Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 mins | Horror | 1981

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HISTORY


       A 9 May 1980 Var article reported that Irwin Yablans’ Compass International Pictures would present a “pre-sales campaign” for Halloween II at Cannes Film Festival. According to Yablans, pre-production on the sequel would start as the original Halloween prepared for a 700-theatre release in the United States on 24 Oct 1980.
       A 6 Mar 1980 HR news item reported that Yablans supposedly had a verbal agreement with Halloween producer Debra Hill and director John Carpenter to produce The Fog (1980, see entry) but they brought the project to Avco Embassy instead. Although Yablans filed a $4 million lawsuit against them, he still wanted the duo to return for Halloween II. A 21 May 1981 Var article reported that Hill and Carpenter went to Avco Embassy to make The Fog after claiming they were not receiving their profit participation for Halloween. Hill and Carpenter, however, did sign on for Halloween II. Almost everyone on the production team returned and Dino Laurentiis brought his company onboard for financing. The Var article also noted that Debra Hill had expressed interest in directing but chose not to pursue Halloween II because she did not want to appear as “just a protégé” of Carpenter’s. Rick Rosenthal made his feature film directorial debut after impressing Hill and Carpenter with his 1979 American Film Institute short The Toyer. A 28 Oct 1981 LAT article reported that Carpenter’s agent, David Gersh, also admired Rosenthal’s short ... More Less


       A 9 May 1980 Var article reported that Irwin Yablans’ Compass International Pictures would present a “pre-sales campaign” for Halloween II at Cannes Film Festival. According to Yablans, pre-production on the sequel would start as the original Halloween prepared for a 700-theatre release in the United States on 24 Oct 1980.
       A 6 Mar 1980 HR news item reported that Yablans supposedly had a verbal agreement with Halloween producer Debra Hill and director John Carpenter to produce The Fog (1980, see entry) but they brought the project to Avco Embassy instead. Although Yablans filed a $4 million lawsuit against them, he still wanted the duo to return for Halloween II. A 21 May 1981 Var article reported that Hill and Carpenter went to Avco Embassy to make The Fog after claiming they were not receiving their profit participation for Halloween. Hill and Carpenter, however, did sign on for Halloween II. Almost everyone on the production team returned and Dino Laurentiis brought his company onboard for financing. The Var article also noted that Debra Hill had expressed interest in directing but chose not to pursue Halloween II because she did not want to appear as “just a protégé” of Carpenter’s. Rick Rosenthal made his feature film directorial debut after impressing Hill and Carpenter with his 1979 American Film Institute short The Toyer. A 28 Oct 1981 LAT article reported that Carpenter’s agent, David Gersh, also admired Rosenthal’s short and helped him get the Halloween II directing job. The Toyer, based on a Gardner McKay short story, “was a psycho-killer movie;” however, the thriller was not bloody, instead relying “upon dialogue and pace,” and this fit in with Hill and Carpenter’s vision. In production notes from the Universal News’ Press Department, Hill noted “people don’t seem to realize that we showed next to no blood in the first picture. You think you’re seeing a lot more than we’re showing you. Chopping of people’s limbs isn’t scary or entertaining, it’s disgusting.” In the 21 May 1981 Var article, Hill referred to the Halloween pictures as “terror films” as opposed to horror.
       According to the Var article, the budgets of Halloween and Halloween II were quite different. The first Halloween was non-union and cost $320,000 as stated in a 9 May 1980 Var article. The 21 May 1981 Var article reported that if Halloween II had been non-union, Hill estimated it might have been made for less than $1,000,000. However, the “union shoot resulted in a $2,500,000 price tag, which Hill said is about the lowest figure possible for a union-affiliated production.”
       Production notes reported the movie shot in the greater Los Angeles, CA, area. Although the story takes place in Illinois, the Haddonfield home of Laurie Strode was filmed in West Hollywood. Hospital scenes were shot in a closed section of Inglewood, California’s Morningside Hospital, with additional scenes filmed at the Pasadena Community Hospital. The 21 May 1981 Var reported the six week shoot wrapped Monday and was set for a Halloween release date to coincide with the original Halloween airing on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Var added that Hill and Carpenter spent three more days shooting three scenes featuring lead actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence in order to add 12 minutes of new footage to the TV version of Halloween which was on the “short side for a full evening’s network slot.”
       A 9 Nov 1981 article in The Film Journal reported Universal would take care of distribution for Halloween II instead of the “now defunct Compass International” which had handled Halloween. The 21 May 1981 Var article had previously reported that “ Halloween II, financed by De Laurentiis, was to be released by Filmways, but “instability at that company” caused a move to Universal.
       A 2 Nov 1981 Var item reported Halloween II had “the biggest weekend of any film since the summer.” An item in the 4 Nov 1981 HR reported the film “grossed $7,676,836 during its first three days of release in 1,217 theatres in the United States and Canada.” ( Var listed 1211 theatres.) A 29 Dec 1981 HR item included Halloween II on the list of pictures which earned $10 million or more in rentals during the year, box-office figures for the film “were unavailable at press time.”
       In the 6 Nov 1981 LAHExam, Irwin Yablans reported that filming a third Halloween film was being considered, and there was “the possibility of making it an annual tradition. “ Halloween III: Season of the Witch (see entry) was released in 1982. Although the Halloween series did not become an annual tradition, multiple sequels and remakes were made throughout the years.
       A 23 May 1984 LAHExam article covered the trial of Richard D. Boyer who claimed that he stabbed an elderly Fullerton, CA, couple to death after drugs caused him to have “flashbacks” to watching Halloween II. The defense attorney, Jim Merwin, stated that “it may be the first time a full-length commercial motion picture has been shown to a jury in a murder trial.” On 13 Sep 1984 the LAHExam reported that, after less than three days of deliberation, the Orange County Superior Court jury recommend the death penalty for Richard Boyer.

      End credits include a “Special thanks” to Gene and Louise Bramson.

              Halloween II opens with footage from the end of Halloween (1978, see entry). In the overlapping scene, Tony Moran plays “Michael Myers” for the brief moment he is unmasked during a struggle with “Laurie Strode.” Tony is credited as “Michael (age 23),” a holdover from the credits of Halloween, but, according to the character “Dr. Sam Loomis,” Michael Myers is 21. Loomis also provides the timeline that Michael was 6 years old in 1963 and escaped from the sanitarium fifteen years later, in 1978, which puts Michael’s age at 21. In the end credits, Dick Warlock is credited as playing “The Shape,” the name given to the character in the first movie; however, the character is always referred to as “Michael Myers” or the “Boogeyman” in Halloween II. In Halloween, “Sheriff Brackett” does not have a first name. He is given the first name “Leigh” in Halloween II, possibly as an homage to screenwriter/novelist Leigh Brackett (1915-1978). In the end credits, John Zenda is listed as playing “Marshall,” but he actually plays a “Marshal.” The AMPAS Index to Motion Picture credits lists the production designer as J. Michael Riva but the end credits list him as Michael Riva. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1981.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
6 Nov 1981
p. 2.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
23 May 1984.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
13 Sep 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Oct 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Oct 1981
p. 10.
New York Times
30 Oct 1981
p. 15.
The Film Journal
9 Nov 1981.
---
Variety
9 May 1980.
---
Variety
21 May 1981.
---
Variety
2 Nov 1981.
---
Variety
4 Nov 1981
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Moustapha Akkad presents
A Dino De Laurentiis Corporation Film
A John Carpenter Debra Hill Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op/Panaglide op
Addl cam op
Addl cam op
Addl cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Assoc film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Asst prop master
Props
Propmaker
Greensman
Const coord
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Const painter
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Masks
MUSIC
In assoc with
Mus
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Sd concepts
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Dial ed
Asst dial ed
Re-rec mixer, Goldwyn Sound Facility
Re-rec mixer, Goldwyn Sound Facility
Re-rec mixer, Goldwyn Sound Facility
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff
Titles/Opticals
Titles/Opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Makeup tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Prod asst
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod's asst
Craft services
Craft services
Tech adv
Registered nurse
First aid
Prod accountant
Accounting asst
Casting
Extra casting
First aid const
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"Mr. Sandman," written by F.D. Ballard, courtesy of Barnaby Records, performed by The Chordettes
"Night of the Living Dead," courtesy of The Laurel Group, Inc. ©1978 Image Ten, Inc.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 30 October 1981
Production Date:
early April - 18 May 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Dino DeLaurentiis Corporation
Copyright Date:
25 January 1982
Copyright Number:
PA126374
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby stereo™
Color
Color by MGM®
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26416
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On Halloween, 31 Oct 1978, in Haddonfield, IL, babysitter Laurie Strode has stabbed the Boogeyman, aka Michael Myers. A wounded Laurie sends her frightened charges, Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace, to get help. Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael’s long-time psychiatrist, searches for Michael and sees the kids run outside. Inside, Michael, wearing a Halloween mask, silently gets up and attacks Laurie. The two struggle before Loomis rushes up the stairs and shoots Michael. The bullets send Michael crashing through a window. He falls to the lawn below where he lays lifeless. A tearful Laurie declares he was the Boogeyman and Loomis agrees. Loomis surveys the lawn for Michael’s body but it is gone. Michael walks through nearby neighborhoods and kills a teenage girl as Loomis and Sheriff Leigh Brackett frantically search for him. Paramedics Jimmy and Budd take Laurie to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where Dr. Mixter, who is probably drunk, examines her. Laurie begs Dr. Mixter not to put her to sleep but he gives her the shot anyway. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett spot a man wearing Halloween mask exactly like Michael’s. Loomis pulls his gun but the Sheriff stops him. A cop car suddenly smashes into the man and they crash into a van. Loomis and the Sheriff examine the burning corpse but cannot tell if it is Michael. Another cop arrives to tell the Sheriff that bodies of three teens have been found and one is the Sheriff’s daughter, Annie. At the hospital, Budd, a nurse, Jill, and the night guard, Mr. Garrett, watch news coverage at the nurses’ ... +


On Halloween, 31 Oct 1978, in Haddonfield, IL, babysitter Laurie Strode has stabbed the Boogeyman, aka Michael Myers. A wounded Laurie sends her frightened charges, Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace, to get help. Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael’s long-time psychiatrist, searches for Michael and sees the kids run outside. Inside, Michael, wearing a Halloween mask, silently gets up and attacks Laurie. The two struggle before Loomis rushes up the stairs and shoots Michael. The bullets send Michael crashing through a window. He falls to the lawn below where he lays lifeless. A tearful Laurie declares he was the Boogeyman and Loomis agrees. Loomis surveys the lawn for Michael’s body but it is gone. Michael walks through nearby neighborhoods and kills a teenage girl as Loomis and Sheriff Leigh Brackett frantically search for him. Paramedics Jimmy and Budd take Laurie to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where Dr. Mixter, who is probably drunk, examines her. Laurie begs Dr. Mixter not to put her to sleep but he gives her the shot anyway. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett spot a man wearing Halloween mask exactly like Michael’s. Loomis pulls his gun but the Sheriff stops him. A cop car suddenly smashes into the man and they crash into a van. Loomis and the Sheriff examine the burning corpse but cannot tell if it is Michael. Another cop arrives to tell the Sheriff that bodies of three teens have been found and one is the Sheriff’s daughter, Annie. At the hospital, Budd, a nurse, Jill, and the night guard, Mr. Garrett, watch news coverage at the nurses’ station. Jimmy slips into Laurie’s room but the head nurse, Mrs. Alves, tells him to leave. She also tells Laurie that her leg is not broken, it is just a cracked bone. Jimmy leaves for another call with Budd, and they are wheeling out Annie’s body as Sheriff Brackett, Loomis and the cop arrive. The grief-stricken Sheriff leaves, blaming Loomis for letting Michael out. Loomis is not sure Michael died in the car crash and tells the cop to find a dentist to meet them at the Coroner’s office. Across town, a nurse, Karen, leaves a Halloween party and is late for her shift. She arrives at the hospital, grabs her uniform and rushes inside as Michael arrives behind her. In the break room, Budd smokes a joint as he, Jimmy and a student nurse, Janet, watch TV coverage. In the security office, Mr. Garrett reads a magazine and does not see Michael on the monitors. Michael watches, unseen, as Karen is scolded by Mrs. Alves for being late. Jimmy sneaks back into Laurie’s room. He tells her about Michael’s escape from the mental hospital, and Laurie wonders why Michael is after her. They are interrupted by Mrs. Alves who has not been able to reach Laurie’s parents. Michael wanders the hospital’s halls as Mrs. Alves sends Janet to tell Mr. Garrett about the phone trouble. Mr. Garrett hands Janet a walkie-talkie to use while he checks the phones. Janet does not know how to use it but reluctantly waits. When Mr. Garrett discovers a storeroom with a broken padlock, he calls Janet on the walkie-talkie and tells her to drive to the Sheriff’s station. Janet, however, only gets static. Mr. Garrett continues to investigate until Michael suddenly appears with a hammer and slams it into Mr. Garrett’s head. At the morgue, Loomis, the cop and a dentist check the teeth of the burned body. The dentist says the victim is 17-18 years old. Michael is twenty-one, so they must assume Michael is still alive. Loomis and the cop decide to check out the Myers house where Loomis recounts Michael’s back-story of murdering his sister with a butcher knife. Loomis is interrupted by two teens worried about their missing friend, Bennett Tramer, who left a party drunk and wearing a Halloween mask. Loomis and the cop realize Tramer might be the burned corpse. News arrives about a break-in at the elementary school and they leave to investigate. At the hospital, a buzzing light startles Karen. She checks on the “patient” and is grabbed by Budd who wants to meet her in the physical therapy room. Karen is initially hesitant but agrees. Laurie has dreams of blood interspersed with her younger self hanging laundry with her mother who says, “I am not your mother.” Then young Laurie approaches young Michael who sits and stares out the window. He turns to look at her and more images of blood awaken Laurie. She is groggy, however, and quickly drops back to sleep. Budd soaks in the Jacuzzi as Karen undresses, turns off the light and joins him. In the dressing area, Michael turns up the heat. Budd and Karen start to make out but the water is too hot so Budd checks on the heat while Karen towels off. Michael strangles Budd, then comes up behind Karen and pushes her head into the Jacuzzi where she is boiled and drowned. At the school, “SAMHAIN” is written in blood on the blackboard and Loomis explains it is Celtic for “Lord of the Dead.” Marion Chambers from Smith’s Grove sanitarium arrives with a Marshal to take Loomis back to the sanitarium. At the hospital, Jimmy discovers Laurie is catatonic, perhaps from a reaction to medication. Janet finds Dr. Mixter who was killed with a syringe in the eye, and Michael kills Janet with a syringe of air to her temple. As Jimmy searches for Mrs. Alves, Jill leaves Laurie to check on a buzzing light. Michael enters Laurie’s room and stabs the bed repeatedly with a scalpel but discovers he has stabbed pillows. Laurie limps down a hallway and hides in an empty room, huddled against the wall. Michael moves at a deliberate pace through the hallways. Jill discovers Laurie is missing and is startled by Jimmy who says he cannot find anyone. Michael watches, unseen, as Jimmy sends Jill to the Sheriff’s. Jimmy finds Mrs. Alves’ body strapped to a gurney, her blood drained by a tube in her arm. Jimmy slips on all the blood, lands hard and is knocked out. Jill’s car will not start and every tire in the parking lot is flat. She runs back inside and sees Laurie limping down the hallway. Laurie turns to see Michael step behind Jill and stab her. Laurie races to the basement. She hides in a utility room but backs into Mr. Garrett’s body and screams. Michael comes into the room so Laurie climbs to a small upper window and pulls herself through while Michael tries to hack her feet with a knife. Laurie runs for the elevator, frantically waits for it and barely gets away. She runs outside and hides on the passenger floor of a car. In the Marshal’s car, Marion tells Loomis of a secret file, just unsealed. Michael Myers is Laurie Strodes’ brother. Laurie was two when Michael was committed. Her parents died two years later and the Strodes adopted Laurie. The file was sealed for their protection. Loomis realizes Michael is back to kill his sister and forces the Marshal to drive to the hospital. Jimmy, still dazed, gets into the car in which Laurie is hiding, but he cannot start the car and passes out. Laurie crawls out as Loomis, Marion and the Marshal arrive. They do not hear her and rush inside. Laurie limps across the parking lot with Michael in pursuit. Loomis lets her inside and quickly locks the glass door behind them. But Michael crashes through the glass and Loomis shoots him five times. Michael drops to the ground, apparently dead. Marion runs to call the cops on the Marshal’s radio. Michael suddenly sits up and slits the Marshal’s throat, then pursues Loomis and Laurie through the hospital. They hide in a Minor Surgery room and Loomis gives Laurie a gun. Michael breaks in and Loomis shoots, but the gun is empty. Michael stabs Loomis so Laurie shoots Michael twice in the face. As Michael clutches his bleeding eyes and swings his knife blindly, Loomis turns the valve on a nearby ether tank and Laurie does the same. Loomis pulls the oxygen and ether lines from the walls, orders Laurie to run, then raises his lighter. The room explodes. Laurie is sent flying down the hallway. She looks back as Michael, fully engulfed, walks from the flames before dropping, dead. Flames burn his Halloween mask. In the aftermath, Laurie is wheeled to another ambulance as the cops estimate ten are dead, so far. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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