The Halloween 1978 Deep Cut You Might Have Missed in Halloween Kills
Warning: this story contains spoilers for Halloween Kills, now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock. When Halloween Kills flashes back 40 years earlier to Halloween night 1978, a young officer Frank Hawkins (Thomas Mann) and Officer McCabe (Jim Cummings) track masked killer Michael Myers (Airon Armstrong) to his childhood home. On the hunt for the boogeyman who murdered the friends of terrorized babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), McCabe stands in the spot where a six-year-old Michael murdered his older sister 15 years earlier. The masked Shape attacks McCabe, strangling the helpless Haddonfield police officer with a rope before he's shot accidentally by his partner.
In John Carpenter's 1978 original Halloween, Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) responds to a blaring alarm at Nichols Hardware Store. His daughter Annie (Nancy Kyes) and Laurie pass by when Brackett reports someone broke in and stole nothing but Halloween masks, rope, and a set of knives.
Michael's use for the mask and knives is apparent in the original Halloween, but less obvious is the purpose of the stolen rope. Some might have assumed Michael uses the rope to string up victim Bob (John Michael Graham), whose corpse is turned into a prop to spook Laurie when she discovers dead friend Lynda (P.J. Soles).
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The screenplay by Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill only notes that Bob's body is "strung up to the light fixture on the ceiling, dangling there in the middle of the room...eyes open and staring." The 1979 novelization of Halloween by author Curtis Richards does indeed explain that Michael makes use of the rope with Bob, who Laurie finds "suspended by the throat from a rope tied around a ceiling fixture."
This attention to detail of the rope pays off in the opening minutes of Halloween Kills, used by Michael as a weapon before Dr. Loomis (Tom Jones Jr. and voice actor Colin Mahan, imitating the late Donald Pleasence) halts the surrounded Shape's killing spree.
"Our production designer Richard Wright and our art department just did an incredible amount of research on the original sets in terms of measurements. And I mean, they went and visited the practical locations and put the architecture together based on exact size and scale of the original home," Halloween Kills director David Gordon Green told ComicBook of returning to October 31, 1978. "And then our director of photography, Michael Simmons, talked to [Halloween cinematographer] Dean Cundey and got tips on how to light and what the technical conversation of the camera and the characters would be. Even editing is a little different."
"So we just tried to respect [and] homage Carpenter's work and his team's technical design," added Green, whose modern trilogy is a 40-years-later direct sequel to only Carpenter's 1978 original, ignoring every other chapter since 1981's Halloween II.
Halloween Kills is now playing in theaters and streaming only on Peacock. (If you haven't signed up for Peacock yet, you can try it out here.) Halloween Ends on October 14, 2022.
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