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Halloween

USA 1978
produced by
Debra Hill, Moustapha Akkad (executive), Irwin Yablans (executive) for Compass International, Falcon Films
directed by John Carpenter
starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis (= Nancy Kyes), P.J.Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Tony Moran, Nancy Stephens, Arthur Malet, Mickey Yablans, Brent Le Page, Adam Hollander, Robert Phalen, Will Sandin, Sandy Johnson, David Kyle, Peter Griffith, Nick Castle
written by John Carpenter, Debra Hill, music by John Carpenter

Halloween, Michael Myers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Aged 6, young Michael Myers (Will Sandin) slashes his own teenage sister with a kitchen knife after she had sex. He is immediately admitted to the loonie bin.

17 years later, Myers (now played by Tony Moran) breaks out of the loonie bin and decides to head back to his hometown, to pick up where he left off, meaning killing teenagers, preferably after they had sex. And what do you know, tonight is Halloween, just like it was 17 years ago, when young Michael killed his sis.

Soon enough, Michael has picked out a few suitable victims for his cause, Annie (Nancy Loomis), who rather thinks about ways of meeting with her boyfriend than taking her babysitting seriously, her best friend Lynda (P.J.Soles), who just seems to be thinking about good spots to screw with her boyfriend Bob (John Michael Graham), and Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), the highschool virgin and good babysitter, whe doesn't only look after Tommy (Brian Andrews), the boy she's supposed to babysit, but also Lindsey (Kyle Richards), who was actually Annie's responsibility ...

Of course, Michael Myers has little problems slaughtering Annie, Lynda and Bob, who are way too preoccupied with sex to notice there's akiller around, but with Laurie it's a different matter entirely, she is capable to take care of Lindsey & Tommy and at the same time run, hide and fight back ... but in the end it's Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasence), the only one who actually understands Myers because he was his doctor and who has been tracking him down from the loonie bin, who gets the honour of shooting Myers dead, just as he prepares to attack Laurie for the umpteenth time. However, when Loomis and Laurie look out of the window Michael has fallen out of onto the hard pavement, his body full of bullets, Michael's body is gone ...

 

A bare-to-the-bones horror thriller, and taken by its story's merits a pretty stupid one ... but John Carpenter's expertise as a suspense director makes this one worthwhile nevertheless. Carpenter shows his mastery in giving daylight shots of your average suburbia (not exactly the most threatening place) a menacing, agoraphobic atmosphere and fills the weak storyline with tons and tons of suspense (without ever retreating to clumsily quote Alfred Hitchcock). And Carpenter's own minimalistic soundtrack only helps in giving the film its unique atmosphere.

Recommended (even though I think most of you ahve already seen it).

 

By the way, this film is credited with having started the stalk-and-slash cycle of the late 1970's/early 1980's, a cycle of films that more or less follow the same plotline but never again managed to reach the cinematic heights of Halloween. The cycle's most prominent film might be Friday the 13th, also from 1978.

That said, Halloween was hardly the first film to follow the storyline of teens being bumped off by an unknown killer, earlier examples include Teen-Age Strangler from 1965 and Black Christmas from 1974. But of course, the influences for Halloween can be traced to even further back, to Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), the Italian giallo films, the films of Mario Bava, Hitchcock's Psycho from 1960, Robert Siodmak's The Spiral Staircase from 1946, the old dark house movies of the 1930's, ... - none of which of course makes Halloween a less remarkable film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD