- Movie Rating -

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

| October 22, 1982

Okay, well, I suppose I can start with this.  Halloween III: Season of the Witch is exponentially better than Halloween II by virtue of the fact that it not technically a sequel.  To be honest, it has a much more interesting villain with a much more devious plan in mind.  Why exactly he wants to put that plot into motion is beyond me.

Yet, my massive issue with Halloween III: Season of the Witch is that it has a nice tasty plot but is paced so slowly that you feel like it is taking three years to get there.  This is one of the most deadbeat movies that I have ever seen.  Part of the problem is the protagonist Dr. Daniel Challis, a run-down drunk played by Tom Atkins who inexplicably works as a doctor.  He’s a terrible person, a burden to his estranged wife and children and a womanizer who spends much of the movie hitting on the female employees at the hospital and promising to take them out to dinner.  This is the person we’re supposed to care about.

One night a patient brought into his ward and is soon thereafter murdered when he is left alone in his room.  Soon the man’s daughter shows up.  She is Ellie (Stacey Nelkin) and she is none too stricken over the old man’s death, though she does wonder about his rantings and ravings as of late – something about Halloween masks.  She wants to go to Santa Mira to investigate the Silver Shamrock factory that is producing the masks and uncover why her father was killed over it.  Dr. Challis decides to accompany her to because, the movie makes extremely clear, he wants to get Ellie between the sheets.

Seriously, her father just had his face ripped apart by a mysterious man in a suit and she and Dr. Challis focus less on the investigation then on masking the beast with two backs.  That scene, by the way, is just about the unsexist bit of non-eroticism ever put on film.

Torpor ensues.  It’s a long journey to Santa Mira and it’s a long journey to discover what exactly is going on with these masks.  They come in three varieties: a pumpkin, a skull and a witch.  Apparently Silver Shamrock can make a fortune selling these masks (we see hundreds of kids wearing them) but they couldn’t get licenses for Star Wars or Super Friends.

What is most curious about this movie, however, is that the bad stuff is deadly dull and boring and the good stuff is really good and there seems to be an equal measure.  The antagonist, for example, is a grandfatherly figure named Cochran who could either hug you or kill you with the same smile.  His plot to murder millions of children on Halloween is devious and kind of clever, but his reasoning is confusing and stupid.  I’d have been happier if he just murdered children for laughs.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1982) View IMDB Filed in: Horror