4 May 2009

Keeping Up With The Loomis'

Deadly Movie Connections

Loomis has unwittingly become the surname of choice for slasher films and can, like so many Deadly Movies connections, be traced back to the master’s Psycho (1960). Sam Loomis, played by John Gavin, was Marian Crane’s boyfriend, hopelessly searching Bates Motel for clues to the whereabouts of his awol girlfriend. The Loomis family would again pop up in the Psycho universe in Psycho 2 (1983) where Sam’s widow and Lila and daughter Mary turn up to exact some revenge on Norman.
John Carpenter’s 1979 Halloween utilised elements of Psycho to create the template that would become the modern slasher film, but this wasn’t all he borrowed. He also grabbed his leading lady from Psycho stock, Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh (Marian Crane) and he directly borrowed a character name, Sam Loomis. Although rather than the grieving boyfriend, his Loomis was Dr Sam Loomis, child psychologist and nemesis to serial killer Michael Myers. Like Psycho before it, one film in franchise is never enough for a Loomis, Dr Sam Loomis would return to Halloween four more films as well as two remakes (including 2009s H2).
Then it would be the turn of another horror legend, Wes Craven creator of horror cornerstones The Last House on The Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977),and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). In 1996 Craven’s Scream would reference and parody the forefathers horror, especially Halloween which both score and movie feature directly in the film, as does the name Loomis. Here however Loomis is on the wrong side of the knife handle. Billy Loomis is the mastermind behind the ‘Ghost Face’ killings, while his mother Mrs Loomis (going all Mrs Voorhees) would take up the knife and mask in Scream 2 (1997).

50 years, 12 films, 8 actors, 6 characters, 1 surname
Sam Loomis (John Gavin, Psycho 1960)
Lila Loomis (Vira Miles, Psycho 2 1983)
Mary Loomis (Meg Tilly, Psycho 2 1983)
Sam Loomis (Viggo Mortensen, Psycho 1998)

Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence, Halloween 1978Halloween 2 1981, Halloween 4
1988, Halloween 5 1989, Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers 1995)
Dr Sam Loomis (Malcome McDowell, Halloween 2007, H2 2009)

Billy Loomis (Skreet Ulrich, Scream 1996)
Mrs Loomis (Laurie Metcalf, Scream 2 1997)

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