Halloween Cruelty

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Eleventh Time’s a Charm Too

Oh, no they didn’t! How dare Blumhouse and Universal?! How dare they be so cruel to us?! I mean, c’mon, releasing the poster for the upcoming ‘Halloween’ six months prior to its premier! That’s like showing freshly dug out brains to a zombie, and then eating it yourself, dammit! How are we supposed to deal with that?!…All my hysterical yammering aside, rumors say that this ‘Halloween’ could take us back to its golden age, and rock the horror universe yet again.

Back in 1976, John Carpenter made a not so famous ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ movie, and what differentiates this not-so-famous movie from other movies of the same kind, is that this one has initiated the making of one of the greatest horror franchises in the history of film. Once the film producer Irwin Yablans and financier Moustapha Akkad saw this action flick at the Milan Film Festival, they’ve decided to contact Carpenter and make him a movie proposal he won’t resist. Yablans and Akkad wanted to invest in a movie about a serial killer who stalked babysitters, so Carpenter and Debra Hill drafted a story and called it ‘The Babysitter Murders’. To cut the long story short, script for the first movie about our beloved pale-faced serial killer was written in 10 days, movie itself was made within four weeks on a low $300.000 budget. Legendary Tommy Lee Wallace made Myers’s mask from a Captain Kirk mask bought for $1.98. Wallace widened the eyes a bit and spray-painted the mask, and voila! One of the most iconic looks of the horror genre was made.

Legendary make-up artist Christopher Nelson did his magic with the new mask, and I think most of us can agree that it looks awesome. Nelson adressed the new look and the fact that our beloved horror icon has aged , and he explained: “The film takes place 40 years later, soyou’re not going to have that same mask, it’s not going to be this pristine,beautiful thing that it was in 1978. You have to approach it from that standpoint. I had 40-year-old masks that I studied and looked at how they broke down, how they wrinkled…” Basically, we all know that Nelson is one very meticulous dude who always has some fresh ideas and solutions, and that will only benefit the new ‘Halloween’ sequel..

The movie featured great Donald Pleasence and, then-unknown 19-year-old Jamie Lee Curtis. Pleasene’s role was originally meant for Peter Cushing who turned it down, due to the low salary. That role was than offered to Christopher Lee who rejected it for the same reason as Cushing, but he later said that declining that role was a biggest mistake of his career. Curtis wasn’t the initial choice for her role either, but once the moviemakers learned that she was the daughter of Janet Leigh from ‘Psycho’, they realized that she was the perfect match for the role. The role of the infamous Michael Myers, credited as The Shape at the end of the movie, went to now well-known director, Nick Castle (‘Dennis the Menace’, ‘Major Payne’,’Mr. Wrong’), who was Carpenter’s friend from college. Carpenter, who is also a wizard on the keyboard, created now famous dark and moody musical score, which ultimately became one of the strongest traits of the movie.

‘Halloween’ premiered on October 25, 1978 in Kansas City, Missouri, and continued touring through the cinemas all over the world, grossing the total of $70 million. Once again, just so we’re clear, the budget of the movie was $300.000. This creepy slasher quickly gained a cult of followers, and spawned seven sequels, 2007 Rob Zombie’s remake, and a sequel to the remake.

Aaaand it’s 2018. We are sitting on nails, expecting the eleventh ‘Halloween’ installment to hit the theatres in October, and demons from Blumhouse an Universal are badgering us with awesome posters and leaking rumors. So far, we know that the movie is directed by David Gordon Green (‘Pineapple Express’, ‘The Sitter’, ‘Stringer’), with John Carpenter as a creative consultant and executive producer. After that first, landmark movie, Carpenter hasn’t approached the franchise up untill now, so this is a huge thing for horror genre connoisseurs everywhere. As far as Green is concerned, he hasn’t dabbled in horror prior to this, but that could be a plus, as it will probably allow him to have a fresh and untainted vision. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle will be reprising their famous roles, and that just makes me dizzy with anticipation.  Green crafted the story with his buddy and frequent collaborator Danny McBride, and it appears that the new plot will be a continuation of the events in the original 1978 film, which is fine by me. I’ve seen enough senseless sequels in these past two decades to last me a lifetime. I’m ready for a clean-ish slate approach to all of the horror franchises out there.

 

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