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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

I'm sick of people dismissing this movie. Apparently it's not part of the "canon" of Halloween movies. Canon arguments are for Star Trek and Star Wars- come on people! I'm convinced that most of the folks who say this is bad haven't even seen it or don't watch it because everyone they know says it's bad. Good thing I'm not a fucking teenager and know what to do in these situations right? While I go soothe my taste in movies, have a looksee at the trailer:

I also found this teaser trailer! I find the trailer interesting for its heavy emphasis on the witch mask featured in the film (there are three masks- a witch, a skull and a pumpkin all manufactured for the film  by Don Post who make AWESOME masks) as the pumpkin ultimately proves to be the titular mask in the movie. Don Post mass produced all three masks (the skull mask actually dates back to the 60's) to support the film. I really want the pumpkin, but they are quite rare and fetch a collectors price on the regular.

Have a look:

Sorry about the diversion, on to the plot...

Plot synopsis: A strange murder happens in the week before Halloween that gets Doctor Dan Challis (played by none other than super stud Tom Atkins) begin a private investigation. He teams up with the daughter of the murder victim Stacie and they follow the trail to the Silver Shamrock Novelty Company. Here they uncover a hideous scheme to murder children with their masks via a horrific Celtic ritual involving Stonehenge, a repetitive television commercial, and sheer downright assholeism. Can they stop the clock and save the children...?

I hear from quite a few folks (as I was starting to say above) who dismiss this movies as crap because "Mike Meyers isn't even in it". This isn't necessarily true because he shows up in a commercial for a television showing of the original Halloween in a bar early in the film. The reason he is not actively in the film is actually quite simple and far more interesting than naysayers will realize. John Carpenter (Director of the first film in the series and a producer/etcetera of Halloween II and III) wanted to start turning the Halloween series into a sort of Night Gallery style anthology series where each film would be a different story themed around the holiday (If you don't know what the show Night Gallery is, you might want to find out). Assumedly John Carpenter would have produced most if not all of them, and like II and III have his trusted crew and a few of his semi regular cast show up along the way. I really think it's a terrible shame this movie didn't connect with audiences the way I and II did, as that put the kibosh on the whole anthology idea.

I seriously don't see the problem, the movie (just like Halloween II) has Carpenter/Hill producing, Carpenter/Alan Howarth doing the soundtrack, the venerable Dean Cundey as director of photography, and Tommy Lee Wallace as the director. Many movie fans don't memorize names so this list doesn't mean a teaspoon of dogshit to them, but basically I am trying to point out that this movie is nuts and bolts a John Carpenter movie without him in the Director's chair. It has all the atmosphere (as I always say is a crucial and sadly absent quality from many new studio made horror films) and artistry of his films but trusted to his beloved crew.

I guess people just really like Michael Meyers. I mean sure he's creepy and the archetype for a lot of slasher movies that came later, but to drag that shit for another six movies and two (soon to be three) remakes? Sorry, it gets stale. What I like about anthology movies and series is that it's different every time. There will probably be clever nods and in jokes to other films in the series but each one would be a stand alone feature. I think Carpenter really went out on a limb to try and do something different here but the audience at the time just didn't get it. Like many of his films, it didn't seem to find an adoring audience until some years later with the advent of the home video cassette.

I honestly think this movie stands strong right beside the first two, just watch Halloween IV onwards and try to tell me THIS one is the worst, because I will point out just how foolish and uninformed of an opinion that is.

-Shit flows only one way.
-Last I checked that is downhill.
-The top of the hill was the third movie.

I mean really- they start introducing plot elements like secret cults and shit that help keep Michael safe. DUMB. He's way cooler as an anonymous nomad killing machine with no fear, pain or conscience who DIES AT THE END OF HALLOWEEN II. Continuing past that is boring, formulaic, and ultimately played out less than half an hour into Halloween IV. Having a fresh new horror movie about my personal favorite holiday (which a hideous cold ruined for me this year, thanks a lot) would have been way cooler. Can I really put it any more simpler than that?

No, not really.

Now, gather 'round and watch the magic pumpkin-

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