Part 2 of our Super Duper Special Halloween 3 Double Feature!
(Don’t miss Part One.)
And now, The Captain’s review of this classic, classic film…
It’s that time of year again, time to watch Season of the Witch, no not that Nicolas Cage movie. I’m talking about the 1982 classic Halloween 3 film. Yes I said classic!
If you ask me what my favorite film in the Halloween series is, I’ll tell you hands down that it’s this one.
When I was a kid… around 12 maybe when I was going through my goth phase, I started watching a shitload of horror films. And one series I needed to start with was Halloween. I was also in luck because my dad happened to be a fan of this series as well. I’m not really sure why, maybe he had a thing for Jamie Lee Curtis. Which makes sense because he had no interest in most of the films then H20 came out and we both went to the theater to see it. That’s the one where it was revealed her character didn’t die but was in witness protection.
Anyway, when renting these films at Blockbuster he told me to skip over the 3rd film because Michael Myers wasn’t in that one.
What? Halloween without Michael Myers? Are you crazy?!
So a little history. I know most of you already know this shit but whatever.
After Halloween 2 Michael was pretty fucking dead, getting burnt to a crisp. And that meant the end of that series. The idea afterwards was to kind of do an anthology, different films taking place during or around Halloween, think Fargo the FX series but with Halloween. But since 3 bombed so hard at the box office, that idea was scrapped. And because of that we got genius ideas like introducing a cult that is behind Myers being evil and unkillable. They also want Michael’s niece’s baby, who is hinted at being Michael’s incest baby… yeah, shit gets real fuckin’ stupid in these later films.
But because my dad said to skip Season of the Witch, that’s exactly what I did. And I think that’s the story with a lot of people, they watch 1 & 2 and skip right to 4. Which is more or less a remake of the first film. Or I guess now you’d call it a reboot.
Thankfully, I eventually saw Season of the Witch and it blew me away. They did something different and I loved it. Not different like make Laurie Strode Michael’s long lost sister or have her niece psychically connected with Michael Myers and have Carrie powers… wait, I might be mixing that up with one of the Friday the 13th films. At some point all these movies kind of blend together.
I’m just grateful they never wanted to put Michael Myers in space like they did with Jason… and Pinhead… and the fucking Leprechaun? Don’t forget Critters!
Technically, yes Michael Myers is in this one. I think you get a glimpse of his mask at one point and you can see the promo for Halloween playing on tv. During their deadly yet catchy Silver Shamrock Commercials they mention a horrorthon, and the last film playing during this horrorthon is you guessed it, the original Halloween film. Not featuring Myers of course.
Despite the fact Roger Ebert somehow thought the assassin at the beginning who burns himself alive WAS Myers, the character himself does not show up in this film. And I can see people getting a little pissed at that, given they most likely figured he’d be in it. Seeing as it is called Halloween 3! They didn’t have assholes like me spoiling films for them like we do now. So walking into this expecting a continuation and getting old manwhore doctor fighting robots, you might walk out a bit disappointed.
Even though this was considered a bomb, the budget for this was really small and it was able to rake in 10 times its budget. But it didn’t make nearly as much as the other two films, so it was considered a giant disappointment.
The film also doesn’t have as many kills as the other films either. I counted at least 4 people. If you’ve ever seen a slasher film, that body count is pretty low. But that doesn’t mean the kills in this aren’t impressive. With only 4 they better be. I think the most effective would have to be when they finally reveal what the masks do. And they do this by testing it on a kid.
Seeing that kid have his head turn to bugs is some disturbing shit. The freakiest part, aside from it being a helpless kid, but the giant snake that slithers out of his gaping mouth. You can barely see it through the melted mask, but man… that has got to be the most unforgettable moments in horror history. I know it’s up against some tough competition but still. The fact it is just this 10 year old kid adds weight to it.
Michael Myers was a bad dude, don’t get me wrong, but until… I guess it was the 4th one, he never went after kids. At least you never see him kill any kids. Dan O’Herlihy’s character Conal Cochran is deliberately targeting children. And he doesn’t really have that good of a reason for it either. He loves practical jokes and this is a practical joke on the kids. That is some fucked up motivation. He’s doing this mostly just for a laugh.
Okay, later he does explain that it has something to do with sacrifices to appease the ancient gods, but him doing this just for shits and giggles is so damn creepy.
I wonder if I should even get into the plot of this. I mean, it’s fuckin’ dumb. I do admit, the plot is silly as hell.
Okay, I talked myself into it. Here we go.
The film stars Tom Atkins as Doctor Daniel Challis. He’s this playboy doctor who I’m pretty sure is fucking every female nurse at his hospital, even the mortician. Hell, the only reason I think he goes on this mission to find out what happened to a murdered patient is so he can sleep with Stacey Nelkin. But let’s face it, who wouldn’t get themselves involved with a dangerous conspiracy if it meant you got to have sex with this lovely creature.
Stacey Nelkin plays Ellie Grimbridge, her father was just bizarrely murdered after being chased into a hospital, the whole time clutching onto this pumpkinhead mask. The killer calmly walked to his car and set himself on fire.
Ellie and manwhore Doctor Challis track her father’s last whereabouts to this small town. You see, her father owned a small toy shop and went to this town where the most popular masks this year are being manufactured, Silver Shamrock.
I think half of Doc’s reason for tagging along was to have sex with Ellie, but also I think it was a chance to get away from his constantly nagging ex-wife. Every time he’s on the phone with her I want to strangle her myself.
I also thought how they killed Ellie’s father was interesting. It wasn’t all that gory, just kind of unorthodox. The killer shoves two fingers into his eye sockets and kind of just… breaks something in his skull.
Ellie and Doctor Smooth head to this small town, wanting to check out the factory, when they run into a bunch of odd characters at the hotel they’re staying at. One being a family invited personally to the factory and another a woman who also has a small toy shop, her order was screwed up so now she has to wait in town until they fix it.
All the while the town folk seem… unusual. Granted we only officially meet two townsfolk, the guy who runs the hotel and this bum that grabs a swig off a bottle of booze from Dr. Challis. How much they know about what is going on, I don’t know. But just making a threat against the company gets you killed.
Meanwhile, the lady at the hotel whose order wasn’t right, messes around with one of the metal buttons that fell off a mask. There’s something weird about it. It looks like a computer chip is on the back of it. But why would a button with the company’s logo need a computer chip?
While poking the chip with a hair pin, she finds out.
Laser to the face!
This was actually a pretty good kill as well. Seeing her shot off lips, with a giant bug crawling out of her mouth… pure nasty. In a good way.
In the morning, Ellie and Doc head to the factory where they run into the family from earlier. They’re getting the grand tour and ask if Doc and Ellie can’t tag along.
The thing about Dan O’Herlihy’s character Conal Cochran is that he’s all smiles and pleasantries. I found that way creepier than any slasher villain. He’s like this friendly guy that just wants to kill your children in the most horrific way possible.
Conal we learn is a practical joke wizard, he’s also an amazing inventor. And he’s Irish. That last one might not seem important, but it is.
While on the tour, Ellie spots her father’s car, but is stopped by a group of odd men that are dressed a lot like the man who killed her father.
While Doc is out making a call, the men show up and kidnap Ellie from their hotel room. Doc sneaks into the facility but quickly gets caught, killing one of the guards. But he doesn’t just kill him, he puts his whole fist in him, pulling out a bunch of wires. Oh no! Robots! Or if you’re a fan of The World’s End, smashy smashy eggman.
Conal leads the Doc to the final processing area, an area that was off limits during their tour. This is where he finally reveals his devious plot. He has smuggled in a piece of Stonehenge, chipping away at it and placing it in the chips found on the back of the masks. The result, well, it turns your head into bugs. He tells you and shows you this all with a smile of course. Which again, is creepy as hell.
So that’s one thing that kind of always bothered me. It’s Halloween night, the big event is like minutes away and they’re still chipping away at Stonehenge, still putting them in masks. They also seem to still be shipping them out. Seems kind of useless at this point.
With a mask over his head and tied to a chair, Doc wiggles free and escapes through the air vents. But not before freeing Ellie.
The masks are tuned to set off when they play the final tv commercial, so Doc sneaks around, steals a bunch of these button and plays the commercial around Stonehenge. He tosses out the button and the factory explodes.
Thinking the danger is past them, they rush to get to a phone, hoping they can stop the broadcast. But Ellie is acting strangely. Oh no! She’s been replaced with a robot!
This twist got me, I mean, on one hand it sucks to learn Ellie is now dead, but also Doc has to kill this creepy copy of her.
Doc rushes to the quickest phone, and begs the networks to stop the commercials. This part is a bit unrealistic, but we did just watch him struggle with a severed robot arm strangling him, so… I think he mostly pulls it off by yelling something about a bomb threat. Most of the networks pull the ad but it still plays on one channel.
And it ends with him pleading with them to turn it off. Such a great yet better sweet ending. Sure he got away but his girl is dead and most likely so are his kids who also own masks.
This film might have bombed at the box office but has quickly become this amazing cult classic. I really wish this had done better, now we’ll never know what John Carpenter had instore for us. We know what we got instead.
If you haven’t seen this one or maybe you’ve been avoiding it for some reason, check this out. You might not like it at first, but try to watch it again, you’ll really start to appreciate it for what it is. This really cool horror sci-fi flick.