Sunday, October 11, 2009

Night 11 of "The 31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest"

I've joined in the fun over at Domestic Witch's October Blog Party. You can find a list of participating blogs that are having fun celebrating the season of Halloween. When you're done here take a broom ride over to her site and you'll see the list of blogs on the right side bar.
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Here at The Lounge we will have a "31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest". Check back each day to see which movie is featured and some days you may get more than one. They will be a random selection of my favorites. You can see all past selections on the sidebar.
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Make sure to leave a comment for each movie as one lucky person will win their choice of pendant from Laughing Vixen Lounge at the end of the film fest. Please see rules at end of post.
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Night 11....Double Feature "Halloween" and "Halloween H20"


I usually watch the whole mess of these every season but decided to just pick my two favorites this time. It just wouldn't be Halloween without these.
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First up is "Halloween"
Written and Directed by John Carpenter (The Fog, Starman and Big Trouble in Little China) and released on October 25, 1978 by Compass International Pictures. In 1963 little Mikey chops up his sister on Halloween for no apparent reason. Now it's 15 years later and Michael has come home to Haddenfeild, IL for another round. Escaping from the institution he had been living in, Michael Myers (Nick Castle) returns to his home town to reek havoc on a group on teenagers. Our leading teen, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), is great at ignoring all the obvious signs that something is wrong and just going about her day. The little boy she is babysitting keep telling her he sees the boogieman outside but he's told to shut up. As all of Laurie's friends start to die around her she starts to realize that indeed the boogieman does exist. And he doesn't die very easily!
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This film just works. Slightly dated which adds to the creepiness, a very scary villain and a bunch of dumb teenagers. I mean really, if they weren't dumb we wouldn't have much of a movie would we?
The music is great and completely creepy. The atmosphere is perfect and the suspense is high (unless you've seen it too many times and know where everything happens). I love the way Michael just appears out of the dark. Sometimes you don't even realize he's there right away. It really is one of the only characters that truly scares me. While I wonder why I would continue to watch something that bothers me on a certain level, I always find myself coming back to it year after year. I guess we need that healthy dose of fear and preferably on the screen where it can't actually hurt us!
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Some trivia about the movie....
1. This was Jamie Lee Curtis' film debut.
2. The movie was on such a tight budget that they used the cheapest Halloween mask they could buy. It happened to be a Captain Kirk mask that they spray painted, teased up the hair and readjusted the eye holes. Somehow it makes me feel a little less scared if I just remember it's William Shatner's face there. How can that not make you giggle?
3. The movie the kid's are watching on TV is 1951's The Thing which John Carpenter would remake in 1982.
4. The character of Laurie Strode was named after John Carpenter's first girlfriend.
5. There are some names that are taken from Psycho in this movie. Dr. Loomis shares the same last name as Marion's boyfriend in Psycho. There is a character here named Marion Chambers a combination of two Psycho characters. And of course, Jamie Lee Curtis is Janet Leighs' daughter.
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Rounding out our double feature is "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later"
Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th II/III, House and Lake Placid) and released on August 5, 1998 by Dimension Films. It's been 20 years since that fateful Halloween night that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was terrorized by mass murderer Michael Myers (Chris Durand). She has been living under a new name, Keri Tate, and working as head mistress of a private school. Her son John (Josh Hartnett) wants to go on the class trip to Yosemite but of course it falls on...Halloween. Laurie is still living in fear of Michael finding her and John that she is afraid to let him go. After a big fight she decides to stop smothering him and let him join his friends. But Michael has other plans for everyone! As you know, it is his night.
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After the first two movies this franchise did start to go downhill. The studio decided to give it a nice send off and close it down with one final chapter (episode 7). Go figure, it turns out to be one of the best ones! It's scary as hell in the true tradition of these films. The atmosphere is great and old Michael is in fine form. He appears from the shadows, jumps out of nowhere and is just plain mean and nasty. The killings are creative and bloody and the suspense level is high.
My favorites are the one handed slow drop from the ceiling and the turning over of the cafeteria tables. Both of these scenes show Michael doing very physical tasks but looking like it's effortless to him. This just adds to the scariness of him. The sheer brute force. Plus, the ending was just great and ended the series perfectly. Of course Hollywood is a greedy creature and had to make another one after seeing the success of this one. So this really isn't the end but I like to ignore the next one and let it die here.
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Some trivia about the movie....
1. Jamie Lee Curtis's mom, Janet Leigh, plays Laurie's secretary Norma. Janet Leigh was was also the lead in "Psycho" and sports the same car here as she did there.
2. The makers decided to change to a different version of the mask well into production of the movie. Most scenes were fixed but the first mask is still noticeable in a few scenes. Can you pick it out?
3. This movie is made with the decision to believe that episodes 3-6 never happened.
4. This was Josh Hartnett's film debut.
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Rules for pendant giveaway...
(1) comment about a movie per movie.
(1) extra entry by following this Blog and (1) extra for following on Twitter (You can only take the blog and twitter entries once for the whole contest).
(1) extra entry for Tweeting about this. Please use this message -Check out the "31 Nights of Halloween Film Fest" to win your choice of pendant from @LaughingVixen http://tiny.cc/4fGnV -- 3 Tweets a day max and no more than 1 an hour.
(1) extra entry for guessing the next film. I will tweet hints on Twitter about the next days movie and you can post your guess as a comment. Doesn't have to be right just your best guess.
Make sure to post each entry as an individual comment on any of the movies comment pages. You can comment on past movies. Make sure you can be contacted from your post.

20 comments:

  1. The Howling. LOVED the special effects back then. Still pretty good even after all this time

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  2. absolutely...Halloween just isn't the same without watching Jamie's Halloweenie flicks!

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  3. I loved the first one, but because of the decline of the series I never saw H2O. I think I'll give it a chance now.

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  4. My guess is The Howling.

    I was never a fan of the Halloween series. Dunno why, just didn't float my boat.I guess aliens are more my thing. :)

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  5. tweeted here
    http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/4785373608

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  6. I'm already following your blog

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  7. I'm already following you on twitter

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  8. The Exorcist is still one of my all-time favorites.

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  9. I loved the first Halloween movie. And H2O is actually my favorite of the whole franchise. I mean, let's face it...3-6 never should have happened. They were awful. LOL

    I love the movie facts you add...I didn't know a lot of those things. Very interesting!

    )O(
    boo

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  10. I am such a fan of the first two movies in the Halloween series but the Rob Zombie ones disappointed me...he couldn't leave well enough alone. H20 was creepy though I'll admit.

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  11. I am going to guess The Howling as well!

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  12. http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/4769368006

    tweeted 1

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  13. daily tweet 2

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

    http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/4796509375

    ReplyDelete
  14. daily tweet 3

    http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/4798800052

    dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

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  15. What is Halloween without the film playing in the background as you hand out candy to the little kiddies? It's a tradition in my house.

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  16. My guess is Evil Dead! I'm actually bringing that one along on vacation so hubs and I can watch it in the hotel. :)

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  17. I think that Halloween was one of my first scary movies. I remember watching it with cousins and not wanting to watch but not wanting to close my eyes either ;)
    HalloweenH20 was good and Jamie Leigh kicked butt again!!
    cyclona66(at)aol(dot)com

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  18. I am a follower
    cyclona66(at)aol(dot)com

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