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Revisiting the Novelization of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ and Its Fascinating Michael Myers Origin Story

Revisiting the Novelization of John Carpenter's 'Halloween' and Its Fascinating Michael Myers Origin Story

“And once started, it trod the earth forevermore, wreaking its savagery suddenly, swiftly, and with incredible ferocity. Then, its lust sated, it shrank back into the mists of time for a year, a decade, a generation perhaps. But it slept only and did not die, for it could not be killed. And on the eve before Samhain it would stir, and if the lust were powerful enough, it would rise to fulfill the curse invoked so many Samhains before.”

Time and time once more, the Halloween franchise has tried to elucidate away the reasoning behind Michael Myers’ mania. Since the very starting, the Halloween movies have tried to peel again a layer or two of Michael’s mystique, engaging viewers with a glimpse of the finally unknowable whereas risking injury to the thriller that makes him such a potent, terrifying villain. Is he merely a madman, out for a enjoyable night time of spree killing, as the first movie advised? Or maybe, is he “purely and simply evil”, as that inaugural film’s Ahab Physician Loomis gravely intoned in a single of the movie’s most indelible scenes?

The primary sequel prompt that Michael was solely excited about killing his relations when it was revealed that the earlier movie’s Ultimate Woman Laurie Strode was his little sister, whereas the fourth and fifth entries would bolster this assumption by having Michael goal his final remaining relative – little Jamie Lloyd, his preteen niece. The sixth movie would take the collection into completely bonkers territory when it revealed that Michael was beneath the management of a Druid cult, who’d positioned upon him the “Curse of Thorn” as a way to bestow upon him a fantastic supernatural energy that they wished to harness. The ultimate cinematic try at explaining away what drives the Form got here with Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake, which grounded Michael’s backstory and introduced him as a burgeoning younger psychopath rising up beneath the weight of psychological sickness and an abusive surroundings.

And with David Gordon Inexperienced’s model new “requel” having simply arrived in theaters this previous week, we now have the risk of yet one more rationalization, yet one more attainable trace as to Michael’s true nature. Are viewers given any additional perception into what makes Michael tick, or is the Form being introduced as a faceless boogeyman but once more, a lot as he was when the story first started? We’ll depart that for viewers to find. Earlier than you sprint off to catch a screening of this latest installment (in case you haven’t already), permit we right here at Bloody Disgusting to current to you the all too seldom mentioned origin of Michael Myers…

Revealed in 1979, the yr following the first movie’s launch, writer and literary agent Richard Curtis’ Halloween novelization introduced a story which hewed intently to the occasions of John Carpenter’s movie, but deviated in some fascinating methods. Curtis, writing beneath the pseudonym Curtis Richards, offered further scenes all through to broaden the movie’s story and deepen its characters. Amongst these bonus moments have been an early bit that includes Physician Loomis testifying earlier than a courtroom about Michael’s conduct (which was not in contrast to a scene which might be filmed for Halloween’s tv reduce a pair of years later, which may now be present in the movie’s prolonged reduce). Right here, Loomis particulars younger Michael Audrey Myers’ time in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, noting that many unusual occurrences would befall anybody in the hospital who crossed the youngster, inflicting accidents starting from meals poisoning and damaged bones to near-death – main Loomis to notice that Michael Myers “may be the most dangerous person I have ever handled”.

Additional further scenes included a revelation that Physician Loomis had a spouse (who he telephones whereas en path to Haddonfield to warn towards opening her door to trick-or-treaters that night), a detailing of Michael’s sexual attraction to Annie throughout his stalking, and even provides the Form a masks that’s solely totally different from the pale, iconic Shatner-visage that’s turn out to be synonymous with the character. From Curtis’ novelization: ”The person had darkish red-stained lips and his eyes have been rimmed in purple, like grossly overused eyeshadow. A furious scar zig-zagged down his cheek.”

However the most vital addition to the Form’s story got here with Curtis’ prologue, which begins in northern Eire throughout the early days of the Celtic race, putting its occasions someday round 500 BC. The Druid clan we’re launched to are getting ready to have fun the pageant of Samhain (pronounced “Sow-when”, apologies to Physician Loomis). The celebration is meant to please their solar god Muck Olla, recognized alternatively as each the god of the underworld and, watch for it…”the boogeyman”.

These individuals are presided over by King Gwynwyll, whose youngest daughter Deirdre has just lately come of age. Truthful-haired and beautiful, Deirdre is famous as being the most lovely younger lady on this clan. Inevitably, she has begun drawing the attentions of the numerous younger warriors all through the land.

She has additionally caught the eye of a younger man named Enda. A lovestruck fifteen-year previous, Enda is introduced as a sympathetic wretch whose botched start left him deformed, with a “shriveled arm and … twitching mouth”. Regardless of the ridicule from his circle of relatives for his ill-advised infatuation, Enda convinces himself that, if he might solely skirt by Deirdre’s all too protecting household and converse together with her instantly, he may probably win each her coronary heart and hand.

This certainty led Enda to pursue Deirdre at some point, trailing after her as soon as he discovered her alone (shades of the Form stalking his prey right here). As Enda approached Deirdre, she mistook his intentions, crying out “Help! Help! He means to rape me!” Laughter ensued as soon as Deirdre realized Enda’s true plan, with the ensuing humiliation infuriating the boy, main him to drink – and to plot his revenge.

On the day of Samhain, the individuals lit a big bonfire and danced about it in celebration. Enda moved amongst the revelers, consuming and hefting a big butcher’s blade, all whereas eyeing Deirdre and her just-announced fiancé Cullain. His assault was swift, chopping down the dancing couple with a rage-fueled ferocity – slicing Cullain’s throat to the windpipe, then driving his blade right down to the hilt into Deirdre’s chest.

No matter pleasure Enda’s vengeance introduced him was short-lived. The distraught tribe set upon the disabled youth, rending him limb from limb, tearing him aside. In the finish, solely Enda’s severed head and eliminated coronary heart remained, commanded by the King to be taken to the “Hill of Fiends” and cursed by his shaman. And so it was completed, with the shaman proclaiming “Thy soul shall roam the earth till the end of time, reliving thy foul deed and thy foul punishment, and may the god Muck Olla visit every affliction upon thy spirit forevermore.”

Curtis then outlines the numerous transmutations the celebration of Samhain would bear all through the centuries, till it lastly turned the comparatively innocent vacation that we horror followers know and like to have fun yearly. Although once in a while, Curtis notes, “the innocent frolic of All Hallow Even was shattered by some brutal and inexplicable crime, and the original spirit of the celebration was brought home to a horrified world.” And so, Curtis’ prologue ends, however not earlier than including one final contact to precede the occasions that open the movie.

The next chapter introduces us to younger Michael Myers, six-years previous and itching to go trick-or-treating in his new clown costume. Michael is introduced as a traditional baby right here, being schooled on the boogeyman and the darker origins of the vacation by his grandmother. When the speak turns morbid, Michael’s mom Edith chides Grandma, till the dialogue takes a shocking flip – revealing that Michael has been having violent goals, and has been listening to voices which inform the boy to say that he hates others. This recollects Edith’s personal Grandpa Nordstrom, who’d had dangerous goals and heard voices earlier than some grim, finally undescribed occasion. The novel continues on from there, following Michael alongside his path to murdering his sister Judith, a lot as the movie begins.

Whereas Curtis’ ingenious marriage of Celtic lore and Carpenter’s movie might hardly be thought-about canonical (however then once more, with the numerous timelines the franchise now boasts, what’s canon for Halloween today?), it does present an interesting rationalization for Michael’s drive to kill. And but, does it make the boogeyman kind of scary for understanding his “true” origin? Do we have to know why the Form takes to the streets, stalks victims, cuts down random people who run afoul of him on his favourite vacation? On this author’s opinion, the scariest Michael is the one who’s completely unfathomable. Besides, Curtis’ novelization offers an intriguing addition to the lore that’s each bit as fascinating as “the boogeyman”, Laurie and Michael being siblings, the Thorn cult, and so forth.

And perhaps that’s what makes Michael the scariest of all trendy cinematic villains. That, for all the attainable explanations, for each potential cause for his evil that we’re given, it solely strikes us additional away from really figuring out him. For all the faces Michael is given all through the franchise, they’re all hidden behind the similar clean, pale, impassive masks – perpetually rendering him an enigmatic, impenetrable Form.

NOTE: all quotes in daring italics taken from Richard Curtis’ Halloween novelization.

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