John Carpenter’s Halloween was released on October 25, 1978 in one major metropolitan area, Kansas City. So the big run for Halloween came over the ensuing months following a major word-of-mouth springboard that led to the indie film being a cult-horror phenomenon. So much so that it lasted in the theatrical circuit for another year, all the way to the next Halloween season in 1979.
“The True Apex Predator!”
Even though Halloween scared the wits out of people when it first opened in 1978, it wasn’t until 1979 that it would be at the height of its popularity and when fans started flocking to theaters to watch the film, one person had the presence of mind to bring along a video recorder to film the audience reactions to Halloween.
As many may already know, Michael Myers is perhaps one of the most well-known and infamous horror slashers of all time, only to be pre-dated by Norman Bates. Many slashers came after him, but Halloween has forever been credited as the film that started the horror slasher phenomenon that fueled the horror-crazed 1980s.
Halloween 1978 pic.twitter.com/pWg2BlSdIJ
— MAZELTOV COCKTAIL (@AllHailEntropy) August 29, 2017
What horror fans need to realize is that when Halloween came out, the non-supernatural element of the show is what made it so scary. Such was also the case with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, but Halloween was a toned down version of reality style horror, thus making it a slasher film for a broader audience.
There is a unique indifference that horror fans might have with watching this video of audience reactions to Halloween. What scares us now is quite a bit more intense than what would have scared an audience in 1979. Their reactions to Halloween are almost comical, but horror fans should remember that Halloween attracted fans of all genres, not just those who love horror.
“Death is an illusion!”
Nevertheless, entertain yourself by watching this “audience reactions” video below and judge for yourself what kind of cultural impact John Carpenter’s Halloween has had on American filmmaking over the past 40 years.
[Featured Image by Compass International]