The Halloween Hit List: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

THE HALLOWEEN HIT LIST

HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)

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Rated R

98 min.

Written & Directed By Tommy Lee Wallace

Dr. Morbid:

I had always heard that Halloween III: Season of the Witch was the bastard child of the Halloween franchise, much the same way Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was for that franchise. I had always avoided the film because of this. Boy, was I wrong in avoiding this underrated gem.

The controversy comes mainly due to the fact that this is a Halloween sequel that doesn’t feature the iconic masked maniac Michael Myers. While Halloween II continued the story told in the original film, it also ended the storyline of Michael Myers attempting to murder his sister.

Originally, the Halloween series was intended to be a series of movies that featured different stories based around the Halloween season. Michael Myers’ story, as far as John Carpenter was concerned, had come to its conclusion. But of course, the studio had to resurrect Myers and rape him until Rob Zombie felt the need to step in.

I finally got around to watching Halloween III: Season of the Witch last Halloween and I found myself surprisingly entertained. The great Tom Atkins is a joy to watch in this and the absurdist concept, which involves a sinister plot by a mask-making company to murder millions of children (but surprisingly doesn’t include a witch), is just fantastic.

So, for those of you who still haven’t seen this movie, I implore you to add it to your Halloween playlist. We here at Morbidly Amusing wish all of our readers a… Happy, Happy Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

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That Other Raimi Brother:

‘The night no one comes home’ cleverly reads the tagline for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, a play on the original Halloween‘s tagline, ‘The night he came home.’ For fans of the franchise born from the mind of horror icon John Carpenter, that is where the similarities end. As my esteemed colleague Dr. Morbid has aptly pointed out, Halloween III has been viewed in a negative light by many fans of the Halloween franchise since its release. Only years later has the film gained a cult following of which I am proud to call myself a member.

Starring the incomparable Tom Atkins as a doctor who stumbles upon a plot by crazy toymaker Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) to kill chidren all over the world using Halloween masks, the great joy of Halloween III is just how bat-shit crazy it truly is. The plot doesn’t just involve killer Halloween masks, but also includes human-looking cyborgs, Stonehenge, Celtic rituals, and of course, the catchiest Halloween-themed commercial jingle of all-time. Atkins performances is the perfect center for the film, as he knows exactly when to ratchet up his performance to match his over-the-top surroundings. Dan O’Herlihy as Cochran however, is the true standout. His insane toymaker delivers one of the most perfect monologues in horror film history, and ends it with the greatest uttering of the phrase ‘Happy Halloween’ ever put on film. The actors know exactly what kind of cheesy Halloween film they’re in and for me, it only adds to my enjoyment of it.

The film takes some twists and turns that may be viewed as ridiculous by some, but personally, I like my ’80s horror films with a side of ridiculous. Halloween III also has a score by John Carpenter that ranks up there with his best and some creepy imagery that makes sure the mood of the film is always unsettling, that is, when it’s not making you laugh, intentionally or not. And man, that ending. I mean, what else can be said? Tom Atkins. The man.

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As far as I’m concerned, there is no film that fits the criteria for perfect Halloween-night viewing quite like Halloween III: Season of the Witch. So go on, turn off your brain and enjoy this amazingly ’80s horror film that only gets a bad rap because those individuals take the film far too seriously. When it comes to Halloween sequels, forever make mine Silver Shamrock-centric. And in the words of great toymaker Conal Cochran, *dramatically pauses and turns*, Happy Halloween!