Movie Reviews 66 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Something went wrong at Universal sometime around 1981. I’m not sure if it was in some production room, a marketing meeting, or maybe even at the urinal train in one of their executive washrooms. You see, my DVD clearly says that this movie is titled “Halloween III”, well “Halloween III: The Season of the Witch” really, but this has nothing to do with the Halloween franchise as we know it. I guess I should have paid a bit more attention to that “Witch” part.

The only thing that this movie has in common with the Halloween series is that John Carpenter and Debra Hill are listed in the credits as producers. Well that, and just to piss us viewers off, they had the gall to have scenes from the original Halloween appear on TV screens in some scenes in this movie.

Let make this as clear as possible, this movie has nothing to do with Michael Myers, other characters in the series, or even the venue of Haddonfield. What we really have here is a derivative of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” if you can believe it, only instead of aliens using pods to take over the minds of people they substituted an evil Halloween mask making company that dispenses masks with electronic implants set to take control of the victims when a specific television signal is broadcast. If you can’t believe that ludicrous premise now I’ll spare you the fledgling links to robots, Stonehenge and, well those ‘witches’ we were all waiting for. And just in case the viewers didn’t realize this was really Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they drilled it into their heads by having the evil mask making company and the general setting of the movie taking place in the town of Santa Mira, the same fictional town as Invasion.

Ironically, this is the one movie in the franchise that really uses Halloween as an integral part of the story by having a Halloween eve countdown waiting to trigger the mask implants seeing as that is when all the innocent kids will be wearing their masks.

So are there any redeeming qualities to this movie at all? The crude retro video images that are used as TV commercials to induce the kids has a goofy tune that we hear again and again. Annoying at first, it does become infectious to a degree. And there are some neat FX and kills mixed in with the mundane stuff. But in the end, even as a retelling of a classic science fiction movie there is just too much silliness to overcome the few enjoyable elements. The biggest travesty is even trying to cash in on the Halloween gravy train.

I wish I was spared watching this as Michael Myers was spared any involvement. Lucky him.


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