A Halloween PSA of sorts, I should say. Because it’s not about Halloween. But it does have a Halloween connection. And it’s terrifying.
The Horror4Kids Twitter feed shared this video a few months ago, and I’ve been saving it for Halloween season. As they wrote in the post: In 1973 Halloween actor Donald Pleasence (Dr. Loomis) recorded a voiceover for a drowning PSA that was, “so frightening it gave children nightmares.”
In 1973 Halloween actor Donald Pleasence (Dr. Loomis) recorded a voiceover for a drowning PSA that was, "so frightening it gave children nightmares." pic.twitter.com/xxzPtyvKO8— Horror4Kids (@horror4kids) July 28, 2022
Read in transcript form, it’s just as menacing:
“I am the spirit of dark and lonely water. Ready to trap the unwary, the showoff, the fool. And this is the kind of place you’d expect to find me. But no one expects to find me here. It seems to ordinary. But that pool is deep. The boy is showing off. The bank is slippery. The showoffs are easy. But the unwary ones are easier still. This branch is weak, rotten. It will never take his weight. Only a fool would ignore this. But there’s one born every minute. Under the water there are traps. Old cars, bedsteads, weeds, hidden depths. It’s the perfect place…for an accident.
Sensible children? I have no power over them. I’ll be back…”
Yeah, that’s pure nightmare fuel. Any sort of old-school corniness you could tag the actual production of the PSA with is instantly eradicated by Pleasence’s creeping cadence. I’ve always thought of his Dr. Loomis as one of the great characters in horror cinema. Donald Pleasence brought a sense of gravitas to his Loomis that underscored the seriousness and the hysteria in the original Halloween movie and its sequel. Letting him loose on a PSA meant to keep small children from making poor choices that might kill them? It’s as if he was born for the role. That raspy whisper…
Hey! Hey, Lonnie, get your ass away from there!