Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1982
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writer:Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring Tom Atkins, Stacy Nelkin, Dan O'Herlihy, Michael Currie, Ralph Strait, Jadeen Barbor, Gam Stephens, Nancy Kyes, Al Berry and Wendy Wessberg

When a film series veers off it usual path, many people seem to hate it just on general principle. Jason Goes to Hell: the Final Friday is a perfect example of this. It changed the mythology of the series and many people did not like that. Halloween III is another perfect example of this, it has no sign of Michael Myers unless you count them showing clips from the original film on various TV screens. Many people loathe this film for that very reason, but that is one of the reasons that this is my favorite sequel in the Halloween franchise. It is very original and creative, with a great hero and a diabolical Bondian villain. The gore in the film is amazing too, by far the best effects work in any of the Halloween films. This is just a fun film and one I seem to revisit every year around this time.
The plot basics are this, It is 11 days before Halloween and a desperate man (Berry) who is running by a mysterious car that is chasing him. He beats one of the assailants and escapes to a gas station where he is taken to a local hospital and he is clutching a Halloween mask and yells at the Doctor (Atkins) who is treating them that they are going to kill them all. Not long after he is killed by a strange man who then runs to his car and immolates himself. This all seems rather bizarre to Doctor Dan Challis (Atkins) and along with the old man's daughter, Ellie (Nelkin) starts investigating and they discover her father went to a small town to pick up some masks at the Silver Shamrock Novelty Company. They go and the town is like a ghost town with cameras everywhere and they meet the enigmatic owner of the company, Colin Cochran (O'Herlihy). Dan soon discovers a diabolical plan to kill millions of children around the world using their masks at approximately 9 P.M. Halloween night and now Dan must find a way to stop his mad plan or millions will die.
This is just a flawless horror film. Wallace direction has just the right mood of both whimsy and dread. The suspenseful tension that permeates this film is very palatable. The script by Wallace is great too, the characters are fully realized and have motivations that everyone can relate too. I especially liked How the hero, Dan Challis is a great hero but is not without his own weaknesses. Those being he is a womanizer and a boozer. Colin Cochran is a great villain as well he has a very dastardly motivation and you cannot help but grin as he explains it. The cast is great, Atkins as always is the man and this is by far my favorite performance of his. He is likeable, witty and a bad ass when needed. Nelkin is good as the romantic interest and O'Herlihy is a delight to watch every scene he is in. My personal favorite is after Dan attacks his base of operations he applauds him, I loved that. The SFX and effects in the film are very gory and brutal, which I loved. My personal favorite was when the family is used as a test and when the kid's head oozes out bugs and snakes. That is still one of my favorite gore scenes from any horror film. The score by Carpenter is great as always and the Silver Shamrock Jingle is so damn catchy you cannot stop singing until days after you see the film. This is by far, the best Halloween sequel and is a film I never get sick of revisiting.
This one gets 5 out of 5 bug infested Jack O'Lanterns

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