Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Credentials: 33%, Certified Rotten ( / 4.0 out of 10 (

Plot: A crazy guy clutching a Halloween mask shows up in a small town medical clinic babbling that everyone is doomed, strange men are trying to kill him and so forth. Lucky for the crazy guy, he’s under the watchful eye of deadbeat dad, cardboard box impersonator and our hero, Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins). Naturally, within minutes of his arrival, the crazy guy ends up dead right along with the guy who killed him. Whoops. So, Dr. C. ditches that scene--- and his lame-o kids--- and heads out on the road with the dead crazy guy’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), to get to the bottom of this wonderful mystery. Being the class act that he is, Challis waits nearly a full two days before making sweet, sweet love to the grieving daughter. Soon, the pair uncover a sinister plot involving (in no particular order) killer Halloween masks, stolen Stonehenge rocks, and a grating TV commercial that may also be a killer. Where the fork is Michael?

Why it stinks: You know how everyone complains that Hollywood has no original ideas left, that it always opts for the quick and easy payday instead of actually putting any sort of thought or effort in?
                Well, you whiners can thank “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” for that.
                “Halloween” creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill didn’t want to churn out a repetitive string of increasingly violent and cheesy sequels all featuring Michael Myers hacking babysitters into little bitty bits (Which ended up happening anyway). 

                So, they tried to turn the franchise into a sort of seasonal “Twilight Zone,” telling new weird and scary stories every year, and send Michael off to an early retirement.
                They tried something new and different and it blew up in their faces. “Halloween III” is widely reviled as one of the worst in a sorta mostly bad franchise.
                Now some will tell you, that all the “H3” hate stems from the title. People get disappointed when you sell them a “Halloween” movie without Michael Myers. It’s like promising steak and delivering ice cream. Those folks say the movie would have received a warmer reception had it just been called “Season of the Witch,” and stood on its own two legs (Though, I’m sure Nic Cage might have something to say about that).

                Those people are sadly wrong. “H3” is just way too boring to be misunderstood.
                The so-called mystery our hero and his lady friend are trying to solve? Meh. Not much of a mystery for us or them. Everyone seems to figure out what’s going on (the masks are dangerous) and who’s responsible (the company that made the masks, duh) pretty easily.
                Maybe because the movie insisted on playing that freaking commercial jingle every five minutes like clockwork. Kind of gave it away.  

                The only real unknown was why a company would want to make killer Halloween masks. When you do find out, you’ll probably wish the movie hadn’t bothered. Let’s just say druids are involved somehow. Always druids.
                And can we talk about the way the masks kill people? I won't go into details, but holy lord. Someone was compensated American dollars for scribbling that gibberish on a page. There’s really hope for us all. You know what would have been scarier… or better? Anything. Anything at all. If the masks had killed people by forcing them to dance an endless Irish jig, it would have been better. 

                Lastly, the cast. We already discussed how neither of our leads is particularly likeable or interesting. The rest of the cast is mostly filled out by a bunch of one-note-joke side characters who exist solely to be killed off. Nothing memorable from the lot of them, save for another top notch diabolical performance by Dan O'Herlihy (he plays joke store mogul Conal Cochran).
            Worst of the worst

            Need I say more?

            Let that be a lesson to you kiddies. Risks are for losers. Bumblebee tuna.

1 comment:

  1. I remember renting this from West Coast Video years ago and being so excited for the third installment of Halloween. And then pretty much what you described happened, so I went to bed.