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Home » Reviews

Retro Movie Review – Halloween III (1982)

Submitted by on October 29, 2012 – 10:55 amNo Comment

Retro Movie Reviewer: Tom Costello

Halloween III Season Of The Witch (1982)
Written & Directed By Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’ Herlihy

It’s almost time kiddies……watch the pumpkin……

When it came time to deliver another Halloween sequel to Universal Studios, John Carpenter, Debra Hill & crew decided to do something a little different. Instead of another installment featuring Haddonfield’s prodigal son Michael Myers, they thought it would be interesting to do a new tale featuring the holiday every year. Well, unfortunately the movie going public didn’t take to a Myers-less Halloween sequel. It died a quick death at the box office, and fans just didn’t embrace the new direction. another Halloween film wasn’t seen for another 6 years.

It’s time to return to Santa Mira and revisit Halloween III Season Of The Witch.

A seemingly insane man, clutching a Halloween mask, is admitted to the hospital where our hero… Dr. Dan Challis is on call.That night the patient is murdered and the assassin kills himself in the parking lot. With the murdered man’s daughter Ellie, Challis’ attempts to solve the murder lead them to Santa Mira, CA, where the company that makes the mask Silver Shamrock Novelties is located. The company and entire town is run by Conal Cochran, a man with a sinister agenda, involving…. witchcraft, Halloween masks and the country’s innocent children.

Anyone that knows me….knows that I love this movie. Sure, the script is kind of a jumbled mess in parts, and a certain sense of logic is absent…but that’s okay. It succeeds as a unique Halloween yarn…….which is what the original intent was. Great atmospheric photography by Carpenter regular Dean Cundey, awesome synthesized score from Carpenter & Alan Howarth, a few shocking jolts and of course the reliable Tom Atkins as our reluctant hero. It’s refreshing to see the lead of the piece presented as someone who doesn’t necessarily know how to save the world. A disillusioned man who realizes it’s up to him to try and stop the villain and stop his schemes, even though he might not feel entirely up to it.

Director Tommy Lee Wallace and John Carpenter both took passes at the original screenplay by legendary British Sci-Fi author Nigel Kneale, and the finished product does seem like there are some ideas left in the ol’ typewriter. Stonehenge, celtic sacrifices and planets aligning are all mentioned in 1 or 2 lines of dialogue, obviously remnants of a potential film not quite realized. That said though….it’s a yearly ritual for me to watch this installment. It evokes a great sense of the season…….and I guarantee you, you’ll be humming the Silver Shamrock theme for a week after watching.

Shout/Scream Factory has just released a special edition DVD & BluRay loaded with extras. Do yourself a favor and check it out. But remember kiddies…… the pumpkin………

Happy Halloween!

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