Tag Archives: John Carpenter’s Halloween

Charlie Bowles Was Based On A Real Person in “John Carpenter’s Halloween”

First off, I just want to start off by saying that I’m gleaming like a Halloween jack-o-lantern in Carpenter’s intro credits after stumbling upon this information by pure accident via /Halloweenmovies on Reddit. Halloween is by far, one of the most discussed and beloved horror movies of the horror genre, and finding any kind of new information, facts, or trivia on the film is slim fuckin’ pickings as every horror journalist in the world has said everything and anything they could on the film. But, behold I come bearing gifts on that strange and interesting tale told by none other than the grave keeper of Haddonfield, Angus Taylor to one Samuel Loomis as they trenched through the cemetery. The mystery of Charlie Bowles and what he “proceeded to do” drives us all crazy to this very day. However, I can verify as the story checks out, that Charlie Bowles was based on a real person living in Russellville, Kentucky; and his name was, well, Charlie Bowles.

According to Redditor SimplePhotograph4216, her grandfather knew Charlie.

He ran a drive-in movie theater in Russellville. Russellville is my hometown and about 30 minutes from Bowling green and Smiths’ grove where John carpenter spent much of his childhood. I always thought that was a cool way to pay tribute to ol’ Charlie.” 

She goes on to say that while ol’ Charlie was no hacksaw murderer, he was known to be involved in illegal activities like bootlegging and gambling.

Now, if you’re a John Carpenter buff, you know that while he was born in Carthage, New York, his family later moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father was the head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. And about fifteen minutes away from a little town called Smiths’ Grove with Russelville another fifteen from that. Carpenter used these places from his years in the Bluegrass state as references in his “immortal classic”; so using names of people he actually knew isn’t that inconceivable.

Upon further investigation, while verifying this information, I came across an interview done by Chris Cooper with Carpenter himself who did indeed confirm Charlie Bowles was a real person, but that, however, he was not willing to discuss anything about Charlie Bowles: “Under no circumstance will I talk about Charlie Bowles. He is the father of an old girlfriend, deceased, and had other things in his life best left unsaid by me.”

So while we may not know exactly what Charlie’s fate was in the film, we do know that Charlie did exist in reality and is forever immortalized as the one lingering cliffhanger in the classic 44-year-old movie.

Now, let’s let our OCD go crazy one more time and revisit that scene.

Check Out the 1979 Audio Audience Reactions From Carpenter’s “Halloween”!

I truly envy those who were lucky enough to experience a time at the movies where emotions ran high and raw; especially during a horror film, like John Carpenter’s immortal classic, Halloween.

During the glorious ’70s, horror grabbed audiences by the balls by pushing the boundaries of gore, foul language, and nudity to the point of people vomiting, fainting, and or being so disgusted to the point of walking out. With the release of The Exorcist at the end of 1973, that movie managed to do all of these for paid movie-goers. I guess nobody was really prepared to see a 12-year-old profusely stab herself in the crotch with a crucifix. (For braver viewers, that seemed to be the deal-breaker). Perhaps with the exception of last year’s controversial mother!, we rarely see that sort of impact on audiences today.

Kind of sucks, doesn’t it? We’re so desensitized these days.

Image result for desensitized gif

 

Maybe not as extreme as Freidkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s literary masterpiece, but Halloween had one hell of an impact on audiences as well. One-half of my life givers, Robert Butrico of Queens, NY, remembers seeing John Carpenter’s groundbreaking slasher during its first initial run.

“I was there with a bunch of friends, we were really excited about this movie. We heard it was so scary! And you know what? It really was when we first saw it. We had never seen anything like it. There were a few girls who ran out of the theater screaming. That was actually pretty funny.”

And according to the presented audio below provided by YouTuber  Kyle J. Wood’s DarkCastle2012, my father said that’s pretty close to how he remembers his experience as well. And goddamn I am so envious of all this. It’s one thing to be annoyed by loud and obnoxious movie-goers at the theater, and quite another to experience a joined passion of emotions during a film. From the sounds of it below, this crowd is having a damn good time! I especially love the, “He gonna get up again!,” and the random guy in the back shouting, “One more time!

Per the YouTube description:

This is ACTUAL AUDIENCE AUDIO with matching video scenes added (a bit “out of sync” sorry) that I tape recorded inside a Hollywood Boulevard movie theater in 1979—one year after the film’s initial release.

 

For fuck’s sake, can we get a time machine already?!