Is Michael Myers Real?

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Is Michael Myers Based On a True Story?

Halloween in Haddonfield is one of the scariest horror movie settings of all time.  With a lot of parties and ‘trick or treaters,’ there are people wearing masks everywhere, making evil harder to detect.  Speaking of evil, everyone knows the iconic, mute, white-masked terror that is Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise. But where did Halloween creators come up with the story, plot and Michael Meyers himself? What inspired one of the most popular (and deadly) horror movie slashers of all time, Michael Myers?  Is Halloween Michael Meyers Real or based on a true story?

The Real Story Behind Michael Myers and Halloween

Like any successful horror movie franchise, Halloween has grown throughout time.  A horror franchise grows with its sequels according to the demand of the audience and appropriate plot advances. But a lot of what Michael Myers is today, is owed to his original creators…the writers and staff responsible for putting together the original Halloween film. Here are some of the most influential contributions to making Halloween and Michael a scary slasher genre leader that it is today!

Dark History of Evil

Halloween story real
Michael Myers

The idea of Michael Myers can be traced back to Samhain, and true evil itself.  Debra Hill, who co-wrote Halloween (1978) got into detail in one interview mentioning Samhain itself and that evil was unable to be killed or destroyed. In a traditional Samhain belief, the souls from the other side can come back for one night. This spawned the concept of Michael Myers, a Halloween (Samhain by another name) killer who would keep coming back. Originally, Michael Meyers was referred to as “The Shape” by direct John Carpenter. This was allegedly due to Michael always lurking in the shadows in the scenes. The term “the shape” also has some interesting roots in witchcraft meaning that the devil or evil can take the shape of others or walk in the shadows near them. Coincidence maybe, but interesting none the less.

College Studies to Horror Slasher

John Carpenter attributes some of his inspiration for writing Michael’s evil nature from a trip to a mental institution he took with one of his college classes.  Supposedly (according to Carpenter), the patients housed at this Kentucky mental institution were the most seriously ill of all mental patients.  Many of the patients exhibited creepy characteristics. One patient in particular, a young boy, provided Carpenter with a truly evil and deadly stare.  This experience ultimately led to the creation of the hacking and slashing villain and Halloween horror star, Michael Myers.

In the documentary “Halloween – A Cut Above the Rest” Carpenter describes the boy in detail.

“This blank, pale emotionless face. Blackest eyes. The devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized what was living behind that boys’ eyes was purely and simply evil.”

John Carpenter in “Halloween – A Cut Above the Rest”

Stanley Stiers

Another potential influence is Stanley Stiers. Stiers is a tragic story of babies switched at birth by a cruel nurse. When the parents found our Stanley was not their real son they abused and neglected him. The final straw was Halloween night when he was denied trick or treating while his sister was able to go. The young boy murdered his family and his sister with a knife. Some horror fan sites believe this is the true backstory of Halloween and Michael Meyers, but we have yet to hear that confirmation from Carpenter himself.

Creating Haddonfield

The two writers, Hill and Carpenter, had to come up with a fictional town that Michael could return to haunt. Haddonfield is a real place, only it is located in New Jersey. Hill grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and picked the name in honor of her hometown.  The street names throughout the movie were pulled from Carpenter’s hometown, Bowling Green. In fact, much of the script details were pulled together by combining the two writers’ childhood and hometown experiences together.

Character Creation

The writers decided it would be easiest to each be responsible for drafting the characters of their respective genders.  Thus, Debra Hill would write most of the female character dialogue and behavior; and Carpenter focused on Dr Loomis and Michael Myers. 

Additionally, some of the character names came from the Carpenter’s personal live. Laurie Strode was an ex-girlfriend of Carpenter’s. Michael Myers was the name of a producer Carpenter had previously known from another film.

A Terrifying Musical Score

John Carpenters Halloween Slasher Horror movie vinyl record cover with a pumpkin and a knife

A lot of the horror that takes place in a Halloween film, especially the original film, take place during super eerie sound tracks.  The suspense that builds during a Halloween film can almost directly relate to the background soundtrack, as the scarier the scenes: the scarier the music.  Carpenter played a huge part in the musical composition of the Halloween soundtrack and has suggested the soundtrack is one of the movies greatest assets.

Other Inspirations

Homage to Alfred Hitchcock is paid by way of two character names. Firstly, Tommy Doyle’s character was named after a policeman from Hitchcock’s 1954 “Rear Window.” And secondly, Dr. Loomis was a nod to character Sam Loomis (played by John Gavin) from Hitchcocks’ 1960 “Psycho.”

Final Words About Halloween’s Favorite Slasher

Michael Meyers Halloween Character portrait in black and white with white mask

In short, Halloween is not based upon a true story although Michael Meyers is based on real people from the writers lives. However, it does not require it be based on a real story to be truly terrifying. And there WAS real inspiration for the making of Michael Myers. And there were several other real-life inspirations in the making of the Halloween franchise. Regardless of how the original concept was derived, John Carpenter capitalized on a timeless fear, as the audience still turns up strong for a good Halloween sequel!

Are you a TRUE Halloween franchise enthusiast? Check out Surprising Facts About the Halloween Movies for some real Halloween Movie Trivia!

What the Slenderman Urban Legend Can Teach Us About Our Innermost Fears

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Urban Legends

There’s something tantalising about an Urban Legend. They crop up wherever people gather, offering insight into that culture’s fears and beliefs. They spread across regions and across generations, twisting and evolving. Centuries ago, they might have all been considered real, with no way of proving otherwise. Decades ago, they would have been told over campfires, with flashlights dramatically clutched beneath chins and shared imaginations conjuring demons in the darkness. Today, the internet has given humanity its largest canvas yet to paint whatever terrors our collective minds can conjure.

Connecting up the planet has allowed for ideas to spread further and faster than ever before. It has allowed for a mingling of cultures and concepts, and even caused global phenomenon. In 2016, for example, the world was awash with ‘killer clowns’. Appearing after midnight, individuals dressed as clowns began to appear in any country that sold clown costumes. Sometimes they clutched helium balloons, sometimes they wore masks or full face-paint, sometimes they would even chase passersby. Each new clown helped inspire the next, like some deranged circus-oriented virus. One moment it was some creepy video on our phones, the next we were getting alerts from the local neighbourhood groups of nearby sightings. Then began the counter movement – people who were so agitated by these Pennywise-wannabes that gangs of grown men would patrol the streets, looking for clowns to beat up. Even governments began to warn its citizens of the dangers, with Russian and Fiji authorities both issuing guidance about the so-called ‘Killer Clowns’.

The sceptic in me still thinks the whole endeavour was some sly marketing plot – IT Chapter One was in production at the time and released the following year, but it seems it was just a completely random viral moment. A photograph from 2014 seems to have been the culprit, showing just how explosive and unpredictable the internet can be. A two year old photo from the United Kingdom, gaining traction in America, then spreading across the planet.

The Goat Man of Pope Lick

I’m no stranger to American influence on my horror tastes, or the internet for that matter. Growing up in nineties Britain, there was a vast smorgasbord of terrors from across the pond, and just as I was blossoming into my teens, urban legends and creepypastas were finding their way online. Quicker than you can say ‘Candyman’ into a mirror, me and my friends were hooked. We’d share the worst offenders, stories that only exist as intangible shapes in my memory now – serial killers hiding under cars, a hand being licked by a dog-killer, goatmen infiltrating a group of teenage campers. But in my early twenties, something happened to morph this shared interest into an obsession.

The Urban Legend of Slenderman

If there’s a greater poster child for the era of internet urban legends and ‘fakelore’, I’ve yet to hear about it. Most fascinating of all, we can trace his entire origin. Each shift in his evolution, every strand of his existence; logged and recorded for all to see. Demonstrably false. And yet somehow, he gripped the world in his elongated fingers. Such was the power of the Slenderman (or Slender Man) myth, two twelve year old girls were prepared to kill their friend, stabbing her nineteen times and leaving her for dead. Mercifully, she survived, and the two girls received 25 and 40 years sentences in psychiatric institutes.

But what is it about this digital boogeyman that captured the global consciousness so intensely? What can he teach us about horror, and our innermost fears? Unlike his more mysterious ancestors – Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Skinwalkers or the Loch Ness Monster – we know exactly where he started. With his entire lifespan so well documented, he is the perfect sample to dissect.

Let’s start at the beginning, and at the obvious. From the outset, the Slenderman mythos was designed to be a contagious paranormal concept. On the ‘Something Awful’ forum, Slenderman was part of a contest to create paranormal images. Eric Knudsen made two such images of a tall, mysterious figure surrounded by children, and accompanied by text that read like an archival document. One image showed a blurry faced man with hands outstretched, dressed in a black suit. The other showed a shadowy silhouette of a tall figure, tentacles flitting out and extending towards the children gathered around him.

The black and white format and accompanying text made these images feel as though they were cut out of an old library book, and gave the images an authentic, yester-year feel. The two figures, although slightly different, both played around with ancient fears that are embedded in our human psyche. We are afraid of the uncanny. We like to spot patterns and label things. If something is large, hairy, hunched on all fours, we can think of it as some sort of animal, or even a monster. The label gives us some small comfort. Although witnessing Cthulhu with your own eyes may drive you insane with incomprehension, seeing a painted or rendered image of him isn’t nearly so unsettling. No more so than say, Godzilla, or King Kong. For most, the Ancient One fits neatly into the label of ‘really f**king big monster’. But I personally think there are few labels that leave humans more unsettled than ‘almost human’. 

Faceless. Unnaturally tall with elongated limbs. Wearing clothes. Somehow, I feel as though it was the third element that truly sent shivers down the forum’s collective spine. We have always been scared of faceless things, and that’s no surprise – so much of our communication is delivered by facial features. Without eyes or a mouth, we cannot read a thing’s intent, empathise with it, or even know if it has seen us. Likewise, we have always been scared of things that are larger than us, or things that possess unpredictable (potentially dangerous) appendages. These are primal fears, seared deep into our subconscious from the time when such fears helped our ancestors survive. But something tells me those same ancestors would not be scared by suits and ties. That is a new fear; one of control, greed and ruthlessness. Whether we recognise it or not, we fear the suited man. He represents a sterile, uncaring world. Finally, there was a fourth, implied element; possibly the most natural and powerful fear we have. Slenderman was targeting children. 

Perhaps it was this fusion of fears – old and new, natural and artificial – that so potently enraptured the forum. Suggestions and contributions came quickly, with new images and new opinions taking the partially completed form and solidifying it. Within a thread of forum posts, Slenderman was born, and moulded by committee. 

He was ancient. His motives were unclear, but many believed he abducted children and deaths wouldn’t be far behind. He was around eight foot tall, and his skin was pale. His tentacles were downplayed by some, enhanced by others. He was often seen around wooded areas, and in the darkness would be difficult to distinguish from swaying branches or thin, pale tree trunks. Part of his appeal was the lack of ownership. He belonged to the internet. The community could cherry pick their favourite and most unsettling aspects, with the creepiest surviving and becoming lore.

Perhaps it is this aspect of Slenderman that made him so contagious in those early days. A brand new boogeyman; adjustable to each person’s individual nightmares. What did he want? You decide. What happened if he ‘got you’? You decide. How did he eat, or see? Where did he come from? What WAS he? You decide. 

For me, I didn’t like the way he almost seemed to be pretending to be human. As if he was a spider, but in a vaguely human shape. I never found the tentacles creepy. Slenderman was at his most sinister just standing there, in the distance, watching. His true power was our own imagination. He left an intriguing blank that our minds were all too willing to fill. It was a collective story the internet was telling in a way most of us had never seen before. There was always another image finding its way online, a new fan-made creation. The lame ones were ignored. The good ones made your skin crawl. But at the peak of my own fascination with the character, along came something that took slenderman to a whole other level. Marble Hornets.

Low budget. Blair Witch-esque. Episodic. I’m not sure which of us found it first, but my entire friend group became obsessed. By the time we stumbled across it, there were only a handful of episodes, but it was precisely this feeling of finding something new and ongoing that really sucked us all in. As well as the videos themselves, the creators would also upload messages, images, and even other in-world youtube channels that would lead to all sorts of speculation and theories amongst our circle. The video series revolved around found-footage that someone had discovered in a chaotic jumbled order but might hold the key to finding an old friend. Prior to disappearing, this friend (Alex) had been shooting a student film called ‘Marble Hornets’, but had shut down filming after apparently suffering some sort of nervous episode. Several clips within this bundle of footage were strange and intriguing; both the paranoia displayed by Alex and the silent, handheld glimpses at Slenderman himself.

Whilst these were always goosepimple-inducingly creepy, what really left an impression on me was the fact that there were new and intriguing aspects on display. Effects I’d never seen attributed to Slenderman. Audio distortion. Visual tearing. As we slowly pieced together a larger picture from sporadic video clips, it was clear that there were rules here. We just didn’t know them. Whilst I watched, we never truly learned them. They were always consistent, but it was left to the viewer to discover what the rules were, and most significantly, what they meant.

Whenever Slenderman was sighted, a visual tear in the lower part of the screen always came first. Was he causing it, and was it on purpose, or just a passive effect? Whenever Slenderman was on screen, the audio was always removed. Had Alex done this, was this another ability of Slenderman, or had someone else removed it? Alex was always filming himself. Was this to protect himself? To act as an early warning system when Slenderman was near? 

These questions that came to mind made the story and the mythos akin to a puzzle. The audience was no longer a mere observer, they were made to feel like a participant. There were forums and fandoms set up to solve the mysteries, figure out the secret rules and even communicate with the ‘characters’. I talked earlier about campfire stories. This can often feel like a part of humanity that has been lost – we’re more connected than ever, yet most of us can feel alone and isolated. I think these types of shared storytellings, much like roleplaying tabletop games, appeal to outsiders and introverts because it gives us back that campfire feel. It gives us all some part to play. And when it comes to horror, what could be scarier than inserting yourself into the story?

Ever since those early days, the Slenderman mythos and the experiences I had on that journey have inspired my own horror writing. Any boogeymen or strange objects I can conjure up must follow a set of rules, even if the protagonist and the audience do not know them at first. Once the rules are known, it doesn’t make the horror any less scary. Look at ‘It Follows’ or ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. If anything, having the threat be consistent and tangible makes it feel more real. Too many horror films rely on characters making bad decisions, with ‘Scream’ even going as far to riff on that trope. But watching characters do things that make sense given everything you know – doing the exact thing that you would do – and still having it fail? That’s terror.

A mix of natural and unnatural. A combination of the recognisable and the uncanny. Vague motivations mixed with rules of engagement. I think it is precisely these contrasts that made Slenderman such a fascinating concept. He allowed the audience to insert themselves into his stories, yet wasn’t so vague as to be all things to all people. During a time where a lot of horror relied on shock, jumpscares and gore, here was a silent figure who just… watched. And got closer. And closer. And closer.

Drive anywhere you want. He’d still be there.

Tell your friends or the police. They wouldn’t believe you.

Flee. Fight. Negotiate. Surrender. None of it will matter.

Your only choice? What you believed he’d do when he finally reached you. Towering above you. Limbs slowly raising. Close enough to touch…

***

Author Bio

Ryan Hunt was born in the gutter and raised by wolves. A freak accident involving harps helped him discover a love for music and danger. He is a certified rascal and is often suspected of telling fibs on his author bios. 

His billions of adoring fans have eventually deduced his true identity – an Engineer from Derbyshire, England. When he’s not openly lying to the general public, he can be found with a pint in his hand, and his Border Collie, Pepper, at his side. 

His love of horror, science-fiction and fantasy have swirled together into the world of Floor Fifty-Four; an underground government facility that locks away paranormal artifacts too strange and too dangerous to allow roaming freely in our world. His first book, ‘Tales from Floor Fifty-Four’ is available now. 

Website Links

http://www.floorfiftyfour.co.uk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FloorFiftyFourOfficial

Twitter – https://twitter.com/FloorFiftyFour

Which is the Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

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Which Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie is Scariest?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are grisly and absolutely filled with violent endings. The killer, Leatherface is strong, a fast runner and wears a terrifying mask.  The Texas Chainsaw movies paint a truly scary experience.  A horror orchestra of empty sounds in the woods…only crickets and the gentle wind running through the grass. A bright full moon and the dust from the dirt road lightly kicked up in the moonlight.  And a loud, shiny chainsaw moving at you through the nighttime air!  Yes indeed, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is truly scary and no one wants to encounter Leatherface under any circumstance.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movies Ranked by Scariest

There are eight official Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies.  They began in 70s with the most recent only being released overseas in 2017.  Without further ado…Horror Enthusiast has ranked the Texas Chainsaw movies from scariest to least scariest.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

1st Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

The original Texas Chainsaw film is the scariest movie of them all. It possesses a raw horror, a fear that can be felt deeply in the audience.  Even today, in a day and age when hitchhiking has practically come to a complete halt, the original film still taps into the core of what scares people. Despite the Texas Chainsaw Massacre being a slasher horror movie, it has a psychological thriller side to it that has the ability to leave a watcher shaken for life.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

2nd Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

Sporting a new Leatherface and a new family name, the Hewitts, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) keeps fans on the edge of their seats throughout the entire movie. This flick was a box office hit and also an awesome, ‘loose’ recreation of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie.  With an awesome cast (centered around Jessica Biel), great directing and awesome promotional skills, the 2003 chainsaw movie ranks in as the second scariest film in the franchise.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

3rd Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

The ‘prequel to the 2003 remake’, featuring the Hewitts and how Leatherface began killing was about as scary as the 2003 remake.  A different cast was used (centered around Jordana Brewster) as the cast from the other movie died, as usual. Nonetheless, everyone did a great job and ‘The Beginning’ easily ranks 3rd scariest movie in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

4th Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

This movie was decently scary, with a creepy, dangerous family and an equally scary Leatherface.  No comedy in this movie, only pure chainsaw and cannibal-terror.

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

5th Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

Arriving a little late to the 3D movie rush did not help Texas Chainsaw 3D at the box office. The movie was equally disappointing in terror as well. The audience may have gasped ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’, but they seemed much less scared than in previous Texas Chainsaw films.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)

6th Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

The new take on Leatherface and his family in this movie, is a horror conspiracy involving the government (or something). It seems there are people hiring the Sawyer family to hijack, trap and otherwise torment travelers moving through their town.  Even with a rock star cast, the movie only pulls in toward the bottom of the list.

Leatherface (2017)

7th Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

Firstly, this film was not released in the United States at all. It stars a younger Leatherface, however, ultimately veers away from the traditional Leatherface story line and seems to be rejected by many Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans.  It is not as scary as the rest of the franchise leaving it ranking at the bottom of the list.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Texas chainsaw Massacre chainsaw painting

8th Scariest Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

This movie was more like a comedy than it was a horror movie. It was still part of the franchise and Leatherface still appeared in the movie. With the ridiculous deaths and crazy dialogue, the second movie in the franchise firmly locks down the least scariest rank when it comes to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films.

The Chainsaw Heard Around the World

Leatherface is a maniac with a chainsaw and apparently that is just what the fans wanted! As the Texas Chainsaw movies have developed a cult following and are a notorious draw at the box office, when properly produced.  They are almost always scary movies and show off some seriously scary and gory death scenes.  It turns out that a chainsaw is a unique weapon in that it not only inspires natural fear in the damage it can cause…but it sounds truly terrifying and is the only horror movie killer weapon which can be heard before it can be seen! This makes the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies and Leatherface, uniquely terrifying!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

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The Halloween Anomaly, Season of the Witch

Some pretty great minds went into creating Halloween’s third film, Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982).  Tommy Lee Wallace wrote and directed the film with contributions from Debra Hill and John Carpenter himself!  While this film was supposed to be the start of what they all hoped would become a Halloween anthology series (that would never be), it is most certainly a hidden gem of a horror movie altogether! The movie took a lot of risks to create a masterpiece that has developed a definite cult following some 30-some years later!  And the worst part is the more time that goes by, the creepier the movie gets…almost in a predictive sort of way!

Behind the Scenes: Halloween Part III

The creators of the Season of the Witch found a hidden fear in the fabric of society. The movie successfully showcases horror by way of brainwashing and mind-control, conspiracy and full-on hopelessness. Here are some of the most interesting facts in the making of Halloween Part 3: Season of the Witch…

Cameo Pharmaceutical

In Halloween (1978), Dr Loomis suggests a drug called “Thorazine” to Nurse Chambers. Thorazine is supposed to suggested to suppress Michael Myers’ mental and psychiatric disorders. In Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), this same drug is prescribed by Dr Challis to Harry Grimbridge during his stint in the hospital!

Truly Hypnotizing

The creators were insistent upon the Silver Shamrock theme song and commercial playing as much as possible throughout the film.  Branding the film with the Silver Shamrock Novelties company logos, stickers, and themes was imperative in creating the fear that is experienced throughout the film. Ultimately, the Silver Shamrock theme song plays a total of 14 times throughout the movie!

Where Was Halloween Season of the Witch Filmed?

The film was produced in California.  The gas stations are located off the Sierra Highway, and also in Loleta (both are still there). The hospital was in Sylmar, however, no longer remains. And the Silver Shamrock commercials were filmed in Sierra Madre.  The movie also uses the Rose of Shannon Motel and a manufacturing factory in Loleta. Random scenes are shot all over L.A. As well.

Voicing Cameo

Halloween’s previous films starred Jamie Lee Curtis.  She is also the phone operator in the third installment, Season of the Witch. The role is uncredited, but she sounds absolutely convincing! She is also the voice reciting the curfew.

Coining Witchcraft in the Computer Age

halloween season of the witch silver shamrock commercial on a TV

Several people, including the film’s director (Tommy Lee Wallace), credit Debra hill with the concept of introducing witchcraft to the computer age.  Witchcraft had not previously been used to fuse with or take over technology in the way it is used throughout the Silver Shamrock story.

The Masks Were Real

The three Silver Shamrock masks present throughout the film were mass produced as a part of a merchandising campaign. Don Post was selected for the job, as he had previously done similar merchandising for E.T. (1982), Star Wars (1977), and Planet of the Apes (1968).  The producers felt that if the masks were released early enough, fans would purchase them prior to the film’s release and wear them to the actual movie theater.

A Masked Plot

Tommy Lee Wallace, writer and director of Season of the Witch, explained that he had an intricate plan for the three masked sold by the Silver Shamrock Novelties company.  Each mask was going to represent another film in the series…thus connecting Season of the Witch (loosely) with the other movies in the franchise.  Unfortunately, after this third movie in the franchise totally bombed at the box office, Halloween would have to return to their cash cow, famed slasher Michael Myers, instead of merely leaving behind his mask.

Mostly Acting Newbies

Almost all of the cast of the third Halloween film were total newbies…only having previous credits as extras or cameo types of appearances. There were a couple bigger names, but ultimately the film relied upon newer, green talent. Amazingly, the acting itself is pretty alright and the movie maintains a fairly strong level of suspense. 

Halloween Cameo Appearance

Halloween (1978) itself receives a cameo appearance roughly 1:17 to 1:19 minutes into the movie. The movie can be seen played on a small TV as a Silver Shamrock victim sits strapped to a chair and locked in a room with a mask over his head.

The Silver Shamrock Theme Song

The Silver Shamrock theme song is based on the popular “London Bridge” song.  London Bridge was in the public domain, so it became a clear choice as a catchy, modifiable tune that people would recognize, remember, and be able to follow along with.

Robot Guts

Robot guts was seemingly new territory as the staff ended up using orange juice.  The high-in-vitamin-c citrus drink can be seen pouring from the robots’ mouths throughout the films.

Got Milk?

black and white skeleton drawings

Although the crew used orange juice for robot blood, the Silver Shamrock factory was actually producing something much different before being cast in Season of the Witch.  A milk factory was used as the Silver Shamrock headquarters due to its availability, location ambiance and size.

Inspirations for Making the Film

There are obvious tips of the hat to both Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers general concept) and George A Romero (Season of the Witch film title). Halloween itself (the holiday, not the movie franchise), deserves an applause, for without Halloween, none of Season of the Witch would be possible! The movie focuses on the sale of Halloween masks to would-be trick-or-treaters, days before…you guessed it! Halloween!

An Under appreciated 80s Horror Movie

Season of the Witch is one of the most original horror movies to come out of the 80s, despite drawing a lot of inspiration from even very popular pieces such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Season of the Witch (1972). The acting is pretty decent, believable. The characters are drawn perfectly.  The film style and natural fear is excellent, in traditional Carpenter-Hill fashion. And Tommy Lee Wallace totally knocks the ball out of the park when it comes to directing the movie. Regardless of its amazing feats, the brilliant attempt at reinventing the Halloween franchise came a little too early; Thus, Season of the Witch joins the ranks of underappreciated 80s horror movies.

And if it were still possible to actually buy Silver Shamrock masks, every fan absolutely would!

History and Making of the 1st Saw Movie

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How Did the Saw Creators Feel About the Movie?

The original Saw movie is a horror genre masterpiece…a landmark film in all things horror.  In fact, Saw (2004) altered the course of horror movie history by using innovation to revamp the sub-genre of torture and traps.  Screenwriter and Leigh Whannell and director James Wan may have succeeded in turning a low budget film into a box office hit, but they started out as friends who met at film school. The two started out learning how to make films together and showcasing their small pieces in the same classrooms.  So what did James and Leigh think about how large and behemoth the Saw franchise has gotten? When they reflect, how do they feel about the terror they have spawned?

Horror Enthusiast has dug through a number of interviews to determine the original creators consensus on the Saw franchise.

The Inspiration for Working on a Project Together

After James showed a short film in a movie class, “Zombie Apocalypse,” Leigh approached him about his shared interest in horror movies, and they became friends.  Leigh took note that the rest of the school felt they were “above” or “better than” the horror genre, which probably strengthened their bond.  A few years down the road, post-film school graduation and living in poverty, they decided to build a movie for $5,000 that would be shot inside a single room with only 2 people.  James explained that it was difficult to work jobs they did not enjoy to get by, but that they waited for years before finally coming up with the right idea they could film in their own home or backyard. 

The movie Saw was more than 2 guys in a room trying to figure out how they got there and how to get out.  The movie was about following in the footsteps of self-made directors and success stories, people like ‘Kevin Smith  and Robert Rodriguez, two of their heroes.  James explained that they had several ideas over the years, both of them, but that they were very hard on one another and constantly rejected each idea. They even almost made a movie about nightmares, as well as about astral projection.

Paving the Path

Saw horror movie character drawing

After they finally came up with the idea, there was a lot to come up with to get their dream into motion.  They already determined the movie would focus around the story of two guys in a room with a dead body, a gun and a tape recorder; and they already determined the twist which is the end of the movie and the saw traps would be critical. The parts that were missing were the guts of the movie…the stuff that happened in between.  Leigh took over this part, and wrote a killer script.  James worried heavily about producers belief in him as a director, so he insisted they shoot a short scene on their own money, which James admits is mostly Leigh’s money at the time. And then the two of them wind up impressing everyone with their shoestring budget clip that is the birth of “Saw.”

What the Creators Wanted From Saw

The objective of Saw was not to create or otherwise contribute to a “torture porn” genre of horror. The goal when James and Leigh set out to write Saw, to get funded, and to direct and produce Saw, was not to create critics (although all movies do). The original creators of Saw wanted to prove themselves. They wanted to make a big movie, but realized after getting out of film school that money is required to make a big movie. So they found a way to prove themselves anyway.  To show that they could direct, that they could write, that they could even act if necessary, and that they could make a film that was great even with their own money. They wanted to make a big Hollywood movie.

The creators look back and consider Saw a “rough around the edges” project, something that was shot in too little time and without enough scenes. They look back and compare it to other horror movie franchises that are loved by fans around the world, franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. They look back and realize how life changing it has been for them, but also how life changing it has been for others who enjoy the franchise.  The Saw franchise has an entire cult of fans who love every movie…and it all began with the first…two guys in a room. 

True Saw Fans

Saw (2004) is one of the most original and truly scary horror scenarios in any horror movie. In fact, it deserves an award for creating an original and terrifying situation and story line.  The directing is on point and the acting is awesome! Considering the budget these guys were working on and the fact the entire movie was shot in just 18 days, it is amazing that it was able to become a blockbuster hit and instant masterpiece!  This movie was a wildly successful film both at the box office and in generating a huge cult fan-base who have continued to enjoy the franchise for more than a decade!