Perhaps the most influential and successful
independent film ever made, HALLOWEEN is the movie that put director
John Carpenter on the map as a viable filmmaker. An exercise in
simple, pure horror, HALLOWEEN takes us into the world of a mad
killer, Michael Myers, who at a very young age stabbed his older
sister to death. Locked away for many years in a mental hospital
Michael escapes one night and returns to his home to continue his
killing spree. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role, plays the
resourceful babysitter who is chased by the killer on Halloween
night. Produced for very little money and a tight shooting schedule,
HALLOWEEN was a stunning success when it was released. Written by
John Carpenter and his longtime producer Debra Hill, the film set
both their careers on fire, with both of them working together many
times over the next 25 years. The film also made a star out of Jamie
Lee Curtis and turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful
genre. HALLOWEEN has been copied, parodied and even turned into a
franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best
of the bunch. HALLOWEEN was John Carpenter's first foray into
horror, and remains the standard to which all other modern horror
films are measured.
Theatrical release: October 25, 1978.
HALLOWEEN was the film debut for actress Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter
of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis.
HALLOWEEN includes a clip of the Howard Hawks-Christian Nyby
classic, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. Years later, director John
Carpenter would remake that film as THE THING.
Sam Loomis, the character played by Donald Pleasence, is also the
name of Janet Leigh's boyfriend in PSYCHO.
The film was shot in spring, when the leaves were not in color, so
fake leaves were used and, to accommodate the meager budget, reused.
The mask that Michael Myers wears is a William Shatner mask, only
sprayed white to make it look more creepy.
The film's score is credited to "The Bowling Green
Philharmonic," which was actually John Carpenter and a group of
musician friends. Carpenter would go on to compose the music,
usually keyboard-based, for most of his other films.
"...Rarely have the remoter corners of the
Panavision frame been used to such good effect, as shifting volumes
of darkness and light reveal the ineluctable presence of a sinister
The film which ushered in the modern age of horror
stands well above its many sequels and clones because John
Carpenter's taut direction makes it truly scary. Jamie Lee Curtis,
in her debut role, plays a babysitter who must protect herself from
the deadly Michael Myers, a mental institution escapee who killed
his sister on Halloween fifteen years earlier. Called "the most
successful independent motion picture of all time," HALLOWEEN
is also one of most frightening films ever made.
"Was that the bogeyman?"--Laurie (Jamie
Lee Curtis), after Michael is shot off a balcony
"As a matter of fact...it was."--Dr. Loomis (Donald
The night HE came home.
"...Carpenter has a good feel for timing the
thrills and occasionally adds an offbeat, almost perverse sense of
humor, which works..."
"...Carpenter's slasher is the original
Disc #1: Theatrical Version
Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
Additional Release Material:
Audio Commentary -
1. John Carpenter - Director, Jamie Lee Curtis - Star, and
Debra Hill - Producer
Disc #2: Supplementary Material
Additional Release Material:
1. ON LOCATION: 25 YEARS LATER
1. HALLOWEEN: A CUT ABOVE THE REST (87 min.)
1. Original Theatrical Trailer
2. TV Spots
3. Radio Spots