Halloween

The first movie of the “Halloween” series was originally titled as “The Babysitter Murders.”

“Halloween” was one of the inflection points in horror movie history, giving birth to the modern slasher film and launching one of the most peculiar franchises ever.

In honor of the 40-years-later “Halloween” sequel coming to theaters, here are a few things you might not know about John Carpenter’s 1978 classic and all the sequels that followed.

Note: Facts were gleaned from DVD commentary, the “Halloween” documentary “A Cut Above the Rest” and four decades of interviews with the cast and crew of the original film.

1. The movie was originally called “The Babysitter Murders” and was the idea of producer Irwin Yablans.

He also had the idea to set the film on the holiday and change its title to “Halloween.”

2. The Michael Myers mask was just a cheap mask of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk that the production designer got at a costume shop.

He spray-painted it white, shaved off the sideburns and adjusted the eye holes, and a horror icon was born.

3. Howard Hawks’ “The Thing From Another World” plays on the TV during one scene in “Halloween.”

Four years later, John Carpenter would remake that film as “The Thing.”

4. Nick Castle, who played Michael Myers in the first “Halloween” and the latest version, was John Carpenter’s friend at University of Southern California’s film school.

Castle was just hanging around the shoot so Carpenter asked him to play the killer. Though others played the Myers role throughout the film, as well.

5. The producers of “The Exorcist” originally considered Jamie Lee Curtis in the role of Regan, but her mother, “Psycho” star Janet Leigh, wouldn’t allow it.

Years later, Curtis took the “Halloween” part, even though she knew they were just using her for her mother’s connection to “Psycho.” She needed the work.

6. Jamie Lee Curtis got paid $8,000 for doing the first “Halloween.”

7. The film was shot in Southern California in the spring.

To make it look like Illinois in October, the shoot shipped in hand-painted leaves. They ended up being a considerable expense for a very small production.

8. John Carpenter and Debra Hill wrote the “Halloween” script in 10 days.

9. The film was shot in 20 days.

10. When Carpenter needed a film score, he wrote one in three days.

He credited the score to the Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra, a reference to his alma mater, Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It’s easily one of the most iconic horror scores.

11. “Halloween” was made for $300,000 and grossed $50 million domestically, making it, up to that point, the most successful independent movie ever made.

That distinction was later taken by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990) and, after that, “The Blair Witch Project.”

12. There were never supposed to be any sequels.

In a recent New York Times interview, Carpenter said, “Michael’s disappearance at the end of the first film makes you gasp, and I wanted to leave the audience that way. I didn’t want any sequels. Boy, was I wrong, huh?”

13. This series is generally just insane.

Here’s a brief rundown:

“Halloween” (1978): Michael Myers/The Shape kills a bunch of people. Laurie survives.

“Halloween II” (1981): Laurie learns that Michael is her brother! Michael dies.

“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982): The Myers story is cast aside for what was intended to be the start of a horror anthology. It’s actually a decent film, but it disappointed audiences initially, prompting ...

“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” (1988): Which reveals that Michael is not dead but that Laurie died in a car accident, but not before having a daughter, whom Michael tracks down. He eventually falls down a mine shaft.

“Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” (1989): Recovering from his wounds from falling down a mine shaft, Michael kills again. He’s eventually captured by Sam Loomis and taken into police custody, until a mysterious figure breaks him out of jail. There’s also a fair amount of telepathy in this movie.

“Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995): Uh, so the source of Michael’s power and immortality is derived from an ancient Druid curse, and he is being supported a group of cultists. Paul Rudd plays the grown-up version of the boy Laurie baby-sat in the first “Halloween.”

“Halloween: H20” (1998): This one just pretends that the fourth, fifth and sixth movies never happened, revealing that Laurie is alive. She faked her own death to evade Michael and is now the headmistress of a private school. She has a son played by Josh Hartnett. Michael finds her. And she kills him, finally, once and for all, by cutting off his head. The end!

“Halloween: Resurrection” (2002): Except it wasn’t the end! At the end of the previous film, Michael put his mask on a paramedic, and Laurie actually killed an innocent man. Now she’s in a mental institution. Michael finds her, they fight and he kills her. The end!

“Halloween” (2007) and “Halloween II” (2009): Except then Rob Zombie remade “Halloween” using his white-trash Photoshop filter and followed it with a sequel.

14. As that last entry was a doozy, I shall use No. 14 for a short break.

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15. None of the sequels matter!

Because the new film is a direct sequel to the original, retconning out of existence all the events that took place in the sequels between “Halloween” (1978) and “Halloween” (2018). Laurie and Michael are not siblings. There is no ancient Druid curse. And Paul Rudd can pretend that “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” never happened. The end!