HMM Day 31 – Halloween III: Season of The Witch

You know how every December people do something stupid like complain about a baby statue Jesus being in a town building or how kids sang a song to Santa Claus? Then you have people that complain there is a war on Christmas and how people are trying to ruin the holiday? It’s all a load of crap and it gets on my nerves. But really, nothing ever happens with it. I think most of the stuff is just the news stations trying to make waves and get people to tune in. They do the same shit with things like “the war on women” and whoever else they’re trying to cash in on.

But what if a religious group wanted to reclaim their holiday and what if the group were cultists that celebrated the ancient Halloween festival?

Halloween III: Season of The Witch

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 horror film directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and co-written by Wallace and legendary John Carpenter. The film stars Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin and Dan O’Herlihy. With the obvious absence of Michael Myers, Halloween 3 did not impress expecting audiences and it was received mainly negative reviews by critics. Some calling it a “a low-rent thriller from the first frame” or “a cheat” for using the Halloween title.

Synopsis

After a mysterious murder of an emitted patient, Dr. Daniel Challis and and the victims daughter Ellie begin to investigate a small company run by a Halloween mask maker named Conal Cochran. As the investigation looms on it becomes apparent to Dan and Ellie that there is more than just a suspicious murder at stake.

Ultimate Cult

If you were to ask me to name the ultimate cult followed horror film of all time then Halloween III: Season of The Witch would be my number one movie. Do not jump to conclusions, I am not saying it is the best cult followed film… just the ultimate. To me Halloween 3 is the peak and true representation of what “cult film” is supposed to be. This movie is hated by everyone and even today still seems to leave a sour taste in hard core Halloween fans mouths. Even with a vastly larger audience, it is debated if this movie is actually worth watching among horror fanatics.

If you watch basic cable during the month of October, you will notice numerous Halloween movie marathons going on. It actually is quite annoying. But they always start with 1978’s Halloween, then on to 1981’s Halloween 2 and then for some reason skip seven years later to 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Wait a minute! What the hell happened to Halloween 3? If you were a newbie to the entire horror genre and were all gung ho about watching the entire series for the first time. Then this could be kind of confusing.

Shattered Expectations

Personally I remember doing my first Halloween marathon when I was young. I was so pumped watching the first, then Halloween 2 and then I went to Halloween 3. I was left scratching my head. What the hell happened to Michael Myers? Sure he blew up and was set on fire in the last movie but he should have come back. How does this Dr. Dan, Ellie and these weird Druid cult people have anything to do with Michael Myers or Halloween? Have you ever gone into something with a certain excitement about a movie and being extremely disappointed all because your precious little expectations were shattered? Yea, it happens all the time. The entire Star Wars community is living in shattered expectations right now and like a bunch off assholes, will keep giving Disney their money. But that’s what my initial feelings towards Halloween 3 were. I was expecting a Michael Myers movie and instead got pagan cults trying to kill trick or treaters. Imagine being told that you were going to see a new Ghosbusters movie and you’re pumped. But guess what Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd aren’t the main characters! You’d be pretty pissed! Thank God that hasn’t happened… oh wait. So yea, I hated Halloween 3, I don’t even think I watched the entire thing all the way through.

But this was years after the Halloween movies were made and Michael Myers was a household name. I didn’t know that the Halloween series was intended to be a yearly anthology style series. Each new film having its own unique story that pertains around the holiday. I wanted my mysterious Shape who killed with no emotion and survived through every peril. But when I finally re-discovered this movie, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Actually, Halloween 3 has way more meaning, insight and horror than any Michael Myers movie!

Much Scarier

What makes Michael Myers so scary? Well, he kills everyone he comes across and he seems to do it with no expression. So what could be scarier than that? How about a group of Druids wanting to slaughter every child in the USA all in order to bestow praise on their pagan gods! Also, they’re doing it with a smile on their faces and it’s all happening right under our noses. They’re making Halloween masks and plan on getting every kid on Halloween to wear them while they broadcast on live television. While they watch the masks will place a curse on them and fry their heads and snakes and bugs will crawl out of their eyes and mouths! OH MY GOSH THIS IS DARK AS FUCK! So while Myers may be a centralized and contained terror that just takes a little common sense to survive, the Silver Shamrock Novelties is way more of a horror inducing concept. One is domestic and the other is national.

So while Halloween III: Season of The Witch is not as good as the first two Halloween films, it does deserve its place in great horror films. I love the music in this movie. The theme seems to be that same monotonous repetitive tone like the original Carpenter theme. But this one seems more robotic or mathematical. It helps set the atmosphere of the film. The tone of the film seems more clinical and attacks the secretive and unregulated aspects of corporate America. We see Conal Cochran as the head of the company being a sincerely nice man that loves children and his customers. He covers up the nastiness and evil of his companies true intentions which serves as a critique to 80’s corporations. I (as a fan of capitalism) don’t necessarily agree with it but there you go.

It’s an under appreciated film that people should admire much more. Unlike like most films that have happy endings, this one leaves us dangling like a worm on a hook. I would love to know how many kids actually died on this night while Dan is screaming on the phone? Poor Dan, you did you best pal!

I love how its routed in the history of Halloween and even then re-establishes the idea of the common horror trope with sacrifice. Remember Cabin In The Woods or do you play Dead By Daylight? The idea that we sacrifice youth every year to appease the gods, is this badass concept that certainly puts horror and every single horror movie into a new perspective. But Hallowen 3 is the movie that already established this concept! It is the very first Cabin In The Woods movie and I love it and who the hell doesn’t love that annoying ass jingle in this movie! So go ahead and watch this film and enjoy it on this Halloween. Maybe you can appreciate it and see it for what it truly is. Thanks for reading day 31 of Horror Movie Marathon 2019.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve always been a huge fan of it. I wish they’d continued in the anthology vein.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Hells yea. That would be awesome but something about annual anthologies doesn’t work. Tales From Halloween was supposed to be the same thing and as I recall so was Trick r Treat. I think the movies may not do well financially so producers have a hard time justifying the budgets and funding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s finally worked with American horror story, from a commercial standpoint at least. I always like that show for the first four episodes and then it seems to drag out the story way too long

        Liked by 1 person

      2. nscovell says:

        I agree. It kind of drags and loses its horror aspect.

        Liked by 1 person

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