Make horrid scars and gashes.

9.08.2007

Halloween Safety (1977, Centron)

Okay! Just amazing! I finally (finally!) acquired a 16mm reel of the Centron/ Coronet Halloween Safety educational film I appeared in back when I was 7 years old! It had been so long that I could scarcely remember a thing about my involvement, and mostly questioned whether or not it would turn out that I was even really in the damn thing after all. But as of today, for the first time in 30 years, I can confirm that: yes, yes I am. The grand screen-time-total of my glorious film debut? About 14 seconds. 14 seconds of complete fucking Halloween awesomeness.

So the basic deal is that in 1976 I was asked to be in this thing by a casting scout who visited my grade school and picked me out of my 2nd grade class's outfit parade. My costume was a homemade Creature From The Black Lagoon getup with a thin rubber mask ordered out of a comic book for the head, and my previous year's Sears-bought "Planet of the Apes" suit turned inside out, dyed dark green and accented with darker green hanging cheesecloth (which was supposed to resemble seaweed) for the body. Well as it turns out -- and I had completely forgotten this 'til I started watching -- I wasn't actually allowed to wear my rubber Creature from the Black Lagoon mask in the film at all, since a key safety point seems to be that masks are oh-so-very-unnecessary for Halloween fun. Instead (and this all came rushing back to me) they had some make-up dude come in & paint my face like a graveyard ghoul -- it looks great! Really crude and minimalist but still completely in step with my cheesecloth-covered-costume, which now looks to be the dismal shroud of the roaming undead. Man, I totally should have ripped off that look for my costume the following year.

So anyway, what actually happens in those earth-shatteringly historic 14 seconds of mine? Well basically you see me put in a set of vampire teeth (with a giant strand of drool stretching from my hands to my mouth) and then start to apply some white face paint to my lips. Next we cut to a "Halloween Party" scene, and here I remember initially being in front of the whole group only to be shamefully sent to the very back after trying to eat a cookie before the camera started rolling. As the scene pans around you can see me talking to a couple of other kids for a few frames (at least 3 of them were grade school pals of mine) and then... well that's pretty much IT for me actually. Totally incidental! Totally forgettable! Totally worth the three decades wait!

Check the exciting "Jason Only" edit here:




...and then don't miss the REAL full-length 1977 version, where you can watch a reasonably creepy Witch costume devolve into an utter wreck of reflective tape and white fabric over the course of 11 minutes.

Part One:



Part Two:




Coming soon: the completely different "second edition" version from 1985. All new plot! All new kids! All new safety tips!

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great great great stuff. your costume was scary and I really loved seeing those old candies and plastic masks too! Glad you finaly found this thing!

9/08/2007 8:24 PM

 
Anonymous Steve said...

Cool stuff Jason! What a great little thing to be "immortalized" in. I am sure we had to watch this in school. Always groaned at the "safety lecture" when Officer Bob or whoever came to elementary school. It always seemed to take the fun out of Halloween. But watching this made me realize in retrospect, it made it BETTER. Adding in the scary (and very remote) possibility of having your trick-or-treat friends get run over by a car or kidnapped and poisoned by some maniac... at the end of the day, I think it made Halloween night even more awesome. That is a badass pumpkin title card too.

9/09/2007 5:46 AM

 
Blogger Dave said...

I guess they hadn't gotten so concerned about our safety when I was that age. I left grade school in 1968, and don't recall having to watch any Halloween Safety films.

I bet this experience stuck with you for a long time. What an awesome thing for kids to be able to take part in. Congrats on finding a copy finally.
Dave

9/09/2007 11:13 AM

 
Blogger Fog said...

The Quest is Complete!

9/09/2007 2:29 PM

 
Blogger Stephen said...

Hey, get that cat out of here! Aw, hell, keep rolling.

Maybe if this little girl wasn't out trick or treating by herself in the first place, she wouldn't have to worry so much about safety. But I guess a cardboard broom or one her dad took a saw to is just as cool. Or maybe not.

Thanks for sharing this one, Jason. It's nice to see it after hearing you talk about it. A nice way to re-start your blog.

9/09/2007 9:33 PM

 
Blogger TheMadBlonde said...

So they trained you early to be a Halloween addict? ;-)

Very cute, thanks for sharing..

9/10/2007 9:19 AM

 
Anonymous Jason Eisener said...

Fuck man, you dont know me, but ive been visiting your site since last Halloween, im really glad your back, you made my last halloween, and this year wouldnt feel right without ya.
This video is amazing.
The trailer to the movie Trick R Treat has a clip of something just like it at the begining of the trailer.
And if you get a second check out a trailer i made for a fake movie.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1LlazPgxKrA

9/11/2007 6:51 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Woah -- too cool! I've watched that "Hobo With A Shotgun" trailer at least 10 times (was bummed it didn't play before the Grindhouse showings here in AZ). Your win was very much deserved -- you nailed the look nicely & I hope it leads to some other cool stuff for sure. And yeah, Trick R Treat is looking like it'll be making me very happy indeed! I love anthology flicks & the educational intro on the trailer is a perfect mood setter.

So to bring this stuff around full circle, I'll be throwing the other Halloween Safety Centron educational I have up (from 1985) here next, and the following week should finally see the return of the old files. THEN I can get around to some of the new stuff (spooky & not).

Thanks everyone, and glad I could share this damn thing finally.

9/11/2007 6:44 PM

 
Anonymous Tom said...

Welcome back!

Great stuff, Jason! Congrats on finally obtaining that copy.

What is the deal with the Demo Tapes blog listed under your profile?

9/13/2007 9:20 AM

 
Blogger Riley said...

That's beyond kewl!

9/14/2007 3:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Longtime fan of your site. All i can say is a huge...WELCOME BACK! And thank you for all the time and effort you have put into making sure we have all those lost classic LP's to enjpy again..Thanks again..

Dan

9/17/2007 7:27 AM

 
Blogger Freddy said...

Amazing! Long time reader of your blog as well so its great to finally see the long lost treasure that we've been hearing about!

So the big question is... Where did you finally find it?

9/18/2007 4:16 PM

 
Blogger Reggaexx said...

You know when you stopped posting I was afraid we'd never get the pay off we anticipated about your cameo in the educational film - it's great to finally see it! Again... it's great having you back.

9/19/2007 5:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From witch to KKK!!!!

which is safer?

9/22/2007 7:25 AM

 
Anonymous jason eisener said...

i swear to god i must check this page 3 times a day looking for an update, i cant wait!

9/26/2007 11:36 AM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Great stuff!

I wouldn't have ended the evening without a trip to the local hospital to get the candy X-rayed though.

9/27/2007 12:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been waiting for you to come back since last year -- since you've started posting, it feels like the Halloween season has officially started!

Only what question remains: What is that little girl dressed as an angel saying to that clown at the party? The way she's gesticulating, it looks like she's making a really astute point about the pagan origins of the holiday or something. It's a great piece of kid acting -- I nearly fell out of my chair laughing, thinking that the whole sequence was like a scary tiny tots version of the party scene from Annie Hall. Brilliant.

9/28/2007 7:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great little film. I'm looking forward to seeing the 1985 version, too. I found another safety film, "Trick or Treat," on the AV Geeks website about some boys pulling pranks on Halloween night.

http://www.avgeeks.com/pivot/entry.php?id=267

9/30/2007 2:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its the first day of october we gots to get this update cant wait!

10/01/2007 5:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting Halloween-related connection:

The advisor on this project was the chief of police in Tom's River, New Jersey, which is where the first few "Amityville Horror" movies were filmed. Supposedly, local police and firemen were used as extras in at least the first film (1979). I wonder if Richard Clement was still chief of police during that production.

10/03/2007 7:45 PM

 
Blogger Ajax said...

Hey Jason! Long time no read-your-blogg. But thanks to WFMU I am back on track! Hope things are good in AZ....

10/22/2007 7:19 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to you, Jason, I now have an excellent Halloween costume - Safety Witch!

10/25/2007 3:03 PM

 
Anonymous belle dee said...

I'm so glad I know what to do to be safe tomorrow.
Happy Halloween Jason!! Thanks for bring us more treats this year!!

10/30/2007 2:58 PM

 
Blogger Jukeman said...

Fascist assholes can't handle black costumes.

7/29/2008 3:58 PM

 
Anonymous JohnnyGothic said...

Just curious since this is considered to be educational, and therefore also legal to do so, if you might upload this video in its entirety in say DVD Quality Mpg2 to the
http://www.archive.org

internet archive for all us A/V geeks to enjoy?
Also thanks for all the great suggestions for halloween songs and sounds. C&Ds really solve the problem of pirating. But hey disney screwed the Public Domain so I say screw 'em.

9/25/2009 5:41 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Heya Johnny - Good idea! I'll get an archive.org link up eventually, but for now here's a downloadable mp4 version I added to Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/6825745

9/29/2009 8:24 PM

 
Blogger rhodesdr said...

Hey thanks a lot for posting these! My dad worked for Centron, and I'm in the 1985 version as the viking who lifts his mask and "looks both ways" :)

11/01/2010 1:00 PM

 
Blogger Shiverbones said...

Epic! Congrats on the role and actually finding it again! What a cool thing to see!

1/04/2011 6:49 PM

 
Blogger Moogaboo said...

This is so cool! I just looked this up because I remembered watching it in kindergarten, circa 1979, and hadn't seen it since then. For some reason, the scene that stuck with me most vividly was when they place the witch mask in the wastebasket. Even as a child, I thought that was taking things too far in the name of safety! Thanks for posting!

6/10/2011 2:34 PM

 
Blogger Moogaboo said...

This is so cool! I just looked this up on a whim, as I remembered watching a school film re: mask safety in kindergarten. That was 1979, and I hadn't seen this since. The part that stuck with me most vividly was when they place the mask in that wicker wastebasket. Even as a child, I thought that was taking Halloween safety a step too far! Thanks for posting.

6/10/2011 2:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant begin to thank you enough for capturing and posting these fantastic vintage films. Halloween is our favorite time of year, and the 70's and 80' have tremendous nostalgic value to us..

I was wondering, is there any way you could deinterlace the mp4 videos. There are some pretty nasty horizontal lines whenever theres motion in the image throughout both the 77 and 85 versions. I got the files from vimeo and archive.org, and they all seem to need deinterlacing.

Theres a more technical explanation of what i mean here: http://www.100fps.com/

Sure would be nice to see these amazing gems properly preserved in the highest quality possible.

Cheers

8/29/2012 3:05 AM

 

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