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 hometown 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 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.
Tommy Lee Wallace - Screenwriter/Director/Editor
Tommy Wallace - Screenwriter/Director/Editor
John Carpenter - Horror Film Director/Composer
John T. Chance - Horror Film Director/Composer
Martin Quartermass - Horror Film Director/Composer
Frank Armitage - Horror Film Director/Composer
David Kyle - American Actor
Donald Pleasence - British Actor
Debra Hill - American producer, screenwriter, director
Nancy Loomis - Supporting Actress/"Fog"
Arthur Malet - Actor/"Toys"
P.J. Soles - American supporting actress, HALLOWEEN (1978)
Craig Stearns - Production Designer
Irwin Yablans - AMERICAN PRODUCER
Dean Cundey - American Director Of Photography
Jamie Lee Curtis - American actress, HALLOWEEN (1978)
Peter Griffith - Actor, HALLOWEEN
Nick Castle - American Director/Screenwriter
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.
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 something..." - 03/01/1979 Sight and Sound, p.128
"...Carpenter has a good feel for timing the thrills and occasionally adds an offbeat, almost perverse sense of humor, which works..." - 10/25/1978 Variety
"...Carpenter's slasher is the original teen-scream flick..." - 01/11/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.37
"...A seminal slasher that gets better with age....Terrifying..." - 12/01/2003 Total Film, p.126
"John Carpenter's perfectly faceted gem of a horror movie..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.12