Halloween II Interview

Dick Warlock interview (Michael Myers from Halloween 2)

Widely regarded as the best man for the job as far as Michael Myers is concerned, Dick is a favourite among the fans. A widely respected and experienced stunt man for the last two decades and more, Dick has worked on movies such as Jaws, Halloween II, Halloween III, Friday the 13th Part V, The Abyss, Child's Play II (& III), Spaceballs and Pumpkinhead to name a just a few from a huge resume (see www.dickwarlock.com).

Dick Was kind enough to answer some questions for the Pit of Horror and set a couple of things straight in the process. The movie image captures were taken specifically for this interview, please do not steal them (ask via email). The image of Dick and his son Lance is courtesy of the man himself (ask via his website). Enjoy...

The infamous 'therapy' room scene


1: Your portrayal of Michael Myers is widely regarded as the best by many fans of the Halloween movies, what kind of impression has the movie Halloween II left on your life, as part of the bigger picture, no less?
Well, I haven't seen the movie in it's entirety in a while. I see snippets of it at the conventions. Especially the Haunted Houses where they run it the entire time I am there. I have seen it countless times and still find the first one is my favorite. I have the same feeling about a lot of films that eventually come out with sequels. The original is always the best. I guess that's partly why I'm proud of being a participant in Jaws. The first and the best. For years I didn't have contact with anyone from the film except the director Rick Rosenthal. He had requested me on several of his films after Halloween II, but I was always busy and so I set him up with a friend of mine, Chuck Waters, to be his stunt coordinator. Chuck has done very well with him. I spoke with Rick about reprising the role of Michael in Halloween: Resurrection, but they had already hired and contracted Brad by the time Rick arrived in Canada. I was able recently to contact Pamela Susan Shoop (the Hot Tub Nurse) and since then I have developed a close friendship with her and her husband. While at the 25th reunion convention in Los Angeles I was able to see reaquaint myself with Charles Cyphers, Tawny Moyer, Gloria Gifford and Cliff Emmich as well as all of the Michaels that were there. I ran into Leo Rossi once in a bank in L.A. We chatted briefly and that was the last time I saw him. I hope to put a convention together sometime with every available person from the first two films and all of the Michaels. I finally got a chance at the 25th Anniversary to tell Mr. Akkad that he made a good choice in going with all of the big guys. You see. for those who have never seen me....I am a midget compared to them. Especially Brad Loree. For my money Brad did a super job as Michael. The best part of having done Halloween II is the conventions. Which I had no idea about until Don Shanks told me about them one day while we were working an episode of "Married with Children." Up to that point I had never met Don. He told me that every time he went to one of these cons the people would ask him about me. Now that's funny I think. Because of Don's generosity in sharing the convention information, which by the way George P. never did, I have met some really neat people and I've made some good friends.

2: I know that you have been very active on the convention circuit for a number of years, gladly interacting with the fans and people in the industry (which we are grateful for). Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast or crew from Halloween II? Any stories about the fans you have met on the road?
Well. I think I answered most of this one in # 1. I have had some very pleasant experiences on the circuit. I have had fans that have become friends come to my house for visits and have visited some of them in their homes. Without Halloween II, III and the cons that wouldn't have happened. So for that I am truly grateful.

In hot pursuit of Laurie, leads up to the terrifying slashing at Laurie's ankles
The manner in which the mask changes appearance from one light setting and angle to the other is remarkable, and Dick was the only man to wear the mask in this movie


3: As you well know, there has been much debate about the mask(s) used in the original Halloween and Halloween II. Many fans have got it into their heads that it is a completely different mask in Halloween II from the mask in the original movie. Could you set the record straight once and for all? You, afterall, wore the mask, hence having the most insight on this matter. Also where is the original mask now?
This question I really, really hate. No matter what I say about the mask there are those who set themselves up as experts on it even though some of them weren't even born when we made the film. They argue with everyone about what I say concerning it. They, for some reason, think there are two distinct masks worn for these two movies. # 1 and # 2. Here is the story as I know it. During the filming of Halloween II I asked in conversation about the mask I was using. I was told by several different people including Debra Hill that it was the one used in the making of Halloween. It had been stored under her bed until she dug it out and brought it to the office where I picked it up and put it on before going in to meet the director for the job as stunt coordinator. As for why it looks like two different masks, I think the lighting has a lot to do with the way the mask looks from film to film. The shape of my face is also totally different than Castle's, Wallace's or probably any of the other people who wore it in Halloween. (See Below. My son Lance "Boom Box Boy" and I on the set. I was about 20 lbs thinner then. Lance was 12. He is now 34.) As for the original mask. I sold it to a man in Ohio. He has two haunted houses. One in Toledo and one in Tiffin. He had the mask and coveralls on display there this past October. I'm supposing he'll display them every year in one place or the other. www.terrortown.net. Up and running closer to Halloween.

Dick Warlock with his son Lance ('Boombox kid' in Halloween II) on set
Michael is shot several times when Dr Loomis and the Marshall arrive at the hospital


4: Your portrayal of Michael Myers in Halloween II has greater depth to it than Nick Castle's performance (and others) in the original Halloween in my personal opinion. The fact that we see Myers so much more in Halloween II compared to the original, where he really was "The Shape," is probably the basis for this. The platform for you to build upon was there, whereas there was more mystery to the character in the original. You gave the character a unique presence on the screen with such a robotic and methodical walk, I think that you raised the bar and nobody that followed equalled it. Was this improvisation on your part? Or were you directed to move in a certain manner? Had you seen the original Halloween before taking the job, and did you study any of the movements Castle (mainly) had employed?
Just for the record, I hadn't seen the film until after I had the job. I did look at it two or three times. It was Tommy Lee Wallace's (director of Halloween III) portrayal that I used as the impetus for the way that I played the character. The scenes where Laurie is huddled in the closet. Michael breaks through. She grabs a hanger and thrusts it up and into his eyes. Michael falls down and Laurie walks to the bedroom doorway and sits down. In the background we see Michael sit up and turn towards her to the beat of the music. Of course we all know those beats of music were laid in later and done quite good I might add. Anyway, that and the head tilt were the things I carried with me into Halloween II. I didn't really see that much more to hang my hat on in the first film. I asked George after he had done Halloween IV if he studied any of the films and said, "Heck no." He didn't care what we did. He laughed so I don't know if he was kidding or not.

Halloween II is definitely the best sequel in the series, it carries the atmosphere of the original, it feels genuine and true to the original unlike the sequels which followed...
Michael tracks down Laurie and Loomis and backs them into a corner at the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, Laurie shoots him twice in the head, through the eye holes in his mask


5: What do you think of the original Halloween? How does Halloween II compare in your opinion? I think of them joined, like one big movie personally. What about the sequels? Have you seen them all? Did you like them.
I feel as you do. The two films would be a good Saturday night movie as one film. They blended together seamlessly. I finally saw all of the sequels and, not knocking any performances, the stories SUCK. They (the producers and writers) chased so hard after Jason and his audience that they completely lost the original concept. The last one was filled with gratuitous filthy language and a token rapper. Hey, sorry, people. That's my feelings on it. It's all about the buck $$$$$. Why do you think they took the franchise to Canada. To save the money for themselves. No residuals to speak of. B.S., I say.

6: Any thoughts, any comments at all. Perhaps you could enlighten us about all of the movie jobs you have undetaken over the years, especially in the horror genre. You were involved in another famous horror franchise, were you not?
I don't know which famous franchise you are referring to. Pumpkinhead, Child's Play or Friday The 13th. They are all fairly famous ... aren't they? The business has been very good to me. Kurt Russell was a Godsend. He put me in his contract early on and took me on whatever film he did after that. Up until the point that I was to fat to double him any longer. I had quit smoking back in 1980 and by the time we did Tango & Cash I had gained 20 pounds. Oops ... I'm out of a job. I loved Kurt like a son even though we were never bosom buddies. There have been so many people who have helped me over the years from Art Vitarelli the second unit director at Disney Studios as well as Mr. Disney himself. Various stuntmen, assistant directors, productions managers, casting people, actors asking for me to double them and on and on. People who I owe a debt of gratitude to. People that I can't begin to express my thanks to in words. If any of them happen to read this, please know me and my family are eternally grateful for your help. And to the many fans and convention promoters who have made this ride a pure pleasure for Cathy and myself, Thank you very, very much and God bless you all. Take care.

-Dick


The literally high octane finale is brilliant


I was talking about Friday the 13th, Part V which Dick was Stunt Co-ordinator on, in case anybody is wondering. The Pit would like to thank Dick for taking the time to answer the questions. Make sure you check out his website: www.dickwarlock.com

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