Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

Release Date: 10/22/1985 – Rated R

Starring: Tom Atkins (Escape From New York)

Plot Summary:  Warning: this is a Halloween sequel in name-only and doesn’t feature masked killer Michael Meyers.  Instead of a serial killer, this time the story revolves around a  novelty company called Silver Shamrock who’s beyond making whoopee cushions and fake dog turds; they now are producing Halloween masks with microchips in them that will kill all the kids wearing them on Halloween night.

Our story begins with a couple of constipated looking guys in suits chasing down an old man.  The old guys escape and is brought to a hospital, but soon one of the suits comes in a crushes the guy’s skull.  As he is followed outside by our broad-shouldered, mustachioed and alcoholic doctor lead actor, the suit gets into his car and douses himself with gas and eats a match.  The next morning the old man’s daughter, Ellie, comes in to ID the body as Dr. Dan looks on.  A few days later Ellie enlists the help of the doctor to try to find out who killed her dad; because a doctor doesn’t need to hang around saving lives when he can be off playing detective, right?  Ellie pinpoints the location of where she thinks her pop got into trouble; it’s a small town and home to the Silver Shamrock Novelties Company.  Once they get there, they notice that the town and it’s residents are a little creepy.  After getting a hotel room and snooping around some more, Ellie decides she wants to go for a ride… a moustache ride.  The next morning they go up to the factory to see what’s going on.  After going on a tour, Ellie spots her father’s car in a garage and freaks the fuck out.  While on the way back to the hotel, Ellie is kidnapped for some reason; everyone else they catch snooping around is killed on the spot, but not this tramp. 

Dr. Dan breaks into the plant to save her, but a suit catches him.  As the suit throws him into box after box full of packing peanuts, our man lands a good punch, only to find out that these guys are robots.  More suits come in, along with the owner of Silver Shamrock, who conveniently lets him in on his master plan as he is taken to the master control room.  The owner shows him that they have a monolith from Stonehenge, and they put a little piece of it into each mask for its magical properties.  This guy is some sort of witch, and he is going to sacrifice millions of kids on Halloween with a secret signal sent through a commercial that not only kills the kids, but makes snakes and bugs come out of their face holes.  Dan is tied up, but breaks free and finds Ellie in another room.  They somehow use the power of the stone to kill all the robots and the owner (again, this is some sort of super doctor), as they speed away.  Just when you think all is well Ellie attacks Dan, and after a brief scuffle we find that Ellie was replaced with a robot.  Dan gets away and tries to call a TV station to keep them from playing the Silver Shamrock commercial that will murder all these kids.  Too bad there is more than one station playing this commercial!

Alex’s Thoughts:  I’m sure Tim will punch me in the neck for saying this, but I like this movie.  I have a strong nostalgic feel for it, as it was the first horror movie I was allowed to pick out from the video store as a kid.  It isn’t a great movie, but I just have strong feelings towards it.  There are only a few deaths, and only one is dramatic at all, and the rest of the movie just sets up the five minutes of action at the end, but it works for me.  Truthfully this would work a lot better as something like an hour-long episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt sort of double feature and is pretty long and drawn out most of the time.

Tim’s Thoughts: NECK PUNCH! Really? They steal Stonehenge? Sure that’s fine, but they use it to make lasers? What? Dr. Dan is no better than Denim Dan from Howling 2 (see our Howling 2 review) and while this movie might have made an “OK” Twilight Zone, or Tales From the Crypt, this had to be Carpenter phoning it in. It has several great elements to it, creepy town, maniacal commercials, but it’s so flat, and boring. I respect Alex’s nostalgia, but I still didn’t like this movie. I am sure we will eventually do more of Carpenter’s 80’s stuff, but this is one of my least favorites.

Final Thoughts: After Halloween 2, Michael Meyers was supposed to be dead for good; so John Carpenter decided to keep making Halloween themed movies under the same Halloween movie title to reel in those fans.  Overwhelmingly it didn’t pay off, and this movie was trashed by fans and critics who thought it would feature the same characters as the pervious two film.  It is still shunned today by many horror fans because it isn’t a true sequel and it tricked people into seeing it based on the movie’s title.

Alex Rates This Movie 8/10

Tim Rates This Movie 5/10

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue