Yesterday, AMC Fear Fest ran a HALLOWEEN marathon, unfortunately skipping over HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH, as well as H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER (which almost gets a pass for clocking in under 90 minutes). In the realm of sequels, HALLOWEEN II seems to get a pass from fans, in that despite it being a slog, it retains the tone of the original.
HALLOWEEN, in addition to being intense and scary, is a truly beautiful film to look at, due to the way Carpenter and director of photography Dean Cundey utilize frame, space, and color to paint the picture of an idyllic Midwestern town in the Fall, and using the same techniques to ratchet up the suspense and terror for the films final moments. Halloween only looks more beautiful when it’s compared to the flat ugliness of the following sequels. HALLOWEEN is truly a one-of-a-kind film that generations never got to experience with an uninitiated audience.
However, thanks to YouTube user Kyle J. Wood and his Radio Shack tape recorder, fans will get a little taste of what it was like watching the Boogeyman attack Laurie Strode for the first time.
“This is actual audio taken inside a Hollywood Boulevard movie theatre in October 1979,” Wood writes on his YouTube page. “In October 1979 it was re-released and playing at the Vine Theatre (on Hollywood and Vine), where it was double-featured with THE TOOLBOX MURDERS. THE TOOLBOX MURDERS audience was quiet. HALLOWEEN’s audience was not.”
It’s no surprise that the audience was quiet during THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, since aside from the opening scene with the Kelly Nichols in a bathtub, the movie isn’t all that exciting. It is a thrill getting to hear the audience react to the climax of HALLOWEEN. I saw one kid react in a similar manner just last year at a showing at the Music Box, so the thrill holds up. Cinephiles perhaps owe more to Radio Shack than they think, as a similar clip featuring the ending of Star Wars has also made it’s way online. Maybe on the umpteenth home video release of HALLOWEEN, audiences will be treated to a commentary track of audience reactions similar to the one existing for THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.