The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Extra Episode 17: Halloween
**THIS EPISODE COMES WITH A SPOILER WARNING FOR THE ENTIRE HALLOWEEN FRANCHISE**
Welcome to the Big Dumb Thing. This year, I made the incredibly awesome/unwise decision to take care of a pop culture blind spot that’s been plaguing me for a while now. Regarding the Halloween franchise, I’d only ever seen the original, John Carpenter classic. Therefore, as this month saw the return of Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis in the newest installment – 40 years after the original – AND it happens to be October, the month of Halloween, this all seemed to make sense. At the time.
There’s something amazing about huge, unwieldy movie franchises. I’m talking about series that go north of five or six installments. They have staying power, even though practically no one cares about “canon,” story continuity, or logic. (I mean, Star Wars and maybe Star Trek are clear exceptions to that, but let’s set them aside for now.)
Many of these franchises are found in horror – Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, Predator, Saw – but they certainly exist in other genres as well. Planet of the Apes, James Bond, Rocky, Batman, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator. . . the list goes on and on.
Each of them has a certain something that helps it stand out and sustain so many films over so many years. It might a down-on-his-luck boxer with a heart of gold. It might be a wisecracking serial killer who haunts your dreams. It might be a killer robot turned savior turned governator.
Whatever it is, it worked. And the movie made money. And what works once is guaranteed to work seven or eight times, right? Well, maybe not, but that’s a standard Hollywood maxim in any case. So, as it’s October and Halloween (2018) is making a killing at the box office, it makes sense to go back and take a look at the ridiculously strong Halloween franchise. How strong? Well, it’s survived 11 movies, 40 years, 5 reboots/separate timelines, and more “dead” Michael Myerseses than you can count.
Over on The Roarbots, I was joined by Shiri Sondheimer (who has never seen ANY of them) to watch all 11 films in the franchise. Preston Burt also swung by for a few films (the better ones) in the series. We watched together and commented on the film in a private Slack channel. You can catch up on our snark for the first 10 films over there.
However, since the newest film is still in the theaters, we thought this format was a wiser choice. On this episode, Shiri, Preston, and I recap the entire Halloween franchise, gab about the new film, rank all 11 films, and share our lists of Top 10 Lessons Learned. And trust me, you’ll want to stick around to the end when I act out various lines of dialogue from the films for Shiri and Preston to guess the character and film.
We’re going to win awards for this one, folks.