Lock your doors. Lock your windows

animated pumpkin In 1978, Jamie Lee Curtis was largely unknown to the movie-going public. The daughter of Tony Curtis (star of 1968's The Boston Strangler) and Janet Leigh (who says she's never been comfortable in a shower since being Norman's victim in Hitchcock's movie, Psycho), Jamie Lee Curtis became an overnight star, the "scream queen," with Halloween. Director John Carpenter even cast mother and daughter together the following year in his thriller, The Fog.
The year after that, Jamie Lee Curtis starred in Terror Train (1980), in which a killer on a chartered trip begins killing costumed college frat members on a Halloween or Graduation night train ride, and putting on each victim's costume to go after the next one. Filmed by John Alcott (A Clockwork Orange) in Canada. Her other movies included the popular Trading Places (street hustler Eddie Murphy & rich invester Dan Aykroyd are forced to switch places, with Curtis as a prostitute friend with a heart of gold), and Money On The Side (1982 TV-movie drama) in which "lonely bitter housewives" (Curtis, Karen Valentine & Linda Purl) turn to prostitution.

Halloween (1978)

Fifteen years ago tonight, a local boy almost wiped out his entire family. And tonight, they say he'll be back. Meanwhile, a baby sitter (Curtis) prepares to put her two young charges to bed. Locked away for years in a mental hospital, the killer escapes and returns to his home to continue his killing spree. When the killing starts, she sends the kids to safety next door video clip, then hides in a closet with slats so she can see him coming into the room. Which he does.
Produced for very little money and a tight shooting schedule, HALLOWEEN was a stunning success when it was released. Cowritten by John Carpenter and his longtime producer Debra Hill, the film set both their careers on fire, working together many times over the next 25 years. The film also turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. HALLOWEEN has been copied, parodied and 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.
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. Unlike most slasher movies that followed, the body count is fairly low in this one.

Curtis finally turns on her attacker, with help from Michael's psychiatrist (Donald Pleasence). Stabbed and shot, he's finally killed and knocked out of a second-story window by the gunshots (see quotes section below). But when they look out, no one's on the ground...

In addition to the movie, Carpenter also wrote the Halloween themesong and background music. Blue Oyster Cult wrote The Reaper themesong for the first movie.
A Reviewer said: "...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 something..."

Halloween II (1981)

Set later the same night (picking up right where the last film ended), this sequel begins as Dr. Loomis pumps evil Mike Myers full of lead, then watches helplessly as the maniac killer stands up again and runs away. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the teenager last terrorized by Myers, is taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance to recover from her traumatic ordeal. Fortunately, her wounds from the earlier movie aren't that bad, because the killer (eventually revealed to be her brother Michael Myers, she was the sole survivor 15 years ago) has followed her to the hospital, where he proceeds to kill off staff members. Psychiatrist Donald Pleasence eventually shows up and shoots him some more, but is he really dead this time? Joe Bob loved the Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream song in the final segment. Movie script co-written by Carpenter.
MonsterVision review & host segments for Halloween 2

Halloween III, Season of the Witch (1983)

No relation to the first two, with a different story, cast and director. Co-producer John Carpenter's Season of the Witch was intended as a separate, stand-alone movie, but the studio decided it would sell better with Halloween 3 preceeding the title. Dan O'Herlihy of the RoboCop movies plays a Satanist who plans to use television to murder millions of children with a Halloween broadcast containing subliminal messages. The critics were not kind to this movie. Carpenter did not direct, or write the story or script, just the new music, including the hilarious tv commercial jingle parody "Silver Shamrock."
Click here for thoughts about Halloween 3 and 4 by the artist formerly known as the host of Monstervision, and of course his Drive-In Totals

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Sequel to Halloween 2 - While being moved from a maximum security prison for the criminally insane, Michael regains consciousness and escapes. The trail of carnage leads Dr. Loomis, the psychiatrist all too familiar with Michael's case, to a small town that was the scene of Michael's crimes in the past. Here, we meet Michael's niece (Danielle Harris), who Michael also wants to kill, starting a new trilogy without Jamie Lee Curtis as the subject of Michael's homicidal attention. John Carpenter had no involvement in these three, instead making "They Live" (1988). Note: the next movie description gives away what happens to Myers at the end of this one.
Click here for thoughts about Halloween 3 and 4 by the artist formerly known as the host of Monstervision, and of course his Drive-In Totals

Halloween 5 (1989)

When the town police ignore his warnings that the madman Michael Myers has escaped his mineshaft tomb, Dr. Loomis tries to persuade Myers' niece to help him trap the evil killer who has embarked on a bloody rampage through the town.
Halloween 5 review by Joe Bob Briggs

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Six years after being presumed dead in a fire, and just as the town prepares to finally celebrate Halloween again, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield to continue his reign of terror, pursued as ever by obsessed psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Pleasance). Meanwhile, a new family has moved into the old home of serial killer Michael Myers (didn't they wonder why it was so cheap?) and the blood-letting resumes. Psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, who knows Michael better than anyone, is once again called upon to investigate the killings. By now, niece Harris has a baby of her own. Michael is now in league with the Druids (perhaps the studio wanted a link to Halloween 3), but she and baby escape the catacombs, so Michael turns his blind rage on the new family that has moved into his old house. Final Halloween movie with Donald Pleasance. Carpenter had no involvement with this one either, making instead "Village of the Damned" (1995)

Halloween H20 (1998)

Now the headmistress of a Northern California private school, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers. That horror becomes a reality when he suddenly reappears with a vengeance (after a relentless day-and-a-half cross country trek from Illinois, where he killed three more people and stole a victim's car), threatening the lives of Laurie's rebellious son, his girlfriend, and the school security guard. It's up to Laurie to conquer her internal demons and put evil in its place once and for all. A conveniently placed ax helps. The title refers to the 20th anniversary, not H20

Halloween Resurrection (Halloween 8)

This summer, evil comes home: news about Halloween 8 (in 2002), the long-delayed sequel. Jamie Lee Curtis would have at least a cameo and is said to be considering a larger role in Halloween sequels. She told Access Hollywood that her entire career traces back to the Halloween movies. The shadowy Michael Myers is now refered to as "the shape." Release date July, 2002. Rumor has it that Halloween 9 will have Myers going after Jason of the Friday the 13th movies, but who believes rumors? Then again, Jason already went up against Freddy (Robert Englund...there will always be an Englund). By the way, Halloween 8 was up against the 3rd "Austin Powers" movie in 2002, starring comic/actor Mike Myers. Click here if you don't think Canadians are funny
On 12-10-02, it was also released on DVD:
"Michael Myers once again comes home in Halloween Resurrection, featuring Busta Rhymes kicking some serious Myers ass. This special edition includes a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround tracks, audio commentary and deleted scenes, never-before-seen "Dangertainment" video-cam footage shot by the actors, and the trailer. (While early reports indicated that the "Dangertainment" footage would be accessible during the film via the multi-angle function, no details have yet been released, but stay tuned). Director Rick Rosenthal has already clued us in that several cut scenes will most likely be included. Rosenthal also says that they're working to bring a multiple angle format to the disc to allow you to view the entire film directly through the cast's cameras. In other words, you'll be able to experience Dangertainment first hand, much like the character of Myles did in the movie, choosing whichever point-of-view you wish."
trailer with video clips from the movie

Halloween Trivia

He's somewhere outside * 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.
* After casting all the other roles with unknown actors, only $20,000 was left in the budget for "Halloween" and the producer wanted a name actor to play Dr. Loomis. The role was offered to Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, but both turned it down. The daughter of Donald Pleasance loved Carpenter's second film (about a remote police station under seige) and begged him to accept the role.
Since the $20,000 was for just one week's work, all of the scenes with Pleasance in them were shot back-to-back in one week.
* Actor Donald Pleasance died after the Halloween 6 was completed, the film is dedicated to him.
* Horror fans: watch for the car that Curtis' real life mom, Janet Leigh, drives in Halloween H20 -- does it look familiar?
* Anne Lockhart, who later played the good witch who helps young Harry Potter in "Troll" (1986), was offered the role of Laurie, but was unavailable. MonsterVision host segments for Troll
* Mike Myers was a completely fictional name in the first Halloween movie. Since then, a comic/actor named Mike Myers "graduated" from Saturday Night Live to do movies including the horror spoof So I Married An Ax Murderer (1993) which shows up occasionally on Comedy Central channel

Halloween Quotes

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 Pleasence)
Dr. Loomis audio clips (fan remix)
(send in your favorite quotes)

Adrienne Barbeau

is currently appearing in the HBO tv-series "Carnivale" as the carny's snake dancer, and loves it. "I found a woman near here who actually teaches snake dancing in her home. She has appeared in "The Fog", "Swamp Thing", and co-starred with Bill Maher as an Amazon in "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death." Of the latter she says, "Actually, I thought that movie was hilarious, but sometimes you take jobs because your basement is flooded." She currently has twin sons with husband Billy Van Zandt, and an older son with ex-husband John Carpenter. She was born 6-11-45 and gave birth to the twins at age 51 according to Zap2it.com

The Halloween movies are available on video and DVD

John Carpenter and Debra Hill continued their partnership through Halloween 9 (2005), when she died of cancer

Visit Boris Karloff, he's lonely

Or Kolchak, the Night Stalker

More links to follow: Universal Horror (the studio), Donald Pleasance bio

More Halloween movies including clips of the very first one, and The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Jamie Lee Curtis movies

Lock your doors & windows

Click here to hear the Halloween-Mix Midi again

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Host segments now available for the Monstervision marathon of
Friday the 13th, Parts 1,2,3,5 & 6
Not to be confused with the Friday the 13th tv-series
Elvira, "I'm Not A Witch, I'm You"

    Jamie Lee Curtis movies seen previously, in 2007:
Channel   Date & Time        Title  
FX     Sat, Dec 1, 12:00 PM Christmas with the Kranks  
FAMILY Mon, Dec 3, 9:00 PM Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys 
FMC Tue, Dec 4, 7:30 PM True Lies  
FMC Wed, Dec 5, 12:30 AM True Lies  
AMC Wed, Dec 5, 9:30 AM Daddy and Them  
AMC Thu, Dec 6, 12:30 AM Daddy and Them  
AMC Thu, Dec 6, 5:00 PM The Fog  
IFC Thu, Dec 6, 9:00 PM Halloween  
IFC Fri, Dec 7, 2:30 AM Halloween  
AMC Sat, Dec 8, 12:30 AM The Fog  
FMC Sun, Dec 9, 2:00 AM Terror Train  
DISNEY Sun, Dec 9, 8:00 PM Freaky Friday 
ENCORE Tue, Dec 11, 2:05 PM The Fog  
ENCORE Tue, Dec 11, 10:00 PM The Fog 
   Additional John Carpenter movies

   Additional Janet Leigh movies
Channel   Date & Time      Title  
AMC Thu, Dec 6,  5:00 PM The Fog  
AMC Sat, Dec 8, 12:30 AM The Fog  
TCM Sat, Dec 8,  6:00 AM Little Women  
AMC Wed, Dec 12, 6:15 AM Prince Valiant  
LMN Wed, Dec 12, 8:00 PM In My Sister's Shadow  
LMN Thu, Dec 13, 12:42 PM In My Sister's Shadow 
     Past broadcasts, alphabetically

Act of Violence (1948, Janet Leigh, a businessman is menaced by a someone with a grudge)
(not currently scheduled)

Blue Steel (Curtis as cop, trailing the 44 Magnum Killer)
Thu  Sep  6  04:05A on Encore
Fri  Sep 28  04:50P & 11:40P on Action
Thu, Oct 18, 12:05 AM on Encore  

Christmas with the Kranks by John Grisham (comedy, starring Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Tim Allen)
Wed  Jul 25  08:40A & 7:30P on Starz
Mon  Jul 30  10:00A & 6:00P on Wam!
Fri  Aug  3  08:30A, 3:10P & 10:00P on Starz Kids and Family

Dracula (1979, Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence)
Tue  Aug  7  04:40A on Thrillermax

Drowning Mona (lawman investigates murder of a reviled woman in farcical ensemble piece)
Wed  Aug  8  04:50A on Starz Edge
Fri  Aug 10  11:35A, 8:00P & 2:30A on Starz Comedy
Fri  Sep 28  11:00A, 9:50P & 6:00A on Mystery
Fri  Sep 28  12:00P & 10:50P on Movie Plex

A Fish Called Wanda (John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin)
Tue  May 22  01:00P on WE

John Carpenter's The Fog (1980), see also John Carpenter page
Feb 10, 2007 on SciFi Channel

Forever Young (frozen 1930s pilot Mel Gibson wakes up in 1992, Jamie Lee Curtis)
Thu  Apr  5  10:15A on HBO

Freaky Friday (2003 remake, mother & daughter switch bodies)
Sat  Sep 22  12:00P on Disney Channel

The Great Escape (1963, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn)
Thu  Aug  9  05:00A on Movie Plex

Sat  Oct  6   9pm & 2am EST on Independent Film Channel
Fri, Oct 12,  9:15pm EST on Independent Film Channel

Halloween 2
October various times on American Movie Classics

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
October various times on American Movie Classics

Halloween 5
October various times on American Movie Classics

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
(not currently scheduled)

Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later (1998, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh)
Tue  June 12  11:30P on Showtime
Sat  June 23  10:00P on Showtime Beyond
Sun  July 1  01:00A on Showtime #2
Mon  July 2  08:30P on Mystery
Sat  Jul 14  01:30A on The Movie Channel
Wed  Aug  1  03:40P on Starz in Black
Wed  Aug  1  08:00P on Flix Movie Channel

House Arrest (1996 comedy)
June, 2006   07:10A on Cinemax

My Girl (1991, Dan Aykroyd as the mortician, Jamie Lee Curtis)
Tue  Feb  6  07:45A & 8pm on Encore Drama Channel
Tue  Feb 27  07:20A on Showtime Women
Sun  Oct  7  10:00A on Telemundo

My Girl 2 (1993, same cast)
(not currently scheduled)

Night of the Generals (WW2 murder mystery, Donald Pleasence)
Thu  Aug  2  2:30/5:30P EST on Turner Classic Movies

Terror Train (1980, Jamie Lee Curtis)
Wed  Sep 26  11:30pm/2:30am EST on Fox Movie Channel

Trading Places (Curtis, Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy)
Sun  Sep 23  02:30P on Comedy Central

True Lies (1994, Jamie Lee Curtis as spy Schwarzenegger's wife)
Thu  Oct  4  7:30pm & 12am EST on Fox Movie Channel
Mon, Oct 15, 8pm & 1am EST on Fox Movie Channel

Virus (1999)
(not currently scheduled)

You Only Live Twice (1967, Donald Pleasence as James Bond villain in hollow mountain)
(not currently scheduled)

Backstory: Halloween (2002, 60 min)
A look at the making of Halloween (1978) inc. film clips and interviews
Wed  May 30  05:00A on American Movie Classics

Biography: Jamie Lee Curtis (60 min, inc. talk with her mother Janet Leigh)
Oct 28, 2006  10:00A on Arts & Entertainment

Biography: Janet Leigh (60 min, 2003)
Feb  6, 2006  09:00A & 3:00P on Biography Channel

On the Set: Christmas with the Kranks (2004, dir. by Chris Columbus. 20 min)
(not currently scheduled)

Intimate Portrait (2000) Jamie Lee Curtis 
Jan, 2006  on Lifetime Real Women
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Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Watch for Janet Leigh near end of this trailer

Back to Monstervision or Scifans

What to do when zombies attack (free online 1950s spoof)

By the way, just until midnight

A guest at the Bates Motel has a complaint. Do you:
A) Fix the problem
B) Ignore the complaint
C) Hack her to death with a knife
You'd be surprised how many people answer "C"
Psycho movie page

Note: the above is in javascript. If you can't see javascript get new glasses.


Note: Halloween audio clips above are from the www.halloweenmovies.com/site/sounds.htm page, March 2001 (if it's still there)
The last time I checked Halloween movies.com it was gone, replaced by this Dead page graphic

Paul Harvey says the most popular Halloween masks in 2008 were:
Indiana Jones
The Joker
The Hulk
Paul Harvey said for a really scary costume go as a financial expert

Michael returned in a remake of Halloween on August 31, 2007

MonsterVision's Joe Bob Briggs reviews Sleepaway Camp 2 (15 dead bodies, one pathetic panty-raid)

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas is set in Halloweentown. Halloweentown 4: Witch University came out October, 2006, with Debbie Reynolds and that guy from HBO's Deadwood. As Count Floyd would say, "Ooooooooo, that's scary!"

Happy Halloween from HotForWords

Wes Craven's image for Google
Seen on an actual ambulance report: "Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Los Angeles."

Text & layout Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. Mantenga sus cuchillos afilados!