Illinois Picked Its Favorite Illinois Movie, And It’s Pretty Obvious
I'm gonna start off by saying I love this movie. It's a great movie, and a pick to be OUR movie. I'm not ENTIRELY knocking the pick. However. It's a bit on the nose. It's like picking Christoph Waltz to play a Bond villain. Yeah it makes perfect sense, of course he's a Bond villain. But it almost makes too much sense. So while I'm mostly on board with Blues Brothers as Illinois' Top Illinois Film, it's important to examine why it hit number one, and why there may be another film just as deserving of the top spot.
The poll was set up by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, The State Journal-Register and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, all as part of the Illinois Bicentennial celebration. People voted on their favorite Illinois film, and The Blues Brothers came out on top. Again, it's a great film. It showcases the best of 1970s Chicago, all the great music the city and state has offered over the years, even takes out Illinois Nazis (I hate Illinois Nazis). There are some great scenery shots, it's hilarious, it's an all around delightful movie.
But it's also a largely Chicago movie. And there are a ton of great Chicago movies. Home Alone, His Girl Friday, The Untouchables, High Fidelity, Chicago, The Sting, Chi-Raq, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Rookie of the Year, the list goes on and on. But I think there's one film that is more representative of the state as a whole. I'm talking of course about John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic Halloween.
NOW! Hear me out. I'm not in anyway suggesting that our great state of Illinois is populated entirely by knife wielding, Kirk mask wearing murderous psychopaths. However, its small town, middle America setting, the fictional town of Haddonfield in the real Livingston County, putting it in the middle of the Peoria-Joliet-Champaign triangle, make it perfectly representative of the entire state of Illinois, rather than just Chicago.
As a state, we are ranked 11th overall in Mental Health Care. I know what you're thinking, "How is a movie about a psycho killer who escaped from a mental institution a positive representation of that?" Because, BECAUSE! Dr. Loomis, Michael's doctor, was dedicated to his mental health, and tracking him down once he escaped so he wouldn't be a danger to anyone. That's... good? Probably? Sure let's go with that.
If you remember, Laurie Strode was an independent child care professional, aka a "Babysitter." As a state, Illinois is ranked 39th in child care. If we had better child care, we wouldn't need so many babysitters, or independent contractors. Less possible victims for a psychopath who hates babysitters. Halloween is a reflection of our own inadequate child care.
"But Brodie! It's a fictional town, and they shot in Hollywood! You can see the palm trees." That just goes to show the diversity of plant life in our great state. Bet you didn't know there are 52 types of trees native to Illinois. Why not palm trees?
That, and because it's just simply a better film, is why Halloween should be the Top Illinois film. Again, nothing against Blues Brothers, but take a seat Chicago, it's not always all about you.
And that's not even getting into the 100% historically accurate documentary Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.