JUST FOR VARIETY
By ARMY ARCHARD
GOOD MORNING: New York wasn't kidding about cooperating with Hollywood filmmakers. - they've OK'd use of the Statue of Liberty as a "giant guard tower" in John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Further, Carpenter says the Avco Embassy $7,000,000 futuristic pic has Air Force cooperation to land giant helicopters on Liberty Island. The yarn's set in 1997, when the Big Apple is a penal colony ruled over by Isaac Hayes as the top heavy. Yesterday, Carpenter and troupe were filming Gotham scenes in Pasadena's Art Center, doubling for Liberty Island's interior as a police control center. They already ersatz'd Gotham sites in St. Louis and Atlanta. In St. Louis, Carpenter got the Air Force to land choppers in the heart of downtown. Everyplace wants to be in showbiz! Budget equals a total of all previous Carpenter films. HALLOWEEN, which was made by Carpenter and Irwin Yablans' Compass banner for $300,000 has now topped $60, 000, 000 and will be released a third time next month on the holiday in 700 houses. A sequel, HALLOWEEN II, is now in the works - to be made by the pair for Filmways. The original cast, headed by Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis return. Pleasance plays the (British) President of the U.S. in ESCAPE. One of his "security guards" is Steven Ford, son of the former President... ? Carpenter and wife Adrienne Barbeau are prepping two films for their own banner, LADIES NIGHT, a comedy starring barbeau, and DEAD MAN CALLING, which he declines to call a horror film, "just plain scary."