Archive for November 1978

Someone’s Watching Me

November 29, 1978

Television director Lauren Hutton is being stalked, spied on, and crank-called by an anonymous creep. The cops can’t do much to help, but Lauren takes matters into her own hands with the help of boyfriend David Birney and lesbian coworker Adrienne Barbeau. John Carpenter wrote and directed this TV-movie (unreleased domestically on video until 2007, which made it a hot bootleg item among Carpenter fans) before his hit Halloween, though it was televised a month after Halloween came out. It can therefore be seen as a good dry run for Halloween — Carpenter does a lot with even less onscreen violence — though viewers who happen to stumble upon it and who don’t appreciate Carpenter’s participation may just consider it a better-than-average “jep” (woman-in-jeopardy) thriller. The dialogue is fast and witty, and Carpenter does his share of genuflecting to Rear Window, particularly when Hutton pokes around the stalker’s penthouse while Barbeau watches via telescope. There are Carpenter touches throughout — the mystery man popping up in backgrounds, Hutton losing her knife down a grate — but the movie sorely lacks Carpenter’s customary ominous score and musical “stings”; Harry Sukman’s wannabe-Herrmann score is cheesy at best. Fans of Carpenter and Halloween will certainly want to track this down. Carpenter’s teleplay was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award — very likely the only time he’ll be in competition with Nora Ephron for an award. Executive-produced by Richard Kobritz, who also produced ‘Salem’s Lot and Carpenter’s Christine. Carpenter must’ve looked at Charles Cyphers and said “I picture you as a clueless cop,” because Cyphers plays one here and in Halloween, too.