Topic: Halloween: The Many Faces of Michael Myers, Part 1
Just in time for All Hallow's Eve, I present to you Part 1 in a 9-part series in which we take a look at not only the various masks worn by everyone's favorite boogeyman, Michael Myers/The Shape, but also every actor to have appeared as the character on-screen, from the classic 1978 original to the soul-draining pit of despair that is Rob Zombie's Halloween 2, and every film in between (with the exception of the Shape-less part 3).
So without further ado, let's get this ball a-rollin' with...
As most hardcore horror fans know, the original Michael Myers mask was actually a Captain Kirk mask designed by Don Post Studios. Carpenter and crew painted the face white, painted and teased the hair and enlarged the eyeholes to give it that famous expressionless look. There were originally two copies of the mask but one disappeared at some point during filming, leaving John Carpenter and crew stuck with using the remaining mask over and over again. As a result of its heavy use, the mask required constant touch-ups and repairs. No one knows what happened to the missing mask -- whether it was stolen or destroyed is anyone's guess -- but after shooting wrapped, co-writer/producer Debra Hill took the remaining mask home and promptly stored it in a box under her bed. It would be three years before the mask was seen again -- when Hill busted it out to use in Halloween II.
1. Will Sandin (Michael Myers, age 6)
Sandin's appearance in the film proved to be one of the most shocking and memorable reveals in horror film history. Audiences were startled when, following the opening POV sequence, it was revealed that we'd just seen the murder of a young woman through the eyes of what turned out to be a cute little six-year-old boy. Interestingly, Halloween is Sandin's sole film credit to date.
2. Jim Winburn
This rough-and-tumble veteran stunt man had the shortest "face" scene in the film -- visible for all of half a second, during the opening bit where the newly escaped Michael Myers leaps atop a station wagon driven by Nurse Chambers. It's literally a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, a blur -- the proof being that the image above is the clearest shot of his face I could capture.
3. Nick Castle (The Shape)
"Wait a minute," you say. "Michael Myers and The Shape are the same effin' guy!" Well, yes and no. In the screenplay, John Carpenter only refers to the character as Michael Myers in the opening sequence when he's a boy, and the moment his mask is removed later by Lori Strode. Any other time the character appears in the script he's referred to as The Shape. And in the film, any time you see The Shape (not counting the final stunt where The Shape falls off the patio) it's Nick Castle. An old college chum and bandmate of Carpenter's, Castle was hired for two reasons -- one, because they were friends, Carpenter knew he could get him for cheap, and two, because Carpenter liked the way he walked. Castle went on to become a successful director in his own right, with such films as the Last Starfighter, Major Payne and Mr. Wrong.
4. Tony Moran (Michael Myers, age 23***)
While he only appeared in a single scene in the film -- when during a struggle with Lori Strode, she removes his mask -- Moran will be forever remembered as the original face behind the fright. And while his maskless appearance is brief, it's also the only time in the history of the series that Michael's face can be seen clearly. Moran acted for a few more years after Halloween, then disappeared for 27 years (!) before finally taking a new role in the 2008 short film Lucky Break. Moran recently began filming a movie called Dead Bounty, whose director of photography is a fellow by the name of Ken Willinger -- who you might know better by his HM user-name, Getken.
***This credit has long been a constant point of annoyance to me. Not because of Moran himself, but because he's listed as Michael Myers, age 23. But let's do the math. At one point in the film, Dr. Loomis states Michael was six years old when he murdered his sister. Loomis then states he spent eight years trying to reach Michael, and another seven trying to keep him locked up. That's a total of fiteen years Michael spent in Loomis' care. Now I don't know about you, but I am unaware of any universe, dimension, physics loophole or plain of existence where 15 + 6 = 23.
Miscellaneous others who appeared as The Shape on-screen:
Debra Hill (co-writer, co-producer)
Not only did Ms. Hill play Young Michael's hands during the opening POV sequence, she also played The Shape as he was watching Tommy from across the street.
Tommy Lee Wallace
As the film's prop master, Wallace was permitted to portray The Shape during the climactic closet scene, so as to ensure the closet doors collapsed properly.
And there we have them, every actor to have appeared as Michael Myers/The Shape in the original Halloween. Feel free to comment, discuss or correct me if I got my facts wrong (which is highly doubtful...I mean c'mon, it's me ).