Thursday, October 26, 2006

13 Things about Halloween (the movie)

Okay, you all know how I much I love Halloween - scariest damn movie ever! I love scary movies with no gore. Why can't they do that anymore?!

Anyway, here are 13 bits of trivia, plus two bonus pieces of trivia. Okay, yes, I realize that's actually 15. Hopefully that won't cause any sort of cosmic rift in the universe. I'm willing to chance it.

1. Halloween was shot in 21 days on a budget of $300,000. It ended up grossing $55 million, and became the most successful independent film of all-time until the Blair Witch Project in 1999 (also a great movie).

2. One of the main challenges was that the movie was being filmed in Southern California in March, and the film makers had to make it look like Illinois in the Fall. They worked diligently trying to cover up and avoid shots of palm trees, although you can still see some palm trees in a few shots. Due to the low budget, they bought paper leaves at a decorating store, painted them brown and scattered them on the ground for a shot. Then, they would gather the leaves back up and put them in bags so they could re-use them for the next shot.

3. Originally, the film makers planned to use a clown mask for Michael Myers. They felt they needed something “eerier”, so Tommy Lee Wallace, a member of the production crew, went to a magic shop and bought the cheapest mask he could find, which was a William Shatner mask for $1.98. They took off the side burns and the eyebrows, widened the eye holes, teased the hair, and painted the shell a bluish-white. The result looks extremely creepy, and nothing like William Shatner.

4. Halloween was originally supposed to be the sequel to the 1974 film Black Christmas, but the script was so good, the movie stood on its own. Instead, film makers used the film Black Christmas as inspiration for many of the different shots and ideas for the film. Incidentally, Black Christmas is being remade, and will be released in December of this year.

5. John Carpenter is a huge Hitchcock fan, and included a lot of Hitchcock references in Halloween. Tommy Doyle’s name is from a character in Rear Window, and Sam Loomis is named for Janet Leigh’s boyfriend in Psycho. The initial murder (young Michael killing his sister) was also an homage to Psycho as the viewer never sees the knife penetrating the skin.

6. Producers were unable to get a child actor until the last day of filming, so for the scenes in which young Michael Myers kills his sister, producer Debra Hill stepped in. At that point, all you see is a child’s hands putting the mask on and holding the knife. Debra volunteered because she had the smallest hands. This is also why the nails on young Michael’s hands look so well-manicured.

7. John Carpenter and Nick Castle went to acting school together. When Nick visited John on the set of Halloween, John immediately cast him in the role of Michael Myers. Nick was paid $25 a day for the role, and given the direction, “Don’t act. Just walk.”

8. The scene where Jamie Lee Curtis’s cries for help are ignored by neighbors while she is being chased by Michael Myers was based on the real-life case of Kitty Genovese. Kitty was killed in 1964 outside her apartment building in Queens, New York. It was reported that anywhere from 12 to 38 people heard her cries for help, yet no one helped her.

9. The little girl who played Lindsay Wallace is Kyle Richards, sister of Kathy (Richards) Hilton. It’s weird to think that little Lindsay grew up to be the aunt of Paris and Nicky Hilton.

10. Studios did not understand Halloween, and every major American distributor refused to release it. The movie was finally given a platform release, slowly opening across the country. It premiered in Kansas City (we know good movies here in KC!) and it received a huge response. The movie’s gross doubled each subsequent night due to word of mouth.

11. The Myers house used in the film was sold for $1 to a neighbor. The house was physically moved to a different location and refurbished. It is now home to a chiropractor’s office.

12. John Carpenter provides the voice of Annie’s boyfriend Paul who is heard talking on the phone with her.

13. Jamie Lee Curtis has said that if she ever writes her memoir, she will title it “You Stupid Bitch! You Deserve To Die,” because that is what an audience member shouted out at an initial screening of Halloween when Jamie Lee’s character dropped the knife right next to the supposedly dead Michael Myers.

Bonus trivia:

* Jamie Lee Curtis originally wanted to play the role of Lynda, and was pissed when P.J. Soles got what Jamie Lee thought was “the best part in the movie.” P.J. Soles developed a cult following after her roles in Carrie and Halloween.

* Jamie Lee Curtis announced her retirement as an actress in 2004. She now focuses on her family and writing children’s books.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tracie said...

I have to admit it.....I have never seen this movie. I think I will have to go rent it.

My TT is up!

Chelle Y. said...

I cannot watch scary movies. I wish I could, but they scare me. I never get over them. Haha!

ian said...

Neila, I've totally been meaning to ask you about this...

Why are you posting three hours ahead of me when you're only one hour ahead timezone-wise? Are you post-dating your blog entries?


scribbit said...

Those kind of movies give me nightmares. Can't do it. But who needs to watch when we've got your list?

JO said...

sorry, can't relate, i dont watch scary movies!

hopping from TT

MysteriousLady said...

I don't do scary movies. My nightmares are enough.

Happy TT!

Morgen said...

I never knew that mask was orginally William Shatner!!!! How freaky is that!
This is fabulous trivia!
thanks -- an awesome TT.
I'll let you know when Daphne gets her TT up. Why oh why did I ever put my TT on a cat's blog? I mean, how many different ways can a cat come up with lists of 13 things week after week? Ay Carumba!

Daphne said...

Hi Neila!
My sixth TT is now up at
Purrchance To Dream

Stacey said...

Very interesting Neila. I had no idea. I remember exactly where I was when I was watching this moving for the first time. Do you?

jenny mclellan said...

OK, Halloween is the reason I can't watch scary movies...let's just say I was traumatized by a cousin while watching Halloween...there was a scary mask, turned inside out and a cousin tapping on a window while a 5 year old me watched the movie (I know, I was way too young to watch that kind of movie, but my parents and their parents were partying, whadda ya gonna do?) So I no longer am able to watch scary movies, but am amazed at the amount of trivia you have about this movie!

Sadie said...

I have never seen it! I'm too scared to watch it! Does that make me a wuss? Probably.

Happy TT!

(Morgen should try comin' up with TWO TTs every week. sheesh!)

slackermommy said...

That is one of the creepiest movies ever! Just seeing the photo gives me the willies. Thanks for this list. I love knowing behind the scene tidbits.

Sparky said...

great list, though ive never seen the movie all the way through.

Hulai said...

Woohoo! I love that movie!
My very 1st TT is up! I do hope you will stop by and check it out! Im excited about it!

tiggerprr said...

I LOVED this list! A lot of these things I didn't know! I just watched a marathon of the Halloween movies with my daughter last year...Michael Myers is one of the scariest scary movie people ever.