Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

HW31

A new brand of Halloween mask has hit store shelves and every kid in America wants one, but these masks might just have a sinister story behind it.

Halloween masks were always one of the best parts of Halloween for me. Let me rephrase that, buying a Halloween mask after Halloween was one of the best parts of Halloween for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved everything and anything that has to do with Halloween but buying my annual Halloween mask has been one of my greatest joys. I’ve got a massive collection of masks that I’ve managed to collect over the years only because Halloween stores tend to sell their wares pretty cheaply as soon as Halloween ends. Every year on November 2nd I make my annual trek to Spirit or Halloween Superstore or whatever Halloween store happens to be in the area to buy a new Halloween Mask. I’ve got all the greats, Leatherface, Jason, Freddy, Michael, Pinhead, Chucky, some creepy baby mask, and my coupe de grae, my Judge mask which to this day, and despite me paying only 5 bucks for the thing, remains the creepiest mask I’ve ever purchased. The one mask I don’t have, that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have, is the original Jim Kirk mask that was converted into the first film’s Michael Myers’ mask. It will always be my one major disappointment. Yes, it’s okay, you can be sad for me too.

Our third film in the Halloween franchise begins on October 23rd I’m guessing 1982 with a man frantically escaping a group of people clad in nice suits. He just barely escapees with his life (a la some car crushing action) and heads to a gas station where the only thing he can belt out for the terrified gas station attendant is “They’re here.” The escapee winds up in a hospital under the care of Doctor Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) but only a short while later those same sharp dressed men from earlier show up to suffocate our first victim. When Challis notices his dead patient, he runs outside to catch the culprit only to watch the killer cover himself in gasoline and light himself on fire, blowing his car up in the process. When Doctor Challis comes back inside the hospital he notices a Halloween mask belonging to the company Silver Shamrock and thinks that there might be some connection. Enter Ellie Grimbridge, the daughter of the man whose fate ended in a fluffy pillow. She seems to think that there is something more important going on and manages to convince the doctor to her cause. The two of them take the role of husband and wife and make a trip up to where Silver Shamrock masks are actually made in order to get the inside story, but while there they find that everything seems completely normal, exceptions being a woman who gets a laser to her face that causes said face to melt and sprout a random beetle. As the pair investigate the company responsible for the Silver Shamrock masks and their head Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) they find more and more evidence to incriminate the company in a country wide conspiracy to do something with masks that do something to kids’ faces when watching a commercial, or something like that…

HW33

{Masks, the true source of evil on this planet}

To be honest, I still don’t really know what the fuck the company or Cochran were trying to do. I mean I know what they said in the movie and I guess I kind of get what they were doing with the microchipped Halloween masks as Cochran explains a tad bit about it, but I still don’t entirely get why or even how. What was the purpose of killing off a bunch of kids? How the hell did attaching a piece of Stonehenge to a microchip make kid’s heads turn into bugs and snakes? What kind of drugs were the people who came up with this movie doing? I’m just going to go ahead and spoil a few things here so if you don’t want to read about some of the amazing weirdness that is Halloween 3: Season of the Witch just skip to the next paragraph and you’ll be fine. Towards the end of the film it is revealed that the strange Halloween masks Silver Shamrock is putting out are meant to turn kids’ faces into slithery reptiles and little creepy crawlies when they watch a specific Silver Shamrock commercial on Halloween night (after a viewing of the original Halloween of course). This is accomplished by a little piece of rock chiseled off of a Stonehenge slab and attached to a microchip that is then placed inside the mask (hinted at when the woman is hit with the face melting laser earlier). Cochran’s plan is to kill a bunch of children on Halloween night for a reason that has something to do with Samhain and ritual sacrifice…I really don’t know. Also, Cochran’s people (like the one that pillow smashed the man in the hospital) are robots. None of this is ever accurately explained and I’m not sure it could be as most of it is fairly wild. Robots, lasers, Tom Atkins? Why couldn’t Cochran’s men just be regular people and where the hell did Cochran learn to make robots? Why use lasers when you somehow have access to Celtic magic? Why kill off your profit margin? This movie has far more questions than answers and gets too wildly fantastical. It’s a horror movie and horror movies don’t always need an explained reason why things happen, especially in a sequel to a movie whose killer never had a reason to do what he did, but it’s just so wild that I had trouble figuring what the hell was going on. At least you knew what Michael Myers’ intensions were (to kill things whether they be people or dogs) even if you don’t know why he’s doing it, with Cochran your guess is as good as mine. I’ve written stories while I was drunk that made about as much sense as the plot of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.

HW32{From this…}

HW35{To this, and all you need is some special rock and magic}

Okay, horrible plot points aside, the movie isn’t actually that bad. I fell into the “fuck this movie because it doesn’t have Michael Myers” trap for many years myself but it’s really not a bad flick. In fact, I think this film would have done a lot better if it hadn’t of had the Halloween title attached to it. I haven’t watched the third film in the series for years because “it was such shit” and now looking back on it I have to wonder if the only reason I didn’t like it was because it didn’t have Myers in it. It’s not like some of the films that have the titular character were awesome, hell, just look at H2O, that was much, much, much worse than Part 3. That film was a train wreck running into a train wreck that only crashed because it had run into a train wreck itself. Watching Part 3 this time I actually liked it for the most part and that leads me to believe that most people (myself included) only hate this film because it doesn’t include Myers. John Carpenter’s original idea was to do a Halloween themed film a year that didn’t include Michael Myers as he’d been killed in the previous flick, and Season of the Witch was what they came up with. They might not have even done that had old film critic Rex Reed not said that he’d give up his job as critic if they ever made another Halloween film, thus challenging John Carpenter so thank you Mr. Reed.

HW34{Our face melting lasers thank you too}

The effects aren’t spectacular but are great for their time and still don’t seem to come off as too cheesy for today’s standards (still better than any of those lame Saw movies). The deaths are actually pretty brutal and nasty, there’s a good amount of them, and they don’t ever make you laugh…with the exception of a couple anyway. The acting is great. Tom Atkins and Dan O’Herlihy do great in their roles. I’ve never understood how Tom Atkins isn’t a bigger 80’s horror icon with all the awesome horror flick he was in during the 80’s. Last but not least, even though the story gets a little silly, there is still a great deal of suspense throughout the film.

HW36{Tom Atkins deserves to be in more films}

I know a lot of people hate this flick but it’s really not that bad. My suggestion is to watch this film outside of the other Halloween films. It sucks as a part of the Halloween series but is pretty good on its own.

 

The Undead Review

 

This one doesn’t get a kill count as Myers’ isn’t in the flick.

 

Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace (Fright Night Part 2, It, Vampires: Los Muertos)

Starring: Tom Atkins (Creepshow, Night of the Creeps, Maniac Cop), Stacey Nelkin (Yellowbeard, Bullets Over Broadway), and Dan O’Herlihy (The Last Starfighter, The Cabinet of Caligari)

Written By: Tommy Lee Wallace (Fright Night 2, Vampires: Los Muertos), John Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog), and Nigel Kneale (The Witches, Five Million Years to Earth)

Released By: Dino De Laurentiis Company and Universal Pictures

Release Type: Theatrical

Release Year: 1982

MPAA Rating: Rated R

Rotten Heads: Three and a Half Heads Out of Five

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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2 Responses to Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

  1. Unsmileys says:

    Great review 🙂
    Happy halloween
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