Friday, October 31, 2014

Hallo-WHAA?!?: Halloween III- Season of the Witch

At last, I tackle the most controversial Halloween-themed Film in History!  Is that an exaggeration?  I don't think so, really.  While people have cooled on the hatred for this Film, it was viewed in quite a negative light by a very vocal group of people.  Some cried 'Bait and Switch.'  Others cried 'What the hell is this?!?'  Most of them, however, cried 'Where is Michael Meyers?!?'  The Producers behind the first two Halloween Films didn't have John Carpenter- who viewed the Original as a one-and-done Film- and wanted to branch out.  Their plan was based on relying upon the idea of the perennial Film as a Franchise, as opposed to 'The Adventures of Michael Meyers on Halloween.'  I can't necessarily fault them for that, but History has shown that the transition is next to impossible.  I would cite the Case of Audiences vs. Friday the 13th, Part V, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury.  This leads us into today's Film- Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  The Film tells the tale of the Silver Shamrock Company and their Halloween Masks (only three?!?) that are set to be worn as part of a big TV Special.  When a mysterious death occurs inside of a Hospital (like in Halloween II), a Doctor decides to go investigate, since...reasons.  While some (but not John Carpenter) deny/undersell the Giallo connections to Halloween (and subsequent Slasher copycats), it is pretty easy to spot in this one.  What secret do these evil Irish keep?  What plan can be so big that millions are threatened?  To find out, read on...
A mysterious man is chased by a suit-wearing Assassin that turns out to be...more than human?  He survives an attack, but ends up in the Hospital gripping a Halloween mask tightly.
Meanwhile, everyone (including our hero's kids) are obsessed with the Silver Shamrock Masks (again- only three?!?) and a big broadcast coming up on Halloween Night (not the shitty movie).
The man from earlier is killed in the Hospital (where Tom Atkins) works by a man who then immolates himself in a Car...which explodes.

While I'm not going to claim plagiarism or anything, I can't help but feel that this is familiar.  Man in an unlikely job investigating a big conspiracy...and with a rocking mustache.  Hmm...
Quick shout-out to the precursor to Michael Meyers' thumb-poke of death here with the double-eye-gouge of death.
Atkins and the daughter of the dead guy go to the California town where the Silver Shamrock Company makes their mask, since it was the only clue to the death left.

Another couple run into trouble when the wife finds a Silver Shamrock button, which...does this.
Before that, however, they see the Factory and learn that there is some sort of secret process done for the masks in secret.  What could it be?!?
Atkins investigates the next night and uncovers two secrets...

1. The assassins are robots!
2. The Silver Shamrock people stole a piece of Stonehenge to use its magic powers!

Words fail me, gentlemen.
Think my Invasion of the Body Snatchers comparison wasn't apt?  Well, here's the part where our hero's brunette sidekick is revealed to have been switched out as a robot (instead of a Pod Person).
Atkins escapes and tries desperately to stop the airing of the broadcast (since it will kill the kids wearing the masks that see it).  Can he stop it in time?

It doesn't appear so...but the movie just kind of stops there.  So...enjoy debating this.  The End.
This is a weird, weird movie.  I will say this first: I can't review this Film in the same way that people saw it originally.  After all, I was born a year after the Film even came out in Theaters.  I can't approach it as someone who expected more adventures of Michael Meyers and got...this.  All I can do is review the Film for what it is.  It.  is.  weird!  Don't get me wrong- I like weird.  This Film is hard to wrap my head around since it treats this whole thing like everything is super-serious and just makes sense.  Evil Druids make masks that turn kids heads into bugs when a TV Show is played- okay.  The same Druids make Robots (in 1982!) to kill anyone that gets close to the truth- alright.  This is all part of their evil plan, just kill a bunch of kids as part of some trick- I'm...confused.  It is one thing to have a crazy villain (e.c. The Joker) doing weird stuff just because it is weird.  It is another thing to have a calm, cool and calculated guy doing something weird just because they can.  I just don't get it.  Here's another one for you: they switch out the real and fake lady as part of their plan...but also let him wreck their operation.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have the robot reveal herself (if it has gender) to stop him from doing just that?  I really just don't get it.  While I'm at it, the Ending is iconic...but is it really good?  Was this Sequel-Bait gone awry?  If you read this, let me know the Story, Tommy Lee Wallace.  Is Halloween III a big disappointment?  Well, if you were expecting Michael Meyers (aside from an on-TV Cameo), yes.  If you know now to expect something batshit insane, no.  I'm not a huge fan of this one still, but it does give a glimpse of how 90% of you are going to feel tomorrow morning.
Next up, a carry-over from October in the form of a modern-day Classic.  If a Werewolf kills you in the Woods, but nobody is around to see it, did you die?  Stay tuned...


  1. This is actually my favorite of the Halloween movies. For whatever reason the original is just OK for me and the rest go downhill fast... but number 3 was wild and weird.
    The whole bizarre plan for a mass sacrifice of children... blending ancient magic with modern technology (I saw those 'robots' as at least partially magical... golem/homunculus sort of things ala the robot in Metropolis).
    I wish they'd managed the switch to a different Halloween themed movie every year... versus the Michael Myers treadmill of drek we ended up with.

    1. To each his own.

      I agree that if this had been more than a one-off, it might be viewed as less bizarre and random. I'm not going to condemn EVERY 'Halloween' sequel (since 4 and 5 are good), but they certainly took it farther than they probably should have.

      Incidentally, are the Cult of Thorn related to the evil Druids from this Film?