Franchises of All Time
The "Halloween" Films
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween (1978) | Halloween II (1981) | Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) | Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) | Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002) | Halloween (2007) | Halloween II (2009)
Halloween II (1981)
Film Plot Summary
This sequel film opened in Haddonfield, Illinois, on Halloween (October 31, 1978), to the tune of "Mr. Sandman" (sung by The Chordettes). The film reprised the last major scene of the original 1978 film, in which 17 year-old babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) sent two young children, Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards) and Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) away from the Doyle house to run to the neighbors and call the police.
Laurie was left to confront the masked 21 year-old killer Michael Myers (Tony Moran) by herself. [The credits listed Michael Myers' age as 23.] He attempted to strangle her, but she was able to pull the mask away from his face for a moment. Alerted by the children's screaming, psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's doctor for 15 years, came to Laurie's rescue and shot the hulking figure once, and then six more times (a total of seven times) - the crazed and wounded killer fell backwards from the second floor balcony and landed on the ground below. Bloodied and in near-shock, Laurie quizzically stated: "Was it the boogey-man?" while Dr. Loomis confirmed: "As a matter of fact, it was."
But the body of the assailant, escaping sure death, vanished from the lawn into the night, leaving only an imprint on the grass and blood stains. Loomis told the next-door neighbor to call the police: "...he's still on the loose..." The familiar theme music then played as the credits were shown.
As a police car pulled up, from the POV of the killer watching from a shadowy distance, Dr. Loomis was heard exclaiming to Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers): "I shot him six times. I shot him in the heart...This guy, this man, he's not human." Radio reports announced that there were three bodies (all victims were teenagers) found in the upstairs bedroom of a Haddonfield house. The killer was a mental patient who had escaped the previous night from the Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium.
Insane killer Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) entered a home where an elderly couple named the Elrods lived (the husband was asleep in front of the television, playing Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968)). Myers grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen of the gray-haired, pink bathrobe-wearing wife (Lucille Benson), who was preparing a sandwich. He left his own blood drippings on her cutting board. The worried young neighbor Alice (Anne Bruner), came out of her next-door house when she heard screams, and became the killer's first victim inside her living room when she was stabbed in the chest with the butcher knife and blood spurted onto her neck (# 1 death).
Meanwhile at the Doyle house, stab-wounded, bruised and shock-stricken Laurie Strode was taken on a stretcher by two paramedics to the local Haddonfield Memorial Hospital:
As they arrived, a bleeding boy (with a razor-blade embedded in his mouth) in a pirate's costume was led to the Emergency Room. Drunken Dr. Frederick Mixter (Ford Rainey) ordered Laurie sedated, although she protested. Dr. Loomis searched the neighborhood in Sheriff Brackett's patrol vehicle, as the skeptical sheriff argued: "You couldn't have shot him six times...I think you missed him...No man could take six slugs." The doctor barked back: "This isn't a man!"
When they saw a possible suspect with a "Michael Myers" mask and a trick-or-treat bag, they chased after him. The fleeing figure was hit by the front of a speeding second police car driven by Deputy Gary Hunt (Hunter von Leer). The victim's body was incinerated when the car slammed it into a parked van, and the two cars caught fire (# 2 death). [The victim in the freak accident, although thought at first to possibly be Myers, was later identified as 17 year-old Bennett 'Ben' Tramer (Jack Verbois).] Loomis recommended that a forensic dentist check the teeth to verify if it was his long-time quarry. Sheriff Brackett was horrified to learn that his daughter Annie (Nancy Loomis) had been one of the three murdered teenagers. After having identified Annie’s body, the grief-stricken Brackett blamed Loomis and went home to his wife, leaving Hunt in charge.
The killer inadvertently heard a radio report, from a loud boom box carried by a teenager in the downtown area, that Laurie had been taken to the Haddonfield Hospital, and he followed her there on foot. The hospital's night watchman/security guard Mr. Garrett (Cliff Emmich), distracted by a magazine and the movie Dementia (1955) playing on a TV, failed to notice Michael Myers enter the hospital on his surveillance video camera.
Nurse Karen Bailey (Pamela Susan Shoop) arrived late for her night-shift on the ward, and was reprimanded by supervising Nurse Mrs. Virginia Alves (Gloria Gifford). In Laurie's hospital room, Jimmy (who had taken an interest in Laurie) told the semi-sedated patient about Michael Myers. (He described how Michael, "that little kid" had infamously murdered his own sister with a butcher knife in the upstairs bedroom at the Myers home 15 years earlier in 1963 on Halloween night - "his anniversary"). She learned that Myers had escaped and was targeting her - and she asked: "Why me?"
While Garrett was outside checking the disconnected phone system, he was clobbered on the top of his head with a claw hammer (# 3 death) in the hospital's store room (where he had found numerous open locks). In another part of town, the Myers house was pummeled by rocks and stones from an angry mob. The house was empty ("He just isn't there"), and a sweep through town had revealed nothing. Dr. Loomis described Myers' reappearance to Deputy Hunt: "He came back...He waited with extraordinary patience. There was a force inside him biding its time." He had been an immobile, waiting, and quiet "ideal patient" at the Sanitarium, and the unprepared staff was unaware of what he was really becoming.
Buxom Nurse Karen agreed to make out with lecherous ambulance driver/paramedic Budd in the therapy room's hydrotherapy whirlpool tub ("It's hot in here") before the two met their predictable fate after sex. After Myers turned up the temperature controls outside the room, Budd was strangled (with a cord) and killed (# 4 death) by the brutal killer while checking the thermostat gauge outside the room (without her knowledge), just before the nude nurse also succumbed by having her face repeatedly dunked and scalded to death in the 130 degree water (# 5 death). A close-up of her blistered face ended the scene.
Meanwhile as she slept, Laurie was experiencing flashback dreams about her childhood, in which her adoptive mother Mrs. Strode (Pamela McMyler) told her: "I'm not your mother." As a young girl (Nichole Drucker), she had a glimpse of her young brother Michael (Adam Gunn) sitting in an institution.
On the other side of town, Dr. Loomis and the Haddonfield police investigated a break-in at the local elementary school, where they found a butcher knife stuck in a desk. (It was knifed through the body of one of the stick-figure children in the family drawing. Loomis remarked: "Sister"). They also discovered the word Samhain scrawled in bloody capital letters on the chalkboard. Loomis explained the Celtic word:
Dr. Loomis was called aside by a colleague, his assistant Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) from the Sanitarium, and told that Dr. Rogers from the Sanitarium and the governor had ordered him away from Haddonfield, but Loomis refused to return to Smith's Grove. Loomis had no choice - he was to be escorted by a Marshal (John Zenda) waiting in a car outside.
When Laurie was found unresponsive (due to a reaction to her medication) in her hospital room bed by Jimmy, Nurse Janet Marshall (Ana Alicia) hurriedly ran to physician Dr. Mixter's office to summon him. In his dark inner office in front of an aquarium, she found Dr. Mixter dead (in a revolving chair reminiscent of the end of Psycho (1960)) with a syringe stabbed into his eyeball (# 6 death) (off-screen). As Nurse Janet backed up in stunned shock, Myers grabbed her from behind and inserted a hypodermic syringe into her temple - she collapsed to the floor (# 7 death). When there was no immediate emergency help forthcoming, Jimmy rushed to the Ladies Lounge to locate Nurse Mrs. Alves, but couldn't find her or Budd. The Shape continued to pursue and stalk Laurie. In her room, he stabbed at her bed with a scalpel, but found he was only stabbing at pillows. Laurie had wisely left her room and limped to another room.
Blonde nurse Jill Franco (Tawny Moyer) also couldn't locate Mr. Garrett or Laurie -- and joined with Jimmy to find out where everyone had disappeared. In one of the hospital's operating rooms, Jimmy found Mrs. Alves strapped to an operating table and stabbed in the arm with an IV syringe (# 8 death) (off-screen) - she had been drained of her blood. When he turned to leave the room, he slipped and fell on the wet bloody floor and was knocked unconscious.
When Nurse Franco kept looking for others and couldn't find anyone, she fled to her car to alert authorities. But she found that her car had been sabotaged (it wouldn't start, it leaked oil and had a flat tire) and she was unable to drive away, so she raced back into the hospital. In the corridor, she spotted Laurie (again on the move but limping badly), and then was stabbed in the back with a scalpel (# 9 death). Myers held her up by the scalpel stuck into her spine, lifting her off her feet into the air (her shoes dropped to the floor), while Laurie watched the horrific murder. Laurie then whimpered and fled down another corridor, down some stairs, and into a basement furnace room, where she saw Garrett's body strung up. As Michael slashed at her, she crawled through an upper window into another storage room, escaped in a freight elevator to the ground floor, and eluded him by running outdoors. She cowered in the front seat of a parked vehicle in the parking lot.
On their way out of town in the Marshal's car, Loomis told Nurse Marion Chambers more background about the word Samhain - a Druid ceremony of ritualistic elimination and sacrifice:
She then told Loomis the film's major twist - about a secret sealed Myers file which revealed that Laurie Strode was actually Myers's sister - confirming Laurie's flashback dreams.
Loomis was fearful of Myers' intentions in Haddonfield: he was there to kill his second sister. He ordered the Marshal, at gunpoint (after firing one warning shot), to drive to the Haddonfield Hospital in order to attempt to save Laurie.
Laurie realized she was in Jimmy's car when he returned, but after he couldn't start it, he passed out. She crawled from the car on the concrete as the Marshal's car pulled up, but was unable to scream loud enough to attract their attention. She screamed for help at the front door - with Myers in slow pursuit, and was let in. The Shape walked directly through the glass door, prompting Loomis to fire five shots [he emptied his gun] into the figure. As the Marshal peered over at the 'dead' corpse, Myers murdered the Marshal by slitting his throat with a scalpel (# 10 death). He then pursued Dr. Loomis and Laurie, and cornered them in an operating room, where he broke down the door and stabbed and mortally wounded Loomis in the stomach with a scalpel (# 11 death, although only temporary), when the doctor's gun clicked empty.
Laurie briefly stopped the killer's approach to her by calling him by name: "Michael?" With a second gun, Laurie shot the unstoppable, seemingly-indestructible homicidal killer in each of his eyes with the last two remaining bullets - causing the killer to weep and bleed red tears down the front of his mask. The blinded killer slashed around wildly as both Loomis and Laurie released oxygen and ether gases from tanks in the room and Loomis ignited the fumes with his cigarette lighter ("It's time, Michael"), causing a self-sacrificing explosion as Laurie escaped.
Covered in flames, Michael struggled toward Laurie before finally collapsing in the corridor, as his mask slowly melted from his burning face. But was he conclusively dead? (# 12 death, only temporary).
In the film's conclusion the next overcast morning (November 1), Laurie was wheeled to an ambulance for transfer to another hospital, as she replayed in her mind the burning of Michael's mask - to the tune of "Mr. Sandman."
Was the nightmare over? Obviously not.
Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)
This film was originally intended the be the last in the series featuring Michael Myers.
With the similar taglines: "More of The Night HE came Home" and "The Nightmare Isn't Over".
The only Halloween film to be produced by Universal Studios.
Again starring Jamie Lee Curtis - now dubbed "the Scream Queen" after appearing in Terror Train (1980), Prom Night (1980), and Carpenter's The Fog (1980).
With a production budget of approximately $2.5 million, and box-office gross revenues of $25.5 million (domestic).
Gorier and more violent (characteristic of splatter films rather than slasher films, with lots of random murders), and with more nudity, than the first film.
Body Count: 10 (Michael killed a neighbor, a security guard, a paramedic, a doctor, four nurses, and a Marshal, plus there was one accidental crash victim). Both Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers also died in this installment (#11-12 deaths), but were brought back to life in the sequel.
Also Worth Your Attention...
(Jamie Lee Curtis)
Dr. Sam Loomis
Sheriff Leigh Brackett
Michael Myers/The Shape
(Tony Moran/Dick Warlock)
Young Michael Myers
Nurse Mrs. Virginia Alves
Nurse Karen Bailey
(Pamela Susan Shoop)
Dr. Frederick Mixter
Nurse Janet Marshall
Nurse Jill Franco
Nurse Marion Chambers
Series-Introduction - Index to All Films | Series-Box Office
- Halloween FranchiseEverything you ever wanted to know about the slasher empire from history to body counts.
- Halloween Ultimate Fan QuizTrivia on the entire series--including Rob Zombie's sequels.
- John Carpenter Ultimate Fan QuizTrivia on the director of the original movie (and a horror icon as well)
- Rob Zombie InterviewThe horror icon talks about re-inventing John Carpenter's classic.
- Battle of the Michael MyersJohn Carpenter created an icon; Rob Zombie revitalized him. Who wins?
- Original Halloween movies Ranking ListRate the original pre-Zombie series from best to worst