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USA suspense 1978 color 93 min.
Director: John Carpenter
CAV: $99.95 - available
2 discs, catalog # CC1399L

CLV: $49.95 - available
1 disc, catalog # CC1462L

A disciple of Howard Hawks, John Carpenter set out in 1978 to make a good scare movie and created the most successful independent picture in history. Halloween launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis and spawned, for better or worse, the sequel-driven genre of slasher films. Almost twenty years later, this master of fright worked with us to put his oblique, Hitchcockian thriller in context.

"The Evil is gone!" says Donald Pleasence, and John Carpenter unleashed faceless psychopath Michael Myers to slash his way into a generation's nightmares. But Halloween stands up as a classic independent horror film not because of gore (there's hardly any), but because of Carpenter's incredibly stylish shooting (which pays tribute to both Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks), an unforgettable score (also composed by Carpenter), and Jamie Lee Curtis' debut (as a plucky babysitter sworn to guard her charges). Presented in a new widescreen digital transfer in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

Criterion's CAV Special Edition features:

  • Screen-specific audio commentary featuring writer/director/composer John Carpenter, writer/producer Debra Hill, and actress Jamie Lee Curtis
  • The original theatrical trailer
  • Separate music and effects track
  • Additional footage shot for the 1980 television release
  • Photo essay on the making, marketing, and mimicking of Halloween
  • Illustrated filmographies of John Carpenter, Donald Pleasence, and Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert give splatter movies the thumbs down while praising Halloween in a controversial 1980 Sneak Previews segment
  • Genre guide by John McCarty, author of Splatter Movies: Breaking the Last Taboo of the Screen, including capsule reviews of cold-blooded killer movies from The Bad Seed to Halloween 5

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