John Carpenter's original film Halloween is the first installment in one of the most famous and successful horror movie franchises in film history. The concept, story, and execution of said story is incredibly simple, but that simplicity is a huge reason why the movie is so effective. Halloween's popularity has endured since it was initially released in 1978, and it has been cemented within the horror genre as one of the pillars on which slasher movies stand.
One of the aspects that made Halloween such a breakout success is that it feels like the kind of horror movie that could be real and that could actually happen to you. A lot of elements of the film had to come together to make it feel so real, and a lot of small elements of the production had to be just right in order to make it an effectively scary movie. The classic Halloween Michael Myers costume is now one of the most recognizable costumes in all of horror, but here are 10 details behind all of the Halloween costumes that you probably didn't notice.
10 They Asked For Help From A Mask Making Company
Obviously the mask that Michael Myers wears in Halloween is one of the most important aspects of the movie as a whole, and having the exact right mask to convey the terror that the audience should feel from the moment that Michael steps on screen is an essential part of making this horror movie actually seem scary. So it's no surprise that the producers of Halloween solicited the help of a mask making company to create the perfect villainous face from scratch. They asked a company called Don Post Studios for their help and offered back end points on the movie's profits in exchange for that help, but the company declined.
9 The Mask Could Have Been Other Celebrities
The importance of choosing the right mask for Michael Myers certainly cannot be overstated. It could have been the difference between creating one of the most frightening and iconic movie villains of all time and creating a villain that feels like more of a joke than a real threat.
And although one particular celebrity face wound up being the face of Michael Myers in the end, there were other masks of famous people that were under consideration for the "role". The producers of Halloween considered using a Richard Nixon mask, an Emmett Kelly mask, and a Spock mask before deciding on their final choice.
8 The Costumes Were The Cast's Clothes
Although Halloween is now one of the most famous, successful, and long running franchises in the history of horror films, no one had any idea that it would become the success it is now. The movie was initially being produced on an ultra shoestring budget of about $300,000, which meant that there was basically $0 available to buy a wardrobe for the cast. But since the cast is mostly populated by average people living average lives, the production just had the cast members use their own clothes as their on screen wardrobe. It was certainly the cheaper and more convenient choice for the production.
7 Jamie Lee Curtis Bought Laurie's Clothes At JC Penney
The cast members of Halloween provided their own wardrobe for the movie because the production just didn't have even a couple hundred dollars to shell out on costumes for the characters, but the film's lead actress Jamie Lee Curtis went slightly above and beyond what the producers had asked and expected of the cast members. In order to create a specific character style for Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis went shopping for her own wardrobe. And even though Jamie is the daughter of superstars Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, she went to the department store JC Penney to shop for all of Laurie's clothes.
6 Laurie's Wardrobe Cost Under $100
Obviously we need to look at the cost of Laurie Strode's on screen wardrobe relatively, because in the late 1970's a hundred dollars was worth a lot more and went a lot further than it does today. But even in that era it was pretty impressive to score an entire wardrobe for a lead character in a movie for under a hundred dollars.
Jamie Lee Curtis was presumably raised in a world where money was no object, but apparently she really knows how to get a lot of bang for her buck, especially since she was literally the one paying for the clothes she wore in the movie.
5 Five Different People Donned The Michael Myers Costume
Michael Myers is an incredibly effective movie villain for a lot of reasons, but the biggest is probably that he is literally the boogeyman in real life. He's a silent, diligent, and inscrutable killer who doesn't even have a face or anything to distinguish himself as a human. But even fans of the movie have no idea how indistinct his character really was, because a grand total of five different people donned the Michael Myers costume for different scenes. One actor did do the majority of his scenes, but sometimes they just slapped the costume on any random person who was on set and available to do it.
4 The Mask Was Almost A Clown Mask
The decision on what exact mask that Michael Myers was going to be wearing throughout Halloween was one of the biggest and most thought out decisions for the entire movie. The blank white face that everyone now recognizes as Michael Myers was obviously the mask that the producers chose in the end, but one of the biggest contenders for the mask was a clown mask. It was an understandable option, as many people were already afraid of clowns and putting Michael in a clown mask would give a kind of deranged and gleeful attitude to this silent and stony killer.
3 Which Was Why Michael Was Dressed As A Clown
One of the reasons that the clown mask was such a strong contender as the mask of Michael Myers in Halloween is because of Michael's first murder. When Michael is just a little boy, he inexplicably murders his older sister on Halloween night.
And because it's Halloween, Michael is in a costume, more specifically a clown costume. So aside from the general fear of clowns and how creepy their masks can be, the creators of Halloween considered making the Michael Myers mask a clown mask as a call back to Michael's very first murder. And while the connection made sense, their final choice was clearly the best one.
2 But It's Actually A William Shatner Mask
This one is strangely unsettling, but the creepy blank face that Michael Myers has worn through a million different Halloween movies is actually that of William Shatner. The mask that was used was specifically a mask of Star Trek character James T. Kirk, and somehow this rubberized copy of Shatner's face has become one of the scariest and most iconic masks in horror history. But necessity is the mother of invention, and it was undoubtedly very convenient that this low budget film managed to make a scary mask out of a cheap Star Trek Halloween mask.
1 And The Mask Has Been Modified
James T. Kirk may be the obvious face that is hiding within the classic Halloween mask, but clearly the mask itself has been modified to the point where no one would recognize it as William Shatner unless it was pointed out to them to begin with. The most obvious modification is that it's been painted white, but it has also had it's eyebrows and sideburns removed, it's hair has been painted brown, and the holes for the eyes have been cut out to be even larger. And this mask was ultimately chosen because when they tested it out with the crew it was pretty much unanimously considered to be the creepiest option.