Dr. Samuel Loomis Meets Abraham Lincoln

I am a huge fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween series. It has become a sort of tradition for me every October to watch each film multiple times leading up to Halloween night. Yes, the first two in the series are by far the best, but I also enjoy some of the later installments, especially H20, which features the return of Jamie Lee Curtis.

The characters are compelling, especially Dr. Samuel Loomis played by Donald Pleasance, and I just love the way the movie plays with the boundaries between the natural and supernatural realm. So, what is the connection to Civil War memory?

Early on in Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Meyers, Dr. Loomis confronts Michael at a rest stop. Both characters are captured standing in doorways.

Notice the multiple photographs of Lincoln on the wall to the right. Here is another shot.

Here is a close-up of Dr. Loomis in the doorway.

Loomis spots Meyers in the opposite doorway and pleads with him not to continue on to Haddonfield.

It is to no avail.

I have always wondered about this sequence. What was Carpenter attempting to convey by filming Dr. Loomis next to photographs of Lincoln?

Happy Halloween.

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4 comments… add one
  • Brian Sandman Oct 17, 2019 @ 13:33

    Carpenter didn’t have anything to do with this movie. As for the Lincoln photos- Haddonfield is supposed to be in Illinois- AKA, the Land of Lincoln.

  • Eric A. Jacobson Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:48

    I was raised in Minnesota, and I think the folks who directed/produced this film did a great job of making the gas station look exactly like old gas stations that I saw all over the upper Midwest. Of course Haddonfield was in Illinois. The lunch counter, the old red chairs, and, yes, the Lincoln photo on the wall, along with certificates and other things that made no sense and yet were there nonetheless. I saw it all as a kid. The only thing missing would have been for Loomis to light up a Lucky Strike right before he turned around and saw Myers.

    Btw, I think this is one of the creepiest scenes from a series of movies that has plenty. Loomis talking to Myers, and trying to appeal to him in some way, is unnerving.

    • Kevin Levin Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:57

      Thanks for this comment, Eric. I love this particular scene as well for the reasons you mentioned. I wonder whether Carpenter was casting Loomis as Michael’s potential emancipator. Yes, Loomis declares over and over that Michael is beyond the reach of the psychiatric community and he describes him as “evil” but in this scene he appeals to Michael’s “better nature.” BOOM!

  • Jacksonian Oct 31, 2017 @ 5:23

    Is that Michael Meyers? I thought it was a young John Kelly…

    Harris, Zeilin, McCawley, and Heywood are rolling over in their graves.

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