The first time I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween, it ended for me 1 hour and 5 minutes in to the movie, and that wasn’t the end of the film, not by a long shot. For those of you unfamiliar with the film, it’s running time is a damn sight longer than that, but for me it all suddenly stopped just before Bob got Lynda’s “ghost”, and was pinned or was it skewered to the kitchen closet door by Michael Myers.
Mike Myers, err I mean Michael Myers (Not to be confused with the SNL Alum of the somewhat same name) resplendent in his Capt’n Kirk Mask staring at Bob’s pinned limp body with canine wonder, the crazed killer who went on to spawn numerous sequels and to single handedly gave birth to the whole “slasher” genre.
What a scene!
I distinctly remember this moment in the film, as I jumped out of my skin to the sound of the super large push down play button abruptly snapping up on my dad’s 200 pound Sony Betamax VCR, stopping the movie and turning the TV screen blank.
The room was suddenly darker, much darker than before. The whole space seemed a much cheerier place just a few moments before, even when it was just slightly illuminated by a violent horror movie. Now darkness and silence had engulfed the room.
This was my first experience with John Carpenter as a film maker and a composer. Carpenter the composer in someways overshadowing the film maker, as the haunting Halloween theme written and performed by Carpenter was burned into my brain that night, and has never really left.
Years later when I got finally got my hands on the Original Soundtrack Recording of Halloween on vinyl (which is still have), I would play it very loudly in my bedroom with the lights out. A musical phase which no doubt worried my parents, and which would also strangely resurrected itself many years later…
As an adult and learning that the original Halloween was filmed in South Pasadena (a stones throw from where I live), I once actually drove through the streets where those famous scenes were filmed, at night. Playing the Halloween soundtrack in my car.
I look back on that now and shake my head in disbelief that I could have actually done something so strange and silly, but at the time…
Well, it was awesome.
While Carpenter has not made a movie in a few years, I was thrilled to recently discover that he does have some new music coming out. An album of new original compositions that I’m extremely eager to listen to!
The above track is from the forthcoming album Lost Themes, and is entitled “Vortex”. Have a listen, I think it’s a superb track and very reminiscent of Carpenters work in the early 1980’s.
The new album hits the stores in February 2015 and will be available on CD and Vinyl. I can’t fucking wait.
I love John Carpenter…