Friday, October 3, 2014

Movie Review: "Halloween 3: Season of the Witch" (1982)

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Movie"Halloween III: Season of the Witch"
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Year: 1982
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

A scared, panicky man named Harry Gambridge (Al Berry) is brought to the hospital clinging to a Halloween mask. He is treated by Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins), but while recovering in his hospital bed, a man in a business suit comes and kills Harry with his bare hands, and then kills himself. When Harry's daughter Ellie (Stacey Nelkin) comes around looking for answers, Dr. Challis decides to help her investigate. Their investigation leads them to the Silver Shamrock novelty factory, where her father was picking up an order before winding up panicked and in the hospital. They must discover what information Harry found out at this strange factory that was worth killing him over and hope they don't lose their own lives in the process. 

So yet again, we have Michael Myers........wait, what??? He's not in this movie??!? Oh...okay...

John Carpenter's original intent for the "Halloween" franchise was to have each installment feature a different Halloween related story, not to continue the Michael Myers saga each film. Including "Halloween" in the title of this movie hurt it quite a bit. If it were simply titled "Season of the Witch," it probably would have been received much better than it was. The audience felt they had been given a bait and switch. They went in expecting a Michael Myers slasher film, one that they were used to, and got a supernatural film about an occultist novelty factory owner, who, in his mind, was performing the ultimate practical joke by mass murdering children. HA HA, get it???

The story overall is a good one, if you just give it a chance. The idea of a mask that melts the faces off of children that is activated by a television commercial is pretty genius since almost all children watch television and celebrate Halloween...right?? It does have some off-the-wall elements, though, like the Stonehenge rocks having mystical powers activated by a microchip and flashing pumpkin light pattern on a TV screen. It's not really all that necessary as it could have just as easily been a simple microchip embedded into each mask, that would have gotten the job done. The addition of the Stonehenge element made the movie as a whole a bit more corny and it seems like it was done only to further the occultist theme of the film. Because it is more supernatural in nature, the film is a little light on the gore aspect. Though it has some creepy and gross elements, the actual blood flow is kept to a minimum, instead banking on spiders and snakes and robot goo and the simultaneous chanting of children for its creepy factor. And while we're on that subject, that damn song has been stuck in my head since we watched this movie with no signs of stopping anytime soon!!

Be careful what you dress your kids in for Halloween, never know where your costumes came from or what they are made of...

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching"John Dies at the End"

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