Halloween (1978 franchise)

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Scene from Halloween (1978 franchise)...
  • Halloween (1978)
  • The Fog (1980 film)
  • Halloween II (1981)
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Summary

"The night he came home. Just when you thought it was safe to go trick or treating... Now the earth will run with blood again!" Originally envisioned as an anthology horror series with different stories involving Halloween, the first three films, created and produced by Debra Hill and John Carpenter, would touch on elements of cosmic horror, before failure of the ambitious third film caused the series to part ways with Hill and Carpenter and devolve into the more generic masked-killer franchise it is remembered as today.

Details

  • Release Date: 1978-1982 (for the original three films)
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Anthology
  • Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, et.al.
  • Director: John Carpenter; Rick Rosenthal; Tommy Lee Wallace
  • Writer: Debra Hill and John Carpenter
  • Producer/Production Co: Debra Hill and John Carpenter, Compass International Pictures, Falcon International Productions, Dino De Laurentiis Company, Universal Pictures
  • View Trailer: (link), (link), (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Violence, Profanity, Adult Content, brief Nudity)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

"Season of the Witch" involves a cult that uses a mix of magic and technology to perform a massive sacrifice to the Old Gods. The first two films hint that something alien, "The Shape" or "It", has possessed young Michael Myers' body, and nothing remains of the boy's own personality; characters in the film comment on how it shouldn't be possible for a boy who has spent his life catatonic in a mental hospital to know how to drive a car, for example, while Dr. Loomis' raving description of "It" crosses the line of scientific objectivity into superstitious and irrational terror; by the surprise ending of the first film, it was already evident that "The Shape" could not be killed in any conventional sense.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

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Synopsis

The original Halloween tells the story of Michael Myers as he stalks and kills teenage babysitters on Halloween night. The film begins with six-year-old Michael killing his teenage sister Judith on Halloween 1963 in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. He is subsequently hospitalized at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Fifteen years later, Michael escapes and returns to his hometown where he stalks Laurie Strode and her friends as they babysit. The film ends with Michael being shot six times by his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis. In The Fog, strange things begin to occurs as a tiny California coastal town prepares to commemorate its centenary: inanimate objects spring eerily to life; Rev. Malone stumbles upon a dark secret about the town's founding; radio announcer Stevie witnesses a mystical fire; and hitchhiker Elizabeth discovers the mutilated corpse of a fisherman; then, a mysterious iridescent fog descends upon the village, and more people start to die. Halloween II picks up where the events of Halloween left off: Michael's body is missing from the front lawn, where he fell when Loomis shot him. Michael follows Laurie to the local hospital, killing everyone who gets between him and Laurie. The story reveals that Laurie is actually Michael's sister: she was given up for adoption as an infant. Michael corners Loomis and Laurie in an operating room, where Loomis causes an explosion as Laurie escapes. Michael, engulfed in flames, stumbles out of the room toward Laurie before finally falling dead. Michael Myers does not appear in Halloween III: Season of the Witch; this installment follows the story of Dr. Challis as he tries to solve the mysterious murder of a patient in his hospital. He, along with the patient's daughter Ellie, travels to the small town of Santa Mira, California, where the pair discover that Silver Shamrock Novelties, a company run by eccentric cultist millionaire Conal Cochran, is attempting to use the mystic powers of the Stonehenge rocks to resurrect the ancient aspects of the Celtic festival, Samhain, which Cochran connects to witchcraft. Cochran is using his Silver Shamrock Halloween masks to achieve his goal, which will be achieved when all the children wearing his masks watch the Silver Shamrock commercial airing Halloween night. Challis contacts the television stations and convinces all but one of the station managers to remove the commercial, and the film ends with Challis screaming for the final station to turn off the commercial.

  • HALLOWEEN (1978) - Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
  • THE FOG (1980) - As the centennial of the small town of Antonio Bay, California approaches, paranormal activity begins to occur at midnight, accompanied by a sinister fog....
  • HALLOWEEN II (1981) - While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for The Shape, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the killer is not far behind her.
  • HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982) - Kids all over America want Silver Shamrock masks for Halloween. Doctor Daniel Challis seeks to uncover a plot by Silver Shamrock owner Conal Cochran.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • The Halloween film franchise was originally envisioned as an anthology series loosely linked by some connection to the holiday; it just happened that the first two films of the series were about the same characters in the same "Michael Myers" storyline, but the third film "Season of the Witch" was intended to be the first of a series of films following other storylines. When confused audiences expressed disappointment that the third film didn't include the infamous masked killer and "Season of the Witch" performed poorly in theaters, the franchise parted ways with John Carpenter, revived "Michael Myers", and never looked back.


Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes