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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - Halloween III
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By David Massey<>











<> 






One

of the more baffling choices made in 1980’s Hollywood was to release a movie

about witch toymakers combining computers with pieces of Stonehenge as a weapon

to kill children under the title ‘Halloween 3’. Sure, from one perspective,

associating this one-off horror flick with a tried and true franchise must have

seemed like easy money but the deception reviled audiences and, regardless of

the films many qualities, it was a total flop. Now, 30 years later, the film

has finally found its cult and Scream Factory has given the unique ‘Halloween 3

– Season of the Witch’ the stand-alone credit it deserves in a 30th

Anniversary “Silver Shamrock” Edition Blu-Ray.<>






<> 















Halloween III – Season of the Witch




 




The Film:<>






In

an effort to start a new anthology series and move the title ‘Halloween’ away

from the one-trick-pony that is ‘Michael Myers’, John Carpenter and Producer

Debra Hill took a risk and hired Tommy Lee Wallace, the Production Designer

& Editor of the original Halloween, to write and direct the first

installment. The result is a bat-shit, off-the-wall plot that had me both

terrified and scratching my head as a kid.<>






<> The

film follows Dr. Challis, played by the mustachioed cult icon

(only-possibly-perceived-as-studley-to-some-other-generation), Tom Atkins.

After one of his patients is brutally murdered by a mysterious suited man who

then self-immolates in front of him, Challis inexplicably leaves his wife and

kids to follow his late patient’s hot, young daughter – what more motivation

could he need - on a quest to solve this mysterious killing. The only clue they

have is the jack-o-lantern Halloween mask her father was clutching when he was

wheeled into the ER. The sing-song television ad (‘4 more days to Halloween…’

set to the melody of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’) that has already played no

less than 3 times by this point of the film (with many many repeat viewings to

come) shares the same green shamrock logo as the mask. Their destination is an

isolated Northern Californian village called Santa Mira, the headquarters of

the Silver Shamrock Toy and Halloween Mask Company lead by Conal Cochran (the

always imposing Dan O’Herlinhy – ‘RoboCop’, ‘The Last Starfighter’).<>






It’s

not that the gore and horror of their discoveries are any more shocking than

what we’ve already seen in ‘Halloween’ movies – in fact, the suited henchmen

might as well be ‘Michael Myers’ clones based on their killing style and

presence – but that the deaths are some much more ‘out there’. It’s one of

those films that, if you haven’t seen, tries to unravel as a bit of a mystery

and the solution to that mystery is so totally inexplicable that I don’t want

to give it away. What I will say is that this, like a few of its

contemporaries, was made in an era just before it became absolutely unheard of to

depict children in peril; these toy-makers pull no punches in that effort using

an absurd combination of witchcraft, astrology, paganism, microchips,

subliminal messages, robots, snakes, bugs, and wicked Halloween masks to

brutally murder trick-or-treaters and their parents. You really have to see

this to believe it.<>






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<> 


The Disc:<>







‘Halloween

3’, along with a few of the other titles Scream Factory has released, comes packaged

in snazzy new Nathan Thomas Milliner cover art. One of the best things about

this film has always been its one-sheet of trick-or-treaters in silhouette

against a red sky and, instead of starting from scratch, Milliner has just

integrated additional artwork to the original poster. There’s a collage-feel to

it and I’m not sure if it actually gives much more insight to the madness that

is Silver Shamrock’s scheme but I really dig this one.<>






<> Both

the Audio Commentary with director Tommy Lee Wallace and the new documentary,

‘Stand Alone – The Making of Halloween 3’, are hugely insightful with one

producer openly stating that not including Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Meyers

was a ‘stupid idea’. I think that nearly all of those involved in its making

feel, as do I, that the thing that got this film made (its billing as a sequel)

was its greatest curse. Also, there’s such a genuinely humbled appreciation

from Wallace that his film has finally found an audience.<>






<> There

is also an Audio Commentary with Tom Atkins and a documentary that revisits the

locations of the film; both have their moments but the big surprise with this

disc is that there are no subtitles in any language – very unusual.<>






The Features:






  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Tommy Lee Wallace<>




  • Audio Commentary with Actor Tom Atkins<>


  • Documentary ‘Stand Alone: The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch’ – New Material<>


  • Documentary ‘Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: The Location of Halloween III’<>


  • Theatrical & Teaser Trailers<>


  • TV & Radio Spots<>


  • Stills Galleries




<>





















The Specs:






  • Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35.1<>




  • DTS-HD Mono<>


  • English-Only Audio<>


  • Original Runtime: 1982<>


  • Runtime: 99 Minutes<>


  • Rating: R<>














Final Grades:<>






Story:

A / The plot is so extreme absurd and bizarre that I can help but love it.<>


Presentation:

A / There is a lot to sink your teeth into here and the film looks great.<>




Scare Factor:

A / As a kid, this one game me so many nightmares mostly because I had no idea

what was going on.<>




Gore Factor:

A / There are 3 or 4 scenes in this move that still make my stomach turn.<>




Repeat view-ability:

A / One of the few Halloween movies that is actually about Halloween!<>










Add

Halloween III to your collection, click HERE!<>






Check

out yesterday’s Scream Factory review, Halloween II!<>








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