We have a very big anniversary today in the world of horror films... John Carpenter's "Halloween" was released in theaters on this day 40-years ago in 1978! The film spins the chilling tale of Michael Myers, who was committed to a mental hospital for murdering his sister as a child. 15-years later he escapes from the hospital and returns to his hometown to kill again.
The film starred Donald Pleasence (who also played Bond villain, Blofeld in the 1967 James Bond Film "You Only Live Twice") as Dr. Loomis, the psychiatrist who is trying to track down Michael following his escape. 19-year-old Jamie Lee Curtis made her film debut as Laurie Strode, who along with her friends becomes Myers' main targets. The role of Dr. Loomis was offered to both Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars) and Christoper Lee (who interestingly has played the villain in the James Bond, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings franchises,) but both actors turned it down due to the very low salary offered.
Shooting on a shoestring budget of $300,000, Carpenter paid Donald Pleasence $20,000 and Jamie Lee Curtis $8000. The signature mask worn by Myers was a $2 Captain Kirk mask purchased from a nearby costume shop and spray-painted white. Curtis bought all of her costumes herself at J.C. Penny for under $100. With little money to film, the entire project was shot over a span of 20-days.
Despite its budget restrictions the original "Halloween" has become a horror-film classic and would go on to spawn ten more films. The latest installment in the franchise, simply entitled "Halloween," was just released in theaters on October 19th. Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle (one of three different people who played Michael Myers in the 1978 original,) the film is a direct sequel to first installment. It has already grossed $103-million worldwide, making it the most financially successful movie of the entire franchise.
We don't have a ton of film music on on the playlist thus far, so let's go the original 1978 film's soundtrack written by director, John Carpenter. It's the main-title theme from "Halloween" and it's creeping-up behind you now on the 31-Days of Halloween playlist. Happy listening!
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