John Carpenter’s 1978 classic horror film Halloween has been ripped off and sequelized so many times over the past thirty-seven years now that it’s almost impossible to explain to younger audiences today just how truly original and genuinely frightening it was when it was first released. Silent killer Michael Myers had audiences lining up to be terrified in a way Hollywood hadn’t seen since The Exorcist, and the movie struck a cultural nerve in a way that’s still being felt today.
Halloween came out at a time before the horror audience was totally jaded, and hadn’t “seen it all” yet. A time before you knew you had to shoot the killer multiple times in case he suddenly came back to life, or to run out the door and not run upstairs, or any of the so-called “rules” on how to survive a horror film, because Halloween is the movie that pretty much invented those rules.
This vintage audio clip was actually recorded during Halloween’s first re-release in October of 1979, in a movie theater on Vine and Hollywood Boulevard, where it played as a double feature with the now relatively forgotten film The Toolbox Murders. According to the person who originally uploaded the audio clip to YouTube, he “took an old Radio Shack cassette tape recorder inside the theater with me and sat in the front row to try and capture some of the music audio from both films. The Toolbox Murders‘ audience was quiet. Halloween’s audience was not.”
These days, when you hear movie theater patrons making that much audible noise during a film, they are usually just talking among themselves, oblivious to the fact that they’re not in their own living rooms, or worse, on their cell phones. Watching to this clip takes you back to a time when sitting together with an audience and experiencing a film together was still a sacred, communal experience, and everyone was on that ride together.
Ah, the good old days.