Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace
Oh yes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The Halloween that has nothing at all to do with Michael Myers and oddly enough one the strongest in the series in my humble opinion. After two Halloween films about Myers, they wanted to turn the sequels into their own stories. Sadly, this didn’t go over very well at all back in the day so the idea was dropped. But we still have it here anyway and I for one think it gets negative feedback for very wrong reasons. Maybe the movie is rather open and paint by numbers, but it’s also a whole hell of a lot of fun. And that’s all that I really need with an 80s horror film.
An apparent murder-suicide in a hospital emergency room leads to an investigation by the on-call doctor, which reveals a plot by an insane toymaker to kill as many people as possible during Halloween through an ancient Celtic ritual involving a stolen boulder from Stonehenge and Halloween masks. Now of course the whole point of why they want the kids killed is a little vague, but I guess just being one evil son of a bitch is a good enough reason. Regardless, it makes for a fun film.
The only mistake I think this movie really makes is having the title Halloween. On it’s own, under the banner of just “Season of the Witch”, I think this film would be even more loved than it’s cult following today would lead you believe. Starring Tom Atkins in the role of our good doctor, we see the man just sell every bad thing that happens in this film like death. We also see him jump, jive, and whale his way past robot guards, AND charm the skirt off a grieving young lady who’s father has his eye balls poked out in the first part of the film. All in the name of saving the world (or mostly his own kids) from the apparent doom coming from the world’s catchiest TV ad and their rigged masks.
Now of course our old man evil leader of the Silver Shamrock group (the mask makers), that developed a mask that will turn your kid’s head into bugs and snakes with the power of stone henge, is a little cartoony. He does waste valuable time where he could kill our hero by simply telling him of his evil plan, telling him how it works, then tieing him up and hoping for the best. But he’s still a lot of fun. And his evil ideas and gadgets do make for some nice gore scenes during the movie. He also manages to make cyborgs so well that they can slip past people without them even noticing. I’ll just leave that there to keep from spoiling anything.
But when you add everything up, you get a hell of a funny 80s horror film. Tom is gold and everyone does their part and does it well. Sure, Michael Myers isn’t here, but we really don’t need the big lug this time around. Everything here leads to one of the most dramatic endings ever (thanks to Tom’s acting). And one has to try to assume just what happens and what the next day for the world might have been like if it did go how it looked. It’s the type of stuff a late night horror move should be and that’s how you should watch this. Never watch this movie during normal hours, it just takes the fun away.
I dig this film and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s a cult classic and it’s not the film’s fault it’s titled Halloween III. I’d take it over 4,5, The Cure of Michael Myers, and Resurrection any day of the week. I just think it’s time we get this thing out on Blu-ray! It’s just one really awesome movie and I think it’s deserves way better than it gets.