Halloween - 20 years after
Actor Chris Durand dons the mask as the new Michael Myers in Halloween H20 • A Shivers feature by Pat Jankiewicz
selected from Shivers #59

No-one can forget the spectral star of John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s Halloween. A masked maniac with catlike reflexes, Michael Myers, also known as The Shape, stalks his victims with preternatural ease and is capable of being shot, stabbed, poked in the eyes, hurled off roofs and even set on fire. No matter how many times he’s seemingly finished, his inert body lurches back to life and into action. At the film’s climax, we learn he’s the honest-to-God bogeyman. His final victim, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was the only one able to vanquish him. 20 years later she discovers that Michael, in truth her older brother, has taken an active interest in polishing her off once and for all. The scene is set for Halloween: Twenty Years Later, the Aliens of slasher movies.

Michael was played by director Nick Castle in the original Halloween, but to bring the Shape back for H20, the task and the mask fell to actor/stuntman Chris Durand. The easygoing Durand is nothing like his murderous, on-screen alter ego. “He’s an interesting character, Michael. He doesn’t run...” he explains. “He’s relentless. He’s the Energizer Bunny of mass murderers! That’s what makes this guy so scary, no matter what you do, he’s still coming.”

For Halloween: H20, Durand explains, “Jamie Lee has gone incognito. Laurie Strode is undercover with a new name when I find her again. She’s made a new life, she thinks all that Halloween business is done and that I’m done with, but that’s only because I think that she’s done. When I find out she’s still alive, I go after her.”

Michael’s motivation after 20 years of stalking is pretty upfront. “He wants to finish it,” the actor laughs, “He wants to find his sister Laurie and wrap it up. I don’t really know where he’s spent the last 20 years but I guess he’s been hiding. The other people who get killed are just in my way. My goal is her.”

Durand enjoyed working with the Halloween heroine. “Jamie Lee Curtis is a total sweetheart, we had a real good time together. I’m sure seeing me in the mask brought back memories for her of making the first film and she even gave me a nickname. Off-camera, she called me ‘Shapey’!"

Halloween pic copyright Dimension Films
Read on in Shivers #59 - not only for our full interview with Chris Durand, but also for: a full-page review of the new film • Kim Newman's disturbing screening experience • and a look back at John Carpenter's original Halloween.
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