In the original Halloween, Michael Myers’ second victim is an unnamed mechanic from Phelps Garage. His death occurs off-screen and is very much downplayed, but it wound up being a significant one, having given the Shatner-faced killer his now-iconic overalls.
The murder goes undiscovered and is never mentioned in 1981’s Halloween II. This could almost be considered a minor plothole though considering Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Loomis appears on the scene and carries out an investigation mere feet away from where the mechanic’s body was discarded. Given that Loomis is so certain Myers is on a killing rampage, it makes little sense that he didn’t search the site more thoroughly for casualties after discovering that abandoned truck.
In any case, the garage attendant’s death going undetected was not an oversight by director John Carpenter. As ScreenRant explains perfectly, Loomis failing to spot the corpse was quite intentional, actually. The original Halloween was all about subtlety and it used the undiscovered dead body as a means of serving a visual cue to the audience, one which foreshadowed the bloodshed and butchery to come. What’s more, it was an early reminder that Loomis was right all along. He wasn’t some overzealous conspiracy theorist. Myers really was the monster he claimed him to be.
As ScreenRant outlines:
Giving the audience this key piece of information allowed for Carpenter and his cinematographer, Dean Cundey, to amp up the suspense. It was a clever visual that foreshadowed the violence to come and made Loomis a more sympathetic figure. The mechanic is never mentioned again in Halloween or its 1981 sequel that occurs on the same night. In Halloween 2018, a direct sequel to the original, the first theatrical trailer discounted his murder as well, though the death count was rectified in the actual release. David Gordon Green’s hit follow-up also included an homage to the killing when the escaped Myers kills and then steals the clothes from a gas station mechanic.
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Had the doctor discovered the body early on, it would have given him concrete evidence that Myers was on a murder spree and put Sheriff Brackett and his police force on high alert for his arrival in Haddonfield. In the context of the movie and its subtle approach, then, this allowed Halloween to portray Myers as an insidious force creeping up on a sleepy, unsuspecting town.
And although the unnamed mechanic’s death was barely acknowledged in the original films, 2018’s Halloween reboot at least paid homage to him by having Myers steal identical overalls from a gas station attendant after busting out of the hospital.