Which actor’s face was the basis for the iconic Michael Myers mask in the original horror movie, Halloween?

And the answer: William Shatner.    
Photo credit: public domain.

You may have noticed that Michael Myers’ mask in the Halloween franchise bears a striking resemblance to William Shatner. Originally created on the set of Star Trek for use in fitting prosthetics, the mask was slightly altered for the Halloween movies to make it appear even more creepy—but Shatner’s likeness is still noticeable if you really look!

Halloween has been a cult-classic, favorite movie for the spooky season for nearly 40 years. But did you know: this iconic Halloween movie was almost called The Babysitter Murders? Thankfully, producer Irwin Yablans suggested that the story may be more significant if it were based around a specific holiday, so the title was changed to Halloween.

Impressively, Halloween was written in just 10 days, and shot in just 22. Yablans was set on getting the film to the theater by Halloween itself, which meant that every step of production had to work backwards. With a very small budget of only $300,000, no A-list celebrities, and no interest from major distribution studios, the creators of Halloween were dubious that they could make their movie work—but still, their hard work paid off. After making it just in time for a Halloween debut in Kansas City, the film quickly expanded to Chicago, then New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, and then into smaller markets, even though the title holiday had long passed. Once tickets started selling, they wouldn’t stop—thanks to a combination of smart marketing (think: iconic poster image of a giant knife and a sinister jack-o’-lantern), stellar word-of-mouth, and surprisingly positive reviews.

Halloween was significant for other reasons too. Namely, Jamie Lee Curtis’ acting debut. After auditioning for the part three separate times, director John Carpenter was sold on Curtis after her final audition, where she nailed the scene of Laurie looking out her window to see Michael Myers in her backyard. Thank goodness, too, as it’s hard to imagine a world without Jamie Lee Curtis films.

Learn more about the production and impact of Halloween here.

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