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What's the appeal of this 13-film franchise that started with John Carpenter's 1978 film Halloween and has purportedly wrapped up with David Gordon Green's Halloween Ends?
Actor/SFX makeup designer/horror podcaster Nathan Shelton joins Mark, Lawrence, and Al to figure out if even all the various filmmakers involved understood what the appeal of that first film was. While in that film, the killer Michael Myers is purely a motiveless, stalking apparition, by the 1981 sequel, there is apparently a motive (the heroine from the first film is revealed to be the killer's sister), and there's a much higher body count with much more graphic violence. When Rob Zombie rebooted the franchise in 2007, he gave us much more backstory to show why and how a troubled child Michael started killing in the first place. In 1995, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers invented a whole cult mythology to explain why Michael was compelled to kill and posited that this curse could be infectious, giving rise to new killers. David Gordon Green's final trilogy (starting with 2018's Halloween) is wildly inconsistent in its ideology and message, but has likewise theorized that Michael's violence is somehow infectious, though through forces more sociological than occult.
Hear Nathan's previous PMP appearance talking about horror films.
Some sources we consulted included:
- "Which Halloween Movies Actually Work?" by Scout Tafoya
- "All 13 ‘Halloween’ Movies in the Franchise, Ranked" by Matthew Chernov
- "Halloween Ends Explained: The Legacy of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode" by David Crow
- "You’re Wrong about Halloween Ends" by Griffin Schiller
- "The Unmade Halloween Movies You Never Saw" by Padraig Cotter
- 616's "The History of Halloween"
- "How to Watch the Halloween Movies in Chronological Order" by IGN
- "Halloween Unmasked: Halloween Is Here to Slay" by Amy Nicholson
Follow us @npshelton, @law_writes, @ixisnox, and @MarkLinsenmayer.
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This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
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