I don’t want to talk about the Halloween movie franchise from any real critical perspective. Not tonight. I don’t want to rehash the argument about Halloween III, which one might be considered the best entry in the series, which is the best sequel… I don’t wanna talk about the mask. I don’t wanna talk about P.J. Soles’ life changing breasts. Tonight I’m just thinking about cover boxes and VHS from some pivotal movies in my own personal, horror movie development (the training bra years). When I was a kid we had taped Halloweens 1, 2 and 3 off television during a marathon week. Each one was cut to pieces (though I didn’t know it at the time) and each one had this rad disco party movie bumper that had this creepy gong sound at the end coming in and out of commercial break. I used to watch each movie in order over and over again. Tape would end. Rewind. Watch em again. Next day after school… start again.
What’s truly miraculous is finding out that you actually get to see Linda topless before she gets strangled. What’s amazing is that you get to see Stacey Nelkin topless (sans nipples). The Silver Shamrock kid test… I had no idea it was that explicit. When P.J. Soles gets strangled… it lasts forever! The beauty of watching a movie over and over again taped from TV is that you get to know all the commercials by heart and your parents can shut their mouths. Hell, for years the only version I knew existed of Halloween was the TV edit with the additional scenes with all that clever backstory woven into the film. What’s terrifying is not know what you’re missing.
The first three Halloween movies were everywhere when I was a kid. That includes the third installment no matter how unpopular it may have been. I remember seeing them at the video store where we used to grow when I was growing up. I swear there was something resembling a big box edition of Halloween III though I was unable to find it for this little pictorial if one exists at all. The boxes really were not anything special though I still say that Halloween III has the best cover (the traditional box). I suppose with so many great obscure horror flicks with truly artistically expressive covers the mass market release may have been a bit of a let down.
As a tribute to three of the foundational movies in my horror movie puberty I’d like to post some VHS editions of each of the first three Halloweens. These are the ones that got me good while there was still something to get. Please post links to your favorites. VHS preferred, but I’d love to see any edition you’d like us to look at for the first three movies. Tonight IT CAME FROM 1980x just posts a bunch of pictures, but also, we hope, a bunch of memories. It’s not about the movies really. It’s about the memories. Tell us where you saw ’em. How you snuck downstairs at 3am to watch them on HBO… anything.
May your rivers run red! Happy Halloween.