Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween: My Decades Long Friendship With Michael Myers

Halloween is my favorite holiday...This is the time of year where I tune in to see which horror movie is currently playing on TV as part of the annual AMC FearFest at least twice a day. Or I will just pull out a bunch of my favorites from the personal collection and have my own marathon. I own more horror flicks than other genres....The total number is probably in the 100s....I purposely started TLR 13 years ago this week to ensure that the anniversary would be tied to the date--no really...and it all began with John Carpenter's 1978 classic Halloween. Like Richard Donner's Superman--The Movie helped shape my life and who I am--the scare-filled flick film did the same...

I was too young to see it during its initial theatrical run...3 years later I remember watching the premiere of the now famous TV which 12 minutes of footage was added to replace the more violent material of the original cut. These scenes were shot simultaneously with "Halloween II" in 1981...Anyway--I was hooked--Even in its edited form it scared the bejeebus out of me! My Mom was not happy with me after I disobeyed her and watched it anyway. Sorry Mom--So glad I disobeyed you.

What can one say about the performances of Donald Pleasence as very determined Dr. Sam Loomis and a very young Jamie Lee Curtis as iconic heroine Laurie Strode...

One of the strengths of the film is its ability to scare viewers using suspense and shock-without having to depend on gore--to tell its story.

Written by Carpenter and the late Debra Hill--the tale follows masked killer Michael Myers institutionalized since the age of 6 for killing his older sister--he escapes and returns home on October 31st to continue his spree while doctor Loomis tries to stop him. The "Totally" great P.J. Soles and Nancy Kyes as Laurie's pals Lynda and Annie are quite memorable too. What's not to love about town Sheriff Brackett played by Charles Cyphers

Halloween was produced on a budget of $300,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States, and $70 million worldwide, equivalent to roughly $267 million as of 2016, becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever.

A cluster of sequels and one remake and its sequel later--not to mention countless imitators--and here we are.. For me, the original Halloween is one classic that just can't be topped...even after multiple viewings. In fact if you read my review of Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of the 1978 classic--you know that I loathe nearly everything about the film...Hard to believe then that I think Zombie's Halloween II was even worse!!!

The Halloween film franchise had stalled for a number of years now while everyone wrestled with where to take the series...All of that changes with today's debut of Halloween (2018)!!

40 years since the original was released in theaters and Carpenter is back as executive producer/composer of the score--and Curtis returns as Laurie Strode. The new film ignores all of the sequels--including 1981's Halloween II--which picked up right where the original left off.  The reviews are very good. And it looks to make a killing at the box office this weekend.

Have not seen the new film yet--but plans are afoot...All I can say right now is that I am sooooooo glad that Zombie's timeline was not allowed to continue. Extremely happy for Curtis and Carpenter who seem to be enjoying all the newfound attention!

A special thanks to my sister Karen for watching Halloween on TV with me all those years ago and sharing a very special experience with me...

And to my college room-mate Mike who loves the original film as much as I do. In fact--Throughout our tenure together--we watched the film dozens of times and not just in October...And quoting lines galore. Yeeeesh! We would say dialogue from the film a lot--both in normal conversation and in mean something else. I recall that by doing so it got me in quite a bit of trouble too. But Mike had my back. This one's for you brother. Always remember that "SPEED KILLS!" And beware "the blackest eyes....The devil's eyes!"

"Sleep Tight Kids!"🎃 and Happy Halloween!