Wednesday, October 2, 2013
John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978) - Part I
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, PJ Soles, Nancy Loomis, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Stephens
Black cats and goblins and broomsticks and ghosts, covens of witches with all of their hosts. You may think they scare me, You're probably right. Black cats and goblins on Halloween night. Trick or treat!
Well, this is it, eh? I circled the calendar for this retrospective series ever since I was working on the James Bond retrospective for Mendelson's Memos. This series and I have a long loving history. Be prepared maybe for some more personal essays than film critiquing this time around. I'll try to keep any dashes of fanboy out of it (although, I think I've gone past that stage in my life when it comes to film anymore). I make no secret that this is my favorite film of all time. Sorry if that spoils the rankings at the end for you, but the fun part of that will be seeing how I place the sequels. It's an odd choice (that I do share with many), so let's take a journey on how this all happened and why its my favorite.
Friday The 13th - The Complete Collection review over at Why So Blu?, you'll know that Jason was my first. I watched them all up and down. Those films scared me at the time and gave me a rush. After I was done with Jason, I moved on to Freddy Krueger. The Nightmare On Elm Street films took the horror to new heights for me. And they were my new favorite. I started also watching other select horror films and such.
So, I found the first one to rent at a grocery store of all places. Like with all my rentals, I waited that night for everyone in my house to go to bed and i went to the basement and watched it in the darkest of dark. All the lights off, the blinds closed...the only sign of life being the illumination coming from our wood paneled television. Okay, Halloween, show me what you've got.
The characters we follow in Halloween, all felt quite genuine. Like people I'd knew or seen or could relate with. They were well developed for me then and I still feel they are now. I couldn't instantly sense "dead meat" on them. I didn't want to see harm done to them. And with each offing came a shock. The film's kills are pretty much bloodless, but they have impact all the same. Michael is even such a disturbed guy, he kills a dog. Part of his creepiness comes with his stalking. There were hints of stuff like this in Jason's films, but it was never done to this effect. The more you watch this film, you notice him in different spots you may not have before. And its creepy, he's right there...is he gonna do something? Ope, nope...just preparing. And the blank, lifeless, pale mask is one of the creepiest images in history (yes, I'm aware its a Shatner mask).
To be continued...