Reel Geek’s Retro Review: Halloween III: The Season of the Witch

1982’s Halloween III: The Season of the Witch,  was a departure from the slasher films that birthed Michael Myers to the world by writer/director John Carpenter.  It was an attempt to turn the franchise into something it would never be, an anthology series of movies, each movie different from the next, but all connected to the idea of the holiday.

This time, instead of Michael Myers slashing his way through babysitters we get what I realized last night may have been a twisted B-movie version of a Doctor Who story.  It’s about a Doctor and his companion who stumble across a conspiracy involving robotic plastic men.  Well, there’s other things involved too, but just that element alone, and the fact that the story for the script was written by British writer Nigel Kneale (The Quartermass Experiments) who, even though he had nothing to do with Doctor Who still leaves me to feel that there was some maybe influence in there.

Halloween III stars Tom Atkins (Lethal Weapon) as Dr. Daniel Challis, a doctor who gets wrapped up in a bizarre mystery after a man is brought into the hospital clutching a Jack o Lantern mask from the Silver Shamrock corporation, and is soon after killed by a silent assailant who blows himself up after committing the crime.

He soon meets the daughter of the murdered man, Ellie, (Stacy Nelkin- Bullets Over Broadway) and the two of them go to uncover the secret of Silver Shamrock.   Which really would have been a better title for the picture, but I guess they were going for a reference to the song here.

What follows from there is part body snatchers mystery, part Willy Wonka tale, part Celtic fairy tale and all B-movie madness.  It makes little to no sense, a random love scene between the two characters hooking up, even though he looks to be 40 and she merely 19 or so, and there’s no definitive conclusion, but I just love this movie, I think mainly for the absurdity of it all, and a bit because of the Silver Shamrock jingle which is a presence in the movie, and will be in your head after you hear it.

Really just don’t go into this movie expecting a usual Halloween movie, or a movie that makes any sense really, and just have fun with it.    It’s become a recent Halloween guilty pleasure tradition of ours to watch this movie.  What’s your Halloween season guilty pleasure movie?

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