Thursday, December 5, 2019

JAMIE LEE CURTIS: From Michael Myers to Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Back Again

Jamie Lee Curtis was in John Carpenter's 1981 "Escape from New York", but the audience never saw Curtis and only heard her voice as "The Narrator" and "A Computer". She was in 1982's "Halloween III: Season of the Witch", but again the audience only heard her voice as the "Curfew Announcer" and "Telephone Operator". She portrayed the mother of "Buckaroo Banzai" in 1984's "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension", but her scenes were deleted. This is a simple look at some of her roles over the years.

Below Jamie with Michael and Leroy.

Her parents where motion pictures icons at the time of her birth, November 22, 1958, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. The two had appeared together in producer George Pal's 1953 "Houdini", 1954's "The Black Shield of Falworth" and 1958's "The Vikings".

For those interested my article about Tony Curtis in "The Black Shield of Falworth". Along with Alan Ladd as "The Black Knight" and Robert Wagner as "Prince Valiant" can be found at:

My article on Janet Leigh, who will be mentioned in two of her daughter's films below, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 "Psycho" can be read at:

Jamie Lee Curtis' first five roles where on the small screen of television. One of these was appearing in 23, of the 33, episodes of the 1977 through 1978 "Operation Petticoat". She portrayed "Navy Nurse Lieutenant Barbara Duran". What makes this Navy comedy series of interest. Is that her father co-starred with Cary Grant in the 1959 motion picture, of the same name, the series was based upon as "Lieutenant Junior Grade Nick Holden".

Above Dad and below Jamie Lee.

Jame Lee Curtis' last episode of "Operation Petticoat" was "Claire Voyant" on May 18, 1978. However, the actresses entire  career to date and in the future would be overshadowed by her first motion picture released five months later.

According to the "Cambridge English Dictionary" a "Scream Queen" is:
a female actor who plays a main character in a horror film who gets frightened or attacked
This definition gives four examples:

The first is actress Fay Wray of 1932's "Dr. X" and 1933's "King Kong". My article  "Fay Wray Before King Kong" can be read at:

The second is the overlooked low budget actress Brinke Stevens. Who holds the title with over 100 Horror movies such as: 1982's "Slumber Party Massacre", 1987's "Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity" and 1989's "Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge".

The third example is actress Heather Langenkamp of "The Nightmare On Elm Street" series.

The "Cambridge English Dictionary's" last example is actress JAMIE LEE CURTIS of:

HALLOWEEN released October 25, 1978

The motion picture was co-written and directed by the music score's composer John Carpenter.

By this time Carpenter had written, or co-written six motion pictures. These include the cult science fiction classic, 1974's "Dark Star", his own 1976's "Assault on Precinct 13" and the Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones 1978 horror/thriller the "Eyes of Laura Mars".

John Carpenter had directed nine science fiction/horror short subjects and both "Dark  Star" and "Assault on Precinct 13". As a composer John Carpenter had written the musical score for the two motion pictures I just mentioned and a short from 1970, "The Resurrection of Bronco Billy", which he had also written and directed.

The motion picture was produced and co-written by Debra Hill. This was Hill's first film as a producer and her first screenplay. At the time she was John Carpenter's girl friend.

The four leading actors and three others:

British actor Donald Pleasence was "Dr. Samuel 'Sam' Loomis". Pleasence was known to American audiences, at this time, for playing "Prince John" on the Richard Greene television series, 1955-1960, "The Adventures of Robin Hood". He had also been seen in the 1960 Peter Sellers and Robert Morley British comedy "The Battle of the Sexes" and the British Horror film 1960's "Circus of Horrors". On television he appeared on "The World of Disney" in the 1961 production of "The Horsemasters". He was also seen in the classic 1963 World War 2 film "The Great Escape".

Donald Pleasence in Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed "Laurie Strode" for the first time not knowing she would still be playing the role 40 years later.

Nancy Louise Kyes, used her stage name of "Nancy Loomis", in the film's credits and was "Annie Brackett". She had previously appeared in John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13" and as Louise Kyes is listed the wardrobe mistress for "Halloween". Did you she get double pay for double work?

Nancy Kyes in Halloween (1978)

P.J. (Pamela Jayne) Soles was "Lynda Van Der Klok". Soles had been in the forgotten 1975 movie "Blood Bath". She appeared on several television shows and in 1976 was in both Brian De Palma's "Carrie" and the John Travolta television movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble". Soles also appeared in another 1978 made for television motion picture written by John Carpenter "Zuma Beach".

P.J. Soles in Halloween (1978)

I want to specifically mention actress Nancy Stephens as "Marian Chambers". "Chambers" is the nurse and assistant of "Dr. Sam Loomis" seen below. As an actress Stephens had been seen since 1965 on television and especially the soaps. This was her first motion picture and a character she would be remembered for over the others Stephens portrayed.

I go into more detail in my article about Janet Leigh, but the character names of "Sam Loomis" and "Marion Chambers" have meaning to fans of Alfred Hitchcock. John Carpenter and Debra Hill used their character names as a direct reference to "Psycho". The Hitchcock film "Halloween" would be compared too. In that previous "Psychological Horror Film". Janet Leigh portrayed "MARION Crane" and John Gavin, her lover, was "Sam Loomis". There are other small references to the picture throughout this screenplay.

Now to "Michael"! There are FOUR "Michael Myers" in the 1978 "Halloween".
Will Sandin portrayed the six year old "Michael", the easy one to identify, this was his only on screen appearance. It makes a great trivia question.

Tony Moran portrayed the twenty-three year old "Unmasked Michael Myers". Prior to this picture Moran was only in two episodes of the 1977 television series "James at 16" and he immediately followed "Halloween" with a 1979 episode of the television family series "The Waltons". Below the "Michael Myers" mask is being placed upon Tony Moran to be removed in the unmasking sequence.


Now things getting a little confusing., or maybe not when we're speaking about the 23 year old "Masked Michael Myers".

First you have actor Nick Castle portraying "Michael Myers" aka: "The Shape", because of the character lurking in the shadows of the motion picture.

Below Nick Castle on the left hamming it up on the set and on the right the elder Castle recreating the photo.

Next there was the non-screen credited Tommy Lee Wallace. Wallace also portrayed the "Masked Michael Myers" in some scenes and created the mask used in the motion picture. Additionally he was the films production designer, art director, location scout, and co-film editor. Tommy Lee Wallace had been the art director on "Assault on Precinct 13" and would go on to direct 1982's "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" and 1988's "Fright Night Part 2".

Many consider this picture a "Horror Film". It is not and is actually a "Slasher Film". Such as other 1970's motion pictures. Three examples are:  Dario Argento's 1970 "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird with the Crystal Plummage)". Tobe Hooper's original 1974 "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and Alfred Sole's 1976 "Alice, Sweet Alice".

The screenplay is actually really straight forward, simple in construction, and formula, but something just clicked. Partly, because the film is very low keyed compared to the three I mention above. Ask anyone what you remember most about the 1978 movie? The answer you might get is John Carpenter's very haunting theme for "Michael Myers" and not the William Shatner "Halloween Mask" used for "Michael".

Not normally mentioned are executive producers Irwin Yablans and Moustapha Akkad. The best thing they did was let Carpenter and Hill do their thing. According to Debra Hill it took approximately three weeks to write their screenplay.

Mark Salisbury wrote an article, published on October 17, 2002 in "The Guardian", that contained an interview with Hill. In it she referred to the Celtic tradition of "Samhain" as a source for the screenplay's plot.
... the idea was that you couldn't kill evil, and that was how we came about the story. We went back to the old idea of Samhain, that Halloween was the night where all the souls are let out to wreak havoc on the living, and then came up with the story about the most evil kid who ever lived. And when John came up with this fable of a town with a dark secret of someone who once lived there, and now that evil has come back, that's what made Halloween work.
An Overview of the Screenplay:

The story opens on Halloween Night in 1963 in the small tight nit community of Haddonfield, Illinois. When six years old "Michael Myers" inexplicably stabs his older sister "Judith Margaret Myers", Sandy Johnson, to death with a kitchen knife.


The boy is incarcerated in the "Smith's Grove Sanitarium".

Switch to 15 years later,  were 19-years-old Jamie Lee Curtis, 29-years-old Nancy Kyes, and 28-years-old P.J. Soles portrayed Haddonfield High School Students. 

"Dr. Sam Loomis" and his Assistant "Marion Chambers" arrive at the sanitarium to take "Michael Myers" to a court hearing. At a gas station far out of town. He is able to overcome "Loomis" and "Chambers" and escapes with their car having killed a garage mechanic for his overalls. At a nearby store "Michael" steals a "Halloween Mask", a large kitchen knife, and heads back to Haddonfield.

It's now "Halloween" day in Haddonfield as high school student "Laurie Strode" drops off a key. So that her real estate agent father will be able to sell "Michael's" old and empty house and notices a man in a "Halloween Mask". Who after she looks away and back again has disappeared.

"Laurie's" two friends "Annie" and "Lynda" dismiss the idea that the man might be a stalker. However, throughout the day the man in the "Halloween Mask" is seen by "Laurie".

Meanwhile, "Dr. Loomis" arrives and discovers "Judith Myers" tombstone is missing. He meets with "Annie's" father "Sheriff Leigh Brackett", Charles Cyphers, and convinces him that "Michael Myers" has returned and the two go to investigate "Michael's" old house.

"Sheriff Brackett" starts patrolling the streets, but "Dr. Sam Loomis" waits for "Michael Myer's" return to the familiar old house. Nightfall comes to Haddonfield and children are out and so is "Michael".

"Laurie" is babysitting "Tommy Doyle", Brian Andrews, at his home. Babysitting was a point Debra Hill said she added to the screenplay, because of her own fears, when she was a teenage babysitter, of what might be out there in the in the night caused by the sounds she heard.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Brian Andrews in Halloween (1978)

Across the street "Annie" is babysitting "Lindsey Wallace", Kyle Richards, below.

Kyle Richards in Halloween (1978)

"Annie's" boyfriend "Paul", David  Kyle, calls and asks her to pick him up. She takes "Lindsey" across the street to stay with "Laurie" and "Tommy". "Annie" gets into her car, but before she can leave "Michael", hiding in the back seat, strangles her and slits her throat.

Next "Lynda" and her boyfriend "Bob Simms", John Michael Graham, arrive at the "Wallace House" to meet with "Annie", but thinks she went out with "Lindsey" somewhere as her car is not there.

P.J. Soles and John Michael Graham in Halloween (1978)

The two go upstairs and in one of the bedrooms have sex. Afterwards, "Bob" goes downstairs and is murdered by "Michael". Now with a bed sheet over his head, "The Shape", "Michael" goes upstairs.

"Lynda" attempts to get a rise out of "Bob/Michael" without affect and decides to calls "Laurie". While speaking to her "Michael" strangles "Lynda" with the phone cord as "Laurie" picks up her receiver.

P.J. Soles and Nick Castle in Halloween (1978)

While this is happening "Dr. Loomis" discovers his stolen car. "Laurie" tells "Tommy" and "Lindsey" to stay in the "Doyle House" and goes across the street and enters the "Wallace House". There she discovers the bodies of  "Bob" and "Lynda" and the body of "Annie" along with "Judith Myers" missing headstone. "Michael" enters and attempts to kill her.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Brian Andrews, and Kyle Richards in Halloween (1978)

"Laurie" manages to escape as "Michael" follows her over to the "Doyle House". "Laurie" is able to keep "Michael" at bey long enough for "Tommy" and "Lindsey"  to get out. "Dr. Loomis" sees the children run out and goes into the house to investigate.

Upstairs "Laurie Strode" is fighting off "Michael Myers".

"Dr. Loomis" hears noise from upstairs and goes up. "Loomis" confronts "Michael" on the house's balcony and with his pistol fires six bullets into him. This causes "Michael" to fall off the balcony to his death, BUT when "Dr. Loomis" goes down to the front yard. "Michael Myers'" body is missing and "Loomis" stares into the night.

What does a future "Scream Queen" do next? Why appear on the November 11, 1978 episode of television's "The Love Boat" with the appropriately titled "Till Death Do We Part". Followed by an episode of television's "Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century" entitled "Unchained Women". The, November 1, 1979 episode, was the seventh of the first season. Below Jamie Lee as "Jen Burton" and star Gil Gerard as "Buck Rodgers".

Jamie Lee Curtis and Gil Gerard in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)

I could not find out what Jamie Lee did for the year between those her two television appearances. However, in 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis became a full fledged "Scream Queen", with three back to back motion pictures, starting with one movie featuring her mother.

THE FOG released February 8, 1980

"The Fog" was Jamie Lee Curtis' second motion picture for the team of director, writer, composer John Carpenter and producer, writer Debra Hill. 

The main cast in billing order were:

Adrienne Barbeau as "Radio Station Owner Stevie Wayne". At this time Barbeau was married to John Carpenter. The actress had started with the 1976 television movie "The Great Houdini" at 5th billing. All her work prior to this picture was either on television shows such as "Maude", from 1972 through 1978, or other made for television movies.

Jamie Lee Curtis was "Elizabeth Solley".

Janet Leigh was "Kathy Williams". After Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 "Psycho" Leigh appeared in John Frankenheimer's original 1962 classic "The Manchurian Candidate", the 1963 film version of the Broadway musical "Bye, Bye, Birdie" and the Paul Newman detective thriller 1966's "Harper". Then turned to mostly television appearances including 1966's "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.".

John Houseman was "Mr. Machen". Houseman was associated with Orson Welles' "Mercury Theatre" and is credited with giving Welles his first major role. Houseman worked with Welles from the famous 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast to 1941's "Citizen Kane". In 1973 John Houseman won the Best Actor Academy Award for the movie "The Paper Chase" portraying "Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr". Houseman returned to the role for the television series of the film's name from 1978 through 1986.

Tom Atkins was "Nick Castle". Atkins had been mainly a television actor since 1963. Prior to this film he had only been seen in two motion pictures. 17th billing in Frank Sinatra's 1968 "The Detective" and 20th billing in George Segal's 1970 "Where's Poppa?".

Although the cast listings have actor Hal Holbrook at 10th billing. The popular character actor's name is on the posters and other publicity for "The Fog" as "Father Malone". Stage actor Holbrook started film acting in one episode of the forgotten 1954 Daytime Soap Opera "The Brighter Day". He is known for his one man stage show "Mark Twain Tonight". Which he began to develop in 1954 and in 1966 won the Tony Award for that one man show. Holbrook would win five Prime Time Emmy's for his television work. Among his work, prior to this feature, are the motion pictures "The Group" in 1966 and 1968's overlooked and very good teen take over of the United States Government "Wild in the Streets". On television he co-starred in the 1970-1971 series "The Bold Ones" and co-starred in the six episode mini-series  "Abraham Lincoln" in the title role.

According to John Carpenter his inspiration for "The Fog" came from three motion pictures. The first was the 1958 British science fiction feature "The Trollenberg Terror". That movie was based upon the 1956 ITV mini-series of the same name. The motion picture actually came to the United States three months before it was seen in the U.K.. The United States title was "The Crawling Eye". The plot had unseen monsters hiding in a moving cloud on a mountain, "The Trollenberg", coming down and killing people. The movie, like most British Science Fiction, is very good and has an intelligent screenplay.

Above the cloud that hide the monsters. Below what is in that cloud.

Continuing with the screenplays background there was also a visit, November 1977, by John Carpenter and, his then girlfriend, Debra Hill to the British site of "Stonehenge". They were in England to promote his film "Assault on Precinct 13".

The second source motion picture related to the development of the story was based upon the actual deliberate wrecking and plundering of a merchant ship off the California coast. The event took place in the early 1800's near the community of Goleta. This event was depicted in the 1975 motion picture "The Master Gunfighter" starring Tom "Billy Jack" Laughlin. The film is a confusing American Samurai Western.

A third inspiration comes from a 1965 Italian Horror movie "5 Tombe per un Medium (5 Graves for a Medium)". Which came to the United States in 1967 as "Terror-Creatures form the Grave".

An Attorney arrives at a castle to settle the estate of the dead lord. The lord's ghost has the power of raising long dead plague victims to kill a group of people in his castle. The movie co-starred American Barbara Steele of Mario Bava's 1960 "The Mask of Satan" aka: "Black Sunday" and Roger Corman's 1961 "The Pit and the Pendulum".


John Carpenter and Debra Hill's Screenplay

The story takes place in the fictional California town of Antonio Bay. The residents are excited to celebrate Antonio Bay's 100th Anniversary the following day. At 12:01 AM "Father Malone' is alone in his church when the first of several paranormal events occurs. A piece of masonry falls from one of the walls of the 100 year old church and the "Father finds his grandfather's journal in the wall.

Reading the journal "Father Malone" reads how in 1880 the six founders, his grandfather was one, of Antonio Bay deliberately sank a clipper ship the "Elizabeth Dane". The clipper was owned by "Blake", played by Rob Bottin, a wealthy man with leprosy. He wanted to establish a leper colony on the California  coast and the ship carried a cargo of gold. The gold was stolen by the six founders to establish Antonio Bay and build the church.

Meanwhile, three Antonio Bay fisherman are off the coast when a mysterious fog appears. It engulfs the fishing trawler and within it appears the "Elizabeth Dane" and its dead crew.

The "Elizabeth Dane" pulls next to the fishing trawler and "Blake" starts his revenge with three murders.

While both events are going on. "Nick Castle" is driving his truck toward his home in Antonio Bay and picks up hitchhiker "Elizabeth Solley".

As the two continue toward the town all the windows on "Nick's" truck shatter for no apparent reason. The next morning:

DJ "Stevie Wayne" is given a piece of driftwood by her son "Andy", played by Ty Mitchell. Which he found on the beach that morning.

Written on the driftwood is the word "DANE". "Stevie" decides to take the driftwood to her radio station in the local lighthouse.

Inside the radio station "Stevie" turns on a tape recorder and it starts playing, She then puts the driftwood next to it.

The first thing that happens is water starts seeping from the driftwood. This results in her tape player short circuiting and that's followed by the voice of a strange man swearing revenge. Next the word "DANE" disappears from the drift wood and is replaced by "SIX MUST DIE" and the wet driftwood bursts into flames.


"Stevie" puts out the fire and sees the word "DANE" back on the driftwood and the tape returns to playing the music she was listening too, before everything happened.

"Nick" and "Elizabeth" hear about the missing fishing trawler and go out to locate it. They locate the trawler and go board and find "Dick Baxter", played by James Canning, inside with his eyes gouged out.

The other two fishermen are missing and one of them is the husband of "Kathy Williams". Who is organizing the 100 year centennial celebration. "Nick" and "Elizabeth" take "Dick Baxter's" body to the "Coroner Dr. Phibes", portrayed by Darwin Joston. A horror and Vincent Price fan can not overlook the fact that the coroner's name chosen by Carpenter.

"Elizabeth" is left alone in the autopsy room with "Dick's" body on a table. While the two men talk  about what might being going on.

Suddenly "Dick Baxter" comes to life, gets up and goes for "Elizabeth". She screams and "Nick" and "Dr. Phibes" re-enter the autopsy room. They find "Baxter's" body on the floor with the number "Three" carved upon it by some unknown force.

That night the 100 year celebration begins and at the lighthouse "Stevie" gets a call from local weatherman "Dan O'Bannon", played by Charles Cyphers, that a fog bank has mysteriously appeared and is heading for the town. She announces that fact over the airwaves. However, before the phone is hung up by her, "Stevie" hears "Dan" answer a knock on his door and open it. In Horror "Stevie" listens to the slaughter of "Dan" by "Blake" and his crew,

The fog moves in and spreads into the town. "Stevie" fearful for "Andy" begs her listeners to go and save her son.

"Stevie" watches as "The Fog" nears her house from the lighthouse. Which has become surrounded by the fog and what might be in it.

At "Stevie's" house the dead members of "Blake's" crew arrive and murder the babysitter "Mrs. Kobitz", played Regina Waldon, as "Nick" and "Elizabeth" arrive and and saves "Andy".

From her lighthouse vantage point "Stevie" advises the residents of Antonio Bay to go to the church. There a group assembles with "Father Malone" and he explains his grandfather's journal and what is happening.

Above left to right in front, Tom Atkins as "Nick Castle", Hal Holbrook as "Father Malone", Janet Leigh as "Kathy Williams", Jamie Lee Curtis as "Elizabeth Solley" and Ty Mitchell as "Andy Wayne". In the back Nancy Loomis, her actual name, as "Sandy Fedel".

Outside of the church the dead crew continue to kill the citizens of Antonio Bay.

Back inside the church, in the same wall cavity that "Father Malone" found his grandfather's journal, a solid gold crucifix is discovered. "Malone" realizes that "Blake" and his crew have returned to take the lives of the descendants of the original six founders. At the lighthouse "Stevie" is under attack and heads for the roof as members of "Blake's" crew attempt to kill her. Back at the church "Father Malone" makes a choice.

Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, and Ty Mitchell in The Fog (1980)

Jamie Lee Curtis, Hal Holbrook, and Janet Leigh in The Fog (1980)

As the dead crew enter the church the Farther takes the solid gold cross into the main rectory.

"Blake" grabs the crucifix and it starts to glow. "Father Malone" is grabbed by "Nick Castle" pulling him to safety as "Blake" and his crew disappear

At the lighthouse the dead crew also disappear and "Stevie Wayne" is left alone on the roof. The fog has completely disappeared from Antonio Bay and everyone else appears safe.

Alone in the church "Father Malone" wonders why he wasn't killed by "Blake"? The fog suddenly reappears inside the church and "Blake" and his crew with it. "Blake" decapitates "Father Malone" finalizing his revenge.

Next there was nothing like our fond memories of High School:

PROM NIGHT released July 18, 1980

This was a Canadian slasher movie. The story was by Robert Guza, Jr. which is interesting in itself, because after "Prom Night". Guza, Jr. only wrote two more screenplays and in 1984 started writing for the "Soaps" and became one of their producers.

The screenplay was by William Gray. Among his others are 1982's "Humongous" and 1984's "The Philadelphia Experiment". Gray moved to television in 1991 with "Dark Shadows" and 1994's "RoboCop".

The motion picture was directed by Paul Lynch who was mainly a television director. After this picture his work included 1987's "Beauty and the Beast", episodes of "The Twilight Zone", "The Ray Bradbury Theatre", "Dark Shadows" and both "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".

The Main Cast:

Leslie Nielsen was "Mr. Hammond". Before he was "Commander Adams" in the 1956 science fiction classic "Forbidden Planet". Leslie Nielsen had been acting on television for six years. Immediately after visiting "Altair 4", he sang in the 1956 film version of the Broadway operetta "The Vagabond King". 1957 found Nielsen opposite Debbie Reynolds in "Tammy and the Bachelor" and the following year opposing Glenn Ford for the hand of Shirley MacLaine in the Western "The Sheepman". However, most fans know Leslie Nielsen for the television and motion picture comedy series "The Naked Gun", or the movies "Airplane" and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It!"

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed "Kimberly 'Kim' Hammond".

Casey Stevens was "Nick McBride". Stevens would only have five on screen credits and "Prom Night' was his fourth.

Michael Tough portrayed "Alex Hammond". Tough only has nine on screen appearances, but became a "Location Manager" for Canadian television. His work includes "Friday the 13th: The Series", "War of the Worlds" and "La Femme Nikita". Below Tough with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Tough in Prom Night (1980)

Anne-Marie Martin using the stage name of "Eddie Benton" was "Wendy Richards". Martin, or "Benton" was a Canadian television actress and would have a non on screen credited role in "Halloween II" and from 1982 through 1985 was on the "Soap Opera" "The Day of Our Lives".

Anne-Marie Martin in Prom Night (1980)

Antoniette Bower was "Mrs. Hammond". The British actress's first motion picture was a British TV movie of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart". Although he was not in the production the screenplay was written by Donald Pleasence. Bower became a regular on American television dramas including the original "Twilight Zone", "The Wild, Wild, West", and "Mission Impossible".

Joy Thompson was "Jude Cunningham". This was the first of her six on screen appearances. The last was in one episode of the 1988 television series "The War of the Worlds".

Mary Beth Rubens, as "Marybeth Rubens", portrayed "Kelly Lynch".  Rubens has only nineteen on screen roles mostly on Canadian television and also was in an episode of "War of the Worlds". Her last three roles were on "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years", "The Outer Limits" and "FX: The Series". Below Rubens with Thompson.

Mary Beth Rubens and Joy Thompson in Prom Night (1980)

Overview of the screenplay:
In 1974 four eleven year old friends "Kelly", "Nick", "Jude" and "Wendy" are playing hide and seek in a long abandoned convent. Enter ten year old "Robin Hammond" who wants to join the others, but they start teasing her. Their teasing leads to "Robin" falling to her death through an open window. The four friends make a vow  never to tell anyone what happened.

Six years later, in 1980, "Robin's Family" attends a memorial on the anniversary of her death. "Kim" is "Robin's" sister, and "Alex" is her fraternal twin brother,

The Set Up:

The following morning "Kelly", "Jude" and "Wendy" all receive obscene phone calls and "Nick" just ignores the phone's ringing.

"Kim" is now dating "Nick" and the two will be going to the prom together. While mean girl "Wendy" has asked "Lou Farmer", David Mucci, to go with her. She plans to use him to get even with "Nick" for dumping her. While "Jude" has asked the "Goofy Jokester" "Seymour 'Slick' Crane", Sheldon Rybowski, to go with her. "Kelly" is going to the prom with her boyfriend "Drew Shinnick", Jeff Wincott.

On the Day of the Prom: 

After Gym Class is completed. In the girl's gym changing room "Kim" and "Kelly" discover the is mirror broken and a shard missing.

Later, "Kelly", "Wendy" and "Jude" find there year books photos, in each of their locked lockers, slashed. Meanwhile, "Kim" and "Alex's" father. the school principal, learns that the sex offender blamed for his daughter death has escaped the sanitarium he was being held at and Police "Lieutenant McBride", "Nick's" father, is investigating.

That night the prom begins and so does the killing starting with "Kelly". She and "Drew" are making out in the gym's changing room and virgin "Kelly" refuses his request for sex. "Drew" leaves her and a figure wearing a ski mask, dressed all in black, approaches "Kelly" with the mirror's shard and slits her throat.

Mary Beth Rubens in Prom Night (1980)

Next "Jude" and "Slick" are smoking marijuana and having sex in a van parked outside of the school grounds. The masked killer appears and stabs "Jude" in the throat. "Slick" fights with the killer who jumps off the moving van as it goes off a cliff with "Slick" still inside.

Prom Night (1980)

While staking out the Prom "Sheriff McBride" is informed that the sex killer blamed for "Robin's" death had been recaptured. Now with an ax the killer starts chasing  "Wendy" through the school.

Prom Night (1980)

Anne-Marie Martin in Prom Night (1980)

"Wendy" has eluded the killer several times, but discovers "Kelly's" body and freezes. At this point the killer catches and murders her. The murder was witnessed by the alcoholic janitor "Mr. Stykes", Robert A. Silverman. He tries to tell somebody what he saw, but they all believe its nothing but a drunken rant on his part.

At the Prom "Nick" and "Kim" prepare to be crowned King and Queen, but gang leader bad boy "Lou" and his followers arrive and tie "Nick" up, before he meets with "Kim". "Lou" takes the King's crown and the killer approaches "Lou", from the back, believing him to be "Nick". He decapitates "Lou" sending his head into the Prom creating panic.


"Kim" finds "Nick" and frees him. As the two prepare to leave the killer shows up and attacks only "Nick". In the ensuing fight "Kim" takes the ax and strikes the masked killer in the head.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Prom Night (1980)

Staring into killer eyes "Kim" realizes he's her brother "Alex". "Alex" reveals he saw "Robin's" death and that it was "Wendy", "Kelly", "Nick" and "Jude" that caused it. "Alex" cries out "Robin's" name and dies in his sisters arms.

Jamie Lee Curtis decided to next take a nice train ride for New Year's Eve.

TERROR TRAIN released October 3, 1980

"Terror Train" is another Canadian slasher motion picture written by Thomas Y. "T.Y." Drake. Drake was a Canadian song writer and wrote lyrics for "The Kingston Trio". He turned to screenplay writing and wrote ten. One film, 1976's "The Keeper", was never released theatrically, but starred Christopher Lee which Drake also directed.

"Terror Train"
was directed by Roger Spottiswood. The British-Canadian Spottiswood was a motion picture  editor who worked with Sam Peckingpah on both 1971's "Straw Dogs" and 1973's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid". This film was the first of Spottiswoods thirty-four directing assignment through  2018.

The three leads in the picture are:

Ben Johnson portrayed "Carne, the Train Conductor", if his name is unfamiliar you might know Ben Johnson's face. He co-starred with Terry Moore in the 1949 original "Mighty Joe Young" and was seen as "Travis Tyree" in both John Ford's 1949's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and 1950's "Rio Grande". Later, one of my favorite real cowboys, Johnson was also one of Sam Peckinpah's 1969 "The Wild Bunch". My article "Ben Johnston: Roping a 12 Foot Gorilla" can be found at:

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed medical student "Alana Maxwell".

Hart Bochner was medical student "Doc Manley". This was only Bochner's fourth role, but after the film. He would be seen in the television mini-series of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden", have fourth billing in the 1984 motion picture "Supergirl" and be part of the ensemble cast of the  twelve part mini-series 1988's "War and Remembrance".

Sandee Currie was "Michelle" aka: "Mitchy". For the next eight years Currie appeared mostly on television.

Below  Bochner and Currie.

Hart Bochner and Sandee Currie in Terror Train (1980)

Derek MacKinnon played "Kenny Hampson". He film carrier consisted of only three other motion pictures.

The film is notable for having the role of "The Magician", hired to entertain the students, portrayed by an then unknown David Copperfield.

Jamie Lee Curtis and David Copperfield in Terror Train (1980)

David Copperfield is actually the pivotal character of the film's screenplay in a round about way.  As John Kenneth Muir in "Horror Films of the 1980's", published by McFarland in 2012, states the central principal (Theme) of "Prom Night" is:
Magic, or the often undetectable gulf between reality and illusion...In other words, characters live and die in Terror Train based, in large part, on how they perceive the reality or non-reality around them.
Muir adds:
If the would-be victims can see through the illusion, they tend to survive. If they can't do so, they die. It's as simple that, but this approach makes Terror Train a more complex and layered film than the average slasher picture. 

The magical horrifying screenplay:
The film starts out at a College fraternity New Year's Eve party presumed to be 1977. Reluctant "Alana Maxwell" is coerced into being a part of prank on a very awkward pledge named "Kenny Hampson", Derek MacKinnon. She's to make him believe they're going to have sex together. Instead, a corpse stolen from the school's medical lab is placed in the bed instead of "Alana". "Kenny" is traumatized and is sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Three years later the members of the same fraternity and the girls of "Alana's" sorority hold a New Years Eve costume party on board a train with one uninvited guest.

Of importance is that class clown "Ed", Howard Busgang, is dressed as "Groucho Marx", before the train starts out and everyone else has not put their costumes on.

Derek McKinnon in Terror Train (1980)

The Prank Ringleader "Doc Manley" will be dressed as a "Monk".

"Jackson", Anthony Sherwood, will be dressed as an "Alien Lizard".

"Mitchy" will be dressed as a "Witch".

"Alana's" boyfriend "Mo", Timothy Webber, is dressed as a bird. Below Copperfield, Webber and Curtis.

What those on the train don't know, but the audience does, Is that "Ed" was killed prior to boarding the train and it is the killer walking among them dressed as "Croucho Marx". As the train journey's further into the Canadian wilderness the killer finds "Jackson" in the sleeper car bathroom and smashes his head into the mirror. Train Conductor "Carne" finds his body and goes to get the brakeman "Charlie", Steve Michaels, and they return to the bathroom.

Terror Train (1980)

However, the body is missing and "Charlie" assures "Carne" that the kid wearing the lizard suit was probably drunk and will show up shortly. This seems to prove true, as the "Alien Lizard", now cleaned up, rejoins the group. Only it's the killer not "Jackson".

"Mitchy" now lures the "Alien Lizard" to an empty compartment to try to seduce him thinking it's "Jackson".

The killer uses "Jackson's" own severed hand to caress "Mitchy" and then slits her throat. She will be discovered by "Carne". "Alana" comes upon  the scene and the conductor informs her of "Mitchy's" death.

Meanwhile the Magician is holding a magic show with his assistant "Merry" played by Vanity.

David Copperfield and Vanity in Terror Train (1980)

As the show progresses "Doc" discovers "Mo" stabbed to death, but the others think it's just a prank. "Carne", with the now believing "Charlie", sequester the students in one car to keep tabs on them. While this is going on two porters discover the body of another student named "Pet", Joy Boushel, who had met the killer disguised as "Croucho".

"Alana" suspecting the killer may be "Kenny" revenging himself on the fraternity pranksters. Finds "Doc" and tells him. "Doc" thanks her for the information and locks himself in a room, inside the sleeper car, for safety. Of  course the killer is there and murders the other.

Very shortly after this "Alana" and "Carne" find "Doc's" decapitated body. "Alana" now tells "Carne" she believes "Kenny" is the magician in disguise. "Carne" and two porters go to the magician's compartment to lock him inside, but only find his female assistant.

"Alana" is locked into a compartment for her safety, but the killer murders a porter with one of the magician's swords, arms himself with an ax, and gets inside the room.

"Alana" gets out and the masked killer follows her.

"Alana" finely manages to get control of the situation and pushes the masked killer off the train between two cars. However, unknown to her, he manages to keep hold and re-enters the train cars.

"Alana" next discovers the body of the magician in his sword box and continuing to move through the train finds "Charlie" with his head down on a table. She starts to tell him what's happened, but when "Charlie" lifts his head up. It is not the brakeman, but "Kenny" in his clothes.

"Kenny" removes his cap and reveals a blonde wig. It was "Kenny", who in drag, had been posing as the magician's assistant. "Alana" attempts to apologize to "Kenny" over the prank, but he forces her to kiss him. Which has the unforeseen affect of making "Kenny" relive the prank and move further into his insanity. "Carne" arrives with a shovel and hits "Kenny" directly in the head causing him to fall out the baggage car open door into a frozen lake as the train speeds off. The film closes with "Kenny's" dead body floating in the icy waters.

In 1981 Jamie  Lee Curtis' voice "Escaped from New York". While the actress appeared in the television movie "She's In the Army Now" and a motion picture that was considered an Australian horror thriller.

ROAD GAMES was released June 26, 1981 in Australia and November 19th in the United States

The film was Australian director Richard Franklin's third motion picture. His next would be 1983's "Psycho II" co-starring Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles in their original 1960's roles.

The screenplay was by Everett DeRoche. Who except for the 1980 Fantasy, Mystery motion picture "Harlequin" had been writing Australian television scripts since 1970.

The Main Cast:

Stacy Keach portrayed "Pat Quid". Keach had been seen on screen since 1964 and in 1971 was in director Frank Perry's interesting revisionist Western "Doc". Keach was "Doc Holliday", Faye Dunaway was "Katie Elder" and Harris Yulin was "Wyatt Earp". In 1972 Stacy Keach played "Bad Bob" in director John Milius' "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" starring Paul Newman, In 1980 Keach was "Frank James" in Walter Hill's interesting "The Long Riders". Stacy's brother James was "Jesse James", the Carradine brothers, David, Keith and Robert, were the "Younger Brothers" and the Quaids, Randy and Dennis, were the real "Miller Brothers",

Jamie Lee Curtis is "Pamela Rushworth" aka: "Hitch", because she's a hitch hiker.

Marion Edward is "Frita". Edward had been acting on Australian television since 1963. This was her second feature film.

Grant Page was "Smith, or is it Jones?". Page is a stunt man who worked in 1979's "Mad Max" and 1985's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". His last stunt work, at this time, was in 2016's "God's of Egypt". As an actor Page appeared on Australian television mainly in action shows using his stunt work.

The Screenplay:

Trucker "Quid" passes a hitch hiker on the open road. He doesn't stop for her, because his trucking company doesn't permit it. Arriving at a motel he sees a man beside a green van and the hitch hiker. The two have taken the last room and "Quid" and his dingo are forced to sleep in the truck. During the night the man kills the women with one of her guitar strings.

When "Quid" wakes up his dingo is sniffing at the garage dump and the man in the green van is watching from the motel room window.

"Quid" and his dingo now pick up a load of meat and continue on their way to the town of Perth. He sees several odd people on the road, including a nagging wife with family, and a recurring female hitch hiker, Jamie Lee Curtis, that of course he can't offer a ride too.

"Quid" has to stop for a paper roadblock made by "Frita" the nagging wife he saw arguing in the car with her husband. "Frita" gets into his truck and demands "Quid" take her to catch up with her husband that abandoned her on the side of the road. During the drive "Frita" tells "Quid" of the motel murder she heard on the radio and the way he is acting toward her. "Frita" suspects he might be the serial killer.

"Quid" now sees the green van along side of the road ahead and the driver reaching into a small cooler and taking something out of it. "Quid" stops and uses a pair of binoculars to watch the van driver burying several plastic bags. However, the driver of the van sees him and stops what he's doing, gets into the van, and drives away. "Frita" and "Quid" arrive at a roadhouse diner and she leaves him still believing he's the killer.

Stacy Keach and Marion Edward in Roadgames (1981)

Killer in Roadgames (1981)

While "Quid" is inside the "Roadhouse" the man in the green van assaults his dingo at the truck.

"Quid" now gives chase, but has to slow down because of a man towing a sailboat he passed earlier. The man will not  give the trucker room to get by and "Quid" destroys the boat and passes, but by now the green van is too far ahead to catch.

This time "Quid" sees the young women, "Pamela Rushworth", hitch hiking and picks her up.

She reveals that her father is a powerful American diplomat and "Quid" suggests "Pamela" call him and let him know she's alright.

The two discuss the serial killer and at a service station they notice the green van parked near a restroom. "Quid" tells "Pamela" to stay inside the truck and he goes into the restroom to confront the killer. Inside he notices a pair of feet showing from a closed door of a stall.  "Pamela" instead of following "Quid's" instructions approaches the van.

"Pamela" opens the back doors and finds the serial killer asleep there. Back in the restroom the stall opens and a biker comes out. "Quid" rushes outside to find the van and "Pamela" gone. When he catches up to the van it appears "Pamela" is sitting happily in the front seat. Later "Quid" sees the van pulled over in the bushes and approaches to hear a man and a women giggling and he assumes "Pamela" and the van driver are having sexual intercourse. He next breaks into the van and opens the cooler only to find food inside. His suspicions about the driver must be wrong.

"Quid" reports to the weigh station at the outskirts of Perth. He sees the green van with police cars surrounding it. The van leaves and "Quid's"suspicions are re-aroused and he follows the van. As the police seemingly are following him. The van reaches a dead end, but "Quid's" truck becomes stuck in the same narrow alleyway.

The van driver approaches "Quid" with a garrote, but "Quid" is able to disarm him. When "Quid" now turns the garrote on the killer. The police show up, believing it is "Quid" that is the serial killer,, and stop him from finishing off the real killer. Opening the van the police find a gagged and bound "Pamela". Who tells them "Quid" is innocent and it is the other man they want. The van driver is caught and arrested as he tries to escape in a large crowd of onlookers.

When "Quid" finally delivers his meat to Perth. He meets "Pamela" and tells her that after he noticed, at the weigh station, his load was slightly overweight. He thought the driver of the van had murdered her and hide the body within his trailer to get him arrested as the serial killer.

The closing scenes are of a women back at the meat processing facility cleaning the back of "Quid's" trailer. When she sees a guitar string hanging from the ceiling. She pulls on it and a severed head falls into her soap bucket.

Jamie Lee moved from Australia to the United States an a return visit by "Michael".

HALLOWEEN II released October 30, 1981

The picture was written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, but not directed by Carpenter. This picture was directed by Rick Rosenthal and was only Rosenthal's second directing position.

The Main Cast:

Jamie Lee Curtis was back as "Laurie Strode".

Donald Pleasence was back as "Dr. Sam Loomis".

Charles Cyphers was back as "Sheriff Leigh Brackett".

Halloween II (1981)

Nancy Stephens was back as "Marion Chambers".

The role of "Michael Myers" is portrayed by four actors again, sort of.

Adam Gunn portrays the young "Michael Myers". This was his final screen appearance of eleven.

Tony Moran was seen as "Michael" in stock footage from the 1978 motion picture. As was Nick Castle. The new role of "Michael Myers" aka: "The Shape" aka: Patrolman #3" was portrayed by Dick Warlock. Warlock was a stunt man who had been doing that work since 1960 and some acting starting in 1964. Below Warlock as "Michael" and "Patrolman #3".

Below a little clearer publicity picture of Warlock as "Patrolman #3" on the left of Charles Cyphers.

Nancy Louise Kyes is back using her stage name Nancy Loomis as "Annie Bracket". Only she is playing her corpse in a cameo.

The New Screenplay:
The audience returns to Halloween night 1978 as "Michael Myers" is shot and falls off the balcony. Next "Michael" enters a home of an elderly couple, steals a kitchen knife, kills them and kills the teenage girl who lives next door to the couple.

Meanwhile, "Laurie Strode" is taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Gloria Gifford, Tawny Moyer, and Ford Rainey in Halloween II (1981)

"Dr. Loomis" and "Sheriff Bracket" continue their search for the now missing "Michael Myers".

Accompanied by the Sheriff, "Dr. Loomis" mistakes teenager "Ben Tramer", Jack Verbois, for "Michael". Suddenly, "Ben" gets pinned by a speeding squad car between it and another vehicle. The two cars burst into flames and "Patrolman #3" gets out of the squad car and disappears.

Halloween II (1981)

Now informed that his daughter "Annie" was murdered by "Michael Myers". The Sheriff turns over his duties to deputy "Gary Hunt", Hunter Van Leer, and goes to tell his wife. The character of "Sheriff Bracket" is no longer in the motion picture.

At the hospital a paramedic named "Jimmy", Lance Guest, becomes attracted to "Laurie Strode".

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lance Guest in Halloween II (1981)

Meanwhile, "Michael" hears over a radio that "Laurie" was taken to the hospital and heads there.

Halloween II (1981)

Halloween II (1981)

Arriving "Michael" disables the vehicles in the parking lot and cuts the phone lines to the hospital. Then he begins his search for "Laurie". In his search "Michael" kills nurses, doctors and security guards that get in his way. "Jimmy" slips in a pool of blood and is knocked unconscious for a short time.

When "Michael" gets to "Laurie's" room she is missing and trying to avoid him. He attempts to use t  the phones and finds the line isn't working.


Recovered "Jimmy" and "Nurse Jill Franco", played by Tawny Moyer, search the hospital for the missing "Laurie".

"Laurie" starts having flashback dreams and sees herself as a teenager with a young "Michael".

"Dr. Loomis" learns that "Michael" broke into a local elementary school. He investigates further and learns that "Michael" has ties to the cult of "Samhain" and this might explain his seemingly indestructibility.

"Marion Chambers" finds "Dr. Loomis" and informs him that investigation have shown "Laurie Strode" was adopted and is the sister of "Michael Myers". After the death of their parents she was put up for adoption and the records sealed. Also, "Marion" is with a U.S. Marshall under orders of the governor to bring "Dr. Loomis" back to "Smith's Grove Sanitarium". Instead "Loomis" forces the Marshall to turn back and take him to Haddonfield.

Back at the Hospital:

"Michael" has killed "Nurse Franco" and is walking around the hospital with a scalpel in his hands. "Laurie" gets outside and hides in "Jimmy's" car.

Dick Warlock and Tawny Moyer in Halloween II (1981)

"Jimmy" finds "Laurie" and joins her in hiding in his car. However, he slumps over unconscious on the car's steering wheel horn, as a result of his earlier fall, causing the horn to sound loudly. "Dr. Loomis", "Marion Chambers" and the Marshall arrive just in time to save "Laurie" from her brother. "Michael".

"Marion" attempts to contact the police, but "Michael" also murders the Marshall. "Laurie" gets the Marshall's gun as "Michael" now chases them into the hospital for a confrontation in the surgery theater.

"Michael" stabs "Loomis" in the stomach and "Laurie" shoots him in the eyes.

"Dr. Loomis" and "Laurie" now fill the room with ether and oxygen gas. "Loomis" tells "Laurie" to run and then blows up the room with him and "Michael Myers" inside.

The following morning a traumatized "Laurie Strode" is transferred to another hospital.

From "Michael Myers" to a Playboy Centerfold and her death.

DEATH OF A CENTERFOLD: THE DOROTHY STRATTEN STORY first shown on television November 1, 1981

Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert Reed, and Bruce Weitz in Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981)

The teleplay was written by David E. Stewart whose first screenplay was Roger Corman's 1976 "Jackson County Jail". He would go on to win the Academy Award for director Costa-Gavras' 1982 motion picture "Missing". Stewart also co-wrote the screenplays for 1990's "The Hunt for Red October", 1992's "Patriot Games" and 1994's "Clear and Present Danger".

The motion picture was directed by London born Gabrielle Beaumont. She is best known for the 1998 television special "Diana: A Tribute to the People's Princess". Although her American television work included both "Hill Street Blues" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed "Dorothy Stratten".

The movie told the life and times of 20 year old playboy model Dorothy Stratten, her marriage to her pimp Paul Snider, and their murder suicide.

A series of movies followed including the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd 1983 "Trading Places" in which Jamie Lee Curtis had 53rd billing. The aforementioned "Halloween: Season of the Witch" and "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension". On actress Shelly Duvall's television series "Tall Tales & Legends", December 24, 1985, Curtis was Annie Oakley.

Tall Tales & Legends (1985)

Six more on screen appearances later and a small American-British comedy crime caper that surprised everyone.

A FISH CALLED WANDA released July 15, 1988 in the U.K. and October 14th in the United States

The motion picture was written by John Cleese of "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Cleese portrayed "Archie Leach". Among his acting work is "Nearly Headless Nick" in the "Harry Potter" motion picture series, besides several "Monty Python" motion pictures.

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed "Wanda Gershwitz". Below Cleese and Curtis.

John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Kevin Kline is"Otto". In 1980 Kline was "The Pirate King" in an excellent, originally made for television, motion picture of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" co-starring American singer Linda Ronstat. He followed that film with the excellent 1982 drama "Sophie's Choice" starring Meryl Streep and the 1985 Western "Silverado".

Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

The basic story line was by Charles Crichton. He started out as a film editor and turned to directing. Among his comedy work were 1951's "The Lavender Hill Mob" starring Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway and the Peter Sellers 1959 "Battle of the Sexes". Both were popular films on both sides of "The Pond" upon their release.

Four very different people come together to commit armed robbery and then try to double-cross the others in typical British comedy style.

The motion picture got Crichton a nomination for the Best Director Academy Award, Cleese for Best Screenplay and Kline for Actor. The British BAFTA Awards had similar nominations plus Best Actor. Cleese and Supporting Actor Kline. Both actors won the BAFTA's.

From March 7, 1989 through June 3, 1992 television audiences enjoyed Jamie Lee Curtis as "Hannah Miller" on the sitcom "Anything But Love".  Below Curtis with co-star Richard Lewis as "Marty Gold".

Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis in Anything But Love (1989)

In 1991 Curtis co-starred with Dan Aykrod, Macaulay Culkin  and Anna Chlumsky in the comedy-drama "My Girl". She would return to the role in 1994 in "My Girl 2".

TRUE LIES released July 12, 1994

This comedy spy action film was written, produced and directed by the aforementioned James Cameron. By this time Cameron had made 1984's "The Terminator" and its first sequel 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", 1986's "Aliens" and 1989's "The Abyss". So a comic "James Bond" rip-off was just the right change of pace.

Arnold Schwarzenegger played happily married "Harry Tasker". At this time with the exception of 1990's "Kindergarten Cop". The actor was still appearing in action films within his image that first appeared in director John Millius' 1982 "Conan the Barbarian". This was a film designed to show off his comedic side.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies (1994)

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed his wife "Helen Tasker".

The plot has "Helen" and their daughter believing dad is a boring computer salesman. Who does a lot of traveling to sell boring computers to clients. In actuality he is a spy working for a secret government counter-terrorism task force. The fun comes from "Helen's" discovery of her husbands true profession and then becoming his partner.

Next on October 15, 1995, Jamie Lee Curtis was back in a television film written by the original "Pulitzer Prize Winning" playwright Wendy Wasserstein called "The Heidi Chronicles". The feminist story follows the road of discovery for "Heidi Holland" from the 1960's into the 1990's.

The Heidi Chronicles (1995)

Six appearances later and "Hello Laurie, IT'S MICHAEL!"

HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER released August 5, 1998

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Based upon characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. The screenplay takes the position that there were no other "Halloween" films after "Halloween II".

The film is from a story by Robert Zappia and a non screen credited Kevin Williamson. Both are television writers, but whereas Zappia had written mostly for animated children shows like "Tom and Jerry". Williamson wrote horror and slasher movies such as 1997's "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and would write for "The Vampire Diaries" television series.

The screenplay was by Zappia and Matt Greenberg. Greenberg had already written the screenplays for 1995's "Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest" and 1998's "The Prophecy II".

The motion picture was directed by Steve Miner. He started out by directing 1981's "Friday the 13th: Part 2" and 1983's "Friday the 13th: Part III". In 1985 Miner directed the horror film "House" and strangely followed that in 1988 by directing 9 episodes of television's "The Wonder Years". Steve Miner would direct the 1989 horror film "Warlock" and 9 of the 13 episodes of the television mini-series "Elvis".

Main cast as billed:

Jamie Lee Curtis was once more "Laurie Strode", but this time aka: "Keri Tate".

Adam Arkin was "Will Brennan". Arkin was familiar to television audiences. Prior to this picture he appeared as a regular on these television series: 1977's "Busting Loose", 1986's "A Year in the Life", 1989's "Knot's Landing", 1991's "China Beach", 1990's "Northern Exposure" and 1994's "Picket Fences".

Michelle Williams was "Molly Cartwell"". Williams was the young "Sil" in 1995's "Species" and another teen in the same years "Timemaster". Also in 1998 she became "Jen Lindley" for the 128 episode run of "Dawson's Creek".

Adam Hann-Byrd was "Charlie Deveraux"". Hann-Byrd started movie acting with 1991's "Little Man Tate". He had the title role of the Jody Foster directed and starring picture. Adam Hann-Byrd portrayed the young version of  Robin Williams in 1995's "Jumanji" and appeared in the 1996 American remake of the classic 1955 French film "Diabolique" that starred Sharon Stone.

Jodi Lyn O'Keefe was "Sarah Wainthrope". O'Keefe had been "Maggie Cory" in the continuing daytime soap opera "Another World". In 1996 she started to appear in the first of 122 episodes of the Don Johnson and Cheech Marin television series "Nash Bridges" as "Cassidy Bridges" and during that run made this feature and 2000's "The Crow: Salvation".

Janet Leigh was "Norma". This was a small role in the film, but of course the gimmick, once again, was to have "Psycho" mother with "Halloween" daughter in the same motion picture as seen below. There's more too it so read on.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Josh Hartnett was "John Tate". This was Hartnett's first on screen appearance and he followed it in 1998 with the Science Fiction "The Faculty".

LL Cool J was Security Guard "Ronny". Technically LL Cool J had been acting since 1984, but mainly in music videos. His first actual feature film was 1991's "The Hard Way" starring Michael J. Fox and James Woods. He had 7th billing as "Billy". In 1998 LL Cool J started to appear in motion pictures and had perfected his acting style with the movie "Caught Up". In 2009 he guest starred as "Sam Hanna" in a two part episode of television's "NCIS" and the same year became a regular on the spin off "NCIS: Los Angeles".

One last actor to mention and that's stunt man Chris Durand. You won't see his face, because he plays "Michael Myers". So here he is below. One interesting piece of trivia. Durand had never seen any of the previous "Halloween" franchise, before he took the role of "Michael" in this picture.

Before I go into the actual plot for "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later". I said there was more to the mother and daughter appearances in this feature. The small role of "Norma", as the secretary of "Keri Tate", the Head Mistress of the "Hillcrest Academy", is filled with a little inside joking by Kevin Williams and director Steve Miner.

In Janet Leigh's final scene in the movie. "Norma" is leaving the school in the following car.

A classic for an older women to be driving, but does it look familiar? It's the same model car "Marion Crane" drove to the "Bate's Motel" and it has a copy of the exact license plate on the car dumped into the swamp by "NORMAN Bates", or is that "Norma"? As the female version of "Norman" is used for  Leigh's character.

Post image

Additionally as Janet Leigh walks to "Norma's" car. The audience hears the theme from 1960's "Psycho". 

Now to the scream-play.

The original working title of the screenplay, based upon a story by Kevin Williamson, was "Halloween 7: The Revenge of Laurie Strode", and a direct sequel to the previous six films. Somehow including "Season of the Witch", but it was decided to skip the last five features and make this film a direct sequel of only the two written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. At which point Robert Zappia stepped in and created the story line for the film.

The date is October 29, 1998, the masked "Michael Myers" is seen burglarizing the Langdon, Illinois, retirement home of the late "Dr. Sam Loomis". Arriving at the home is "Nurse Marion Chambers", played by Nancy Stephens, she had r taken care of the doctor until his death.

Looking over things "Marion" discovers the file on "Laurie Strode" is missing. "Laurie" was presumed killed in an automobile accident. "Michael" appears and kills "Marion", and her teenage neighbor "Jimmy" and his friend "Tony", witnesses, before leaving with "Laurie's" file.

Switch to Summer Glen, California, where "Laurie" living under the assumed name of "Keri Tate" had faked the death of "Laurie Strode". She is now the Head Mistress of the Hillcrest Academy. "Keri/Laurie" is haunted by a fear that "Michael" might still return.

On the upside "Keri" is in a relationship with Guidance Counselor "Will Brennan". After murdering "Marion" and the two boys "Michael" appears at a highway rest stop. Where he proceeds to steal a women's car and now heads for Summer Glenn.

There is a major school trip to Yosemite National Park. All the students and faculty leave for the trip EXCEPT, CONVENIENTLY, "Keri", "Will", school guard "Ronny" and of course "Laurie/Keri's" son "John, his girlfriend "Molly" and their two friends "Charlie" and "Sarah". 

The four students are planning a "Halloween Party" in the school basement. Look for a "Hockey Mask" thrown in by director Miner as an inside joke to his "Friday the 13th" movies and "Jason Voorhees".

Later that night "Keri" reveals her true identity to "Will". While "Michael" shows up and murders "Charlie" and "Sarah".

"John" and "Molly" are now chased by "Michael" across the school grounds.

"Will" and "Laurie" arrive in time to help her son and "Molly".

"Laurie" now comes face to face with "Michael" for the first time in 20 years.

In the confusion that follows, "Will" accidentally shoots "Ronny". Who was patrolling the halls, but "Michael" also kills "Will".

"Laurie" manages to get "John" and "Molly" to safety and now comes the climatic battle between her and "Michael", or at least in this picture.

Laurie Strode, the ultimate survivor and accidental badass. Let's just pretend Halloween Resurrection didn't happen...

"Laurie" stabs "Michael" multiple times and pushes him off a balcony. On the ground "Laurie" prepares to stab "Michael" again, but "Ronny", who survived "Will's" shooting, convinces her not too. The police and coroner arrive and "Michael's" dead (?) body is loaded into the van.

"Laurie" next steals the van with her brother's body in it and is being pursued by the police. "Michael", who of course in not dead, attacks her. "Laurie" slams on the brakes sending "Michael" through the front windshield. As the van goes down a steep hill "Laurie" tumbles out of it, as the van comes to rest pinning "Michael" between the van and a fence post.

"Laurie Strode" now takes an ax and decapitates her brother, "Michael Myers".

For her next feature film Jamie Lee Curtis found herself as a crew member of an American tug boat that discovers an abandoned Russian ship.

VIRUS released January 15, 1999

Do not confuse this motion picture with the 1980 movie of the same title.

The screenplay was co-written by Chuck Pfarrer. Who created the "Dark Horse Comic" series "Virus". Pfarrer also co-wrote both 1990's "Navy Seal" and "Darkman". 

The other writer was Dennis Feldman who wrote 1995's "Species".

The film was directed by John Bruno. Who had been the visual effects art director on 1982's "Poltergeist", 1984's "Ghostbusters", 1985's "Fright Night" and 1989's "The Abyss" among other features.

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed "Kelly 'Kit' Foster".

William Baldwin was "Steve Baker". Prior to this picture some of "Billy" Baldwin's films included 1989's "Born on the Fourth of July", 1990's "Flatliners" and 1991's "Backdraft".

Donald Sutherland was "Captain Robert Everton". This was his 121st on screen role out of 192 ranging from comedy, drama, war and horror film. In short a varied career.

The screenplay:

Salvage should be routine, but not when there's an alien life form on board.

The film opens with the Russian Research Vessel the "Vladislav Volkov" contacting the operating "MIR" space station. At that moment a large energy surge hits "MIR" killing the cosmonauts and follows the beam down to the "Volkov", takes over the ship, and attacks the crew.

Seven days later the tug boat "Sea Star", under the command of alcoholic "Captain Robert Everton", has lost its cargo during a horrendous continuing storm. When the tug reaches the eye of the storm Navigator "Kit Foster", an ex-Navy officer, and Engineer "Steve Baker" discover the engine room is taking on water, but also the radar screen is showing a large ship near by. The decision is made to go to it for help.

Boarding the Russian Research Vessel there appears to be not one member of the crew left on board. "Everton" thinking major salvage orders "Baker' to assist another crewman "Squeaky", Julio Oscar Mechoso, to repair the electrical systems. Suddenly, the Russian's anchor drops on its own, sinking the tug with two crew men on it."Baker" tells "Squeaky" to guard the engine room and he goes on deck to try and rescue the two and succeeds, but one is injured.

Meanwhile, something lures "Squeaky" away and he is killed by a spider like mechanical creature.

While "Kit" is treating the injured crewman "Hiko", Cliff Curtis, somebody shoots at "Everton" and "Baker". It turns out to be the only surviving member of the Russian crew, "Nadia Vinogradova", Joanna Pacula, who after calming down. Tells the others to shut down the generators, because "It" feeds off the power.

Thus begins a battle with the alien life form which will eventually take over "Captain Everton" and modify him into what you see below. The film's title does not refer to the alien life form, but how it sees humans as a virus that must be eradicated and their bodies used as "Spare Parts".

The tug crew fights back.


Below are some stills of Jamie  Lee Curtis in action.

In the end the Russian Research Vessel will be blown up and sunk to the ocean's floor. Thereby dispersing the alien energy into the water and killing it. This is one very good film.
As Jamie Lee Curtis knows you can't keep a good thing dead for long, MAYBE!

HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION released July 1, 2002

The motion picture is also known as "Halloween 8: Resurrection".
The motion picture is directed by Rick Rosenthal who directed "Halloween II".
The screenplay was co-written by Larry Brand, the non-Roger Corman 1989 "Masque of the Red Death" and 1998's "Paranoia". Along with co-writer Sean Hood whose previous work was only in  short films.

The contrived screenplay really doesn't follow any of  the three "Halloween" movies starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

The screenplay's opening:

The story starts with two flashbacks. The first is on Halloween day October 31, 1998. The audience sees "Laurie" accidentally murder a paramedic that "Michael" had swapped clothing with and she is committed to "Grace Anderson Sanatorium".

Three years later "Michael" shows up at the sanatorium, breeches the facilities security, kills two guards and makes his way to "Laurie's" room. She run and he follows.

After their chase "Laurie" lures "Michael" to the rooftop with the plan of throwing him off. It backfires, because she fears he might again be the wrong person as happened before. Her slowness allows "Michael" to grab "Laurie" and stab her multiple times and then throw her off the roof to her death.

"Michael Myers" returns to Haddonfield and finds a film  crew making a movie in his old home. The majority of the movie now follows him killing them off.

N.C.I.S. from February 21, 2012 to May 15, 2012

Jamie Lee Curtis appeared in only five episodes of television's "N.C.I.S." in the character of "Dr. Samantha Ryan" and the sparks between her and Mark Harman's "Leroy Jethro Gibbs" flew. The audience also saw a strong female character that was the equal of "Gibbs" like no other and an interesting romance only to end, because of domestic terrorist "Harper Dearing's" threats to "Ryan's" son and her.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Mark Harmon in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Weatherly in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Mark Harmon in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003)

Back in 2003 Curtis and Harmon had been in the remake of Walt Disney's "Freaky Friday".

From September 22, 2015 through December 20, 2016 Jamie Lee was in the appropriately entitled "Scream Queens" as an University Dean named "Cathy Munch". This was a horror, comedy mystery series. The first season fellows a group of Sorority Members being terrorized by a killer dressed as the University's mascot "The Red Devil". The second season saw the location moved to a hospital were "Dean Munch" is now the head.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Scream Queens (2015)

Jamie Lee Curtis, Brooke Shields, Kirstie Alley, John Stamos, Emma Roberts, and Abigail Breslin in Scream Queens (2015)

Above left to right are Emma Roberts, Brooke Shields, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Stamos, Kirstie Alley and Abogall Breslin the series leads for both seasons.

Just when you thought "Laurie Strode" was dead. Jamie Lee Curtis was back in

HALLOWEEN shown first on September 8, 2018 at the Toronto, Canada, Film Festival

Halloween (2018) poster.jpg

I think you could call this 2018 film "Halloween H40: 40 Years Later"?" 

The screenplay was by Jeff Fradley, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride. Who all seem to have worked on the same Canadian television shows together and have two more "Halloween" movies announced. One of these is in post-production and Jamie Lee Curtis will be in both features.

The motion picture was directed by David Gordon Green.

Jamie Lee Curtis is "Laurie Strode". She is the sole survivor of "Michael Myers" 1978 killing spree in Haddonfield, Illinois. She suffers from "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder".

Halloween (2018)

Judy Greer portray's "Laurie's" estranged daughter "Karen Nelson". Greer has been acting since 1997 and appeared in the revised "Planet of the Apes" films. In 2015 Judy Greer was seen in both "Ant Man" and "Jurassic World". She's also in the post-production new "Halloween" motion picture.

So now instead of the son of "H20". "Laurie Strode" has a daughter for what I call "H40". 

Andi Matichak is "Allison Nelson", "Karen's" daughter and "Laurie's" granddaughter. Prior to this film she was mainly on television and, yes, she is in the next "Halloween" feature also.

James Jude Courtney is "Michael Myers". Courtney was in 1993's "The Philadelphia Experiment II", the television series "Babylon Five" and "Buffey the Vampire Slayer" among other roles and, yes, he is also in the upcoming two "Halloween" films.

Nick Castle has one scene at a window in the picture.

The Basic Screenplay:

The movie opens with "Michael Myers" falling off the balcony in 1978. It is now October 29, 2018, 40 years after the events on that date in 1978 and not 20. Two crime pod casters "Arron Korey", Jefferson Hall, and "Dana Haines", Rhian Rees, visit a student of "Dr. Sam Loomis", "Dr. Ranbir Sartain", Haluk Bilinger, about "Michael Myers" and then "Michael" himself.

On the following day "Michael" is being transferred to a new facility, the bus overturns, and he escapes killing two people to get a car and heads for Haddonfield.

Haddonfield is a place "Laurie" has lived in fear of "Michael Myers" return. She drinks heavily, and has created a fortified house to protect herself. The only family member close to her is "Laurie's" granddaughter "Allyson". 

On Halloween "Michael" spots both "Arron" and "Dana" at his sister "Judith's" grave. He kills both of them and a gas station attendant for his overalls.

Sheriff Deputy "Frank Hawkins", Will Patton, who arrested "Michael Myers" in 1978, tries to convince "Sheriff Barker", Omar Dorsey, on how dangerous "Michael" is. .

"Laurie" learns of  "Michael's" escape and attempts to warn "Karen" and her husband "Ray", Toby Huss, but they dismiss her "Wild" claim. Later that night "Michael" steals his favorite weapon a kitchen knife.

At a school sponsored Halloween Party "Allyson" finds her boyfriend "Cameron Elm", Dylan Arnold, cheating on her. She leaves with "Cameron's" best friend "Oscar", Drew Shield. Meanwhile, "Allyson's" own best friend "Vicky", Virginia Gardner, is babysitting "Julian Morrisey", Jibrail Nantambu, when her boyfriend "Dave", Miles Robbins, comes over. "Michael" is hiding in the closest, comes out and goes for "Julian". "Vicky" sacrifices herself to save "Julian"and is stabbed to death. "Michael" also kills "Dave"

"Deputy Sheriff Hawkins" and "Laurie Strode" hear about the killing over the radio and go to the scene. The two find "Michael" and for the first time in 40 years. "Laurie Strode" comes face to face with "Michael Myers". "Laurie" shoots "Michael" in the shoulder, before he flees the scene.

Meanwhile, "Dr. Ranbir Sartain" arrives in Haddonfield and convinces "Sheriff Barker" to permit him to go along on the search for "Michael". Finally, "Laurie" is able to convince "Karen" and "Ray" to seek protection in her fortified house. "Michael" finds "Allyson" and "Oscar". He kills the boy as "Deputy Hawkins" and "Dr. Sartain" arrive to save the girl.

"Deputy Sheriff Hawkins" attempts to kill "Michael", but is murdered by "Dr. Sartain". Who reveals his obsession with "Michael Myers" and the fact he actually arranged things to enable him to escape. "Dr. Sartain" wanted to study the Haddonfield murderer "In the Wild". He learns what "Michael" is like "In the Wild" as the other kills him. "Allyson" is able to get away, but two Deputy Sheriffs are murdered in their squad car.

"Michael" now arrives at "Laurie's" house and kills "Ray".

"Laurie" is able to get "Karen" away, but has to engage "Michael" in the climatic showdown.

"Laurie" stabs "Michael" and cuts off two of his finger, but the other stabs her in the abdomen. In a reverse of the original 1978 motion picture. "Michael" pushes "Laurie" over the balcony and when he goes to see the body it's missing. "Allyson" calls out to her grandmother, as she arrives, and this gives her mother the opportunity to shoot "Michael" in the jaw. Suddenly, "Laurie" appears and with the help of both her daughter and granddaughter. The three trap "Michael Myers" in the basement's safe room. Next the three set the house on fire. The three escape in the back of a passing pick-up truck.

The movies final shot is of the burning basement and no "Michael Myers". Over the closing credits his breathing can be heard.

As I said Jamie Lee Curtis will meet "Michael Myers" again at least twice.

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