Behind The Scenes Saturday: Halloween 2 (1981)

Welcome to Day 17! It’s Saturday again so it’s time for another Behind The Scenes post. Today is all about one of my favorite sequels, Halloween II! If you’d like to view by BTS post on the first Halloween film, I posted it back in April, and you can click here to see it! I hope you enjoy! (Note: some of these pictures may be from the first Halloween film, apologies!) 

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  • The mask that Michael (Dick Warlock) wears in this film is actually the same one that was worn in the first film. The reason it looks so different is because in the first film, Nick Castle (Original Michael) kept it in his back pocket between shoots, causing the paint to fade. Also, after the first film, Debra Hill kept the mask under her bed and it collected dust and yellowed due to her heavy smoking. The mask also looked different on Dick Warlock because he was shorter and stockier than Nick Castle, so it just fit his head differently. 
  • It’s pretty funny how Dick Warlock landed the role of Michael Myers. When he passed by a room, he saw the Myers mask sitting on a table. He decided to put on the mask and walk to the film’s director, Rick Rosenthal’s office and just stand there. Rosenthal kept asking him who he was, but Warlock said nothing for a little while. Eventually, Warlock took off the mask and asked Rosenthal if he could play Michael. 
  • John Carpenter and Debra Hill originally had no interest in writing this sequel. They felt that the first Halloween was good as a stand-alone film. They eventually agreed to work on the film when they were offered more money. The script wasn’t forming well enough, so Carpenter drank a six-pack of Budweiser every day to get through the story’s progress. Unfortunately, he was very unhappy with the film, calling it an abomination and a horrible movie. As we all know, Carpenter had the chance to change the story and plot points in 2018’s Halloween
  • John Carpenter wasn’t happy with the first version of the film. He felt it wasn’t scary enough. Even after the re-edit, it was still too tame in his eyes. He decided to edit it himself, and he added more action and filmed more bloody scenes. Rosenthal wanted the sequel to emulate the more suspenseful, less bloody first film, so he was very unhappy with the changes. Carpenter planned on doing that too, but the bloody slashers became the craze of the ‘80s. 
  • Since doing the first film in 1978, Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie) cut her hair much shorter. Since this film takes place on the same night as the first film, Jamie Lee had to wear a wig that matched her original hairstyle.
  • When Alice (Anne Bruner) is talking on the phone with her friend, the person on the other line was none other than Nancy Kyes (Nancy Loomis), who played Annie Brackett in the first film! 
  • The film was originally going to take place in a high rise apartment building before they settled on Haddonfield Hospital. 
  • People have criticized that the hospital was too conveniently dead for Michael to walk around unnoticed, able to kill the hospital staff. Rosenthal actually based this on a personal experience he had with his wife when they were in a hospital. It was late at night and the place was almost completely deserted. 
  • John Carpenter had no desire to direct the film, but he was convinced by his people to stay on the project as a producer. He liked the idea of giving a new director a chance to direct the film. 
  • While Halloween II was being filmed, NBC asked John Carpenter if he could shoot some additional scenes for the first film, because apparently, it was too short to show on their network. 
  • When Jimmy (Lance Guest) slips and falls in the blood, Lance Guest actually did the stunt himself. Additionally, they were able to get the scene in just one take. 
  • Dick Warlock, the shortest actor to ever play Michael Myers, had to wear lifts in order to appear taller in the film. 
  • While doing the film’s DVD commentary, Leo Rossi (Budd) stated that during the hot tub scene, the water was actually freezing cold. 
  • There is a novel based on the film that was written in 1981 by Dennis Etchison – under the pseudonym Jack Martin. Each chapter included a black and white still from the film. 
  • To achieve the scene where blood streams from Michael’s eyes, a bulb of fake blood was placed in the forehead of the mask. When Myers stumbled back after being shot in his eyes, Dick Warlock had to press on his forehead to get the blood to flow. 
  • Debra Hill once stated that they considered making the film in 3D. They eventually canned the idea when they realized how expensive it was going to be. Not to mention it’s mostly filmed at night and that would’ve been more difficult to pull off in 3D.
  • Tommy Lee Wallace was originally approached to direct the film. He was very interested and his name was even put on a trade ad for the film. However, after Carpenter presented the script to him, he was greatly disappointed at how bloody and violent it was, and he eventually left the film. He ended up directing Halloween III: Season of The Witch not long after, though. 
  • Originally, Leo Rossi and Pamela Susan Shoop (Karen) weren’t comfortable doing the hot tub scene. In fact, Shoop downright refused to do it. After having a talk with Rosenthal, Rossi felt indebted to Rosenthal since he had gone to bat to get Rossi the role of Budd. Rossi ended up comforting Shoop into doing the scene. 
  • Dick Warlock stated that Debra Hill was on set throughout the whole shoot – that includes his stalking scenes. Warlock went to her and asked her how his slow walking was, and she said it was fine and to keep doing it. After the film was released, Hill stated in an interview that Warlock walked too slow and didn’t accurately resemble Nick Castle’s portrayal. Warlock was furious, and he felt that Debra could’ve told him that while they were filming so he could work on it and do it differently. 
  • Leo Rossi was actually the one who introduced Jamie Lee Curtis to her future husband, Christopher Guest.
  • Leo Rossi had to sing Amazing Grace because the song was in the public domain. 
  • As we all know, John Carpenter and Debra Hill had the idea to make the franchise an anthology franchise. The scene where the little kid is taken to the hospital after biting down on a razor blade was intended for one of the other anthology stories. 
  • In a rough draft of the script, Michael was supposed to hide in the trunk of the blonde reporter’s car, and when she gets a flat tire, she would open the trunk and he would jump out and kill her. This was scrapped because it didn’t really serve a purpose to the overall plot. 
  • Dana Carvey, the star of Wayne’s World, has a small part in the film as the blonde reporter’s assistant.
  • Most of the actors playing the hospital staff were from Rick Rosenthal’s acting class. 
  • When filming the death scenes, Dick Warlock made sure the other actors were safe. In Budd’s death scene, he was strangled from behind. For the scene, Warlock told Leo Rossi to arch his back and arms further, and that he was going to tug Rossi 4 times. He made sure Rossi went limp after the fourth tug and he cushioned Rossi’s fall. 
  • Even though Michael Myers was 21 in this film, Dick Warlock, the man who played him, was 41 years old. 
  • The way Dr. Mixter’s (Ford Rainey) corpse was discovered was very similar to how Mrs. Bates’ corpse was discovered in Psycho. The women who found the bodies were even attacked by the killers immediately after seeing them. This could’ve been a direct homage to Psycho considering the star, Janet Leigh was Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother. 
  • David Lynch was also considered to direct the film.
  • Nick Castle didn’t return to play Michael Myers because he was focusing on his directing career. 
  • The radio carrying teenager was played by Dick Warlock’s son, Lance Warlock. 
  • The boy who was believed to be Myers before getting hit by the car was Ben Tramer (Jack Verbois), the boy Laurie admitted she had a crush on in the first film. Tramer was named after John Carpenter’s friend, Bennett Tramer, who attended USC with Carpenter. 
  • Michael Myers wasn’t the only role that Dick Warlock played in this film. He also played the policeman who hits Ben Tramer with his car and crashed into a van. Instead of a stuntman, Warlock drove and crashed the car himself. 
  • When Laurie is trying to escape through a window and Michael is attacking her, the scalpel he’s holding is actually just an eraser on a stick. 
  • While shooting her death scene, Anna Alicia (Janet) hit her head on a desk and cut her eye open. She didn’t want Rick Rosenthal to stop filming, but he did in order for her to go to the emergency room and get stitches. They had to shoot the cafeteria scene with Janet, Budd, and Jimmy soon after, so they used certain camera angles and a lot of heavy makeup to hide her stitches. 
  • In the film’s theatrical cut, Jimmy’s fate is left a mystery. The last time we see him, he just collapses in his car. In the alternate ending, Jimmy is shown riding in the ambulance with Laurie, alive with bandages on his head. 
  • Dick Warlock’s other son, Billy Warlock also makes an appearance in the film as Craig, the boy who asks Deputy Gary (Hunter Von Leer) if he’s seen Ben Tramer. 
  • Pamela Susan Shoop got an ear infection while filming her death scene, because the water in the hot tub was said to be “none too clean.”
  • John Carpenter stated that the sibling storyline he added in was created due to him having to shoot additional scenes for the first film. He was barely making any progress on this film’s script, then he became inspired by the twist in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. He added the “Laurie is Michael’s sister” twist in this film, and he added subtle hints to the twist in the additional scenes he shot for the first film. As we all know, he deeply regretted making Michael and Laurie siblings and took that out of the new sequel. 
  • Since the twist in this film, it’s been speculated that the reason young Michael walks towards his parents and their car in the first film is because baby Laurie was in the back seat and he was trying to get to her before his parents stopped him. 

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