When it comes to sequels,Hollywood gives with one hand and takes away with the other but not before emptying out your wallet first. No genre is safe from the bad follow up film yet when it comes to horror,their share of needless entries-a Part Four,Five,Six, Seventeen,etc-is definitely on the high end of the scale.
Usually,things go bad by the third film(if you're lucky)and Halloween III:Season of the Witch is no exception to that standard. Halloween II was no great shakes either but this three time go-around really stands out for the sheer audacity of it's premise.
The film stars Tom Atkins as ER doctor Dan Challis who is puzzled about the mysterious death of a walk-in patient and teams up with the dead man's daughter Ellie(Stacey Nelkin)to investigate.
Their search leads to the Silver Shamrock company,which is putting out a line of very popular Halloween masks for kids and promoting a special giveaway contest to be announced live on TV Halloween night. Once the two of them reach the small town where Silver Shamrock has based it's headquarters,Dan and Ellie take their detective games even further by deciding to go undercover:
What they ultimately discover is that the owner of Silver Shamrock(played by Dan O'Herlihy)is a mad scientist/Druid who has rigged up his new line of masks with pieces of rock from Stonehedge strapped with computer chips that are set to go off when a special electronic signal is released during the big Halloween giveaway.
Once that happens,anyone with a Shamrock mask on gets their head melted ,with the added bonus of bugs and snakes crawling out of the mess. Oh,and he has an army of android helpers on hand to get the job done(I am so not kidding,folks. Wish I were!)
Why,you may ask? Well,our evil nemesis here is not happy about how commercial the holiday has become and wants to bring back some of the good old days by wiping out a whole generation of trick or treaters. He even gives Dan a demo of things to come by having a visiting family to the factory get a gruesome dose of the full Silver Shamrock treatment- a real Happy Halloween,alright,if you're a kid hating sadist,that is!:
Some of you by now may also be asking,"Um,excuse me,this is a Halloween movie,right? Where's Michael Myers or Jamie Lee Curtis,or a small town with a bunch of horny teenagers waiting to get hacked into hamburger meat on All Hallows Eve?" Those are good questions yet the only answer I can give you is "Not in this movie,suckers!"
That's right,they made a Part Three that has absolutely nothing to do with either one of the earlier films in the series. Sort of the equivalent of being Charlie Brown after trick or treating;all you wind up with is a bag of rocks which must have been in the heads of the people who greenlighted this sorry mess of a movie.
In some ways,you have to admire the boldness of those involved to do this and perhaps if this flick had some decent acting or a more menacing evil plan that didn't combine an android army with hokey Druid magic,it might have been worth while. Truth is,by any other name,Season of the Witch is a honest to goodness stinker:
This may not be the last we see of Halloween III,I fear. With both the original Halloween and it's Part Two(due out later this month)being remade,a new version of this terror may haunt the multiplexes again. Actually,it would be interesting to see what Rob Zombie would do with this material. One thing for sure that you could count on with a RZ directed H3 is a kickass remix of that damn Silver Shamrock theme song. It's the earworm that puts all others to shame,I swear. Happy Horrorween,friends and fiends: