Dear Sara,There seem to be five million and twenty Halloween movies. What is the mythology behind its indestructible villain Michael Myers?
In John Carpenter’s original 1978 HALLOWEEN, Michael Myers starts out as a seemingly normal six-year-old boy. On Halloween night, dressed in a clown costume and mask, Michael stabs his older sister to death. He is then sent to a mental institution, where he remains silent for fifteen years – then escapes and returns to his home town of Haddonfield, Illinois, the night before Halloween. Michael’s psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), believes that Michael is the embodiment of pure evil. From Michael’s behavior and indestructibility, Dr. Loomis seems to be on to something here.
The difference between Michael Myers and his similarly prolific peers Jason Voorhees of the FRIDAY THE 13th film series and Freddy Krueger of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is that in the original, there is no back story whatever that triggers the horror – nobody failed at their job, thereby allowing a boy to die (the FRIDAY mythos) or burned someone alive (the genesis of NIGHTMARE). Michael Myers is simply, terrifyingly, inarguably evil. This said, Michael is given a much more extensive back story in director/writer Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake and its 2009 sequel. The original HALLOWEEN series consists of the 1978 film and its 1981 sequel (directed by Rick Rosenthal), the 1982 HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (Michael Myers doesn’t appear in this one – it’s about cursed Halloween masks), HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS in 1988, HALLOWEEN 5 in 1989, HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS in 1995, HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER in 1998 and HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION in 2002.
It’s In The Bag,
Sara Bellum, Editor-at-Large Buzzy Mag