Ah, Michael Myers. One of cinema's most notorious serial killers; pure evil on two legs. And whereas 'Psycho' is often considered the granddaddy of the "slasher" film, that'd make John Carpenter's original 1978 classic the "daddy" of this particular horror sub-genre. As is often noted, the original 'Halloween' has very little in terms of on screen violence and gore, yet it boasts some of horror's most memorable "kills." The sequels naturally upped the ante. It's no surprise that by the time they got to 'Halloween 6,' the original & now infamous producer's cut had portions re-shot with gore inserted to match what was going in the 'Friday The 13th' series at the time. Some of these outrageous kills feel tonally right for a 'Halloween' movie, others don't. But for better or for worse, Michael's always held his own against the competition! And since it's Halloween, we thought we'd give honorable mention to Michael Myers 10 most memorable kills.
*Editor's note: Since it's Myers kills we're focusing on, the vastly underrated 'Halloween III: Season Of The Witch' won't be included here, nor will the Rob Zombie films. Just sticking to the original continuity of the character!
Halloween: H20 – Jimmy Howell (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - Ice skate through the face.
Did you remember that the fresh faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt appeared in the opening sequence of 'Halloween: H20'? When Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) comes home to a vandalized home on Halloween eve, she recruits the help of her young neighbor Jimmy (Levitt) and his friend to scope the place out as they wait for the cops. Convinced that the coast is clear, Marion enters and the boys head back to their place with the beers they just stole from her fridge. But needless to say, Myers is hovering in the background and Marion runs out of the house next door only to find Jimmy with his own ice skate shoved through his face. The "kill" itself is off screen, but the image of poor Jimmy with half of an ice skate protruding from his face makes for this particular sequel's most memorable and outrageous death.
Halloween 6 – Hospital massacre.
The hospital massacre that kicks off the third act of 'Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers' wasn't even in the original cut of the film, but instead was an addition from the re-shoots to beef up the films body & gore count. It's not even the same Michael Myers for this scene, but instead A. Michael Lerner plays him as faster & more ferocious Shape. The flashing images and lights juxtaposed to Myers going on an all out killing spree, hacking into doctors left & right makes for this film's best set-piece.
Halloween II – Nurse Alves (Gloria Gifford) – Bled out.
Sure, the fast and frenetic energy Myers displayed in the previously mentioned kill is kind of fun, but one of the things I always appreciated about Michael from the first 2 movies is just how calculated and evil his deeds truly were. Just look at his method for disposing of poor Nurse Alves (Gloria Gifford). Jimmy (Lance Guest) walks into a room only to find Nurse Alves with one of her main arteries punctured and a thin plastic tube slowly draining all of the blood from her body. The entire floor is a pool of red and Jimmy slips and hits his head hard in his rush to get out! Creepy scene. And ouch!
Halloween 4 – Kelly Meeker (Kathleen Kinmont) – Impaled through a door by a shotgun.
I actually don't even fully understand this one, but again we're going for Michael's most memorable and this by far stands out as a unique and memorable death sequence. By 'Halloween 4,' Michael Myers inexplicably has superhuman strength so it's no surprise to us when Kelly Meeker comes face to face with Myers totting a shotgun that he proceeds to use said shotgun to impale her through the stomach against a door. Yes, he penetrates a girl and a door with one shift motion using a shotgun and then in his trademark way admires his handywork. Alright, go ahead. Pick up a baseball bat from around your house and try shoving that through a freakin' door! Now imagine pushing that through a person and a door. That's how ridiculous this death is.
Halloween 5 – Michael (Jonathan Chapin) – Metal gardening rake to the forehead.
For 'Halloween 5,' I initially wanted to go with Sam's death by sickle, because when this movie came out I remember that image of Michael with that weapon was a great iconic picture, but to me the one kill that always stood out to me was the painful method in which Michael (Jonathan Chapin) is dispatched. Myers picks up a three pronged metal gardening rake and buries the sucker into his forehead. Ouch! He doesn't even die right away, which always disturbed me. As a kid of 13 years old when the movie came out, I was scarred by the image of a twitching Michael being dragged away by Myers.
Halloween II – Nurse Jill (Tawny Moyer) – Impaled & held up by scalpel.
When it comes to memorable and iconic Myers kills, you know that means that our top 5 has got to be good! So one image that comes to mind anytime you mention 'Halloween II' is Myers in the hallway of the hospital holding up Nurse Jill with a scalpel to the back. It's disturbing but also the point of the movie where we are well aware that Michael is not messing around anymore! This would also be revisted later in the series with Will (Adam Arkin) in 'Halloween: H20.'
Halloween 4 – Paramedic – Thumb through the forehead.
The first inkling that 'Halloween 4' was going to be a new & improved Michael Myers came with the first death(s) in the ambulance during the opening scene. Suspicions of Michael Myers' sudden superhuman strength (I mean, he survived a fire & explosion at the end of Part 2) are confirmed as he pops up after 10 years of laying in bed, starts bashing the head of a paramedic against the ambulance wall and caps it off by sticking his thumb right into the guy's forehead. No, seriously! His thumb is so damned strong that it cuts into heads like a hot knife through butter!
Halloween II – Nurse Karen (Pamela Susan Shoop) - Drowned/burning to death in scolding water.
Probably the most sinister & memorable death from 'Halloween II' was actually inspired by Dario Argento's 'Deep Red.' Nurse Karen (Pamela Susan Shoop) and Bud (Leo Rossi) slip away from their work duties at the hospital for a little naughty time in the hot tub. When Bud steps out to check the temperature, Myers chokes him out and returns to the tub where Karen mistakes it for her boyfriend. (In her defense, she never looks up, she's busy munching on his finger instead.) Once revealed, Michael dunks the poor nurse into the now scolding hot water of the tub simultaneously drowning and burning her to death. Real nasty way to go!
Halloween – Bob (John Michael Graham) - Stabbed through the chest and impaled with a butcher's knife.
I'd say this death from John Carpenter's original 'Halloween' is one of the most memorable not just for this series, but in "slasher" history. Period. After a brief tussle, Michael lifts Bob off his feet and in one shift thurst, impales Bob against the wall with a butcher's knife. Michael takes a step back to admire what he'd just done as if it's a work of art. This moment and in particular Michael's head tilt have been attempted to be reproduced in all the future 'Halloween' sequels, but it never had the same sense of awe as when audiences first saw him do it here.
Halloween – Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson) - Stabbed to death with a large butcher knife.
Here we are. Michael Myers most memorable kill? Well, it's the one that started them all! While Bob Clark introduced the 'point of view' of the killer in his seminal pre-"slasher" classic 'Black Christmas,' Carpenter made it his own when we, the audience slipped on that plastic mask and through the circular eye holes of a clown mask, we took part in the murder of Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson). Moments later the mask is ripped off by two alarmed parents and we learn that the crime we took part in was committed by an angel-faced 6 year old boy. Had this "kill" (and scene) not had been as memorable for cinephiles as it became, it might not have spawned 7 sequels, 2 remakes, countless VHS & DVD releases, dozens of comic books and much, much more.
There you have it! Which are some of YOUR personal favorites of the franchise?