October 30th, 1981 is a day that lives in infamy with Halloween fans as one of the greatest days the franchise has ever seen. All Hallow’s Eve ’81 not only saw the theatrical debut of the highly anticipated HALLOWEEN II, but also the world premiere of John Carpenter’s 1978 “immortal classic“, HALLOWEEN.
And I got the embedded video right here folks for all our gluttonous entertainment for horror movie tracking nostalgia!
But first, a little background because I need to fill the page up here.
Upon the major success of the independent film with audiences, NBC Universal bought the television rights for HALLOWEEN for a whopping (at the time) 3 million bucks and was eager to be the first to air it for the Samhain season. However, the FCC being what it is, wanted NBC to censor some of the film’s scenes, which ultimately led to the standard practice of editing down the movie for sensitive viewers but in the same act, shortening the allotted running time for said time slot.
That being the case and after much debate with Debra Hill and Carpenter, Carpenter agreed to shoot extra scenes for the televised version to appease the corporate Gods; and wasn’t that much of an inconvenience for them considering they were shot during the filming of HALLOWEEN II. This brings a very interesting point to these now-infamous scenes as the movie and extra footage was being shot simultaneously, it better ratifies the sister films together; especially with the bonus scenes of a young Myers staring out a window (of which a snippet actually makes it into the theatrical cut of HALLOWEEN II via Laurie’s dream) and the extra scenes with Dr. Loomis.
I want to make it a point to mention a rather ironically pointless note that since most of us are hip to the fact Jamie Lee Curtis had adopted her signature short haircut by 1980, her additional scene filmed at the Strode home with PJ Soles begging to borrow that notorious “expensive blouse” is shot entirely with a towel on her head. Presumably to hide her pixie-ish cut underneath.
It’s a small thing but it’s something I always think about when watching this version.
In 1981, I myself never got to witness this monumental night of new and altered versions of Halloween sister films, as I was a mere fetus in my birth mother’s belly and wouldn’t be born until the Summer of 1982. However, the ripple effects of notoriety from this televised version trickled over for years to come as I finally got to watch this edited treasure via my local Vegas horror TV horror movie host of the early 90s, Count Cool Rider– who is essentially Danny Koker of Counting Cars for you History TV and auto buffs.
Welp. Enough rambling. Complete with glorious commercials from Soft Sense Soap to a trailer for Time Bandits, here it is: The NBC World Premiere of John Carpenter’s Halloween with additional footage brought to us by the Internet archives of Goth TV! If anything- watch for the Kodak Thrifty commercial, and stay until the end for the trailer for, you guessed it, HALLOWEEN II!
Happy Halloween Nostalgic Nuggets!