Friday, January 8, 2010

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Fear 1/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 3/5

What? What's that you say? A Halloween movie without Michael Myers? Poppycock. What are you trying to pull here? Despite a pretty ridiculous plot construct, the film is fun albeit incredibly goofy.

A doctor is seeing an influx of dead bodies running through his hospital, all with Halloween masks either affixed to their face holes or being clutched in their hands as they ramble on about some sort of horror that was exposed. When strange dudes in suits that look all Matrix agent-y like come by his hospital and start trying to dispose of the evidence, he knows something ain't quite right. Along with a girl who's father owns a toy store in town and has gone missing, they decide to go all Hardy Boys detective style. They head out to the Nor Cal countryside to investigate the little town and its manufacturer of said Halloween masks.

Driving through town, they get those 'Them folks ain't from around these parts' types of stares as they cruise through the middle of town. Driving through, they notice the logo of the manufacturer is plastered everywhere. Shacking up (and I mean shacking up because they get to bumping headboards pretty quickly) at the local motel, they are told what a revolutionary and genius inventor the owner of the Halloween mask producing plant is. The doc runs into a drunk who warns him of the evil that goes on in the plant and promptly buys him some booze to get him to cough up more details. After spilling the beans, the drunk heads home and is met by a duo of Matrix agentys. And they promptly perform a head removal service free of charge:

As the doc and lady friend start to investigate more, they find out that.....dun dun dun.....the old man who owns the plant is manufacturing masks that will explode the noggin's of kiddos everywhere on Halloween night. Running commercials every day, the goal is to get as many kids as possible, wearing the masks and sitting in front of the TV for a 'very special' program which will air on said night. Why exactly does the devious developer of ghoulish masks want to off little ankle biters everywhere? Apparently he wants to replicate an ancient Celtic ritual and kill as many of the boogers as possible. Um yeah, that's the ticket. What this has to do with witches is anyone's guess.

So the doc and his female counterpart get captured and are separated by the mad genius inventor. After a demonstration of this fully operational battle station, the doc sneaks out, gets the girl, and heads the fuck out of dodge. But he finds that she was turned into an assassin robot by the mad inventor and she tries to wax him. Not so, as he fends her off by doling out a head severing wicked backhand:


The end sees the doc desperately trying to stop the show from going on and save the kiddos. So does he? Well here is his 'Oh no's' face. You be the judge.

Aside from its silliness, the film is a lot of fun and its a shame that so many people have denounced it (presumably because of Mikey's absence) over the years. Any of our reader faithful care to explain why this wasn't a stand alone titled movie? Carpenter's name is affixed but seems to not have had much involvement by way of writing or production.

Cortez The Killer

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Rev. Phantom said...

Right on--I always love of review of H3 that isn't bashing it. I love the movie. Seems like more and more people are coming around to it recently. I guess after 25+ years people are ready to forgive it for not having Michael Myers in it.

William Malmborg said...

I enjoyed this movie as well. I saw it at my Grandma's house when I was in third grade and had no idea it was a Halloween movie - not until I rented all the Halloween movies with my brother many years later after enjoying the first one. Being so young when I saw it, it left me pretty shaken, which is another reason why I love it.

Jenn said...

I rock the t-shirt weekly and love this movie. It's one hundred percent Tom Adkins coupled with sticks-in-your-head theme music. Word.

Pax Romano said...

this is one of the great B Films of all time. I love it. And that damn song...

Great review!

Geof said...

One good thing about the blogger-verse is that you find people who enjoy films like H3. Because for the years before joining, I thought I was alone in the universe for liking this one. It's easy to knock it b/c of no Michael Myers, but you gotta love that Silver Shamrock song that embeds in your brain and never goes away.

Hallospaceboy said...

A terrific B movie! Glad to see others feel the same! In case you did not know, back in 83 Carpenter felt Myers story ran its course, so the plan was to make new Halloween themed films every year to put out in October. As we know that never happened as people hated III. I love it and even wrote this as I feel its ripe for remaking.

Cortez The Killer said...

It definitely is an underappreciated gem.

@ Hallo, thanks for the additional info. And I definitely think it could work as a remake. Great write-up!

Carl (ILHM) said...

I consider this one to be one of the strongest entries in the series, absolutely love it, plus it has a friggin rattlesnake, giving it instead street cred

Hallospaceboy said...

Thanks for the kind words. Really glad to see the love come out for this movie.

Chris Hallock said...

Love this film!!! There are some really creepo moments.

I am also a huge fan of the Alan Howarth soundtrack which is like a futuristic riffing on Carpenter's original (Carpenter had input, as well).