Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O'Herlihy, Michael Currie, Ralph Strait directed by Tommy Lee Wallace Movie Review

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Tom Atkins and Stacey Nelkin in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

The Curse of Halloween

If you mention the "Halloween" movies to anyone there is a good chance they will say Michael Myers, yet at one point the "Halloween" movies were going to be very different. After "Halloween II" which saw the death of Michael Myers John Carpenter had plans to turn the series into an annual event with a different horror story each year. That explains why "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" seems totally unrelated to the series because there is no Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis only provides the voices for a tannoy announcement and phone operator. It also explains partly why "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" is poorly rated because audiences saw the words "Halloween III" and expected the next episode in the Michael Myers saga.

Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins - Lethal Weapon) is called into hospital when a man is brought in in a catatonic state clutching a Halloween mask and uttering warnings that they are going to kill everyone. When the man is murdered whilst he lay in his hospital bed and the murderer commits suicide by setting fire to themselves in the parking lot Challis becomes curious and concerned joining forces with the victim's daughter Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin) to try an uncover what is going on. There investigations lead them to the Irish community of Santa Mira where Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy) runs the Silver Shamrock novelty business which are not only behind this years most popular Halloween masks but also an annoying advert with a hypnotic rhythm.

Dan O'Herlihy in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

So as already mentioned part of the problem with "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" is that it has nothing to do with Michael Myers but is John Carpenter's attempt to build up a collection of horror stories. In a way I can understand what Carpenter was hoping to achieve but sadly after two Michael Myers movies calling this movie "Halloween III" was a bit of a mistake. It makes me wonder what the opinion of the movie would have been if they had found a different name because there are some good ideas going on.

But before getting to those good ideas there are plenty of other bad things none more so than having only just met Dan and Ellie end up booking into a motel under the pretence of being married and subsequently getting it on. It is incredibly cheesy and there are plenty of other moments of weak writing which now makes "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" comically bad. But there is something else which makes it bad and without spoiling what happens for those who have yet to watch we never learn what Cochran's motive is, we understand what is he doing but never get a reason why which is really a big mistake as big as the rock from Stonehenge he has magically had shipped to America.

And to be honest it is a shame that "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" has these problems because the set up of the Silver Shamrock Halloween masks and the advertising which is so obviously a mind control technique is entertaining. Coupled with a variety of scenes of violence as people get their heads ripped off, not as gruesome as you might expect, on some levels "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" isn't that bad. It is unfortunate that with the exception of the Silver Shamrock advert it is the cheesier scenes which end up being the most memorable.

And in truth those cheesy scenes and elements end up more memorable than the actual characters with both Dan and Ellie being hugely under written leaving Tom Atkins and Stacey Nelkin plodding through the movie and sharing a cheesy sex scene. Even Dan O'Herlihy as Cochran fairs little better because whilst there is something unsettling about him he most certainly isn't scary or ominous enough.

What this all boils down to is that parts of "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" are actually not that bad but unfortunately a lack of motive, some incredibly cheesy elements and the simple fact it lacks reasoning spoil it.