Throwback Thursday: Halloween III: Season of the Witch Offers Up Spooky Fun

This post originally ran on MovieFanFare in 2017, and we are featuring it again as part of our month-long tribute to scary movies!

After Halloween II, John Carpenter wanted to retire the Michael Myers character so he decided that the future of the franchise would be a series of stand-alone films set on October 31 st. Unfortunately, audiences just wanted more Myers and none of the nihilism, melting heads, earworm jingles and strangeness that Halloween III: Season of the Witch conjured up. Their loss.

Halloween III stars Tom Atkins as Dr. Dan Challis, a surgeon saddled with a drinking problem and a severe case of ennui. His world-weariness is justified after he stumbles upon a plot by Halloween mask manufacturer Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) to trick children into wearing his products which (naturally) feature fragments of Stonehenge that will kill them and unleash deadly snakes and insects upon anyone in their vicinity. Rad.

Cochran plans on airing a TV commercial on Halloween night that will trigger the piece of Stongehenge and set his horrific plan in motion. Oh yeah, his plan involves androids too. Joining up with young Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), a woman whose father’s death was caused by Cochran’s planning, Dr. Challis attempts to stop the madness – setting the stage for the film’s wonderfully bleak finale.

In recent years, 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch has begun to shake off its bad reputation and establish a cult of its own. Once removed from the shadow of Michael Myers, it’s evident that this is a fun and cheesy movie that has some genuinely creepy moments. (Such as the scene in which the full power of the Silver Shamrock is demonstrated, much to the dismay of a young tyke and his family).

The only issue with the film’s reprisal is that by giving this film a beautiful widescreen makeover for their special edition DVD that was released a few years back, Shout Factory has eliminated some of its sleazy luster. Personally, I feel the best way too experience the wonders of this film is through a grimy, flickering print that compliments its negative worldview. You may disagree with this, in which case I’m happy to report that Halloween III has never looked or sounded better.

And yes, you will still be singing the Silver Shamrock jingle for weeks after you check this out. It’s an audacious cult film worthy of your seasonal love.