I watched Halloween last night for the first time in probably 30 years. I remembered the basic plot, but some of the details had faded from my memory over the course of the last three decades. (spoilers follow) A lot of horror movie clichés (or what would become clichés) are on display here (the virginal hero surviving, the killer/monster returning from apparent “certain death,” etc.). Those I remembered, but what I had forgotten is that Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role) overcame Michael Myers not once but twice, and both times not only didn’t get the hell out of the house, not only sat down with her back to him, but dropped his knife right in front of him! Both times! After Michael Myers caught her for a third time, both Tracy and I said aloud, “Oh, she just deserves to die!” Then Donald Pleasance (Myer’s psychiatrist) shows up and puts six shots in him.
Speaking of Donald Pleasance, his character is entirely ineffectual (up until the end, that it). He spends the majority of the night standing at the Myers’ old house, three blocks away from where the action is going down. The only thing he manages to accomplish in that time is to frighten three young trick-or-treaters. (The kids in this town apparently start going door-to-door as soon as school lets out.) He does manage to wrest control of the manhunt from the local sheriff, which ultimately leads to the death of three teenagers, including the sheriff’s daughter. Speaking of which, the “acting” talent displayed by the teenage actors other than Curtis is absolutely horrendous.
After standing in the Myers’ front yard for several hours, Pleasance finally notices that the station wagon Myers used to escape from the mental institution has been parked just down the block all afternoon long. He goes to investigate, but when Laurie runs from the house literally screaming bloody murder, he’s nowhere in sight. He shows up at the last minute, but even his shots are ineffectual. They do manage to knock him out of a second floor window, but when Donald Pleasance takes a second look, Myers’ body is gone, thus effectively setting up the sequel.
Halloween II, IIRC, picks up exactly at this point.
Was part of the start of this left off?
Did you ever see the Rob Zombie re-make with Malcolm McDowell? It's OK, but nit as good as the original, I think.
Halloween II does indeed pick up right where the first one left off. Both pictures are very "dream-like" - that's how I rationalize the logical inconsistencies - it's not quite "real".
The one drawback about being married to Tracy is that she steadfastly refuses to watch horror films. Consequently, I haven’t seen a new horror film in the last 11 years. Her hard stance has started to soften recently, however, and she has agreed to watch certain ones… in the safety of our own home if not at the theater. A couple of weeks ago, she came home with Sweeney Todd on DVD… not the new(ish) one, a cheap copy of the 1936 version. For some reason she decided she wanted to see the 2007 movie, but wanted to “work up to it.” I had never seen it before, but a cleaned up version would be comparable to a Universal Studios horror film of the era.
AMC is running all (I think) of the Halloween movies this week, and we’ve set the DVR to record them. I don’t know if the re-makes will be included in the marathon or not, but if they are, we’ll record and watch those as well.
"Halloween II does indeed pick up right where the first one left off. Both pictures are very "dream-like" - that's how I rationalize the logical inconsistencies - it's not quite "real".
**********POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!********** (or, maybe not)
I saw both of Rob Zombie's films when they came out. I had the strongest impression that the entire 2nd film never happened, except in the mind of the person who was locked up in the asylum at the end of the 2nd film. Not only does too much of it make no sense at all, some of it blatently contradicts things in the previous movie!!!
I remember when AMC would run triple-features of the HALLOWEEN films. they'd run 1, 2 & 3... or, they'd run 4, 5 & 8.
In case everyone doesn't know, Halloween three is not in continuity. It has a totally different subject involving witchcraft.
"In case everyone doesn't know, Halloween three is not in continuity. It has a totally different subject involving witchcraft."
On the other hand... both HALLOWEEN 3 and 6 involves cults and rune stones. So, in theory, they could be in the same contnuity...
I loved it when someone online suggested that it would have been so much better if they revealed that the main villain of 6 was actually the same guy from 3. (Why didn't the film-makers think of that?)
Watched the original last night, with the commentary track by John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis addresses the issue of Laurie throwing away the knife twice. She says the first time, it was meant to be obvious that she was throwing it away in revulsion, but that this was lost because it was done in a long shot instead of a close-up. The second time she says it was just a boneheaded move.
My favorite bit in the whole movie:
"It was the bogeyman." "As a matter of fact, it was."
AMC will not be running II or III as part of their “marathon.” I know III is not in Michael Myers’ continuity so I have no problem with them not running it, but why in heaven’s name would they leave out II? I don’t remember at exactly what point I stopped watching the Halloween (or Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street) movies, but I know I’m seen II. As I recall, this one not only picks up exactly where the first left off (as we have already discussed), but it also establishes that Laurie is actually Michael’s sister, give up for adoption when she was a baby. Am I remembering that correctly? I seem to recall Michael burns to death, too, at the end.
Last night AMC ran Halloween IV but we didn’t watch it live because we like to zip through commercials. I’ll be back to post my thoughts on that one soon, probably tomorrow.
Michael is established as Laurie's sister, yes.
It's been awhile, but come to think of it, I seem to recall AMC liking to run 1, 4 & 5 as a triple-feature. Which makes less than no sense.
Despite the ending of the 1st movie clearly being designed to set up a sequel (or at least, making you want to scream for one), Carpenter never wanted to do a 2nd one. Yet, he got roped into writing it (I think). So somewhere along the way-- fans still argue whether this was clever or stupidly misguided-- you find out Laurie is Michael's sister. Which has fans arguing, if he's trying to kill his family, WHY does he kill all those other people?
HALLOWEEN 2 is a terrible, awful movie, a brain-dead sequel that exists only to showcase new and different ways to kill people. It's also got much worse acting than the first one. You don't even care about most of the victims, and the ONE person who you dearly wished would have gotten killed-- the nasty head nurse-- walks off without anything happening to her. To me, the only part of the film worth seeing is the last 10 minutes, when Loomis finally catches up with Michael at the hospital, and sets a trap for him. Clearly, like Charlton Heston at the end of BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, Carpenter wanted to make sure there would "never" be any more sequels.
My favorite story involves the effects guy accidentally using too much explosives. When the fireball was set off... the cameraman, looking thru his viewfinder-- SAW-- what was coming-- and RAN!!! Saved his life. The camera was destroyed. But miraculously, the film survived intact. And on the film, they could actually see the lens MELTING before the camera stopped working. They didn't have to do a 2nd take.