Cool and Interesting Things to Know About the Movie

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Director John Carpenter’s then-girlfriend cowrote the screenplay with him.

michael myers in halloween 1978 original movie

 

John Carpenter and Debra Hill cowrote “Halloween.”

Compass International Pictures

As the director, John Carpenter often gets all the credit for “Halloween,” but he didn’t do it alone.

Debra Hill, a producer on the film and Carpenter’s then-girlfriend, actually cowrote the film with him.

She also helped write some of the sequel films, including “Halloween II” (1981).

The original screenplay was written in two weeks.

kid in clown costume from trailer for halloween 1978 film

 

The movie had a quick turnaround.

Compass International Pictures

According to Vulture, after the movie was a go, executive producer Irwin Yablans wanted to get it out before its titular holiday in 1978.

The writers turned the screenplay around in about two weeks and the filming took just 22 days.

The production team had a low budget of $300,000.

scene from halloween 1978

 

The team had to work on a tight budget.

Compass International Pictures

Per Vulture, Yablans secured $300,000 for the horror film, which was financed in part by Syrian-American film producer and director Moustapha Akkad.

Because of the tight budget, they couldn’t hire major stars, and Carpenter himself put together the now-iconic score to save money.

Today, “Halloween” is a multimillion-dollar franchise.

Haddonfield is a real town, but it’s not in Illinois.

Sheriff Brackett in Halloween (1978)

 

“Halloween” takes place in Illinois, but the real town is in New Jersey.

Compass International Productions

Haddonfield was inspired by and named after Hill’s hometown in New Jersey. But the film takes place in Illinois.

The real Mike Myers house isn’t anywhere near New Jersey or Illinois.

mike myers house in halloween 1978

 

They filmed the movie in California.

Compass International Pictures

The actual house used in the film is in South Pasadena, California.

Originally built at 709 Meridian Avenue, the structure was set to be demolished in the late 1980s but was saved, designated as a landmark by the city, and relocated to its current address, 1000 Mission Street.

For those who can’t make it to the West Coast, there’s also a replica of the Myers’ house in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Artist Bob Gleason accidentally hid an ominous monster in the original movie poster.

titel card for halloween 1978 original movie

 

The movie’s poster featured a man with a jack-o’-lantern head holding a knife.

Compass International Pictures

If you look closely at the hand holding the knife on the original “Halloween” movie poster, you can make out an open-mouthed face in the knuckles.

When the poster was put up for auction in 2016, artist Bob Gleason included a letter that explained how the detail came about.

“While painting the hand my thought was to have dramatic lights and dark shapes to match the strobe stabbing effects of the pumpkin,” he wrote. “I did not consciously know I was infusing in the back of the hand a screaming monster with worms coming out of his mouth, eye and nose.”

The letter continued, “This kind of freaks me out. I couldn’t have done it better if I had tried to do that. What dark nightmares lurk in my psyche?”

Jamie Lee Curtis landed a lead role in the film because of her famous mom.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween 1978

 

Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween.”

Compass International Productions

Jamie Lee Curtis was cast in the original “Halloween” because Hill thought having the daughter of actress Janet Leigh would help the low-budget film at the box office.

“I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in ‘Psycho.’ At least I knew she had the genes to scream well,” Hill told Cinefantastique News in 1998.

Her character’s name, Laurie Strode, was also based on one of Carpenter’s ex-girlfriends.

More than a dozen people have played Michael Myers in the 12 movies.

Michael Myers is back in "Halloween Kills."

 

Michael Myers in the recent installment, “Halloween Kills” (2021).

Universal

The upcoming sequel “Halloween Ends,” scheduled for 2022, will be the 13th entry in the franchise.

So far, more than 16 actors have appeared on screen as villain Michael Myers (if you count all the times crew members filled in).

There were six people who played Michael in the first film alone, including Hill.

Carpenter never wanted the Michael Myers saga to continue.

Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween Kills"

 

“Halloween Kills” is the most recent installment in the franchise.

Universal

If Carpenter had gotten his way, Michael Myers’ story would’ve ended a long time ago.

In a 2014 interview with Deadline, he said that he didn’t return to direct the sequels because he “didn’t think there was any more story” beyond the first film.

“All of my ideas were for the first ‘Halloween’ — there shouldn’t have been any more,” he said. “I’m flattered by the fact that people want to remake them, but they remake everything these days, so it doesn’t make me that special.”

Carpenter ended up writing the first sequel, “Halloween II,” and he’s an executive producer on the others.

The franchise almost turned into an anthology.

scene from halloween 3 season of the witch

 

The third movie didn’t follow the same storyline.

Universal

“Halloween 3: Season of the Witch” (1982) stands out because there’s no Michael, Laurie, Loomis, or Haddonfield.

Carpenter and Hill thought that it would be interesting if there were an anthology of horror films where the common thread was that they all occurred on Halloween night.

But “Season of the Witch” didn’t live up to the box-office numbers of the prior two films, so Michael Myers made his return six years later.

There’s no definitive Michael Myers mask.

michael myers scene in halloween 5

 

The masks changed throughout the years.

Trancas International Films

Although hardcore “Halloween” fans would likely say that the modified William Shatner mask used in the original film is the only one that matters, the truth is there have been close to a dozen different iterations of the design.

For example, in “Halloween 5,” Myers briefly drove a car and wore a completely different mask that has come to be known as “The Brute.”

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