Dirty Horror Memory Lane: The ‘Halloween’ Atari Video Game (1983)

CONTROVERSY!  ATARI!  HALLOWEEN!  No, we’re not playing the $10,000 Pyramid Game, but we are going to take a stroll down memory lane to a simpler time when 2-bit video game graphics ruled the world.

In 1982 and 1983, Atari was all the rage and if you were a horror fan back then, Wizard Video released two titles to satisfy video game and horror nerds alike.  The first, which barely deserves even a mention, was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where you could play as Leatherface and for some reason had a chainsaw boner as you rolled around the screen.  That game sucked.  But in 1983, Halloween was released, and you know what?  It didn’t suck quite as much!

A few thoughts after watching that gameplay.  I never thought I would ever get sick of hearing John Carpenter’s title theme until I heard the Atari MIDI version.  Ok – we get it.  Michael Myers pops up on the screen and we need to announce his arrival EVERY SINGLE time with the music.  Mission accomplished, and now my ears are bleeding because of it.

But for every misstep, this game takes a leap forward as it was pretty much the goriest Atari video game ever.  Not only are kids dying bloody deaths, but the babysitter gets her head lopped off and runs off with the gooey red stuff spouting out of her neck as Michael Myers gives chase to finish the job.  All in all, a pretty good release as far as Atari releases go for the horror genre.  Try tracking down an original copy, and there was even a special edition with a box that lit up and made sounds.  Ooooooh – fancy!