This Day in Pop Culture for September 25


1978: ‘Halloween’ Spooks Moviegoers

It was on this day in 1978 when John Carpenter unleashed his evil world of Halloween to the movie masses. The low budget film about a serial killer who attacks on the holiday was co-written by Carpenter in ten days with the help of Debra Hill. It starred Jamie Lee Curtis (daughter of Psycho’s Janet Leigh) in her first movie role and Donald Pleasence. Her role as teenager and babysitter Laurie Strode earned her the nickname of “Scream Queen.” Produced on a budget of $300,000, the film grossed $47 million at the box office in the U.S. alone. Carpenter also wrote the movie’s score and billed himself as the “Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra” during the ending credits. To date, there have been 10 other Halloween-related movies including reboots. On February 9, 2017, Carpenter announced that, yet another Halloween movie would be released on October 19, 2018, and would once again star Jamie Lee Curtis despite the fact that her character died during the beginning of 2002’s Halloween Resurrection. The idea behind the last film was to be the “real” sequel from the original film ignoring every other film story in the series. Not only did it do well in the box office (making over $255 million with a budget that ran between $10-$15 million) movie critics received it fairly well too. The next chapter, Halloween Kills was released on October 15, 2021, but didn’t fare as well. The “final chapter”, Halloween ends, will be released on October 14, 2022.

1994: She Reports a Crime to Cover Up a Murder

Susan Smith reported that her two children were taken from her when her car was carjacked on this day in 1994 in South Carolina. Authorities searched but could not find the children or even the car. Nine days later, Smith recanted her story stating that there was no carjacking and that it was she who drove her car into the John D. Long Lake in hopes of drowning her children. The story gets worse. Smith was having an affair with a man who didn’t want children and she felt that by eliminating them was the way to keep her relationship.

1999: ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Go to School

Debuting on this day in 1999, NBC’s Freaks and Geeks series created by Paul Feig and Judd Apatow was set in William McKinley High School in Chippewa, Michigan near Detroit (this was named after Feig’s own high school). Set during the 1980-1981 school year, the show focused on Lindsay Weir and her brother Sam who attend the school as new students. The normally academically smart Lindsay tried to shed her smart image by hanging out with a group of slackers or “freaks” while Sam settled in with the “geeks.” The show became more popular when it was off the air than on. It was cancelled after just 12 episodes due to low ratings. But the show has been remembered fondly by many and often makes the list of best TV shows of all time for publications.

Movies Released

  • Halloween (1978)
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
  • Paranormal Activity (2009)
  • Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (2020)
  • The Intern (2015)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

TV Series Debuts

  • FBI (2018)
  • Freaks and Geeks (1999)
  • Heroes (2006)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (2014)
  • New Amsterdam (2018)
  • Silver Spoons (1982)
  • The Good Doctor (2017)
  • The Mindy Project (2012)
  • The Partridge Family (1970)
  • Young Sheldon (2017)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1929: Barbara Walters (journalist)
  • 1944: Michael Douglas (actor)
  • 1947: Cheryl Tiegs (model)
  • 1951: Mark Hamill (actor)
  • 1952: Christopher Reeve (actor)
  • 1956: Jamie Hyneman (special effects designer)
  • 1961: Heather Locklear (actress)
  • 1963: Tate Donovan (actor)
  • 1968: Will Smith (actor)
  • 1969: Catherine Zeta-Jones (actress)
  • 1975: Matt Hasselbeck (football player)

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