halloween II (1981)

Halloween II is a 1981 horror film and the second installment in the Halloween series. Directed by Rick Rosenthal and written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, it is a direct sequel to the first film; set on the same night of October 31, 1978, in the fictional American Midwest town of Haddonfield, the seemingly indestructible Michael Myers follows his intended victim Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to a nearby hospital while Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is still in pursuit of his patient.

Stylistically, Halloween II reproduces certain key elements that made the original Halloween a success such as first-person camera perspectives and unexceptional settings. However, it departs significantly from its predecessor by incorporating more graphic violence and gore, making it imitate more closely other films in the emerging slasher film sub-genre. Still, the sequel was a box office success, grossing over $25.5 million in the United States.

Halloween II was intended to be the last chapter of the Halloween series to revolve around Michael Myers and Haddonfield, but after the lackluster reaction to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Michael Myers returned seven years later in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).

Trivia:

  • Dana Carvey made his movie debut in this movie playing an assistant. He can be seen receiving instructions from a blond reporter in front of the Wallace house.
  • The film is set immediately after the first Halloween (1978). Since Jamie Lee Curtis had begun to wear a much shorter hairstyle in the 1980s, she had to wear a wig that matched her original hairstyle for the film.
  • Halloween II was originally written to take place in a high rise apartment building. Later in script meetings, however, the setting was changed to Haddonfield Hospital.
  • This is the only Halloween film to show the morning after the 31st, every other movie ends on Halloween night.
  • John Carpenter turned down an offer to direct, but remained involved with the production by writing the screenplay.
  • Pamela Susan Shoop (Karen) got an ear infection during filming of her death scene as the water in the hot tub was apparently “none too clean”.
  • Believing Rick Rosenthal’s version of the film to be too tame, John Carpenter shot a few gory scenes that were added into the film despite Rosenthal’s objections.
  • The scene where the Boom Box Boy, played by Lance Warlock, runs into Michael in Haddonfield town square was shot on one of three nights of re-shoots done by original Halloween (1978) director John Carpenter.
  • The voice of Alice’s friend (heard over a telephone) is the voice of Nancy Kyes, who played Annie in Halloween (1978), and appears in Halloween II (1981) as the corpse of Annie.
  • The 17-year-old who was hit by the police car and burnt alive, at first believed to be Michael Myers, was supposed to be Ben Tramer, the boy Laurie confesses to have a crush in in the original Halloween.
  • Ben Tramer, who gets killed, is a reference to John Carpenter’s friend Bennett Tramer. They went to USC (University of Southern California) as Tramer wrote episodes for ‘”Saved By the Bell” (1989)’.
  • Dick Warlock wore lifts in order to appear taller.
  • The film that the security guard and the Elrods are watching is Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • In the scene where Michael tries to attack Laurie as she’s climbing through the window the scalpel that he’s holding was actually just an eraser on a stick.
  • As revealed by the Sheriff’s Deputie’s patch, Haddonfield supposedly exists in Warren County, Illinois. Warren County is actually in Nothwest Illinois. Warren County more likely refers to the county in Kentucky which contains the city of Bowling Green where John Carpenter grew up.
  • Alice’s friend Sally (the girl on the phone in the beginning of the movie) tells her the murders happened on Orange Grove. This is the actual name of the street where this film and Halloween (1978) were filmed. The houses that portray the Wallace and Doyle houses are on Orange Grove just north of Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California
  • John Carpenter spent time growing up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and there are several references to Bowling Green and the surrounding area: Smiths Grove and Russelville are towns nearby; Bowling Green is in Warren County, where Haddonfield is set; and Elrod, Chestnut, (31W) Bypass, and Scottsville are all names of local streets in Bowling Green. Additionally, someone in the film makes a reference to the Lost River Drive-In, which was a real drive-in theater in Bowling Green.
  • Was filmed at Morningside Hospital, 8711 South Harvard, Los Angeles which had recently closed and has since been torn down.
  • Anne-Marie Martin came into production as a favor when additional footage was being shot. John Carpenter shot the scene that involved Martin and supporting cast member Pamela Susan Shoop.
  • The only Halloween film to be produced by Universal Studios. After the massive success of the first film, Universal picked up the sequel. When the sequel didn’t fare so well, Universal gave the rights to Trancas International , an affiliate of Universal’s, who produced the films until 1989. In 1996, the rights were sold to Dimension.
  • The mask Michael wears is the exact same mask (a repainted and modified Captain Kirk mask) worn in the original film. It looks different in the sequel because the latex had decayed in the years between films, and Dick Warlock is shorter and stockier than Nick Castle, so the mask fit his head differently. All the subsequent sequels used different masks that looked rather different.
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