Every year we have a tradition in the Forto house where we celebrate the greatest month of the year, October, with scare your socks off, hide under the covers, turn on all the lights, sleep with one eye open, fright fest, movie marathon everynight of the month! We call it 31 Days of Horror.
The 31 Days of Horror would not be complete without watching some of the greatest slasher films ever made. The first of which is the original 1978 version of Halloween directed by John Carpenter. Made for a mere 320,000 dollars (has grossed over 47 million to date). The original script was called The Babysitter Murders and was supposed to occur over several days but the production budget limited it to just one day, hence Halloween. In fact half of the budget was spent on cameras for the film!
If you are a Halloween fan I urge you to check out the show: Inside Story: Halloween that airs on Bio. Check your local listings.
The movie is all about the deranged mind of Michael Audrey Myers. According to an additional scene in the extended television version, Michael Myers’ middle name is Audrey. Michael Myers’ full name is never mentioned in the final film. In fact, the only time anybody refers to him by name is in the opening scene.
This was Jamie Lee Curtis’ first feature film. Thus the title of ‘Scream Queen’ was born!
As the movie was actually shot in early spring in southern California (as opposed to Illinois in late October), the crew had to buy paper leaves from a decorator and paint them in the desired autumn colors, then scatter them in the filming locations. To save money, after a scene was filmed, the leaves were collected and reused. However, as Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter note on the DVD audio commentary, the trees are quite full and green and even some palm trees can be seen, despite that in Illinois in October, the leaves would probably be mostly gone and there would be no palm trees.
As the film was made in spring, the crew had huge difficulty in procuring pumpkins.
Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Star Trek (1966) William Shatner mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes. Shatneradmitted that for years he had no idea his likeness was used for this film. It was only during an interview that someone mentioned his mask was being used. He has since stated that he is honored by this gesture.
When Michael breaks the car window behind the nurse’s head you can see a wrench tied to his hand.
When Michael goes to the school and gets in the car to follow Tommy, the passenger side window is no longer smashed from the previous night’s attack on the nurse.
Laurie’s hair changes from curly to straight in almost every scene.
Tommy meets up with Laurie at the corner to walk to school, yet to get to Tommy’s house requires a car ride across town.
Annie tells Laurie that she will pick her up at 6:30. When she does, it is full daylight, which is not the case anywhere in Illinois on October 31. And even though it is a small town, it’s full dark when the girls arrive at their destination.
Plot: The year is 1963, the night; Halloween. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Ln. only to discover that a 17 year Judith Myers had been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out just days before Halloween. No one knows nor would wish to find out what would happen on October 31st 1978, besides Myer’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis. He knows Michael is coming back to Haddonfield, but by the time the town realizes it, it’ll be to late for many people.
What is your favorite scary an/or Halloween movie? I would love to hear from you!
- 31 Days of Horror. Day 23: The Devils Rejects (robertforto.com)
- Director John Carpenter’s First Student film CAPTAIN VOYEUR Found (geektyrant.com)