Halloween III : Season Of The Witch (1982)

20140711094205!Halloween_3_poster_01Once again, dipping into my own personal collection. As I mentioned previously I’ve gotten a bit behind on my reviews in general, but particularly on the collection reviews. This one was part of my annual Halloween marathon, and so it’s finally time to get cracking on it. Definitely a stranger title, particularly for fans of the Halloween films. This is part of the franchise, but not at all following in the tradition. So, first here’s the story :

A large Halloween mask-making company has plans to kill millions of American children with something sinister hidden in Halloween masks.

Notice something missing from that description? Micheal Myers. That’s right, this is the only film in this franchise that doesn’t feature the silent, murderous icon. There’s a pretty good reason for that actually, initially John Carpenter had hoped that Halloween would become something of an anthology series. All different stories, with the same title and theme, all beginning with the introduction of Myers in the 1978 classic that kicked this off. Now, this could have been a really interesting idea, however, after the enormous success of the first film, there was a push for a sequel. So Halloween II, rather than telling a whole new story, became simply a sequel. By the time it came to the third movie, it appears that a genuine attempt was made to return to that original plan for the series. Thus producing Season of the Witch.

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Had this been the second movie, it actually might have worked, unfortunately people wanted Myers, and didn’t get him. So, the response to this one wasn’t great, which is obvious from the 4.4/10 it garners on IMDB. I would argue though, that this movie is actually really great, or at the very least a huge spoonful of Halloween fun.

The characters are delightful, campy, and over the top. It really is another example of everything you want from an 80s horror movie. Tom Atkins, who is basically the king of 80s horror, is so strange and likable while simultaneously being an enormous drunk, creep. We also get perfectly likable performances from Stacey Nelkin, and Dan O’Herlihy.

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The story is definitely pretty silly, but also really works on its own right. Viewing the movie outside of the Halloween franchise, and as it’s own standalone movie also helps. The in joke of having the original Halloween playing on televisions throughout the movie is also a lot of fun. You’ll also have the Silver Shamrock commercial stuck in your head for the rest of your natural life, so enjoy that.

“2 more days til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. 2 more days til Halloween, Silver Shamrock.” 

You’re welcome, to those who have seen the movie, for that being back in your head.

While I can certainly understand the dislike for this movie, and the disappointment that can come if you are expecting a Myers slasher, I really have to give this one a solid recommend. It’s fun, it’s something different and it just reeks of 80s camp and goofiness. It definitely become one of my favourites after seeing it. From the mask, to the bizarre relationship that develops between Daniel and Ellie, this movie is really something worth your time.

Just make sure you understand what you’re in for.

FINAL GRADE: B

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