At the moment, Danny McBride and the others behind the box office smash Halloween (2018) are busy at work on a sequel to the series revival, Halloween Kills, slated for an October 2020 release, but that doesn’t mean we can’t revisit the latest chapter in the weird and circuitous Michael Myers saga, and more importantly, the firearms in it.
I’ll also give you my take on Laurie Strode’s home defense plan and what she could have done differently that would have made her standoff with Michael a little more one sided in her favor. And, we’ll take a look back at the guns from some of the other Halloween movies.
First, let’s get the chronology straight, for those who care. The original Halloween came out in 1978 as a low budget B-movie and it ignited a wave of slasher movies that is still breaking today.
As with all successful things, they tried to capture lightning in a bottle with Halloween II in 1981 with John Carpenter working on the script but not directing this time, as he didn’t think the movie should have a sequel.
And so the division among fans began.
The 2018 reboot pays service to those who aren’t fond of many if any of the sequels and hold the original up as the best and only movie in the series that should be considered.
It is a direct sequel to the 1978 film that ignores all the sequels that came between and picks up with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the sole non-child survivor of Michael’s murder spree in 1978, as she is 30 years later with a grown daughter and teenaged granddaughter—and they all still live in Haddonfield.
Halloween Kills will be a direct sequel to that movie, and then Halloween Ends (2021) will be a final chapter in a trilogy of sequels.
If you’re interested, the different timelines of the sequels will be listed at the bottom of this screed, and they can get confusing, as Curtis plays Laurie in more than one branch of the timeline.
Halloween (2018) introduces us to an aging Laurie Strode who has struggled with PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and agoraphobia since her encounter with Michael when she was a teenager and his murder of her closest friends. Her issues have led to two divorces and a strained relationship with her adult daughter. But she has a closer relationship to her grand daughter, who is more understanding of her eccentricities, but who still tells Laurie she should “get over” what happened to her and Michael.
So basically, it’s the same idea as Halloween H20, just 40 years after the original attack instead of 20, and Laurie had a daughter instead of a son.
Laurie has become a near recluse in her rural home just outside of Haddonfield, which is gated off. She has customized the house to be a secure refuge, and also as a trap for Michael should he come calling on her again.
Smith & Wesson Model 66 and Winchester 1873
Behind her home, she has constructed a shooting range where she practices shooting angrily. While its visually cool, I don’t see any kind of berm behind the old mannequins she uses for targets—and they would make for lousy targets.
After a few bullet hits, there wouldn’t be much left of them, but we’re meant to believe the mannequins came with the house for some reason, and that she’s been doing this for a while, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Throughout the first two thirds of the movie we see her practicing with a Smith & Wesson Model 66 stainless revolver and a Winchester 1873 lever action rifle. These seem to be her favorites, as they are two of her go-to guns when Michael comes around.
Both guns are classics. The Model 66 was introduced in 1972 as a stainless steel version of the Model 19, which in turn was the .357 Magnum version of the Model 15. From the recoil when Laurie is shooting it, the Model 19 is clearly loaded with light blanks, but we’ll just say they’re .38 Specials.
The 1873 is about as classic a lever gun as it comes and it could be chambered in a variety of calibers, though Laurie’s looks like a .30 caliber of some kind. She shoots it accurately and smoothly, but she’s not very fast.
Mossberg 500 Cruiser
When Michael first attacks the house, Laurie has her gun and hunting knife on her hip and goes to the door with a Mossberg 500 Cruise 12 gauge shotgun with a pistol grip only.
Her next go-to gun is the 1873, so she’s not worried about a full-stocked gun in her home, so the choice of a 12 gauge with no shoulder stock is kind of odd, but it probably made filming the fight through the door easier.
Michael smashes through the glass around the door (didn’t think to secure that, did you Laurie?) and gets ahold of her, smashing her head against the door a few times, though Laurie seems unharmed. She turns around and while being strangled, manages to get the muzzle of the shotgun pointed toward Michael. As they wrestle for control of the shotgun, Laurie fires it and the blast takes off at least two fingers on Michael’s left hand.
Laurie’s Home Defense Plan
Laurie’s plan, as it had to have been laid out, was to resist Michael’s first attack and draw him into the house. She then had to lead him through the secret door into the basement. Then, she had to somehow get past him in the tiny basement, hopefully after shooting him, get up the stairs, close the bars that seal off the basement, and activate the gas ignition system she has set up to blow up the house.
But…she also constructed drop-down gates that cover the doors upstairs at the push of a button, just in case Michael gets up there I guess…which he does.
This plan has issues.
So first, lets check out the exterior of the house. We have to remember, she wanted this to be a trap. She’s convinced that, since he survived six bullets in ’78, the only way to make sure he’s dead is to burn him up. So some things that could be seen as flaws we done intentionally.
The house could have been made into a more impenetrable bunker, but that wasn’t her intention. Should it have been? Probably.
We see that guns certainly do damage to him. She would have been much better off securing the house better and thinking of ways to force him into a field of fire where she could shoot from a protected location. After all, Michael doesn’t shoot back.
She has an array of floodlights installed on her house, which she only turns on after Michael begins his attack and kills the cops guarding the house and Laurie’s son-in-law. Doing that from the outset would probably have been a better idea, as she doesn’t have a flashlight on any of her guns.
And that brings us to point two. Part of her plan involves clearing the rooms of the house one at a time with a rifle. She has to hold a lever action rifle and a separate, large flashlight while doing so. She’s setting herself up for failure.
Considering she’s planning to shoot him inside the house, most likely inside the same room, she would have been much better off with an AR platform carbine in 5.56 or 300BLK with a suppressor, a large magazine, and a gun light. Or use the shotgun for this duty instead of a full-sized rifle.
I don’t know if the filmmakers went with revolvers, shotguns, and lever guns because they wanted it to seem like Laurie happened into her arsenal and picked the guns up as she could over the years, or if they were playing to the current climate in the U.S. regarding guns—or maybe it was a bit of both. Either way, if she had 40 years to plan this defense, she should have picked her guns better.
She also has this elaborate system of steel gates that fall in every doorway of the house as she clears them, so she can be sure Michael can’t get in there once she’s past.
It’s not like Michael showed up out of the blue—Laurie knows he escaped, knows he’s in Haddonfield, and knows he’s probably coming after her and her family. She could have simply locked the doors to the rooms upstairs ahead of time, or closed her gates, eliminating the need to clear them at all. Michael would go upstairs and have no where to go but a hallway.
We’re not even going to get into the logistics of the moving kitchen island, the basement trap, and the giant gas fireball that consumes the house.
But here’s an idea: why not lure Michael into the house, shoot him from cover, dump 5 gallons of gasoline, torch him and the place, and go out the back door, which you seal behind you.
Somehow Michael still survives the flames, because we’re getting two more movies in this trilogy, and they wouldn’t be dumb enough to try and make a Halloween movie that doesn’t have Michael Myers in it again.
The Guns of Dr. Loomis
The only other character as necessary to the Halloween story as Laurie and Michael is Dr. Sam Loomis, the man who had been in charge of Michael’s care for the many years he was hospitalized after killing his older sister as a child.
The character was originally played by Donald Pleasance and gave the low budget slasher a gravity, without which, it may not have been as memorable as it came to be.
Halloween (1978) – S&W Model 15 Revolver
In the original Halloween Dr. Loomis takes no risks as is armed from the get go with a Smith & Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece revolver. The gun is fitted with target grips instead of the more common slimline grips common to the model from the time period, and you can see the more pronounced grip in several scenes.
Loomis uses this gun to shoot Michael four times at the conclusion of the first movie, launching him from a second story balcony onto the lawn below.
Of course, his body has disappeared when we see the same spot on the grass again.
Halloween 2 (1981) – S&W Model 15 Revolver
Since the sequel picks up exactly where the first movie left off, with Michael having been shot several times by Loomis yet still escaping, Loomis is still carrying his Model 15 with the target grips. It seems Loomis has gone a little nutty because he knows he shot him and that he shouldn’t have survived.
“I shot him six times! I shot him in the heart! He’s not human!” Loomis says. Even though, he only shot Michael four times in the previous film.
In the end, Michael takes a few more bullets, including one to each eye fired by Laurie with Loomis’ Model 15—but it’s Dr. Loomis with a lighter and some oxygen tanks that finally take Michael out in a big explosion that kills Loomis too—or so it seems.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers – S&W Model 639 Semi-Auto
With the return of Michael Myers, so did Dr. Loomis return to the series after the ill-fated third installment. Pleasance again plays the harried psychologist and we find out he survived the explosion at the hospital, though not without some scars—as did Michael, who has been in a coma ever since.
While being transferred, Michael suddenly awakens and returns to Haddonfield to continue his killing ways. The fact that he should be at least blind as he was shot in both eyes at the end of the second movie is conveniently forgotten and is never addressed again, though the movies do start to attempt to provide some kind of explanation for Michael’s seeming immortality.
This time around, Loomis has upgraded his EDC with a Smith & Wesson Model 639, done up handsome with some pearl grips. The 639 is a DA/SA 9mm pistol and is the stainless steel version of the Model 539 with an eight-round magazine, 4-inch barrel and adjustable rear sights. Loomis’ pistol is an earlier model 639, which you can tell from the rounded trigger guard. Later models switched to a more squared off trigger guard.
Halloween 5: Revenge of Michael Myers – M1911
Though he doesn’t use his side arm nearly as much in this movie as he did in the previous three installments, Loomis carries something quite different this time around.
His sidearm looks to be a simple M1911 pistol in .45 ACP. He keeps it in the pocket of his trench coat and uses it to intimidate the local cop when he’s reluctant to believe him about what Michael is capable of, and to take a couple missed shots at Michael himself.
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
This movie marks the end of an era for the Halloween series and the final film of Donald Pleasance, who passed away shortly after his scenes were filmed. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least popular of the series, due to it’s often messy plot that tries to shoehorn in a supernatural explanation for Michael’s powers and unkillable-ness.
Loomis does have his trusty sidearm with him in his home, but this time, it’s a more classic revolver, the Smith & Wesson Model 10. We only see him with the revolver once, but it’s a fitting farewell to a simple character that the veteran actor made memorable over for over a decade.
Halloween (2007) – Colt Python Revolver
In the reboot of the series, Dr. Sam Loomis was played by Malcolm McDowell and it’s a much different character than the Pleasance version. This Loomis is kind of a jerk and he uses his experiences treating Michael to launch a book about it and make a good deal of cash. When Michael does escape and go on his killing spree, to his credit, Loomis does take up arms and attempt to stop the monster that he failed to treat.
Director Rob Zombie gave Loomis a revolver, as is befit of his character, but this time it’s a Colt Python in .357 Magnum with pearl grips. There is a scene of a harried Loomis buying the revolver at a gun shop—and it’s one of the worst depictions of a gun purchase on film.
Granted, we don’t know exactly when the movie is supposed to be set…the first part looks like its intended to be the 1970s, but the present day portion doesn’t exactly scream 2007, but no matter what, nobody can walk into a gun shop in Illinois and walk out with a handgun, especially as a non-resident. When the movie was made, and today, the state has a 72 hour waiting period for all handguns and buyers must first apply for and receive a Firearms Owners ID card.
In the movie, Loomis knows nothing about guns, walked into a large sporting goods and gun store, and walks right out the door with the revolver after passing on a long-barreled Smith & Wesson Model 617.
How to Watch the Halloween Movies:
As occurs with many series that weren’t intended to have a litany of sequels, the Halloween series is a pretty good mess. There are three very different movies simply titled Halloween and three separate reboots, two of which star Jamie Lee Curtis. So if you are new to the series but want to dive in for a Halloween movie marathon, here are a few tips about how to watch the film series, including which movies to group together and how to watch the three distinct timelines of Laurie Strode.
These two movies are the originals and can stand alone and represent Laurie’s complete original story. All the events of both movies take place on the same night. Most importantly, the sequel establishes that Laurie is actually Michael’s sister who was a baby when he killed his family as a child. She was then adopted by the Strode family.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch** (no Michael Myers in this one)
The third movie in the franchise famously abandoned the character of Michael Myers as having been killed at the end of Part II. Instead, the story for Halloween III focused on a set of evil Halloween masks sold to children that would ultimately kill them when they wore them during a special TV broadcast.
While it has its own level of creepiness and has a cult following, it was a big disappointment to fans who wanted to see more Michael Myers. After the experiment with a more episodic approach failed, the series took a hiatus until Myers returned to the series in 1988.
These movies represent a loose trilogy that comes after Laurie’s story. They recognize the events of the original two movies, including the fact that Michael and Laurie are brother and sister, but they pick up with all new characters in Haddonfield, other than Dr. Loomis. You can watch them in order after Halloween II, or on their own, as they don’t rely too much on the actual events on the original two movies.
Off screen, Laurie has a child named Jamie Lloyd who she has to give up for adoption. Jamie unknowingly lives in the same town where Michael carried out his original murder spree, and he returns looking for his niece. At the outset of Halloween 4, he’s been catatonic in a mental hospital since the events of Halloween II ’81.
He comes to life during a transfer in an ambulance and gets back up to his old habits. The next movie picks up soon after the fourth movie and continues following Jamie in her battle against the un-killable Myers.
The 1995 Curse sort of rounds out the trilogy, but not really. Seeds were lightly sown in the previous two movies about a reason for Michael’s murderous ways, and a reason why he can’t seem to be killed—a secret Druid cult has marked him to carry a mysterious curse. The sixth movie tries to flesh all that out, but it doesn’t go all the way, and the backstory comes out half baked and very sloppy.
This movie also went through a lot of production problems and reshoots—a director’s cut is famously available after being passed around in fan circles as a bootleg workprint for years and people seem to concede that it is better than the theatrical version, but the movie is still very flawed.
Plus, it was made six years after the previous installment and doesn’t include any returning cast members from the series other than Donald Pleasence as an aged Dr. Loomis.
(Pleasance died soon after filming and his character had to be worked around when they did the reshoots, making the movie even messier.) It was enough of a dud that it effectively killed the series until it was rebooted.
But that reboot didn’t take long.
In 1998, Jamie Lee Curtis was back on board for another stab at the character of Laurie Strode, but considering what the sequels said happened to her character off screen, that would have been tough.
So they ret-conned the 3 “Jaimie Lloyd” movies and picked up 20 years after the events of Halloween II. Laurie is the headmistress of a private prep school that her teenaged son also attends and has changed her identity. Only her son knows about her past and about her brother Michael, who eventually comes calling at the school to find her on the 20th anniversary of his last attack.
H20 was supposed to be the first of a new trilogy, but the next movie, Resurrection, is considered by many to be the worst movie in the series. It revises the ending of H20, a move many fans didn’t like, and then Jamie is killed off in the first third of the movie, before the focus switches to Busta Rhymes and a reality TV show set in the old Myers house.
The movie wasn’t an absolute bomb at the box office, but the poor fan reception caused them to scrap the idea of a trilogy and the series, effectively, died again.
You can watch the movies in the following order for Laurie’s second character arc as follows:
• Halloween ’78
• Halloween II ’81
• Halloween H20 ’98
• Halloween: Resurrection ’02
Instead of another sequel, the series was completely rebooted in 2007 by director Rob Zombie, who added his own signature style to the story of Michael Myers, which he delves deeper into with the first half hour or more about Michael as a child, the murder of his family, and his institutionalization.
Some fans like Zombie’s take on the series, others hated it. He was good for one sequel that was…pretty bad. The series, again, died. These two movies stand on their own.
The New Trilogy
And now, we have the newest batch of Halloween movies, again starring Curtis, which come directly after the original, retconning all the sequels, including the reboot also starring Curtis.
The most important thing about this is that the most recent canon does NOT include Halloween II ’81 and does NOT includes the idea that Michael and Laurie are brother and sister—something Carpenter says he never intended for the characters. There’s actually a bit of dialogue at the beginning of Halloween (2018) that specifically refutes this part of the story.
So, to watch Laurie’s full third story arc, view the movies in the following order (once they’ve all been released).
• Halloween ’78
• Halloween ’18
• Halloween Kills ’20
• Halloween Ends ’21
And here’s the full list of Halloween movies in the order they were released:
• Halloween ’78
• Halloween II ’81
• Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ’88
• Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers ’89
• Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ’95
• Halloween H20: 20 Years Later ’98
• Halloween: Resurrection ’02
• Halloween ’07
• Halloween II ’09
• Halloween ’18
• Halloween Kills ’20 (Not Yet Released) • Halloween Ends ’21 (Not Yet Released)