vintage poster

Title: Halloween II

Release Date: October 30th, 1981

Tagline: "From the people who brought you 'Halloween'...More of the night he came home.

Budget: $2.5 Million

Halloween II is a 1981 slasher horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It is the second installment in the Halloween series and is a direct sequel to Carpenter's Halloween, the hit slasher from the late '70s that was a catalyst for the Slasher craze of the 1980s, immediately picking up where it had left off. Set on the same night of October 31, 1978 as the seemingly unkillable Michael Myers continues to follow Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to a nearby hospital while Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is still in pursuit of his patient.


On October 31, 1978, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is sent to the hospital due to the injuries inflicted by Michael Myers (Dick Warlock), who vanished after being shot six times and falling from a second story balcony. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) attempts to track down Michael. After escaping, Michael steals a butcher knife from a house and kills a girl named Alice (Anne Bruner) who lives next door as he seeks shelter to recover from his injuries. He later learns of Laurie's location from a radio broadcast and makes his way to Haddonfield Memorial hospital. Laurie begins having flashbacks of being adopted by the Strodes and visiting a young boy in a mental institution. However, her sedation leaves her in a semi-conscious state most of the time. Her friend Jimmy Lloyd (Lance Guest) begins to worry about her, developing romantic feelings for her, despite the chagrin of Mrs. Alves (Gloria Gifford), the head nurse. Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) continue to search for Michael, only for an oncoming speeding police car to accidentally hit and kill Ben Tramer (who was dressed for Halloween wearing a mask similar to Michael's and was Laurie's crush in the first movie), in the process.

Michael cuts the phone lines and kills security guard Mr. Garrett (Cliff Emmich). He then strangles ambulance driver Budd Scarlotti (Leo Rossi), and drowns nurse Karen Bailey (Pamela Susan Shoop) in a scalding hot tub. Orderly Janet Marshall (Ana Alicia) notices that Laurie is strangely reacting to her medication, and goes to alert the main attendant of the hospital, Dr. Frederick Mixter (Ford Rainey). She rushes through his office, only to find his corpse with a needle sticking out of his eye. Before she can run away, Michael appears behind her and murders her as well by injecting air into her temple. Laurie attempts to flee before Michael can find her.

Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis follows clues connecting Michael to Samhain and the occult, which provides a possible explanation for his seeming indestructibility. Loomis is interrupted by his colleague Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), a nurse from the mental institution, and a U.S. Marshal, who reveals he has been ordered to have Loomis returned to the hospital under the enforcement. En route, Marion tells Loomis that Laurie Strode is Michael Myers's younger sister. Realizing Laurie is Michael's target, Loomis forcibly orders the Marshal (John Zenda) to turn around and bring him back to Laurie. While searching the hospital, Jimmy eventually discovers Mrs. Alves strapped to a table in one of the surgery rooms, her blood having been drained. While trying to hurry out of the room, Jimmy slips, falls, and gets a concussion which renders him unconscious.

Meanwhile, nurse Jill Franco (Tawny Moyer) is killed while searching for Laurie when Michael stabs her in the back with a scalpel. Laurie manages to barely escape by going through the boiler room and up to the parking lot outside, discovering Mr. Garrett's body along the way. She is unable to start any cars and also notices that all of the tires have been flattened, presumably by Michael who had earlier overheard her and Jimmy discussing one of them driving to the police department to get help. Jimmy eventually makes it out of the hospital and out to his car to seek help, but faints and falls unconscious again from the earlier concussion. Loomis, Marion, and the Marshal arrive and just barely save Laurie from being killed by Michael. Marion goes to the police car to call for help, after which Michael cuts the Marshal's throat. Loomis and Laurie flee into the operating rooms. Michael stabs Loomis in the stomach, wounding him, and Laurie shoots out both of Michael's eyes, causing him to blindly swing at them. Loomis fills the room with ether and oxygen gas using the distraction to allow Laurie to escape. Loomis then ignites the gas, blowing up the surgery room in the process and evidently immolating them both in the fire.

At daybreak, Laurie is loaded onto an ambulance, having visions of Michael's burning body as she is driven off to safety. In the alternate ending, shot for US TV, she sees a familiar shape sit up on the stretcher beside her in the ambulance, which turns out to be Jimmy. The two hold hands and Laurie proclaims "We made it!"


  • An adaptation of the screenplay was printed as a mass market paperback in 1981 by horror and science-fiction writer Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin. Etchison's novelization was distributed by Kensington Books and became a bestseller. It also features captioned black and white stills from the film at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Video Release: Halloween II was first released on VHS and laserdisc in 1982 by MCA/Universal Home Video and later by Goodtimes Home Video. From 1998, DVD editions have also been released by these companies.[33] Shout! Factory re-released the film in a 2-disc collector's edition DVD on September 18, 2012 with new special features, including the alternate television cut.[4
  • Music: Carpenter composed and performed the score with Alan Howarth, who had previously been involved in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Directing: Carpenter refused to direct the sequel and originally approached Tommy Lee Wallace, the art director from the original Halloween, to take the helm. Carpenter told one interviewer, "I had made that film once and I really didn't want to do it again."[19][20] After Wallace declined, Carpenter chose Rosenthal, a relatively unknown and inexperienced director whose previous credits included episodes of the television series Secrets of Midland Heights (1980–1981). In an interview with Twilight Zone Magazine, Carpenter explains that Rosenthal was chosen because "he did a terrific short called Toyer. It was full of suspense and tension and terrific performances."
  • Development:
    Carpenter and Hill, the writers of the first Halloween, had originally considered setting the sequel a few years after the events of Halloween. They planned to have Myers track Laurie Strode to her new home in a high-rise apartment building.[1] However, the setting was later changed to Haddonfield Hospital in script meetings.

Halloween executive producers Irwin Yablans and Moustapha Akkad invested heavily in the sequel, boasting a much larger budget than its predecessor: $2.5 million (compared to only $320,000 for the original) even though Carpenter refused to direct. Most of the film was shot at Morningside Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and Pasadena Community Hospital in Pasadena, California.[2] There was discussion of filming Halloween II in 3-D; Hill said, "We investigated a number of 3-D processes ... but they were far too expensive for this particular project. Also, most of the projects we do involve a lot of night shooting—evil lurks at night. It's hard to do that in 3-D."[2]

The sequel was intended to conclude the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. The third film, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, released a year later, contained a plot that deviated wholly from that of the first two films.[1] Tommy Lee Wallace, the director of Halloween III, stated "It is our intention to create an anthology out of the series, sort of along the lines of Night Gallery, or The Twilight Zone, only on a much larger scale, of course."[3] When asked, in a 1982 interview, what happened to Myers and Loomis, Carpenter flatly answered, "The Shape is dead. Pleasence's character is dead, too, unfortunately."[4] Neither Carpenter nor Hill were involved in the later sequels that featured Michael Myers again.


Michael Myers  - The indestructable mass-murderer nicknamed "The Shape". Set on October 31th, 1978, he continues his murder spree around Haddonfield, slicing his way in an attempt to kill Laurie Strode. Who, in the film, is revealed to be his sister.

Supposed Death: During the finale, Dr. Loomis ignites a flammable surgery room resulting in the intended doom of both characters. The filmmakers had intententions of ending the Michael Myers storyline and turn the franchise into an anthology series of different stories set on Halloween Night.

However, due to the disappointing financial performance and slasher audiences being irked by the absence of him in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), the acme slasher icon was resurrected on film six years later in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).



Cast & CreditsEdit

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Uncredited: John Carpenter

Produced by Debra Hill

John Carpenter

Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis

Donald Pleasence Pamela Susan Shoop Ana Alicia

Music by John Carpenter
Alan Howarth
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Mark Goldblatt

Skip Schoolnik

Dino De Laurentiis Corporation
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) *October 30, 1981
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$2.5 million
Box office $25,533,818