 3, 2006.
12.   ^ "Holy Grail of Halloween Footage Found" at Dread Central; last accessed on September 3, 2006.
13.   ^ a b Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest, documentary on Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition DVD of Halloween (1978; Troy, Mich.: Anchor Bay, 2003), ASIN B00009UW0N.
14.   ^ Donald Pleasence casting information at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
15.   ^ Nancy Loomis casting information at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
16.   ^ P. J. Soles casting information at; last accessed April 19, 2006
17.   ^ Nick Castle casting information at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
18.   ^ Nicholas Rogers, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 111, ISBN 0-19-516896-8.
19.   ^ a b Roger Ebert, review of Halloween, Chicago Sun-Times, October 31, 1979, at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
20.   ^ J.P. Telotte, "Through a Pumpkin's Eye: The Reflexive Nature of Horror," in Gregory Waller, ed., American Horrors: Essays on the Modern American Horror Film (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), p. 116, ISBN 0-252-01448-0.
21.   ^ Telotte, "Through a Pumpkin's Eye," pp. 116 – 117.
22.   ^ Rogers, Halloween, p. 111.
23.   ^ David Scott Diffrient, "A Film is Being Beaten: Notes on the Shock Cut and the Material Violence of Horror," in Steffen Hantke, Horror Film: Creating and Marketing Fear (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2004), p. 61, ISBN 1-57806-692-1.
24.   ^ Jamie Lee Curtis interview, quoted at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
25.   ^ Dan Wyman's faculty website at San José State University; last accessed April 19, 2006.
26.   ^ Halloween Soundtrack information from; last accessed April 19, 2006.
27.   ^ a b Distribution at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
28.   ^ Tom Allen, review of Halloween, The Village Voice (New York), November 6, 1978, pp. 67, 70.
29.   ^ Saturn Award Nominees and Winners, 1979 at Internet Movie Database; last accessed April 19, 2006.
30.   ^ Press Release for films inducted into National Film Registry on Dec. 27, 2006. National Film Registry 2006.
31.   ^ Halloween at Rotten Tomatoes; last accessed June 12, 2007.
32.   ^ Pauline Kael, review of Halloween, The New Yorker, 1978, at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
33.   ^ TV Guide review of Halloween at; last accessed May 19, 2007.
34.   ^ a b Rogers, Halloween, pp. 117 – 118.
35.   ^ Mick Martin and Marsha Porter, Video Movie Guide 1987 (New York: Ballantine Books, 1986), p. 60, ISBN 0-345-33872-3.
36.   ^ John Kenneth Muir, Wes Craven: The Art of Horror (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1998), p. 104, ISBN 0-7864-1923-7.
37.   ^ Carol J. Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 189, ISBN 0-691-00620-2.
38.   ^ Vera Dika. Games of Terror: Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the Films of the Stalker Cycle (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990), p. 138, ISBN 0-8386-3364-1.
39.   ^ Tony Williams, "Trying to Survive on the Darker Side: 1980s Family Horror," in Barry K. Grant, ed., The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), pp. 164 – 165, ISBN 0-292-72794-1.
40.   ^ Rogers, Halloween, pp. 121.
41.   ^ John Carpenter, quoted in Alan Jones, The Rough Guide to Horror Movies (New York: Rough Guides, 2005), p. 102, ISBN 1-84353-521-1.
42.   ^ Rockoff, Going to Pieces, p. 42.
43.   ^ Jim Harper, Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies (Manchester, Eng.: Headpress, 2004), p. 126, ISBN 1900486393.
44.   ^ Rick Worland, The Horror Film: A Brief Introduction (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), p. 106, ISBN 1405139021.
45.   ^ Halloween: Extended Version (1978; DVD, Troy, Mich.: Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2001), ASIN B00005KHJT.
46.   ^ Curtis Richards, Halloween (Bantam Books, 1979), ISBN 0-553-13226-1; 1982 reissue ISBN 0-553-26296-3.
47.   ^ Review of Halloween video game at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
48.   ^ Gregory D. George, "History of Horror: A Primer of Horror Games for Your Atari" at The Atari Times; last accessed April 19, 2006.
49.   ^; last accessed September 1, 2007.
50.   ^ a b Rob Zombie stated in a 2006 interview that the title so far is simply Halloween. Rob Zombie interview, June 16, 2006, at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
51.   ^ Behind the Scenes of Halloween III: Season of the Witch at; last accessed April 19, 2006.
52.   ^ Business statistics for Halloween II at Internet Movie Database; last accessed April 19, 2006.
53.   ^ Business statistics for Halloween: Resurrection at Internet Movie Database; last accessed April 19, 2006.
54.   ^ "Moustapha Akkad," London Telegraph, 12 November 2005, at news.telegraph; last accessed April 19, 2006.
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