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Halloween (film series)


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Michael Myers
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2007, 03:13:24 pm »



Original 1981 theatrical poster
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
Produced by Debra Hill
Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis
Donald Pleasence
Charles Cyphers
Nancy Loomis
Dick Warlock
Music by John Carpenter
Alan Howarth
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Mark Goldblatt
Skip Schoolnik
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)  October 30, 1981
Running time 92 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $2,500,000
Preceded by Halloween
Followed by Halloween III: Season of the Witch
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2007, 03:15:20 pm »


Halloween II (also known as Halloween II: The Horror Continues and Halloween II: The Nightmare Isn't Over!) is the 1981 horror sequel to the 1978 low-budget blockbuster Halloween. Both films are set in the fictional Midwestern United States town of Haddonfield, Illinois, on Halloween night, 1978.

Halloween II was directed by Rick Rosenthal and stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and stunt performer Dick Warlock as Michael Myers, and features a cameo appearance by Nancy Loomis as the corpse of Annie Brackett.

While other films in the Halloween series followed, this was the last in the series written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. The film's events take place immediately following those of the first film, and center on Myers's attempts to find and kill Laurie Strode as well as Dr. Loomis's efforts to track and kill Myers.

Stylistically, the sequel reproduces certain key elements that made the original Halloween a success, such as first-person camera perspectives and everyday settings. The film, however, departs significantly from the original concept by incorporating more graphic violence and gore, more closely imitating other films in the emerging splatter film sub-genre. Halloween II was not as successful as the original, but nonetheless grossed (sic) $25.5 million at the box office in the United States, roughly ten times its $2.5 million budget.[1]

Halloween II was intended to be the last chapter of the Halloween series to revolve around Michael Myers and the Haddonfield setting.[2] However, following the lackluster reaction to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Myers returned in the film Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2007, 03:16:51 pm »


The beginning of the film is a re-shot version of the final scenes of Halloween, concluding with Dr. Loomis finding the body of Michael Myers missing from the lawn. Loomis then runs off in search of him, while Laurie Strode is taken in an ambulance to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. One of the EMS drivers, Jimmy (Lance Guest) begins to show an interest in her. Myers continues to wander Haddonfield in search of her.

Anthony Feranzo tells her Myers was infamous for murdering his older sister 15 years earlier on Halloween night. After this, Laurie drifts in and out of consciousness, having strange flashbacks about her adoption by the Strodes and visiting a strange, catatonic boy in an institution.

Dr. Loomis and the Haddonfield police continue to search the town for Myers. At the local elementary school they discover that Myers has broken into a classroom and scrawled the word Samhain in blood on the chalkboard. Loomis explains that it is a Celtic word that means "lord of the dead", the "end of summer", and "October 31" (Samhain's symbolic importance is not elaborated on until later films).

Myers learns that Laurie is at the hospital and goes there, murdering the hospital's staff one by one. Laurie manages to elude him, but she is sedated and limping badly, and thus is unable to move quickly. Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Loomis's assistant, meets up with the doctor and informs him that he is under strict orders to return to Smith's Grove; she is accompanied by an armed marshal. In the marshal's car, she tells Loomis that she has discovered a secret file on Myers to which he was not privy. The file reveals that Laurie is actually Myers's sister, adopted by the Strodes after Myers killed his older sister, Judith.

At gunpoint, Loomis forces the marshal (John Zenda) and Chambers to drive to the hospital, knowing that Myers will have already tracked Laurie there. Upon arriving, Loomis shoots Myers several times, but to no avail. Myers kills the marshal, and Loomis and Laurie retreat into an operating room. After Loomis is stabbed, Laurie shoots Myers in the eyes. Loomis is able to turn on the oxygen tanks in the operating room, causing an explosion that engulfs him and Myers. Laurie survives and is taken away in another ambulance.

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2007, 03:18:36 pm »


Halloween II boasted a much larger budget than its predecessor: $2.5 million. Halloween producers Irwin Yablans and Moustapha Akkad invested heavily in the film even though John Carpenter refused to direct. Most of the film was shot at Morningside Hospital in Inglewood, California, and Pasadena Community Hospital in Pasadena, California.[3] There was discussion of filming Halloween II in 3-D; writer and producer Debra Hill said, "We investigated a number of 3-D processes ... but they were far too expensive for this particular project. Also, most of the projects we do involve a lot of night shooting—evil lurks at night. It's hard to do that in 3-D."[3]


The screenplay of Halloween II was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the writers of the first Halloween. Hill mentioned in a 1981 interview with Fangoria magazine that the finished film differs somewhat from initial drafts of the screenplay. She explained how she and Carpenter had originally considered setting the sequel a few years after the events of Halloween. They planned to have Myers track Laurie Strode to her new residence in a high-rise apartment building.[2]

The sequel was intended to conclude the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Neither Carpenter nor Hill were involved in writing material for later sequels. The third film, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, released a year later, contained a plot that deviated wholly from that of the first two films.[2] Tommy Lee Wallace, the director of Halloween III, stated "It is our intention to create an anthology out of the series, sort of along the lines of Night Gallery, or The Twilight Zone, only on a much larger scale, of course."[4] When asked, in a 1982 interview, what happened to Myers and Loomis, Carpenter flatly answered, "The Shape is dead. Donald Pleasence's character is dead, too, unfortunately."[5]

Film critic Roger Ebert notes that the plot of the sequel was rather simple: "The plot of Halloween II absolutely depends, of course, on our old friend the Idiot Plot, which requires that everyone in the movie behave at all times like an idiot. That's necessary because if anyone were to use common sense, the problem would be solved and the movie would be over."[6] Characters were described as shallow and like cardboard. Hill rebuffed such critiques by arguing that "in a thriller film, what a character says is often irrelevant, especially in those sequences where the objective is to build up suspense."[7]

Historian Nicholas Rogers suggests that a portion of the film seems to have drawn inspiration from the "contemporary controversies surrounding the holiday itself."[8] He points specifically to the scene in the film when a young boy in a pirate costume arrives at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital with a razor blade lodged in his mouth, a reference to the urban legend of tainted Halloween candy.[9] According to Rogers, "The Halloween films opened in the wake of the billowing stories about Halloween sadism and clearly traded on the uncertainties surrounding trick-or-treating and the general safety of the festival."[8]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2007, 03:20:59 pm »


The main cast of Halloween reprised their roles in the sequel with the exception of Nick Castle, who had played the adult Michael Myers in the original. Veteran English actor Donald Pleasence continued the role of Dr. Sam Loomis, who had been Michael Myers's psychiatrist for the past 15 years while Myers was institutionalized at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Jamie Lee Curtis (then 22), once again played the teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, the younger sister of Michael Myers. Curtis required a wig for the role of long-haired Laurie Strode, as she had her own hair cut shorter.

Charles Cyphers reprised the role of Sheriff Leigh Brackett, but his character disappears from the film when his daughter Annie's (Nancy Kyes) corpse is discovered. Actor Hunter von Leer heads the manhunt for Myers in the role of Deputy Hunt. He admitted in an interview that he had never watched Halloween before being cast in the part. He stated, "I did not see the original first but being from a small town, I wanted the Deputy to have compassion."

Stunt performer Dick Warlock played Michael Myers (as in Halloween, listed as "The Shape" in the credits), replacing Castle who was beginning a career as a director. Warlock's previous experience in film was as a stunt double in films, such as The Green Berets (1968) and Jaws (1975), and the 1974 television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker.[10] Warlock claims that the mask he wore was the same one as used by Nick Castle in the first film. In an interview, he explained how he prepared for the role since Myers received far more screen time in the sequel than the original. Warlock said,

[I watched the scenes] where Laurie is huddled in the closet. Michael breaks through. She grabs a hanger and thrusts it up and into his eyes. Michael falls down and Laurie walks to the bedroom doorway and sits down. In the background we see Michael sit up and turn towards her to the beat of the music. ... Anyway, that and the head tilt were the things I carried with me into Halloween II. I didn't really see that much more to hang my hat on in the first film.[11]

The supporting cast consisted of relatively unknown actors and actresses, with the exception of Jeffrey Kramer and Ford Rainey. Kramer was previously cast in a supporting role as Deputy Jeff Hendricks in Jaws and Jaws 2 (1978). In Halloween II, Kramer played Dr. Graham, a dentist who examines the charred remains of a boy confused with Myers. Rainey was an actor well-known for his supporting roles on television shows such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Bionic Woman. He was chosen to play Haddonfield Memorial Hospital's drunk resident doctor, Frederick Mixter.[12]

A host of character actors were cast as the hospital's staff. Many were acquaintances of director Rick Rosenthal. He told an interviewer, "I'd been studying acting with Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and I brought many people from the Playhouse into Halloween 2."[13] These included Leo Rossi, Pamela Susan Shoop, Ana Alicia, and Gloria Gifford. Rossi played the part of Budd, a hypersexual EMS driver who mocks Jimmy as a "college boy." Rossi would go on to have minor roles in television series such as Hill Street Blues and Falcone and several direct-to-video releases.[14][15]

Shoop played Nurse Karen, who is scalded to death by Myers in the hospital therapy tub. Featured in the only **** scene in the film, Shoop discussed filming the scene in an interview: "Now that was hard! The water was freezing cold, and poor Leo Rossi and I could barely keep our teeth from chattering! The water was also pretty dirty and I ended up with an ear infection."[16] Prior to working with Rosenthal, she had made several cameo appearances on television shows such as Wonder Woman, B.J. and the Bear, and later made appearances on Knight Rider and Murder, She Wrote.[17] Gifford and Alicia played minor supporting roles as nurses.

Actor Lance Guest played an EMS driver, Jimmy. In much the same way as the original Halloween had launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis, after Halloween II, Guest went on to star in such films as The Last Starfighter (1984) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987) and the television series Life Goes On.[18] The Last Starfighter director Nick Castle stated in an interview, "When I was assigned to the film, Lance Guest was the first name I wrote down on my list for Alex after seeing him in Halloween II." Castle adds, "He possessed all the qualities I wanted the character to express on the screen, a kind of innocence, shyness, yet determination."[19]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2007, 03:23:02 pm »



John Carpenter refused to direct the sequel and originally approached Tommy Lee Wallace, the art director from the original Halloween, to take the helm. Carpenter told one interviewer, "I had made that film once and I really didn't want to do it again."[20] After Wallace declined, Carpenter chose Rick Rosenthal, a relatively unknown and inexperienced director whose previous credits included episodes of the television series Secrets of Midland Heights (1980–1981). In an interview with Twilight Zone Magazine, Carpenter explains that Rosenthal was chosen because "he did a terrific short called Toyer. It was full of suspense and tension and terrific performances."[5][21]

Stylistically, Rosenthal attempted to recreate the elements and themes of the original film. The opening title features a jack-o'-lantern that splits in half to reveal a human skull. In the original, the camera zoomed in on the jack-o'-lantern's left eye. The first scene of the film is presented through a first-person camera format in which a voyeuristic Michael Myers enters an elderly couple's home and steals a knife from the kitchen. Rosenthal attempts to reproduce the "jump" scenes present in Halloween, but does not film Myers on the periphery, which is where he appeared in many of the scenes of the original. Under Rosenthal's direction, Myers is the central feature of a majority of the scenes.[22] In an interview with Luke Ford, Rosenthal explains,

The first movie I ever did [Halloween II] was a sequel, but it was supposed to be a direct continuation. It started one minute after the first movie ended. You have to try hard to maintain the style of the first movie. I wanted it to feel like a two-parter. You have the responsibility and the restraints of the style that's been set. It was the same crew. My philosophy was to do more of a thriller than a slasher movie.[13]

The decision to include more gore and nudity in the sequel was not made by Rosenthal, who contends that it was Carpenter who chose to make the film much bloodier than the original.[23] According to the film's official website, "Carpenter came in and directed a few sequences to clean up some of Rosenthal's work."[21] One reviewer of the film notes that "Carpenter, concerned that the picture would be deemed too 'tame' by the slasher audience, re-filmed several death scenes with more gore."[24] When asked about his role in the directing process, Carpenter told an interviewer:

That's a long, long story. That was a project I got involved in as a result of several different kinds of pressure. I had no influence over the direction of the film. I had an influence in the post-production. I saw a rough cut of Halloween II, and it wasn't scary. It was about as scary as Quincy. So we had to do some post-production work to bring it at least up to par with the competition.[5]

Rosenthal was not pleased with Carpenter's changes. He reportedly complained that Carpenter "ruined [my] carefully paced film."[25] Regardless, many of the graphic scenes contained elements not seen before in film. Roger Ebert claims, "This movie has the first close-up I can remember of a hypodermic needle being inserted into an eyeball."[6] The film is often categorized as a splatter film rather than a slasher film due to the elevated level of gore. Film critic John McCarty writes of splatter films: "[They] aim not to scare their audiences, necessarily, nor to drive them to the edge of their seats in suspense, but to mortify them with scenes of explicit gore. In splatter movies, mutilation is indeed the message ...."[26] Rosenthal later directed the eighth film in the Halloween series, Halloween: Resurrection (2002).



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Michael Myers
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2007, 03:24:39 pm »


The film's score was a variation of John Carpenter compositions from Halloween, particularly the main theme's familiar piano melody played in a 5/4 time rhythm. The score was performed on a synthesizer organ rather than a piano.[27] One reviewer for the BBC described the revised score as having "a more gothic feel." The reviewer asserted that it "doesn’t sound quite as good as the original piece", but "it still remains a classic piece of music."[28] Carpenter performed the score with the assistance of Alan Howarth, who had previously been involved in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and would work again with Carpenter on projects such as Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Christine (1983).[29]

The film featured the song "Mr. Sandman" performed by The Chordettes.[30] Reviewers commented on the decision to include this song in the film, calling the selection "interesting" and "not a song you would associate with a film like this." The song worked well to "mimic Laurie’s situation (sleeping a lot), [making] the once innocent sounding lyrics seem threatening in a horror film."[28] Another critic saw the inclusion of the song as "inappropriate" and asked, "What was that about?"[31]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2007, 03:26:09 pm »


alloween II premiered on October 30, 1981, in 1,211 theaters in the United States.[1] To advertise the film, Universal printed a poster that featured a skull superimposed onto a pumpkin. This imagery is described by film historian and sociologist Robert E. Kapsis as "an unmistakable horror motif." Kapsis points out that by 1981 horror had "become a genre non grata" with critics. The effect of this can be seen in the distributor's promotion of the film as horror while at the same time stressing that the sequel, like its predecessor, "was more a quality suspense film than a 'slice and dice' horror film."[32] Use of the tagline More Of The Night HE Came Home—a modified version of the original Halloween tagline—hoped to accomplish the same task.

The film grossed $7,446,508 on its opening weekend and earned a final domestic total of $25,533,818.[1] The rights were sold to Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis and the film was distributed by Universal.[33] While the gross earnings of the sequel paled in comparison to the original's $47 million, it was a success in its own right, besting the earnings of other films of the same genre released in 1981: Friday the 13th Part 2 ($21,722,776), Omen III: The Final Conflict ($20,471,382) and The Howling ($17,985,893).[34]

Internationally, Halloween II was released throughout Europe, but it was banned in West Germany and Iceland due to the graphic violence and nudity; a later 1986 release on home video was banned in Norway. The film was shown in Canada, Australia, the Philippines and Japan.[33][35][36][37]

In 1982, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, nominated the film for two Saturn Awards: Best Horror Film and Best Actor for Donald Pleasence. The film lost to An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Harrison Ford was chosen over Pleasence for his role in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).[38]

The film's performance at the box office later translated into home video sales. It was first released on VHS and laserdisc in 1982 by MCA/Universal Home Video and later by Goodtimes Home Video. From 1988, DVD editions have also been released by these companies.[33] An adaptation of the screenplay was printed as a mass market paperback in 1981 by horror and science-fiction writer Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin. Etchison's novelization was distributed by Kensington Books and became a bestseller.[39][40]

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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2007, 03:38:31 pm »


Critical reaction to the film was mixed. While film critics had largely showered praise on Halloween, most reviews of its sequel compared it with the original and found it wanting. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that Halloween II represented "a fall from greatness" that "doesn't even attempt to do justice to the original." Ebert also commented, "Instead, it tries to outdo all the other violent Halloween rip-offs of the last several years."[6] Critic James Berardinelli offered a particularly stinging review:

The main problem is the film's underlying motivation. Halloween was a labor of love, made by people committed to creating the most suspenseful and compelling motion picture they could. Halloween II was impelled by the desire to make money. It was a postscript—and not a very good one—slapped together because a box office success was guaranteed.[24]

He accused Carpenter and Hill of not believing "in this project the way they believed in the original, and it shows in the final product. The creepiness of the first movie has been replaced by a growing sense of repetitive boredom." Berardinelli was not impressed by the decision to give Myers so much screen time. He says, "The Shape, who was an ominous and forbidding force, has been turned into a plodding zombie. The characters have all been lobotomized, and, in keeping with the slasher trend, the gore content is way up. There was virtually no blood in Halloween; Halloween II cheerfully heaps it on."[24]

On the other hand, Janet Maslin of the New York Times compared the film to other horror sequels and recently released slasher films of the early 1980s rather than to the original. "By the standards of most recent horror films, this—like its predecessor—is a class act." She notes that there "is some variety to the crimes, as there is to the characters, and an audience is more likely to do more screaming at suspenseful moments than at scary ones." Maslin applauded the performance of the cast and Rosenthal and concluded, "That may not be much to ask of a horror film, but it's more than many of them offer."[41] David Pirie's review in Time Out magazine gave Rosenthal's film positive marks, stating, "Rosenthal is no Carpenter, but he makes a fair job of emulating the latter's visual style in this sequel." He wrote that the Myers character had evolved since the first film to become "an agent of Absolute Evil."[42] Film historian Jim Harper suggests, "Time has been a little fairer to the film" than original critics. In retrospect, "many critics have come to recognise that it's considerably better than the slew of imitation slashers that swamped the genre in the eighties."[43]

Like the original Halloween, this and other slasher films have come under fire from feminist critics. According to historian Nicholas Rogers, academic critics "have seen the slasher movies since Halloween as debasing women in as decisive a manner as hard-core pornography."[8] 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.[44] This was parodied in the film Scary Movie, especially the scene in which Carmen Electra's character Drew Decker chooses a banana with which to do battle with the psycotic killer, rather than an array of deadly weapons such as a dagger, hand grenade, and pistol.

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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2007, 03:40:37 pm »


Detractors of horror films have blamed the genre for the perceived decrease in the morality and increase in crime among America's youth. According to moral critic Peter Peeters, fragile minds are being warped by "unlimited lust and sex, horror, the gruesome world of corpses and ghosts, torture, butchery and cannibalism, violence and destruction, the unsavory details all vividly depicted and accompanied by the appropriate screams and sound effects."[45] A tragic incident associated with the film Halloween II only heightened such attitudes.

On December 7, 1982, Richard Delmer Boyer of El Monte, California, murdered Francis and Eileen Harbitz, an elderly couple in Fullerton, California, leading to the trial People v. Boyer (1989). The couple were stabbed a total of 43 times by Boyer. According to the trial transcript, Boyer's defense was that he suffered from hallucinations in the Harbitz residence brought on by "the movie Halloween II, which defendant had seen under the influence of PCP, marijuana, and alcohol." The film was played for the jury, and a psychopharmacologist "pointed out various similarities between its scenes and the visions defendant described."[46]

Boyer was found guilty and sentenced to death. The incident became known as the "Halloween II Murders" and was featured in a short segment on TNT's Monstervision, hosted by film critic Joe Bob Briggs.[21] Following the trial, moral critics and libertarians came to the defense of horror films and rejected calls to ban them. Thomas M. Sipos, for instance, stated,

It would be silly, after all, to ban horror films just because Boyer claims to have thought that he was reenacting Halloween 2, or to ban cars because Texas housewife Clara Harris intentionally ran down and killed her husband. Nor does it make sense to ban otherwise useful items such as drugs or guns just because some individuals misuse them.[47]

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Michael Myers
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2007, 03:48:16 pm »

An alternate version of Halloween II, also known as the "Rick Rosenthal Version", the "Television Version", or the "Producer's Cut", was aired on television in the early 1980s. Most of the graphic violence and gore had been edited out and several minor additional scenes had been added. This alternate version is occasionally shown on the AMC network. In 2002, AMC aired the alternate version as part of their Monsterfest Film Festival.
It has been suggested that the redacted film represents director Rick Rosenthal's original vision of the movie before John Carpenter's edits. A special edition DVD of the alternate version was planned for release in 2001, but Universal released the original theatrical version instead.[33]

Rick Rosenthal's version is cut differently, offered less gore, more character development, and a swifter pace, even though it has the same 92-minute running time. A pronounced difference between the alternate and theatrical versions is found in the plot. While the theatrical version has the film ending with the presumed deaths of Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis, the alternate version shows Jimmy (with a head wound but alive) in the ambulance with Laurie Strode. They hold hands and Laurie says, "We made it."[33]

References
1.   ^ a b c Halloween 2 at Box Office Mojo; last accessed April 19, 2006.
2.   ^ a b c Behind the Scenes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch at HalloweenMovies.com; last accessed April 19, 2006.
3.   ^ a b Debra Hill interview, Fangoria, quoted at HalloweenMovies.com; last accessed April 19, 2006.
4.   ^ Tommy Lee Wallace interview, in Ellen Carlomagno, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch: An On-The-Set Report On The Ambitious Sequel to Carpenter's Classic!", Fangoria, #22, October 1982, p. 8, available here; last accessed April 19, 2006.
5.   ^ a b c John Carpenter, interview with Twilight Zone Magazine, November 1982, available here; last accessed April 19, 2006.
6.   ^ a b c Roger Ebert, review of Halloween II, Chicago Sun-Times, 1 January 1981, at RogerEbert.com; last accessed April 19, 2006.
7.   ^ Debra Hill, quoted in Robert E. Kapsis, Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), p. 172, ISBN 0-226-42489-8.
8.   ^ a b c Nicholas Rogers, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 121, ISBN 0-19-516896-8.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_II
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2007, 03:49:36 pm »

You may wonder why, after praising the simplicity of Carpenter's film, I would want to delve into the enigma that is the shape? Indeed in many ways it would be better to not delve too deeply into the motivations of the Boogeyman, but over the years the sequels have attempted to flesh out Michael Myers and explain his murderous motivation. Much criticism has been made of what some have seen as a desperate attempt to draw out the series with references to Samhain and Thorn. As I said in the main review for HALLOWEEN the less you know about Myers the better- certainly he is a much more frightening force when his intentions were seemingly motiveless than he was when we learn that he is in-fact trying to hunt down his surviving sister. However, here I'm not interested specifically in what happened in the sequels (with, perhaps, the exception of part 2), more with Michael Myers' background story as there is evidence that originally the screenplay for the first film was in-fact far heavier in exposition than what eventually made it to the finished print…

       In 1979, in the wake of the film's tremendous and unexpected success, an original movie tie-in book- written by Curtis Richards was released. It was described as being, "Based on the Screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill"- but how much was from the original screenplay and how much is independent exposition by Richards is something I'll discuss later. The book does, however, expand considerably on the background of the events of those Halloween nights in 1963 and 1978…

       The first chapter describes an evil generated by a murder, at the "dawn of the Celtic race", on the eve of Samhain- "the druid festival of the dead"; and how the horror "...once started.. trod the earth forevermore, wreaking its savagery suddenly, swiftly, and with incredible ferocity." And how, once its blood-lust was satiated, it "slept only and did not die, for it could not be killed". Continuing that "...on the eve before Samhain it would stir, and if the lust were powerful enough, it would rise to fulfil the curse invoked so many Samhains before. Then the people would bolt their doors."

       The second chapter has Michael, as a child, asking his Grandmother about the Boogeyman and her wickedly telling him that "...if you were lucky, you got away with nothing worse than finding some of your chickens beheaded"; all this much to the horror of Michael's mother. When Michael goes to try on his Halloween clown costume the two women discuss Michael's "problems"; of how he has been getting into fights and hears voices telling him "...to hate people". Also how he has been having violent dreams; and how this is linked to his Great-Grand Father (who it is hinted descended into some kind of insanity (an earlier black chapter in the family)- which started with violent dreams.... it is later revealed that their dreams were identical- of "vengeance on a druid girl who had not returned his love"; and that they were both driven to equally violent deeds).

       After the murder of his sister- (a scene which is considerably longer in the book and includes mention of the 'voices' which compel him to commit the act ), there is another whole chapter (11 pages) detailing Michael's trial and the time he spends in the juvenile ward at Smith's Grove and exactly why Dr. Loomis came to regard him as "...the most dangerous person I have ever handled". Despite being by far the youngest person there Michael isn't bullied, in-fact "They're afraid of him". It catalogues the strange and unpleasant things that happen to people who cross him; but none of the events can be directly linked to Michael (perhaps influenced by similar scenes in DAMIEN: OMEN II (1978)) . He isn't silent here either and at one point asks Dr. Loomis for a Halloween party to be organised- "you of all people!" Loomis balks, but eventually agrees. During a game of musical chairs Michael (who is dressed as a clown) is beaten out of the last chair by a sixteen year old girl- who, when the lights inexplicably go out, is found half drowned by a vat of water used for bobbing for apples. Michael is bone dry. … Loomis is gradually convinced that he should never be set free.... Cut to 1978- the rest of the book is fairly faithful to Carpenter's film.

       The question remains of whether any of this was ever intended to be in the finished film or it is indeed completely the work of Richards fleshing out the bare bones of the story. The screenplay for HALLOWEEN was famously banged out in a matter of weeks and the film itself was made relatively quickly and on a pretty tight budget. Although it turned out for the best that the finished film was so simply structured, I can't help but wonder if (at least) some of the exposition included in the novelisation was excluded due to budgetary or time factors.

       Common sense dictates that it was mostly the work of Richards flexing his imagination. However it is worth baring in mind that Debra Hill did say that, "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." It is also worth bearing in mind that Carpenter wrote the screenplay for the sequel, in which 'Samhain' is directly mentioned- drawn in blood on the school blackboard by the Myers. This in itself shows that Carpenter was either responsible for the much of the back-story that didn't make it into the finished film, or, at very least, adopted the idea from Richard's book. This continuous appearance of the Samhain theme also gives some validation to the direction that HALLOWEEN 6 took the series- even though it was done fairly ham-fistedly (at least in the version that was officially released). And the notion that as Myers was merely the vessel for some ancient evil, then there would be no reason that the 'evil' could not be transferred onto another- indeed it is one of the avenues that the upcoming latest sequel may explore.

       HALLOWEEN needed numerous edits for American TV, John Carpenter was drafted in to shoot an additional 11 minutes during the making of HALLOWEEN II- making use of that film's cast and crew (which explains Nancy Loomis' couple of seconds long cameo as a corpse in the sequel!). One of the new scenes shows Donald Pleasence's pleas for the boy killer to be put into a higher security establishment, that his catatonia is "an act"; and "he is waiting [for something]", fall on deaf ears. Later he confronts the cherubic little boy, who is sitting staring blankly out of a window, telling him that "You've fooled them haven't you Michael- but not me". Another extra scene, inserted after Michael breaks out of Smith's Grove, shows the word 'sister' scratched into the back of a door- setting up the spurious link with the family story-line explored in the sequel (but not hinted at in the original screenplay). (The only other extra scene is an obvious time-filler which reunites Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis (by phone) and P. J. Soles, where they discuss borrowing clothes).

      One thing is for sure about Michael Myers and that is that he's English. Yep, you read that right. Although I guess I should point out that the real Michael Myers was in-fact the UK distributor of Carpenter's ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13; and Carpenter named the fictional Boogey Man after him as a "tribute". At the end of the day though, much like the film influences I've suggested, we will never know the truth for sure about the true origins (or indeed the extent of those origins) of the fictional Michael Myers unless someone asks John Carpenter and Debra Hill slightly less reverential questions. … I'm game if they are!

http://www.hysteria-lives.co.uk/hysterialives/halloween/halloween_theshape.htm
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Michael Myers
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2007, 03:51:45 pm »



Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Produced by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Moustapha Akkad
Joseph Wolf
Dino De Laurentiis
Written by Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring Tom Atkins
Stacey Nelkin
Dan O'Herlihy
Michael Currie
Ralph Strait
Nancy Kyes
Music by John Carpenter
Alan Howarth
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Millie Moore
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 22, 1982
Running time 99 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $2.5 million
Gross revenue $14.4 million
Preceded by Halloween II (1981)
Followed by Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2007, 03:53:18 pm »



Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 horror film and the third in the Halloween series. It is the only Halloween film that does not feature a plot revolving around the character Michael Myers. Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, the film stars Tom Atkins as Dr. Dan Challis, Stacey Nelkin as Ellie Grimbridge, and Dan O'Herlihy as Conal Cochran. The plot focuses on an investigation by Challis and Grimbridge into the activities of Cochran, the mysterious owner of the Silver Shamrock Novelties company, in the week approaching Halloween night.

Besides wholly abandoning the Michael Myers plotline, Halloween III departs from the slasher film genre which the original Halloween spawned in 1978. The focus on a psychotic killer is replaced by a "mad scientist and witchcraft" theme. Moreover, the frequency of graphic violence and gore is less than that of Halloween II (1981), although scenes that depict the deaths of characters remain intense.

Produced on a budget of $2.5 million, Halloween III grossed $14.4 million at the box office in the United States,[1] making it the poorest performing film in the Halloween series at the time.[2] In addition to weak box office returns, most critics gave the film negative reviews. Where Halloween had broken new ground and was imitated by many genre films following in its wake,[3] this third installment seemed hackneyed to many: one critic twenty years later suggests that if Halloween III was not part of the Halloween series, then it would simply be "a fairly nondescript eighties horror flick, no worse and no better than many others."[4] Cultural and film historians, on the other hand, have read significance into the film's plot, linking it to critiques of large corporations and American consumerism.

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« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2007, 03:55:55 pm »



The Kupfer family views the Silver Shamrock commercial that will air on Halloween night. "Little" Buddy (Bradley Schacter) is wearing the jack-o'-lantern mask.

On Saturday, October 23, shop owner Harry Grimbridge (Al Berry) is chased by mysterious figures wearing business suits. He collapses at a filling station clutching a Silver Shamrock jack-o'-lantern mask and is driven to the hospital by the filling station attendant (Essex Smith) all the while ranting, "They're gonna kill us all." Grimbridge is placed under the care of Dr. Daniel "Dan" Challis. While Grimbridge is hospitalized, another man in a suit enters his room and pulls his skull apart, killing him immediately. The man then enters his vehicle, douses himself with gasoline and lights himself on fire, causing the car to explode.

Challis, together with Grimbridge's daughter, Ellie, begins an investigation that leads them to the small town of Santa Mira, California, home of the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory. They learn from a hotel manager, Mr. Rafferty (Michael Currie), that the source of the town's prosperity is Irishman Conal Cochran and his factory and that the majority of the town's population is made up of descendants of Irish immigrants. Challis learns that Ellie's father had stayed at the same hotel. Other guests of the hotel included shop owners Marge Guttman (Garn Stephens) and the Kupfer family: Buddy (Ralph Strait), Betty (Jadeen Barbor) and their son "Little" Buddy (Bradley Schacter). All have business at the factory and eventually meet gruesome ends because of the Silver Shamrock masks.

A day after arriving in Santa Mira, Challis and Ellie tour the Silver Shamrock factory with the Kupfers and are alarmed to discover Grimbridge's car in a storage building guarded by more men dressed in suits. They return to their hotel but find that they cannot contact anyone outside Santa Mira. Ellie is kidnapped by the men in suits from the factory, and in an attempt to locate her, Challis breaks into the factory. There he discovers that the men in suits are actually androids created by Cochran. Although Challis succeeds in neutralizing one of the androids (Dick Warlock) he is captured by them, and Cochran reveals his plan to kill children on Halloween night. He explains that the Silver Shamrock trademark on the masks contain a computer chip embedded with a small fragment of a five ton sacrificial stone stolen from Stonehenge. When the Silver Shamrock television commercial airs on Halloween night, the chip will activate, causing the wearers' heads to dissolve and spew insects and snakes. Cochran further explains that he is attempting to resurrect the more macabre aspects of the Celtic festival, Samhain, which he connects to witchcraft.

Challis escapes, and rescues someone he believes to be Ellie. They destroy the factory and Cochran in the process, however, Challis finds that Cochran replaced Ellie with an android. After destroying it, Challis returns to the same filling station where Ellie's father had come eight days earlier. Challis contacts the television stations and convinces all but one of the station managers to remove the commercial. The film ends with Challis screaming into the telephone, "Turn it off! Stop it! Stop it!"

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