31 Things You Didn’t Know About The Halloween Movies
For nearly four decades, horror fans have made it an annual Halloween ritual to revisit movies from the franchise named after that frightful occasion. After all those years spent scrutinizing Michael Myers’ every misguided move, you may think you know the series inside out, but how well do you know the story behind the movies?
As October winds to a close and we hold our breath for the big day, it’s time to reflect on the deep dark secrets that made these terrifying (and occasionally ridiculous) movies a reality. Here are 31 things you probably didn’t know about Halloween: one for every day in the franchise’s signature month.
1. John Carpenter started writing the original film as a sequel to Canadian slasher film, Black Christmas.
2. The original script was set over several days and had a different title: The Babysitter Murders.
3. Donald Pleasance told Carpenter that he accepted the role of Loomis because his daughter loved the score for the director’s previous film, Assault on Precinct 13.
4. Of the female teenagers in the film, Jamie Lee Curtis was the only real teen.
5. Carpenter friend Nick Castle was chosen to play Michael Myers while hanging out on the set watching the shoot.
6. Carpenter had a secret for scaring people with Michael Myers: stop them from identifying with the character in any way.
7. Carpenter’s iconic score was composed in just four days.
Halloween II (1981)
8. In writing the script for Halloween II, Carpenter and Debra Hill lifted several ideas from Curtis Richards’ novelization of the original.
9. In order to keep her hair consistent with the first film, Jamie Lee Curtis wore a wig throughout the shoot.
10. Some fans have criticized director Rick Rosenthal for the film’s brutal violence, but most of the gore was shot by Carpenter—against Rosenthal’s wishes.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
11. The original director of Halloween III: Season of the Witch was Joe Dante, who was fresh off The Howling and about to direct Gremlins.
12. The film is set in Santa Mira, the same fictional California town that provided the setting for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).
13. The voice in the Silver Shamrock commercials is provided by Halloween III writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
14. With a writer’s strike about to begin, Alan B. McElroy raced to write the script in just 11 days.
15. Continuing in the tradition of Halloween II, producers added extra violence in post-production—with the help of makeup artist John Carl Buechler.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
16. During a fight scene between Loomis and Michael Myers, Donald Pleasance broke actor Don Shanks’s nose.
17. During production, the film was known as Halloween 5: And Things Go Bump in the Night.
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
18. Original title Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers survived until the last possible minute, even appearing in several trailers for the film.
19. Producers wanted to bring back Halloween and Halloween II actor Brian Andrews (Tommy Doyle), but they couldn’t find him, so they went with… Paul Rudd.
20. Donald Pleasance’s role in the film shrunk because he died during post-production, rendering him unavailable for re-shoots.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
21. John Carpenter was seriously considered to direct Halloween H20, but he took himself out of the running by demanding a wildly unrealistic salary: $10 million.
22. This was Janet Leigh’s first film since 1980’s The Fog, which was directed by Carpenter and also co-starred her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis.
23. After several weeks of shooting, director Steve Miner decided to change Michael Myers’ mask, forcing him to update earlier shots using CGI. The results are clearly questionable.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
24. Most of Halloween: Resurrection was shot in Vancouver.
25. Actress Bianca Kajlich needed some vocal backup in post-production, as she is unable to scream.
26. When extensive re-shoots became necessary, the film’s Halloween-friendly fall release was moved to July.
Halloween (2007) / Halloween II (2009)
27. Before hiring Rob Zombie to direct the Halloween remake, Dimension Films planned to make a prequel entitled Halloween: The Missing Years.
28. Zombie originally wanted to make a prequel and a remake, but Dimension resisted, forcing him to combine these in a single film.
29. Speaking in 2016, Carpenter called Zombie a “piece of sh*t” for unfairly suggesting that he was cold and unsupportive.
30. John Carpenter approved writer Danny McBride and co-writer/director David Gordon Green for the latest Halloween movie, explaining that their pitch blew him away.
31. Asked if he might play Michael Myers in the new film, McBride set the record straight: “Oh god, no. Mike’s supposed to be a terrifying creeper with good posture, not Homer Simpson!”
Not really a mysterious fact but still worth noting: the new Halloween movie hits theatres in October 2018. You can find the latest updates on that project here.