Thirty years ago was the night HE came home!
Thirty years ago, on October 25, 1978, horror films changed forever. A very young John Carpenter, whose previous films were “Dark Star” and “Assault on Precinct 13”, made a low budget, independent film which many critics credit as the film which inspired many years of slasher films to come. Although it can be argued that “Halloween” is originally inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. It launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis (a.k.a. “Scream Queen” during her early horror film days).
Because I was only eleven years-old when the film came out and was not permitted by my parents to see horror movies, I would not discover “Halloween” until 1980 when I was able to catch bits and pieces of its edited version on NBC-TV. In fact, it was not until college that I would finally see the entire uncut and unedited version on VHS. To this day, I have (sadly) never seen “Halloween” on screen.
Here are some “Halloween” movie facts that may interest you:
- The original draft of the screenplay was titled “The Babysitter Murders”.
- It was produced on a budget of $325,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States.
- Although the film takes place in Illinois, it was filmed in South Pasadena, California.
- Twelve minute of extra filmed footage were added to the film’s 1980 NBC television premiere to help fit it into the designated two hour time slot.
- John Carpenter pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock with two character names: Tommy Doyle is named after detective Thomas Doyle in “Rear Window” and Dr. Loomis is named after Sam Loomis in “Psycho”.
- The character of Michael Myers (played by Nick Castle) was billed in the end credits as “The Shape”.
- As well as director, John Carpenter also scored the film’s soundtrack.
- Carpenter includes scenes from RKO’s “The Thing” in his film, which he would later remake in 1982 with Kurt Russell.
- Although the film performed well with little advertising, the first real positive review came from film critic Tom Allen of the Village Voice. Following his review, other critics took positive notice.
- The film spawned (too) many sequels and a Rob Zombie remake in 2007. Only “Halloween II” (1981) was written by Carpenter.
And so, with all of this said, I can only say to you now…happy HALLOWEEN!