“Halloween” first hit theaters in 1978. Since then several sequels have emerged, adding lots of tweaks to the slasher movie and more hidden details even superfans might have missed.
After over four decades of watching the silent boogeyman, Michael Myers stalk teenage girls and terrorize poor Laurie Strode, you would think you know everything about the slasher.
Yet, several details about this beloved hit went unnoticed or happened behind the scenes. Since these surprising facts about “Halloween” probably eluded us for 43 years and twelve releases, it’s our turn to do the stalking!
1. The Original Proposed Name Was “The Babysitter Murders”
Surprise surprise! Even the title of the slasher film came as a last-minute tweak. The name, “The Baby Sitter Murders” was first referenced by a character in the 2018 sequel.
Thereafter, it was explained that the movie almost never landed the name, “Halloween.” The change happened last-minute when producer Irwin Yablans urged John Carpenter and his then-girlfriend Debra Hill that the film be set on Halloween Night.
2. It All Happened In 40 days
The proposal for the movie to be released on Halloween night left the production theme with an unnaturally tight schedule. Ultimately, the writers, Carpenter, and Hill had to complete the whole story in ten days.
With barely three weeks left until Halloween at the time, the production commenced immediately, with the team working tirelessly to wrap up production within the tight schedule.
Four shooting and four editings later, they achieved their goal, releasing the John Carpenter original film just in time for Halloween.
3. The Iconic Original Mask Cost Less Than $2
Another surprising fact about “Halloween” is how the original mask representing the iconic villainous character was created for less than $2. You heard right.
Interestingly, the script never described in detail what the mask should look like. Hence, production designer Tommy Lee Wallace had the freedom to explore his creativity.
The designer notably purchased two latex masks from a local toy store for $1.98 a piece and spray-painted them white. One was a Captain Kirk mask from “Star Trek,” while the other was the clown, Wearie Willie.
The Captain Kirk mask easily became his first choice, and with a few additional tweaks like expanding the eye sockets, it became the iconic face of Michael Myers and the scariest thing on television!
Too bad “Halloween” sequels have been unable to replicate that since the original got lost.
4. Laurie Strode’s Wardrobe Cost A Hundred Bucks
When Jaimie Lee Curtis first came onboard to play Laurie Strode, she was only an upcoming actress and the producers didn’t know who she was. Hence, they never wanted her to snag the iconic role.
However, the Hollywood legend tried convincing them she was perfect for the role and even offered to get her own clothes for the shooting.
That seemed to convince them to take their chances with the nameless actress. In the end, they scored her character’s entire wardrobe at JC Penny for about $100. Perfect for the low-budget movie.
5. Poor Watermelon!
For a low-budget movie, fewer graphic effects and more creative inputs are to be expected. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the creators needed to find a way around the violence explored in the film.
Remember the slashing sound we heard when Michael Myers pierced his knife through Linda’s boyfriend, Bob? That was actually created by stabbing a watermelon.
6. Curtis Was tricked Into “Halloween H20”
In the movie world where everything is contract-binding, several actors and actresses have reported being tricked over a lot of things. From their contract period to the agreed pay, it’s all happened before.
But having an actor tricked into performing a movie role with the promise of killing the villain for good? That’s new!
Yet, it did happen to Laurie Strode actress, Jamie Lee Curtis. The icon once revealed that she only agreed to return for “Halloween: H20,” because she yearned for Laurie to Kill Michael Myers once and for all.
Although the movie executives told her that would happen, once she signed the binding contract, they hit her with the news that contractually, Michael’s character could never die.
7. 6-Year-Old Michael Had A Stunt Double
“Halloween’s” opening scene showed 6-year-old Michael Myers stabbing his babysitting teenage sister, Judith, to death.
However, what viewers would never have guessed was that the hands which did the actual stabbing belonged to Debra Hill.
It turned out the producers could not afford more time with the child actor. Plus Judith was nude, which wouldn’t have looked good for a child!
8. Over 16 Actors Have Assumed Michael Myer’s Character
While the ultimate antagonist, Michael Myers remains a constant fixture in the “Halloween” franchise, the same can’t be said about the actors who played the role in the movies.
Notably, with over 12 sequels, each one barely repeating the actor behind the mask, there have reportedly been at least 16 people scaring the audience as the silent boogeyman.
That includes the six actors who assumed the character in the original alone, those who came on in the subsequent productions, and every time a crew member filled in. That’s the amazing thing about being a faceless villain.
Meanwhile, only Tony Moran has taken credits as the villain’s official face in all the unmasking scenes.
9. Every Time The Mask Changed
If you follow the “Halloween” franchise in order, you would notice the somewhat unimpressive evolution of Michael Myers’ mask.
Aside from “Halloween II” which had no Michael, the others seemed to include a remodeled version of the iconic costume.
However, with each passing sequel, the mask seemed to look more graphic, until it finally lost the element of scare. The result – A high-budget failed attempt at recreating the original.
10. The Film Became A Historic Masterpiece
In 2006, the Library of Congress selected the “Halloween” franchise for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It earned the honor for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.
Which of these surprising facts about the “Halloween” franchise did you find mind-blowing?