Nudity and the horror genre often go hand in hand. Part of the titillation of the slasher genre – evident in movies like Friday the 13th or the Nightmare on Elm Street movies – is the sight of a topless coed forced to flee from a murderous antagonist… usually because they were having sex in a cabin in the woods. Actress P.J. Soles flashed some skin in John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic Halloween, but looking back on the production, she reflects on why she agreed to go topless… and why she’s thrilled that she did it when she did.
P.J. Soles spoke with Vulture as part of a longer feature of horror actresses remembering their death scenes. Soles played Lynda van der Klok, and she’s eventually choked by a cloaked Michael Myers – who she mistakes for her boyfriend, Bob. Looking back on the scene, and the nudity in involved, Soles tells the site:
I don't think they needed [nudity], I think he just thought it might add to my character and be kind of cute, you know? So it seemed okay to do that, and of course my parents were horrified [laughs], but it seemed okay. Looking back on it now, it's okay, because, wow, that's what I used to look like! I don't know what happened to my boobs. They got bigger and bigger, and now I look like my aunt. I don't know what happened! [Laughs.]"
Words of advice for all of you young starlets. If you’re considering on screen nudity, do it while you are younger. In shape. And not looking like your aunt. You can see P.J. Soles’ topless death in the following clip, which is NSFW for so many reasons:
P.J. Soles and John Carpenter weren’t breaking ground with the topless shot in a horror movie. In fact, according to this list by Complex, Soles ranks as No. 3 on a chart of classic horror nudity, topped only by Julianna Guill in the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot, and Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve in 1983’s The Hunger.
As for Soles, I prefer to think of her as the spunky, punky Ramones fan from one of my favorite musicals, Rock and Roll High School.
Revisit the original Halloween, and soon, because the way Hollywood works, it will be remade. Again. And soon.