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Recap / Film Reroll: Halloween (1978)

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We play Halloween on Halloween! Andy gets murdered! Scott can’t stop his British accent from coming out! Joz finds a sword!
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Episodes 16-17 of Film Reroll. Based on the 1978 horror movie.

When the infamous killer Michael Myers escapes from the asylum the night before All Hallows Eve, Doctor Sam Loomis teams up with Danny Hodges — the former boyfriend of one of Michael's previous victims — and the rather incompetent police officer Jeff to take the murderer down. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode — a seemingly normal teenage girl — gets ready to celebrate Halloween as well as she can while babysitting two children, unaware that she is about to get a personal visit from the criminal...

Starring Jocelyn "Joz" Vammer as Laurie Strode, Andy Hoover as Danny Hodges and Annie Brackett, Scott Aiello as Sam Loomis (First Appearance), and Paulo Quiros as the Dungeon Master.

Followed by Stand By Me. For the sequel campaign, go here.

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Tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Danny Hodges did nothing particularly badass in the film. Here however, he punches the young Michael Myers in the face and throws him down the stairs in the Distant Prologue. Years later, during the main story, he manages to shoot him (albeit after many failed attempts), hit him with a car and drive him through a wall, seemingly killing Myers.
    • Arguably Dr. Loomis and Laurie Strode too. They were already pretty badass in the movie, but they have access to better weapons here.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Mr. and Mrs. Doyle, Morgan Strode and Mr. (and likely Mrs.) Wallace are all members of the mysterious Shepherd cult. It's a bit more complicated than all of them just being evil, though.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jeff the Police Officer is not very smart, has an underdeveloped, childlike personality, and is outright said by Laurie to have a brain different from those of other people. However, the story never gives him any specific condition or disorder.
  • Ascended Extra:
  • As the Good Book Says...: Reverend Doyle makes a reference to Exodus 34:7 when he's telling Loomis that Michael and Judith Myers' father blamed himself for what happened to his family, but is interrupted before getting a chance to explain. This is a bit of a Genius Bonus, as its text is never actually read out in this story. (It's the famous Bible verse about the sins of the fathers being visited upon their children, which raises the question of what sins Donald Myers felt he was being punished for through his children...)
  • Black and White Morality: Danny Hodges calls out Dr. Loomis for describing a mental patient as "pure evil." Loomis himself feels that they have more important things to worry about at the moment, such as the big knife wound in his chest.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jeff ends up saving both Dr. Loomis' and Danny Hodges' lives by shooting Michael Myers. At that point, Danny promises to never make fun of Jeff again. Alas, it wasn't enough to keep Myers down for good.
  • Call-Forward:
  • Car Fu: Used during the final confrontation.
  • The Cassandra: Dr. Loomis has a hard time convincing any authority figure that they need to help him hunt down the great evil that is Michael Myers. Granted, it is implied that some of them are part of the conspiracy.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Jeff the Police Officer is prone to this.
    • While exploring the Myers house, Loomis and Jeff find a half-eaten bird:
      Jeff: Surely no man would have done that.
      Loomis: This is not a man...
      Jeff: No, it's a dead bird.
    • Loomis sends Jeff down to search the basement:
      Loomis: Yell loudly if you see anything.
      Jeff: Ah! A furnace!
  • Critical Research Failure: In between the two episodes, Scott crafted a theory that Michael Myers was trying to enact a new, thirteenth Station of the Cross. It was only after Dr. Loomis succeeded on an IQ roll that he remembered there are already fourteen stations of the cross. Especially notable in that two players were Catholic, and and Scott himself attended sixteen years of Catholic school.
    • Though it should be pointed out that, while the number of Stations is firmly placed at fourteen today, it varied highly historically, note  and the widely-circulated 1584 book Jerusalem sicut Christi tempore floruit by Adrichomius does have twelve Stations.
  • Dark Messiah: Michael Myers apparently considers himself to be a Christ figure of sorts. After seemingly killing Myers, Dr. Loomis theorizes that his obsession with the number 13 was connected to the thirteenth Station of the Cross, i.e. the death of Jesus. Now what came after that station? Jesus' burial and resurrection.
  • Dawson Casting: Invoked by Paulo's narration when he introduces Laurie and her "ordinary teenage friends, all of which look about 28". (The actors playing Laurie's friends Annie and Linda, Nancy Kyes and P.J. Soles, were pushing 30, though Laurie herself was played by Jamie Lee Curtis who was only 20 at the time.)
  • Death by Adaptation:
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Michael Myers comes after Laurie while she's babysitting, she goes looking for a weapon to defend herself and Joz-as-Laurie manages to get away with acquiring an ornamental broadsword from over the fireplace. It becomes more of a liability than an asset shortly afterward, when Laurie is fleeing down the street and pounding on neighbors' doors calling for help; one neighbor almost lets her in until Paulo remembers the broadsword and decrees that on second thought the neighbor takes one look at the wild-eyed teenager with the bigass sword and closes the door again.
  • Exact Words: Upon being ordered by Loomis to shoot if there is a man in the basement, Jeff says this:
  • Guest Star: Dr. Loomis is played by Scott Aiello, who happens to be a big fan of the Film Reroll podcast. During his introduction, he quotes his favorite lines from the show and compares the experience with being a superhero fan starring in one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: As can be gathered fairly easily from the title. Ironically for this trope, All Hallows Eve 1978 actually was a Tuesday.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Considering how incompetent Jeff is, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume that he doesn't know how to use a gun, but he manages to subvert everyones expectations by sneaking up on Michael Myers and shooting him in the back.
  • Madness Mantra: Lynda gets one after her encounter with Michael Myers.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Tommy Doyle's parents are now named Father Keith and Sally Doyle, while Lindsey Wallace's parents are called Jerry and Lisa Wallace.
  • Narration Echo:
    Paulo: [describing Michael Myers] So, you walk up to him, and his face is slack and uninhabited—
    "Judith": Michael, your face is slack and uninhabited!
    Paulo: But you see a malice deep in his eyes that you have never seen before.
    "Judith": Except for that malice!
  • O.C. Stand-in: Danny Hodges, who goes from being a Shallow Love Interest / Satellite Character to becoming one of main characters. Andy Hoover would later lampshade this, saying that he basically created the character out of nothing.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two characters named Jeff. One is a security guard at the Sanatorium and the other is a police officer. Neither is especially competent.
  • Original Character: Jeff, a ditzy police officer with about the same level of competence and maturity as Frank Honey. He is teamed up with Dr. Loomis, as this version of Sheriff Leigh Brackett doesn't take the threat seriously enough to go himself.
  • Power Trio: Loomis, Danny and Jeff fit the Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth variant quite well. Danny is quickly established as a badass capable of taking on Michael Myers in a fight, Loomis at least tries to be diplomatic by begging Michael to stop and warn other people that they are in danger (not that all of them listen to him), and Jeff — despite having No Indoor Voice — proves himself to be surprisingly stealthy when he sneaks up on Michael Myers and shoots him in the back.
  • Running Gag:
  • Sequel Hook: Michael Myers is (probably) dead, but we still don't know exactly what he was or where his powers came from, and there are hints of a larger conspiracy going on in Haddonfield. A sequel adressing most of these plot threads was eventually made.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • The unnamed nurse Myers killed in the film lives through her attack here.
    • As does Lynda. While she is still seriously injured, the sequel confirms that she survived and made a full recovery.
  • Speed Sex: The players joke about the fact that in the movie Judith and her boyfriend go upstairs to have sex and then the boyfriend comes back down only a few minutes of unbroken tracking shot later. In the game's re-enactment, the player doing the boyfriend has to roll for endurance, and fails dramatically.
  • The Stoner: As in the film, our girl protagonists are this. They even manage to get Jeff to join in.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: One of the first things Dr. Loomis does after Michael escapes is going to a gun store and buying two pistols and a shotgun, (correctly) figuring that the six shooter he had in the film won't be enough to kill him.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: Dr. Loomis fears that Michael Myers might do this, and wants to destroy his remains before that happens. Unfortunately, Myers is one step ahead of them. He came back to life and left before he was even found or brought to the morgue.
  • Workplace-Acquired Abilities: Danny Hodges being a construction worker initially just seems like a segue to a story about an event in his past where something seemingly supernatural turned out to have a perfectly normal explanation. However, it becomes important later on, when he uses his knowledge of house construction to drive Michael Myers into the hardest parts of a building.
  • The Worm That Walks: After Danny tells a story where something thought to be demonic sounds turned out to simply be a beehive in the wall, the players start theorizing that maybe Michael Myers is just a bee swarm in a trench coat. (This is — in all likelihood — not actually true.)

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