"Lauren Hutton has a unique personality." ~John Carpenter

For those unfamiliar with the film, here is a summary by Christopher Weedman:

"Shortly before he was to make cinematic history with the highly-influential horror classic HALLOWEEN (1978), John Carpenter wrote and directed the excellent 1978 suspense telefilm SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME!, which, after more than twenty years, still ranks as one of his finest directorial efforts.
After breaking up with her lover, television director Leigh Michaels (Lauren Hutton) quits her job in New York and moves to Los Angeles to restart her life. She soon lands a new directing job at L.A.'s KJHC-TV and finds the apartment of her dreams in Arkham Towers, an upper-middle class, high rise apartment complex. For the first time in many of days, Leigh is beginning to find happiness in her life. Unfortunately, she will soon discover that unspeakable terror is awaiting her.
Right across the street, a voyeuristic psychopath is watching Leigh from his apartment with a high-power telescope. He takes in her every move and becomes obsessed with her beauty. The psychopath begins to send Leigh gifts and makes a series of creepy phone calls to her apartment. Leigh soon becomes increasingly aware that something is wrong...dead wrong! Once the psychopath's murderous intentions are revealed, Leigh finds herself in the fight of her life to save herself from his upcoming onslaught.
While SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME! is quite apparently Carpenter's ode to the work of Alfred Hitchcock (particularly his 1954 masterpiece REAR WINDOW), it also owes a great deal to Howard Hawks with its snappy dialogue and smart and sassy female characters.
Hutton's self-reliant and sexy heroine is very reminiscent of the characters Lauren Bacall and Angie Dickinson played in Hawks' classic films.
The film boasts an effective Bernard Herrmannesque score by Harry Sukman and a fine supporting cast, including David Birney and Carpenter regulars Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers, and Robert Phalen.
While filmed prior to HALLOWEEN, SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME! premiered approximately one month after its release on NBC on Wednesday, November 29, 1978 (the telefilm would later be shown theatrically in Europe as HIGH RISE).
SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME! was not a tremendous hit in the ratings (in fact, it was beaten in by a special two-hour episode of EIGHT IS ENOUGH), but it has developed a small cult following due to re-airings on cable television."


UPDATE: October 7, 2007

The DVD did come out as promised but I only got my copy yesterday. I hope you bought your copies by now.
A few quick thoughts on the DVD;

Oddly enough, "Someone's Watching Me!" is presented in widescreen for this DVD release. Why? I have no clue. This was a made-for-TV film from 1978 so widescreen seems a bit...odd. However the way it's framed seems almost natural, as if it was always intended to be seen that way. This is not the typical "scope" Carpenter uses but rather 1.85.
Picture quality is as good as one can expect for a movie of this vintage. The colors seem a bit washed out and faded, sharpness only so-so. This is not something Warner Brothers would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on to restore so this is the best we can expect. It's certainly watchable just don't expect much if your viewing on an HDTV.
Audio is mono and does a servicable job. I didn't care much for the film's score anyway.
Surprisingly enough, there IS a bonus feature included though sadly it's not in the form of a Carpenter commentary. Rather it's a brief featurette called "John Carpenter: Director Rising" which features a brand NEW on camera interview with the man himself. This was a VERY welcome addition to the DVD and shows Carpenter talking about the film's origins, production, it's influence on the movie he did immediately following ("Halloween") and so on. Good stuff though I wish it had been longer.
The film itself is what you'd expect for network fare in the 70s. Nothing graphic, the acting fairly decent, the music occasionally big and out of place (as if they were going for a Hitchcock score) but it's very interesting to see where Carpenter was at the time, where he was going and how he progressed from this to his breakthrough later in the year.

"Someone's Watching Me!" is an important part in Carpenter's body of work and as such, is a worthy addition to your Carpenter collection.

Here's a look at the new DVD cover art


NEWS FLASH! July 20, 2007

Great news folks! Warner Brothers is releasing "Someone's Watching Me" on DVD September 25! No news on special features (if there are any) or technical specs but regardless, it IS coming. You can even pre-order it on amazon.com now. Check out THIS link to read all about it. You can buy the movie as part of a box set with other horror flicks or individually.


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Here's some trivia!

It's executive producer was Richard Kobritz. He later served as executive producer for CHRISTINE. JC included an in-joke reference to him in THE FOG by calling the old babysitter Mrs. Kobritz. Long time JC collaborator Charles Cyphers plays a detective named Gary Hunt, which was also the name of the deputy that Hunter Von Leer played in HALLOWEEN II.

The first murder victim (you only hear her voice...you don't see her on screen) is named Elisabth Soilley, which was the name of a former JC girlfriend. He later named Jamie Lee Curtis' character this in THE FOG. The news says Soilley's body was taken to BAXTER CLINIC. JC has named characters Dick Baxter often in his films.

Lauren Hutton's character is named Leigh Michaels, which maybe a reference to screenwriter Leigh Brackett.

While talking to herself, Lauren Hutton's character jokes that she should tell her boss that he ought to produce a television film review show with a mexican that only reviews westerns and call it RIO TACO. A nod to RIO BRAVO, of course.

The opening titles has moving white lines on a red background. They form and eventually fade into a large apartment building. Very reminiscent of the opening credits of Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST. It is accompanied by a very Bernard Herrmann-like score (Hitchcock's favorite composer).

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