Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: The Night He Returned

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since this is the Halloween season, as has been my practice since VHS tape came on scene, my viewing habits tend toward a particular genre. You can guess what that is (and you only get one shot at it). Since my good blogging friend Colonel Mortimer is presenting a month-long review of horror films in his wonderful series spotlighting a particular year, 31 Days of ’81 Horror, I thought I’d call out his splendid review of a film that carries some distinction with me.

“Look, Jimmy, rule number one, never get involved with a patient. Nurses, that’s another story. But patient is no good, it never works out.”


The Picwood Theatre:

[pictures are care of the Cinema Treasures site]



October 31, 1981: Halloween. It was three years plus (seemingly, another lifetime) since my mother passed away (somewhat covered here). I note this because another significant passing occurred this very same year. The other woman who raised me, my mother’s mother, died seven months prior to this autumn holiday. In the same month, too, as my mother. Needless to say, March is not my favorite month. Not by a long shot.

I’d spend the years after ’78 maintaining touch with ma. Never called her grandma directly since she considered me nothing less than a son. All in an effort to pay back some of the love this woman bestowed upon me. This included my return to her house each 31st of October to help pass out candy to those trick ‘r treating her neighborhood. Needless to say, All Hallows Eve required a change come 1981. Strange perhaps, I instituted going to the movies every Halloween from that point. Watching another in the genre attached with this holiday.

Though John Carpenter’s seminal film, Halloween, arrived in 1978, I never saw it on its initial release to theaters. My experience with the film turned out to be a VHS rental months later (I’d catch it at a revival theater afterward). Naturally, when its sequel, Halloween II, was announced I wasn’t going to miss the experience in a movie hall. The film opened the day before said holiday, so all plans went toward getting me and my nurse girlfriend at the time over to the westside of Los Angeles to watch it.

You now know why I choose the above movie quote.

The Picwood Theatre, another of the long gone and demolished, was that venue. Showtimes at this packed theatre that particular Saturday night skirted sold-out. We got in, though. I agree with my friend the Colonel’s assessment for what encompasses the good, the bad, and the ugly of the sequel. Far from boring. Still, the film carries a discrete memory — being the one that began a tradition I’d continue till the October of 1995. The very same month I became a parent.

The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

15 Responses to “TMT: The Night He Returned”

  1. Castor

    I don’t think I have seen the sequel but Halloween certainly was one of the best creeper in film history. I love reading those TMT posts. Keep them coming!


  2. Chris Voss

    This series of film and experiences are amazing, something I want to aspire to in my own writing. Great review, and now I have to dive back to read the ones I missed.


    • le0pard13

      Yeah, the Picwood was a distinctive theatre. Went there a number of times and it was sad when the Westside Pavilion expanded and this disappeared from Pico Blvd. Loved your review of this sequel too, Kevin. Thanks.


    • rtm

      Yeah I meant to comment about that building too, how artsy. It’s a pity how today’s cinema building are so cookie-cutter, there’s no creativity in that any more, just like the films playing in them 😦


  3. The Focused Filmographer

    I know this is an older post, but it was at the top of the page when i visited and it is appropriate for this time of year. I always loved your TMT posts and this is a classic! Thanks again for sharing. Glad to read.

    Liked by 1 person


Are you talkin’ to me?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: