The Halloween poster ranks alongside The Exorcist and Jaws as the great horror posters of the 1970s, but a lot of people tend to miss the screaming face hidden in the artwork. The original Halloween was a tiny budget horror movie that would launch an entire subgenre. The project was originally dubbed The Babysitter Murders, with director John Carpenter (The Thing) given free rein to create any kind of movie he wanted by the producers, so long as it revolved around a killer stalking babysitters.
Carpenter and creative partner Debra Hill set about creating a sleek, stylish thriller the elevated its central killer from a man to something resembling a phantom. Due to a combination of Michael Myers' eerie, featureless mask and performer Nick Castle's body language, Michael would become an enduring figure in horror cinema. This is one reason why the movie launched an endless round of sequels over the last 40 years, leading to the mythology becoming so tangled and confusing the most recent chapter Halloween 2018 just ignored everything bar the original movie.
Halloween inspired a wealth of slasher movies too, including everything from Friday The 13th to Sleepaway Camp. The movie also featured a striking poster, which consists of a seriously evil looking pumpkin with Michael's clutched fist holding a knife, with curved blade matches the shape of the pumpkin itself. It's a poster that's instantly recognizable to horror fans, but even they may never have spotted the screaming face hidden within the art.
Look carefully at Michael's knuckles and its possible to spot the shape of a screaming face, with the veins looking like worms slithering around it. This image is so subliminal poster artist Robert Gleason himself later admitted he drew the face without realizing it - which is creepy in itself. He also revealed the famous poster was very nearly rejected by the design firm when it was pitched, who felt Michael Myers' mask needed to be the focus of the artwork.
Michael's mask would, of course, become prominent on later posters in the franchise, with Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers - which starred a young Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) - focused solely on the mask. One of the posters for Halloween 2018 also centered on Michael's aged and wrinkled mask. While the original Halloween was a low-budget movie that wasn't expected to hit big, the talent of everyone involved - from the director to the cast and even the poster artist - is what molded it into a classic.