The low-budget horror film Halloween was released in 1978 and soon became a horror classic. Not only did the slasher become one of the most profitable independent films, it also spawned seven sequels, a remake and a sequel to the remake. The film introduced us to the crazed Michael Myers, who murders his sister while dressed as a clown on Halloween and, after spending 15 years in a psychiatric hospital, returns to kill again on Halloween, setting his sights on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis’ first movie role) and her friends. Here are 12 facts about the classic horror film – did you know any of them?
The film’s original title was The Babysitter Murders, though its producer Irwin Yablans thought it would be better if the film were based on a specific holiday and of course they chose Halloween
Jamie Lee Curtis wasn’t the original choice for the role of Laurie Strode; the role had been offered to Annie Lockhart, best known as Lieutenant Sheba from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series
The film was shot in just 20 days and, even though it’s set in autumn, you may notice streets lined with trees that have green leaves; the production budget wouldn’t stretch far enough to make the trees have more autumnal colours
Michael Myers is played by three different people throughout the film: Tony Moran played the unmasked Myers and the masked Myers was mostly played by Nick Castle, with production designer Tommy Lee Wallace taking over when Castle was unavailable
Moran appears in a single shot as the unmasked Myers; he was paid $250 for a day’s work
Michael Myers is never referred to as Michael Myers at any point in the film; his father yells ‘Michael!’ at him at one point and in the credits he’s simply referred to as The Shape
After the first day of filming, Jamie Lee Curtis was disappointed with her performance and was convinced she was going to be fired, until director John Carpenter phoned her to tell her she’d done a brilliant job
Michael Myers’ famous mask wasn’t made especially for the film, it was actually an old Captain Kirk mask that production designer bought at a store; he removed the sideburns and eyebrows and then spray painted it white
The film is noted for its lack of graphic violence, which is down to the fact that the film’s budget wasn’t big enough to include special effects
Due to budget restrictions, the film didn’t have a wardrobe department and all the actors wore their own clothes
The film was shot out of sequence and to help Jamie Lee Curtis know how scared her character was, director John Carpenter created a fear metre
When the film was shot, the house used as the Myers house was actually abandoned and had been for quite some time
I'm a Classics graduate and have been writing for over three years. Hopefully going to go into novel writing some day. I'm mostly interested in theme parks and roller coasters - I've been on 300 coasters and plan on going on lots more!