StayFrosty: We know. Michael Myers isn’t even in the thing. It’s not set in Haddonfield. It’s got evil Halloween masks and a crazy song that sticks in your head for hours/days/forever. There’s fucking robots. Yes, it has nothing at all to do with the Halloween series, other than it’s set around Halloween. But taken on its own, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is a fun and occasionally creepy flick perfect for the season.
Tom Atkins, the loveable, mustache-sporting star of John Carpenter’s The Fog, is once again shacking up with a girl far too young for him in the middle of an investigation of strange happenings. In this case, Atkins plays a doctor looking into a mysterious death and Stacey Nelkin (the too young lady in question) is trying to investigate the disappearance of her father. The two team up outside the bedroom to check out Silver Shamrock, a Halloween mask-making factory with a sinister plot: to kill all of the children of the world on Halloween night! Apparently the factory is full of robots and all the masks somehow make children full of bugs and snakes. It makes total sense.
As silly as it sounds, the movie is actually pretty fun. I’m not even sure exactly how it works, because it shouldn’t. I mean, did you read the part about the robots and the evil masks? But it does work, and even manages to be a good seasonal movie. I suspect that if it hadn’t been shoehorned into the Halloween franchise, it might have become a moderately successful film in its own right, instead of a flop. I think part of the reason the film seemed so out of step actually had to do with John Carpenter. Apparently, Carpenter and Debra Hill would only agree to participate in the film at all if it wasn’t a direct sequel to Halloween II and didn’t have Michael Myers. I can definitely see Carpenter’s touch on this film, especially the ending, which is pure downbeat Carpenter. I really wonder what this film could have been if it had been allowed to be its own thing and if Carpenter had been more involved, maybe even directed. Oh, the possibilities.
But even without that, Halloween 3 is a totally wacky but enjoyable film for the season. Just be ready to have the Silver Shamrock song in your head pretty much forever.
Jenny Dreadful: I remember this film’s reputation as an embarrassment to the franchise. No Michael Myers. No connection to the other films. What the hell is this? If you did happen to enjoy it, it was a guilty pleasure. Years later, I discover more and more fellow horror fans genuinely into this movie. As a community, we’ve dealt with the many stages of grief, learned to accept the absence of Myers, and moved on to appreciating the film on its own terms. Halloween III: Season of the Witch is bizarre, hilarious and fucking great.
Frosty covered the plot and the glory of Tom Atkins pretty well, but my favorite thing about H3 is this maddening evil commercial. It’s central to the sinister plot and it repeats over and over and over throughout the film. The London Bridges tune, flashing lights, floating heads and psychedelic clovers may indeed turn your head into insects and snakes with enough exposure. I don’t know. Someone needs to look into this issue. With science. Not entirely convinced of the power of Silver Shamrock? Allow us to help you with this montage:
Stop it! Stop it! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!
Alright alright. Robots, evil commercial, fatal masks, Tom Atkins and his stache. Our work here is done. It’s silly, but I’m not kidding. Check out Halloween III: Season of the Witch as part of your Halloween festivities this year.
“The clock is ticking. It’s almost time.”