A horror icon stalks the Haunted Eyeball this Monday, care of guest author, and award-winning horror writer, Chris Davis. She tells the Eyeball why Michael Myers (Halloween, 1978) is the nastiest monster of all, and why she still can’t look away.
Call me sick. Call me twisted. Call me whatever you want, but for the love of all that’s unholy, do not paint a William Shatner mask white, wear it and come after me with a butcher knife.
Wait, you knew that was what he wore, right?
There’s just something about Michael Myers of Halloween that has scared the hell out of me since the first time I saw the 1978 John Carpenter film starring Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis. and the unnaturally silent and focused Michael Myers himself.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched both the original Halloween and Halloween II. While I can now watch them at night with the lights off, without being convinced Michael’s going to break down my door, the character still gives me chills.
For one thing, Michael stabbed his older sister multiple times with a butcher knife while wearing a clown suit. On Halloween night, of course. While most kids were out seeing how much candy they could trick-or-treat out of their neighbors, this blank-faced seven-year old boy was committing homicide in his own home. Well, at least his sister got to have sex first.
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, partially because of the creepy aspect of it. For one thing, I love jack-o-lanterns because as a kid, it was always fun to see your creation come to life after you spent time gutting a pumpkin and carving a face into it. Light a candle and boom, suddenly it was alive.
And then came Halloween, where a lit jack-o-lantern meant Michael Myers was about to slice and dice his way to the end of a movie. While I can’t say I quite understand the point of killing all of his other sister Laurie Strode‘s (Curtis) friends before he finally went after her, I can appreciate the fact that this monster just wouldn’t stop.
It was as though for the entirety of his stay in an insane asylum, he’d been plotting precisely who he was going to kill, and when, and how. He does Laurie’s friend Annie in and winds up laying her out on a bed, in front of his sister’s gravestone which he’s stolen from the Haddonfield, Illinois cemetery. He even, after killing him, dons Lynda’s boyfriend Bob’s glasses over top of a white sheet so he looks like a ghost when he returns to the bedroom to, eventually, kill Lynda. Almost like he has some sort of sick sense of humor.
And yet there’s really no humor in the actions of this homicidal maniac. As Tommy Doyle rightfully points out…and Dr. Loomis confirms to Laurie at the end…Michael is the Boogeyman. A victim runs…and all Michael does is walk purposefully. Yet still he catches up with them. To be fair, I’ve always thought it was the kids’ own stupidity that got them killed, and Laurie’s moderately smarter brain that kept her alive. Let’s face it: if your killer never runs, and you run like the wind, the only reason you’ll die is if you corner yourself somewhere and can’t get away.
Or, once again showcasing the teenagers’ stupidity, if you try to get into your car and it’s locked, but you’re mooning over sex with your boyfriend too much to notice that after you’ve fetched the keys, the car door is now open, well…survival of the fittest dictated that Annie had to die. Just for form’s sake, if nothing else.
But Michael himself truly is the most monstrous monster out there to me because along with never stopping and the coldness with which he murders, is the fact that you can’t kill him. Much like Jason from Friday the 13th and Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael can get shot six times and fall flat on his back from a second-floor balcony and still he disappears. So he can come back in a sequel and do some more damage, of course.
Yes, there’s a new set of Halloween movies from the mind of Rob Zombie, but to me the original will always live as the best, the classic, the one I could watch a million more times to add to the million I’ve already seen it. Michael Myers is a freight train, and each kill is a train wreck you can’t help but stare at with morbid fascination. By the end of the movie, Laurie Strode is no longer an innocent happy-go-lucky girl…and once I saw this movie, I wasn’t, either.
There’s something about the complete and utter silence of the character that will always creep me out. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s psychotic. Nothing will personify the part of Halloween I love the best like this film, no matter how many more scary flicks have come out since or will come out in the future.
Let’s recap why Michael Myers is an awesome monster, shall we?
- He doesn’t say a word – none of that twirling-mustache-while-explaining-precisely-what-the-big-plan-is and why you have to die. Just creepy, deafening silence. You don’t know why. You don’t know what. But you know it ain’t gonna be good.
- You can’t kill him. Not with knives, not with bullets, not with fire.
- You can’t get away from him even though he never does anything more than walk at a slow and steady pace.
- Okay, this one needs to be reiterated: He just. Won’t. Die.
- He wears a scary William Shatner mask. (I love The Shat, and it’s just damn funny that that’s what Michael wears, is all.)
- His own doctor knows he’s evil and screams it to the world, who won’t listen, so he sets out to prove his doctor right and succeeds!
You cannot go through life without Michael Myers’ theme music getting stuck in your head. That simple piano piece makes my blood run cold no matter how many times I hear it. So watch, get creeped out, and hope the Boogeyman doesn’t come for you this October the 31st…
Chris Davis is the award-winning writer of the Takers urban vampire series and has been interviewed on the Haunted Eyeball before. The next book Takers III: Bloodlines is out now and will be reviewed on Wednesday 6th July, and we’ll interview Chris about her latest work on Thursday 7th.
- The Devil’s Eyes – A Look at Halloween (1978) (milambc.wordpress.com)
- Don’t Cross the White Picket Fence: Suburban Spaces of Terror in Halloween (oldmapleman.wordpress.com)
- Strangulation and sex: How horror films reflect the darkness within us (milambc.wordpress.com)
- Psycho Killers Final: Michael Myers vs. Hannibal Lecter (popwatch.ew.com)