Halloween (1978)

     Halloween (1978) – “You must be ready for him….If you don’t, it’s your funeral.”  We’re finally in October and I continue the spooky film list with my all-time favorite Halloween horror film – the 1978 horror classic, Halloween.  I’m not sensitive to movies and this is the only horror film that ever gave me a nightmare.  I watch this film twice a year, if not 3 times, during the Halloween season.  This film is truly scary because at times you see through the killer.  My wife hates this film because the killer is actually somewhat real or plausible.  While the film isn’t very bloody or gorey, this film is the grandfather of the horror/slasher films so popular in the 1980’s such as the numerous Halloween sequels,  Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th movies.  Rated 4.5 stars at Amazon.com and given a 93% at Rotten Tomatoes, this is truly a horror classic for the ages.  In 2006, this film was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Plot – In 1963, young Michael Myers murders his 15 year old sister in Haddonfield, IL and is sent to the state sanitarium under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance).  In Oct 30, 1978, Dr. Loomis is on his way to the sanitarium to take Michael to a hearing when Michael escapes and steals a car.  Knowing Michael as he does, Dr. Loomis knows he is headed home…Haddonfield.  The next day, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) meets up with Tommy Doyle, a kid she is to babysit later, and then her friends, Annie and Lynda.  Throughout the day, she keeps briefly noticing Michael giving her the creeps, but dismisses it.  Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis meets up with Annie’s father, the town sheriff, to search for Michael.  That night, Laurie arrives at Tommy’s house.  Annie’s babysitting Lindsey across the street.  Annie dumps Lindsey onto Laurie so that she can be alone with her boyfriend Paul, but she meets Michael Myers first instead.  Lynda and her boyfriend arrive at Lindsey’s house thinking they are alone, but Michael spoils their lusty fun as well.  Laurie suspects something strange and investigates.  Bad idea….Michael is now after her.  Laurie escapes and rushes back to Tommy’s house.  As she fights off Michael’s attacks, she sends the kids for help catching the eye of Dr. Loomis.  Michael attacks again, but Laurie is saved by Dr. Loomis.  But, when he looks for Michael…..He’s not there…..

Commentary – This is one outstanding horror film.  To me, it’s the best ever.  When it is dark outside, turn off the lights, and watch this movie.  I guaranty that you will check your doors twice to make sure they locked tight before going to bed.  The film was very low budget, but masterfully utilized techniques such as first person filming through the eyes of the killer, sound effects such as the breathing, and the music.  No horror film makes better use of music to create a scary and tense mood than Halloween.  Having seen it many times, I still get goose bumps when the Halloween music plays.  It is simply the best horror film to watch during the Halloween season.

Trivia – One bit of trivia that is not much of a secret any longer is that Michael Myers’s mask is that of William Shatner, of Star Trek fame.  With the budget so tight, they got a cheap Shatner mask, spray painted it white, and teased the hair.  It is now an iconic horror mask.  Shatner even stated that he had no idea the mask was of him, but was honored that it was his.  Due to the low budget, several actors refused roles due to the low pay.  While made for only $325,000, the movie has grossed more than $47 million making it the most profitable independent film of all-time.  One of those actors, Christopher Lee, has said that turning down the role was his biggest career mistakes.  Finally, the film was actually made in the Spring.  The crew had quite a time getting pumpkins.  And, due to the low budget, they had to get paper leaves from a decorator and paint them Autumn colors.  After the scene was shot, they gathered them up to use again later.  They stretched that budget as far as possible to create the best horror film.

** Just click the images to check out “Halloween” at Amazon.com **

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