Episode 3, October 14, 2016: Halloween

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Karina joins us to look at, what we consider to be one of the most brilliant serial killers of all time, Michael Myers in Halloween. We also explore the Victorian prank of soaping windows, what it takes to be a fluffer, the concept of a new post-coital hair style, and what a group of clowns together should forever be known as moving forward.

Warning: Spoilers, adult humor, and harsh language ahead. Listen at your own risk.

Show Notes:

2DudeReview - Episode 3: Halloween

I. Introduction
- Discuss site, Twitter, etc.

II. First Impressions of Halloween

III. Origin & tidbits

- Jamie Lee Curtis first movie and daughter of Psycho Janet Leigh
- Produced on a budget of $300k and grossed $47 million in the US, $70 million worldwide
- Independent film producer Irwin Yablans wanted to "make a picture that had the same impact as The Exorcist."
- Originally penned The Babysitter Murders and later changed to Halloween after Yablans suggested it be set on Halloween night. The original script had the events taking place over a series of days.
- Carpenter received $10k for directing, writing, and composing the music and retained 10% of the films profits
- Because of the low budget props were crafted or bought cheap. The Captian Kirk mask was $1.98. They widened the eye holes and spray painted it a bluish white. The idea was to make him faceless and humorless, inhuman. Many actors wore their own clothes and Curtis' wardrobe was bout at JC Penney.
- Also, since everything was on the cheap, filimng took place over 20 days in the Spring of '78 in South Pasadena, CA. The Myers house was abandoned and owned by a church. The two houses featured were near Sunset Boulevard. Local families dressed their children in Halloween costumes for the trick-or-treat scenes.
- The dark light is because they couldn't afford more lights.
- They had a hard time finding pumpkins in Spring and they used painted and artifical leaves that they had to reuse for multiple scenes. Those are the only indication that it is Fall.
- Writing took about 10 days and the creative control were Carpenter and Debra Hill's (Carpenter's girlfriend who he wanted to be producer). Much of the plot came from Celtic traditions such as the festival of Samhain (that Halloween was the night where the sould are let out to wreak havor on the living).
- The story came from an experience Carpenter had in college exploring a psychiatric hospital where he met a child who stared at him with "a look of evil."
- In the script the killer is refered to as the Shape. That was used in the Salem Witch Trials to describe spirits harming another person.
- Debra Hill wrote most of the female characters dialogue (like totally wrote it...totally) and Carpenter was in charge of Loomis' speeches on Myers.
- Speaking of Debra Hill, she is the hands of the six-year old Michael Myers in the beginning. That is why Michael's nails look manicured.
- Haddonfield, Illinois (doesn't exist) was named after Hill's hometown of Haddonfield, New Jersey. The street names were taken from Carpenter's hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- Laurie Strode was the name of Carpetener's ex-girlfriend and Michale Myers was the name of a producer Yablans knew. Carpenter pays homage to Hitchcock naming Tommy Doyle after Let. Thomas Doyle from Rear Window and Looms from Sam Loomis from Psycho.
- Donald Pleasence was the only veteran actor and received $20k. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee both turned down the part of Loomis because of the low pay (Lee told Carpenter later declining the role was his biggest career mistake).
- Carpenter originally wanted the part of Laurie to be Anne Lockhart (daughter of Lassie's June Lockhart but she was busy. He decided on Curtis because she was daughter to Janet Leigh and he thought that would be good publicity. Carpenter considered her hiring as the ultimate tribute to Hitchcock.
- Curtis was the only actual teenager of the female leads.
- The movie was filmed out of sequence so Carpenter created a fear meter for Curtis sho she would know how scared she should be in each scene.
- The role of Annie (who seemed to hate her friend Laurie) was played by Nancy Kyes and happened to be dating the art director
- PJ Soles was in Carrie and thought to have the aura of a teenage girl in the 70s. Totally.
- There was very little gore and they wanted the audience to fear what they think they see more than it being obvious (this was adopted from Hitchcock in Psycho). This is referred to as "film startle" where the antagonist creeps up on a person.
- People swear they see a disfigured face when the mask is pulled off but that is just actor Tony Moran with a small knife wound. Poor guy. Carpenter cites this as evidence of the power of suggestion.
- How is it Michal can drive is never explained.
- They needed a car that looked like a government vehicle so they went and rented the station wagon we see. The rental company had no idea it was in the film.
- The stabbing noises is a knife stabbing a watermelon.
- It took Carpenter three days to compose the score.
- NBC bought the writes and it aired in 1981. A few scenes were filmed while making Halloween 2 so that the movie could fit the two-hour time slot.
- Some considered the movie (and its genre) as mysoginistic saying character's such as Laurie escape not due to planning or resourcefulness but luck. In the end, it is Loomis who rescues Laurie. Others say that pre-Laurie women were helpless victims and need to be rescued whereas Laurie is truimphant in the end
- Also, some socielogical views are places on the absence of parents, pre-marital sex (and its danger) equating sex with violence. There are theories as well that suburbia is part of the ideology and that white flight movements do not shield children from danger.
- Carpenter dismissed all of this and said was a horror movie. Both Carpenter and Hill are adament that they didn't mean to depict viriginity as a way to defeat death. The teens that died were too busy getting laid to notice the killer.

IV. Our notes on Halloween

V. Mention next film, Poltergeist, plus reiterate the Web site and social media feeds

VI. Final Grade of A-F

Chad's Grade: B-
Brian's Grade: A
Karina's Grade: A