body horror

[Movie Review] Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) ★★★★☆

killer pumpkin mask in Halloween 3 Season of the Witch 1982

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is an extremely fun bizarre Halloween mashup.


Halloween III: Season of The Witch really does have it al and will fulfill all your Halloween needs for ghouls, monsters, occultism, body horror and killer robots and much more. This delightful mashup of genres is the odd one out in the Halloween franchise. The idea was to make an anthology franchise with a Halloween themed wraparound. So Halloween III was born. But when people longed for Michael Myers in a slasher movie, they brought him back in the fourth installment. 

This third installment however is all about Halloween. It does have a very original take on Halloween but is very much a true Halloween movie, with a true Halloween atmosphere. It’s a mashup of genres from body horror, witchcraft, slasher elements, science fiction, occultism, and even deadly robots, it does bring that Holliday feeling to life in the most bizarre ways. Not appreciated in its own time, now it is a cult film that is a must-see, especially around Halloween. 


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Plot

It’s almost Halloween when a wounded man is on the run for some men in black suits and finds shelter in a gas station. He is brought to the hospital and tells Dr Dan Challis a crazy story, while holding a Jack O’Lantarn Halloween mask tightly in his hands. That night the man is killed in his bed and his murderer sets himself on fire outside the hospital. Dan thinks it’s more than odd and with Ellie, the man’s daughter, they go out to investigate his death. This brings them to a small town Santa Mira and a factory Silver Shamrock Novelties, where they are making masks for Halloween. Something strange is going on and Dan and Ellie are determined to find out. 


Why you should watch it

With a simple storyline it’s all about the craziness that is about to happen. It’s going to be a very bizarre story that can be quite silly, but it actually is a Halloween delight, for those who love a good campy movie. It’s a mystery, mixed with science fiction, the occult and the supernatural, with a big Halloween theme. It can be gruesome at times and gory, some kills are bizarre, but it all feels very campy, in the best way possible. 

The shots and cinematography sometimes do remind of the first Halloween (1978), with shots taken out of a riding car, the creepy shots of a rather dark town and the creepy men in suits. But it does have more of an eighties feel. That is enhanced by the music. Synth music, but especially the corny Silver Shamrock commercial tune on tv and radio really adds to a special vibe. And it does get stuck in your head for a very long time. It’s a very catching song, and you will catch yourself humming or singing it out loud. 

The sinister masterplan of villain Cochran, the founder of the factory is absurd but great fun. It’s not very probable and a bit inefficient, but it sure is original. And it results in a plot that is totally bonkers. Stonehenge, robots, witchcraft, killer masks, are all put to use to ensure the original Halloween having a comeback into a night of real horror, deaths and mayhem, and maybe even the end of the world. But it also delivers some absolutely crazy scenes that are anything but boring. It’s full of horror, action, danger, mystery and even a little bit of romance. 

This review probably doesn’t do it justice, it’s just so weird and bizarre that you’ll just have to go see it for yourself. And I do recommend you watch it, especially when Halloween comes around. 


My favorite part

Well, the robots were an absolute surprise. Completely out of place, but very fitting to Cochran. But the killer masks, and the test family was the most gruesome and seasonal worthy scene of the film. It’s also full of cameos. Jamie Lee Curtis is the announcer in the town. Nancy Keys (Annie from Halloween) plays Dan’s ex wife. Tom Atkins is a familiar face in John Carpenter movies (The Fog, 1980). And the movie Halloween is actually shown on a tv, twice, and one time Dan is forced to watch it by Cochran. It’s a film you really have to appreciate for the weirdness of it, the great Halloween vibe and the nods to Halloween the film. I personally love a crazy weird movie and this one ticks all the boxes of weirdness. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Gore factor: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Popcorn factor: ★★★★★

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


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Cast and crew

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is directed and written by Tommy Lee Wallace. It stars Tom Atkins (Dan Challis), Stacey Nelkin (Ellie) Grimbridge, Dan O’Herlihy (Conal Cochran).

Duration: 98 minutes. Music: John Carpenter, Alan Howarth. Cinematography: Dean Cundey. Edited by: Millie Moore. Produced by: Debra Hill, John Carpenter. Production companies: Dino De Laurentiis Corporation, Debra Hill Productions. Distributed by: Universal Pictures.


Check the trailer below


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