All right, it’s Slasher Sunday again, and this one is really bad. It’s Halloween from 1978, released by Compass International Pictures and Embassy Pictures. Visuals are screen shots from Amazon Prime Video. Details are from Wikipedia. I will provide a brief rundown.
The Myers family is the definition of dysfunctional. The opening scene is the morning of 31 October (Halloween), showing mother Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zoombie) fixing breakfast while involved in a running word fest with live-in boyfriend Ronnie White (William Forsythe) and daughter Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson). The hostility is palpable. Every other word begins with the letter F.
Michael (Mikey) Myers is summoned from his room upstairs. He is wearing a Halloween mask. He is fond of making and wearing bizarre masks. He is pathologically introverted with the social skills of a grassbur. He has a pet rat, which he has just removed from its cage and killed with his pocket knife. He tells his mother the rat died, and he had to flush it down the toilet. She assures him she will get him another.
At school Mikey is bullied. In the boys’ restroom three toughs push him around and display an ad torn from a tabloid. It shows his mother as a pole dancer in a bar. Mikey carries a grudge.
When the ringleader of the tough guys passes through the woods on his way home from school, Mikey ambushes him, whacking him in the knees with a tree branch, then finishing him off will multiple blows while he lies begging for his life on the ground.
Home after school, Mikey broods on the front porch of his house, fondling his Halloween mask. Meanwhile, Mother Myers pulls in the bucks, displaying her obvious charms to some appreciative bar customers. She is hot.
Mikey goes inside the house, where Ronnie is passed out drunk in front of the television. The TV is showing a scene from The Thing, featuring James Arness as a creature from outer space. Mikey gets out a big roll of duct tape and a kitchen knife. He binds the passed out Ronnie’s hands and feet and applies tape over his mouth. Then he cuts Ronnie’s throat.
Upstairs, sister Judith and boyfriend, Steve Haley, are getting it on. When Steve steps out for a break from his exertions, Mikey waylays him and cuts him down with the knife. He then enters the bedroom wearing the mask Steve had used as a prank and knifes his sister. He does not harm his infant sister, but waits patiently for his mother to arrive home.
In Smith’s Grove Sanitarium Dr. Samuel Loomis attempts to interrogate Mikey. He is persistently noncommittal. He presents the impression he does not know what he did.
Subsequently Mikey murders a nurse with a table fork, and is committed for life. Loomis withdraws from his case. Mikey’s mother kills herself with a pistol shot to the head. The fate of the infant daughter is left unknown.
Years go by, and Michael Myers has grown into a hulk of a man—powerful, brooding in his cell. Two rogue staff members cast their eyes upon a new arrival, young, comely, female, and vulnerable. They drag her into Michael’s cell to rape her. Michael comes out of his torpor to murder them both, plus a guard. He escapes, murdering a driver at a truck stop.
The final scenes show Michael’s sister, now grown up, and horsing around with some friends. Michael stalks them. They taunt him. We know what the remainder of the movie is going to involve, and it does not disappoint. The bulk comprises dark scenes, teenage girls screaming and dying. Lots of tits and ass to keep audience attention focused.
And I’m not going to give additional details. The plot line is high-school, but somebody on the staff did have the ability to put one word after another. The opening scene is a quote from the fictional Dr. Loomis.
“The darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to break free from the abyss and move silently among us.”
— Dr. Samuel Loomis
Halloween blossomed into a franchise, which I will not pursue.
I watched it for free on Amazon Prime Video (subscription required), picking up some interesting points. If you are not acquainted with APV, the programming is meant to be viewed on TV. It’s streamed directly from Amazon’s server located somewhere on the planet Earth. I watched it on my big screen.
I next moved to my computer to obtain the screen shots. While watching on a computer you can pause, back track, resume, scan for scenes of interest, all using mouse operations. While paused, the player will flash details of the scene being viewed. Items displayed include the characters in the scene and the actors portraying the characters. I made use of this, and that may be a problem.
For example, in the case of Judith’s boyfriend Steve, Amazon Video lists the actor as Adam Weisman. Weisman was born in 1986, eight years after this movie came out. Steve was the character Weisman played in the 2007 remake.
Amazon Video has some admirable features, but some fixing needs to be done. For the record, neither Wikipedia nor IMDB list the actors playing Deborah Myers, Steve Haley, and others. Somebody with Hollywood connections could really help out here. These early slasher flicks are national treasures, and we need to get this business right.