Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Halloween by Curtis Richards

(pb; 1979: based on the screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill)

From the back cover:

"Tricked by his cunning ... Treated to his savagery ... Annie, Linda and Laurie ... fresh, pretty, ready to be taken ... stalked by a sadistic power who has returned to claim new victims, on this ... the most frightening night of the year."


Halloween is an above average movie tie-in/novelization of John Carpenter's 1978 iconic slasher flick. What elevates the book version in relation to other movie tie-ins is its expansion into the background of why Michael Myers is what he is, as well as some of its characters' motivations (whose logic-challenged actions are sometimes frustrating).

What keeps Halloween from being excellent is its Richards's occasional flirtations with cheesy writing and love of unnecessary adjectives; also, there is the Laurie Strode's weird visualizations of Judith Myers's murder. These visualizations feel forced, unnatural, like Richards felt like he had to keep those sadistic images fresh in his readers' minds.

This out of print and pricy book is worth owning despite these minor nits, not only for its rarity but for its overall suspenseful writing and how it builds on the ideas, characters and horror of its source film.

Followed by Halloween II (by Jack Martin, a.k.a. Dennis Etchison).


Two film versions have been made.

The first film, upon which the book is based, was released stateside on October 25, 1978. John Carpenter directed and co-scripted Halloween. Debra Hill co-scripted the film.

Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode. Donald Pleasance played Dr. Sam Loomis. Charles Cyphers played Sheriff Leigh Brackett.

Nancy Kyes, billed as Nancy Loomis, played Annie. P.J. Soles played Lynda.Nancy Stephens played Marion. Kyle Richards played Lindsey. Brian Andrews played Tommy.

Mickey Yablans played Richie. John Michael Graham played Bob. Brent Le Page played Lonnie.

Sandy Johnson played Judith Myers. Will Sandin played Michael Myers (age 6). Tony Moran played The Shape/Michael Myers (age 23).


Rob Zombie's remake was released stateside on August 31, 2007. Zombie also wrote the screenplay, based on John Carpenter and Debra Hill's 1978 script.

Daeg Faerch played Michael Myers, age 10. Tyler Mane played Michael Myers, as an adult.

Sheri Moon Zombie played Deborah Myers, Michael's mother. William Forsythe played Ronnie White. Hanna Hall played Judith Myers. Scout Taylor-Compton played Laurie Strode. Dee Wallace played Cynthia Strode. Pat Skipper played Mason Strode.

Malcolm McDowell played Dr. Sam Loomis. Brad Dourif played Sheriff Lee Brackett (the original incarnation of Brackett, played by Charles Cypher, was named Leigh Brackett).

Danielle Harris played Annie Brackett. Richmond Arquette played Deputy Charles.Kristina Klebe played Lynda. Skyler Gisondo played Tommy Doyal. Gregg Stewart played Lindsey Wallace.

Ken Foree played Big Joe Grizzly. Richard Lynch played Principal Chambers. Micky Dolenz played Derek Allen. Sid Haig played Chester Chesterfield.

Udo Kier played Morgan Walker. Clint Howard played Dr. Koplenson. Danny Trejo played Ismael Cruz. Sybil Danning played Nurse Wynn.

Lew Temple played Noel Kluggs. Tom Towles played Larry Redgrave. Bill Moseley played Zach "Z-Man" Garrett. Daniel Roebuck played Lou Martini.


Director/screenwriter David Gordon Green and actor/writer Danny McBride are said to be working on "a [2018] continuation of the original Halloween's sequel." (Quote is from the site.)

I will post more about this possible film when more information is forthcoming.

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