Wednesday, October 31, 2018

13 Days of Halloween: HALLOWEEN: A Fan's Retrospective

While most kids were watching cartoons in 1988, I was a seven-year-old sitting in the floor directly in front of my grandparent's old television set watching Jamie Lee Curtis being stalked by a psychopath wearing a William Shatner mask. 

Yeah, you shouldn't let a seven-year-old watch a slasher film, but my grandmother did. Thanks, Grandma! 

I believe I was probably pestering my grandmother, so she played a movie in the VHS player for me to watch. Don't worry, the movie was edited. She had recorded Halloween I, II, and III onto a VHS tape off of television the previous year. I would say she played the movie just to get me to leave her alone. Whatever the reason, it was the first time I watched Halloween, which would become my favorite movie.

While Halloween wasn't my venture into the world of horror (Midnight Hour (1985) gets that honor!), it was my very first slasher flick, which kicked off my lifetime love for the Halloween franchise. (Yes, that even includes the godawful Halloween Resurrection!)

I can't explain why my favorite movie is about a masked killer stalking a babysitter on Halloween Night. It might have something to do with the film's Gothic-like atmosphere or it might have something to with the little fact that my first crush was on Jamie Lee Curtis! 

My mother thought I was crazy for liking a slasher film and thought there was something mentally wrong with me. I'm not joking, she really thought there was something wrong with me. Through my eyes Halloween was just a movie. I knew the difference between make-believe and reality, so I never saw the harm in watching the movie.

I believe I still have my grandmother's VHS tape, but for the life of me I couldn't find it before I started writing this. I believe it is stored in a box somewhere. 

Anyway, I eventually owned an unedited version of Halloween on VHS, which was the 1997 "Anniversary Edition" that my mother had to order for me when I was teenager. When I say "had to order," I mean I had to beg. What I didn't know at the time was that the movie was in "widescreen presentation," which didn't look to great on the old standard televisions sets of the 1990s. Two years later, I bought the "Restored Collector's Edition" VHS at a Walmart store, which was in fullscreen. However, that was way after I tricked my mom into buying the Halloween: The Limited Edition VHS set in 1998. She knew I was wanting to order a horror movie from a Critic's Choice catalog, but she wasn't aware of the title until I received the VHS in the mail. I remember her saying, "You already own the movie. Why would you want two copies?" Her question was easy for me to answer, "Halloween is my favorite movie."

After I bought my first DVD player in early 2000s, one of the first DVDs I got was Halloween: 25th Anniversary Edition. I didn't upgrade the movie to a Blu-ray until Shout Factory! released the Halloween: The Complete Collection a couple of years ago. And this year I upgraded to the 4K Ultra HD, which is a little bit weird considering I don't even own a 4K TV!

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