During a Q&A with fans at the Scare-A-Con convention in upstate New York this weekend, Hollywood legend Malcolm McDowell said that he has still never seen the original Halloween, in spite of playing Dr. Samuel Loomis in both of Rob Zombie's Halloween movies.
Asked whether he had taken cues from Donald Pleasence's memorable performance as Dr. Loomis, or whether Zombie had instructed him to do so, McDowell said no.
"No, I never saw it, still haven't," he said. "I have never seen the original Halloween....I did ask Rob whether I should see it and he went, 'No. You can see it afterwards.' Now, I did know Donald Pleasence enough to have a drink with him in a pub, and I always was very entertained by him. He was a lovely man and a wonderful actor; I've seen him in many other things. He was a great stage actor, and actor full stop, and he was a very cultured man....So I was thrilled to be asked to carry on in his footsteps, but I wasn't at all influenced by him since I didn't see it. I can imagine what he did, because there was nobody that played that sort of menacing character as well as he did. I mean, it was just inherent. He played Blofeld in one of the Bond films. God almighty!"
McDowell did admit that he watched the Rob Zombie version of Halloween after he completed it, at least.
That was not the only bit of culture that the film brought to him. After he wrapped filming, McDowell told the audience, he went to Las Vegas to see Rob Zombie perform onstage, and was surprised to see his director's musical style.
Comedian Colin Mahan, an impressionist, provided a brief cameo as Dr. Loomis in 2018's Halloween, in which he was meant to be Pleasence's version. That film has been treated essentially as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's original Halloween, ignoring (or at least not requiring the audience to have seen) everything in between. McDowell's Loomis, who never existed in the same continuity as the original film, is now scrubbed from the continuity as well, given that the 2007 reboot certainly does not jive with the original.
The latest iteration of Halloween is in theaters now.