Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
October 24, 2021 2:47 PM - Subscribe

Dr. Daniel Challis and Ellie Grimbridge stumble onto a gruesome murder scheme when Ellie's novelty-salesman father, Harry, is killed while in possession of a halloween mask made by the Silver Shamrock mask company. The company's owner, Conal Cochran, wants to return Halloween to its darker roots using his masks -- and his unspeakable scheme would unleash death and destruction across the country.

Carpenter's mostly reviled (at the time) attempt to jettison Michael Myers and treat the series as an anthology. Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.

Currently streaming in the US on AMC+ and available for digital rental in various places.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
🎵 7 more days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!🎵
🎵7 more days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!🎵
🎵Silver Shamrock!🎵
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:56 PM on October 24, 2021 [7 favorites]

There's another world, where the Silver Shamrock jingle, the kids in front of the tv, and the "it's in the MASKS!" plot, was made into one of the scariest 12 minute horror shorts ever. In this universe they stretched it out to 90 minutes trying to explain it, and ruined things.
posted by bartleby at 4:34 PM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

The best part of H3 is it strongly implies that a whole nation of children get turned into piles of worms and snakes at the end.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:40 PM on October 24, 2021 [11 favorites]

Probably my favourite capital H Halloween movie. I mean, the first one is basically perfect, but is retroactively debased by the ten?! sequels and multiple conflicting timelines. Ol Mikey M is like a less fun Leprechaun or later Hellraiser tier villain at this point. Season of the Witch though, stands alone.

And this film is wild. People are being replaced by androids so they can sell halloween masks that have microchips in them that contain rock fragments from Stonehenge that turn them into masses of creeping insects through technowitchery? Ok, it's not the most exciting film, maybe, but that premise!
posted by rodlymight at 7:27 PM on October 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

The most interesting of all the H films in my view, even with all its flaws. Nigel Kneale (of Quatermass fame) was the original scriptwriter and H3 still has some of that feel (though many things were changed). It was to be part of an anthology series, of unconnected stories; but the poor reception sent the series back to "serial killer in a mask returns back again another time additionally".
posted by kurumi at 8:42 PM on October 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I just saw this again on the big screen last night. It's by far my favorite of the Halloween movies, despite the first two being pretty unimpeachable slasher movies. The main actor looks more like a retired football player than a doctor and doesn't exactly have the leading-man charisma that you'd like him to, but I've seen much worse acting in horror films. Without the elaborate kills, this could be a military-industrial complex paranoia movie akin to The Parallax View or The Stepford Wives.

There are definitely parts of this movie that don't remotely add up, like what is the endgame for turning kids into piles of bugs and worms, and I admire the brio with which this movie waves its hands and says, "witchy stuff!"

One thing I noticed on this watch-through: the scene where our hero talks to the drunk guy (spoilers, obvs) is taken pretty directly from H P Lovecraft's "The Shadow over Innsmouth," where the protagonist of that story winds up trading pulls of his whiskey bottle for some expository back-story with the old town drunk Zadok Allen.

The latest reboot of the franchise features an easter-egg cameo of the Silver Shamrock masks, which I appreciated.
posted by whir at 8:19 AM on October 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

Oh, also! I love what a shitty dad the protagonist is. Take the kids? Fuck no, I just got a six-pack! Time to investigate mysteries with this recently-bereaved hottie!
posted by whir at 9:11 AM on October 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

The best part of H3 is it strongly implies that a whole nation of children get turned into piles of worms and snakes at the end

Luckily it’s only 1/3 of the nation’s children, as our protagonist is quickly able to convince two of the three major networks to immediately kill their national broadcast signals based solely on the wild conspiratorial ravings of a random anonymous stranger.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:30 PM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

I continue to insist in any Halloween 3 conversation context is that there needs to be a prequel. It should be a supernatural heist movie, all about how a team of warlocks and witches of diverse and synergizing skillsets stole that piece of Stonehenge and transported it between continents.

Halloween: Wasn't Easy!
posted by Drastic at 9:27 AM on October 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

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