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Halloween III: Season of the Witch
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163 out of 212 people found the following review useful:

Another Underrated Movie Due to its Name

9/10
Author: CMRKeyboadist from Sleesburg, VA.
7 September 2006

I never have been a fan of the "Halloween" series. Not to say that I don't like slasher films, but Michael Myers just never did anything for me. I would rather watch a "Friday the 13th" film any day over this series. "Halloween 3: Season of the Witch" is the only movie from the series that I just didn't enjoy, but is actually one of my all time favorite horror films. Partially, because Michael Myers isn't in this film. Now, I am sure that people are going to hate my opinion on this, but I really don't care. I believe the only reason why this movie is so underrated and has such a low score on IMDb is because it doesn't have Michael Myers in it. If this movie had dropped the "Halloween" title and stuck with "Season of the Witch" or "The Last Halloween" I think this movie would have much more respect.

This movie has many things on its side. The storyline is one of the darkest I have ever seen about a company named "Silver Shamrock" selling Halloween masks. All through the movie television adds build up to a big "Give Away" on TV on Halloween night. Tom Atkins plays a doctor named Dan who suspects the "Silver Shamrock" company after a man is murdered in his hospital. The mans daughter and Dan take a trip to the town where the factory resides and find out much more then they could have bargained for.

As I said, this movie has many things going for it. A few great actors including Tom Atkins and Dan O'Herlihy do wonderful jobs. Especially O'herlihy, playing the part of the villain and one of the most evil characters ever created.

The music was great also. Performed by John Carpenter, of course. The music brings a great deal of atmosphere to the movie making you feel a sense of dread through and throughout. But, this is a great part of any of the "Halloween" movies. Like them or not, most of them have a good soundtrack.

And of course, the ending to the movie is one of the best/worst endings ever, in my opinion. Hollywood wouldn't dare have a movie end as bleak as this movie did today.

Well, you don't have to listen to me. But, I thought this was a great movie and I wish that it was never named "Halloween III". A bad decision, an excellent horror movie. 9/10

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125 out of 162 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as people think

8/10
Author: mungflesh from London, England
18 August 2004

I think Tommy Lee Wallace's "Season of the Witch" is an underrated classic. There are no points here for outstanding acting performances, or original plot etc (although I would like to add there's no dreadful acting) but bonus points for the music and direction, which go together to make a really creepy horror. It contains superb imaginative gore sequences, to rival the likes of "The Fly" or "Dead & Buried".

Whereas the Michael Myers type slasher movies have done the genre to death, this one remains dusty and untouched. There aren't any other horror movies worth mentioning, like this. It is very sci-fi horror though, so I think if you've a problem with far-fetched content, you'd best avoid the film as you will find it ridiculous.

I called it Season of the Witch in the first sentence, because I prefer to think of it as it's own movie, rather than having anything to do with the original classic "Halloween". This is the only problem with the movie.

"Oh ... and Happy Halloween".

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106 out of 151 people found the following review useful:

An underrated film. Very moody and atmospheric. *** out of 5

Author: Lance from United States
21 April 2005

Let's get some things straight...

The only real reason people seem to hate this film is because Michael Myers was absent.

For those who don't know, John Carpenter and crew decided since Michael Myers was dead at the end of HalloweeN II, there was no reason to continue on with his story. The decision was to go ahead with the series making each new installment a different story revolving around the Halloween season. Personally, I think this was a wise decision. But after everyone saw it they were screaming 'That wasn't a Halloween movie! Where was Michael?'. Obviously the majority of the audience would rather more Michael Myers rampages than creepy stories set around Halloween time.

Oh well, this movie gives a taste of where the series could have and should have went, before the disappointing HalloweeN 4.

Overall, the acting is top notch. Tom Atkins is a great actor. The soundtrack is one of my favorite John Carpenter scores ever. It has themes, but it's more about synthesized mood and pulsating rhythms. The cinematography by the great Dean Cundey is fabulous. And the entire feel of the film is very unsettling. The film literally freaks me out.

I recommend all of you that diss the film, to check it out once more. Keep an open mind. If this hadn't been a part of the HalloweeN series you would probably like it.

As for myself, I'm glad that this carries the HalloweeN title. Th rest of the films didn't pick up until HalloweeN H2O which is a very worthy entry.

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91 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

Strange and slightly fascinating

7/10
Author: Lars Gorzelak Pedersen from Aarhus, Denmark
27 December 2004

I like "Halloween III". Some people consider it to be one of those "so bad it's good" kind of films, but they're wrong. It's competently made and much better than the "Halloween" films that appeared after it. As sequels go it's pretty strange, though. For starters, Michael Myers is nowhere in sight. This second sequel has nothing to do with the two previous films in the series (personally I couldn't care less about that) and the plot is downright weird. What's strange about it is that there's very little symbolism at stake - something which is rare in occult horror films. Normally, filmmakers seem to feel that they need some sort of psychological excuse to show us unrealistic horror. Not so in "Halloween III". We never get to know the main characters and get only the most superficial impression of their personalities. The sinister goings-on in the film have nothing to do with the personal traumas of the protagonist - he's just there because he has to be, in order for the plot to move on. In this sense, the film is refreshingly "naive". The atmosphere or tone of the film is why I like it. It has that "midnight movie" feel, mainly - I think - because of the soundtrack. Music is rarely used, but always effectively like in John Carpenters "The Thing" (1982). And there are some almost surreal images thrown in along the way, like the one where snakes surprisingly appear from within the pumpkinhead.

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64 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

I don't care what anybody says, I liked it!

Author: jamesjlr2 from Houston
29 October 2003

Boy, this poor film has gotten all but burned at the stake (pun intended) here. I first saw Season of the Witch when it came on cable in the early 80s when I was maybe 12 and it scared me as much as the other Halloween films (just two at the time). Though I was somewhat perplexed that it didn't have Sinjoro Myers. But even at age 12, I was more intrigued by this change then outraged.

I still watch it when it comes on and though it hasn't aged well overall, the scene where the family is tested on is still one of the most horrific moments in film history and makes Donal Cochran one of the most dispicable villians EVER!

I love the idea that Carpenter wanted to do a different story for each one and I think it's a shame people hated this one so much that such an inspired idea was pulverized by ecomonic realities.

A lot of people complain about how stagnant the imagination of Hollywood is, but I think all these outraged comments here I've seen show that those people are actually a minority. Most people see nothing wrong with creative bankruptcy. So I guess we can look forward to a 5th (or is it 6th now) film with a guy in a Shatner mask eviscerating horny teens. I'd be happier though if they at least stuck a different mask on him. Maybe one from Silver Shamrock?:) God forbid! That's different!

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56 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Misunderstood and under rated

6/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
4 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is probably the most controversial Halloween movie, simply because Michael Myers isn't in it. I know that this movie gets a lot of complaints, but actually I can see where the writers were going with this. They just had an idea to continue the Halloween stories, but just to do a different type of franchise, which I give them a lot of credit for. Does this movie deliver the same scares as the original Halloween or even the sequel? No, it doesn't, but it's still creepy and not given a proper chance by most. Just the song that is used alone in this movie was a bit intense. It's a great little ghost story that is sure to deliver chills if you have an open mind to it. The acting isn't as good as the other movies, we have some pretty below par actors, but over all they make the movie worth watching even if it was cheesy.

On Saturday, October 23, shop owner Harry Grimbridge is chased by mysterious figures wearing business suits. He collapses at a gas station clutching a Silver Shamrock jack-o'-lantern mask and is driven to the hospital by the filling station attendant all the while ranting, "They're gonna kill us. All of us." While Grimbridge is hospitalized, another man in a suit enters his room and pulls his skull apart. The man then returns to his vehicle, douses himself with gasoline and lights himself on fire, causing the car to explode. Challis, together with Grimbridge's daughter, Ellie, begins an investigation that leads them to the home of the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory. They learn from a hotel manager, Mr. Rafferty, that the source of the town's prosperity is Irishman Conal Cochran and his factory and that the majority of the town's population is made up of descendants of Irish immigrants. Challis learns that Ellie's father had stayed at the same hotel. Other guests of the hotel included shop owners Marge Guttman, Buddy, Betty and their son "Little" Buddy. All have business at the factory and eventually meet gruesome ends because of the Silver Shamrock masks.The Kupfer family views the Silver Shamrock commercial that will air on Halloween night. But there's more to these masks then meets the eye.

Is Halloween 3 the best sequel? No; is it the worst sequel? No; I'd say just a lot of people got the wrong idea about the movie and didn't know what the writers were thinking when the wrote for this franchise. I loved the ending scene, it actually did give me a nightmare, I don't want to give it away though, just trust me, it's a creepy scene. I do recommend if you love horror movies to give this movie a fair chance or if you want to see the Halloween movie franchise, just remember that the writers just wanted to try something new. I do honestly like this movie, I hope people will see it for what it is and it's just a good ghost story to watch on a night for Halloween.

6/10

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65 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Unbeatable, a Masterpiece!

10/10
Author: kwfox from United Kingdom
2 July 2007

This movie is an all time classic. Creepy from the word go, the lighting and soundtrack give it a theatrically dark and menacing feel, while the characters are so ordinary that one feels one is watching a drama-doc. Then the extreme violence with crushed heads and people set ablaze. There is a tangible sense of mystery to all this. Our hero is a slightly flawed character, womaniser and boozer, but an honest sort of guy. The idea of filming at a mask factory is inspired - all those creepy faces! The factory owner Cochran is one of the finest horror characters ever to grace the screen. Profoundly eerie yet likable, humorous yet intimidating, he has the quality of an educated, cultured serial killer with the monstrous ambition of a megalomaniac from a Bond movie. His evil plans are particularly horrific in scale, but he sees them as one big joke on the kids!

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69 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

"A good magician never explains."

5/10
Author: TOMASBBloodhound from Omaha, NE USA
24 October 2004

Let me begin by saying that I hated this film as a kid. After viewing it the other day on a whim however, I was surprised at how much better I liked it now. The story centers around an evil mask-maker planning to use ancient technology to murder millions of children on Halloween night by selling them masks with a nasty little secret inside. I found the story very interesting, though plenty of plot holes ultimately keep this film from being all it could have been.

The biggest obstacle in this film's way is the fact that it has nothing at all to do with the other "Halloween" films made either before or after it. That's certainly no reason not to give it a chance, though. Perhaps it should have been called only "Season of the Witch" or something so as not to anger the purists out there who demand the presence of Michael Myers in anything with the word "Halloween" in the title. That said, let's take a look at the good and not-so-good elements of this film, shall we?

Like the previous entries in the series, this film has some creepy and effective music. It is also buffered by some evil synthesizer sounds at every turn. The little jingle set to "London Bridge" is annoying, and I'm sure it was supposed to be.

There are some interesting deaths, to say the least. Early on, we see a robotic henchman pull apart a victim's skull, then blow himself up in a car. One hapless woman gets an energy beam projected through her face, leaving her mouth much larger than normal. (a bug then crawls out of her head, foreshadowing later events) Another man gets his head ripped completely off for threatening to torch the bad guy's factory. Later on, a family is murdered in a test demonstration of what happens when someone wearing one of these masks watches a certain commercial on TV. Bugs and poisonous snakes form inside the mask and attack anyone in the room. It seems the masks have some tiny pieces from one of the blocks from Stonehenge implanted in the factory seal. Something about the commercial triggers the effect within the mask. And just how does this happen, you ask? "A good magician never explains," the mask-maker points out in one scene. Sigh.

Some gigantic holes are present as the story unfolds. Tom Atkins, who plays our hero, has a useless love affair with the daughter of an early victim. If these two are so intent on solving a deadly mystery about the death of her father, and bad guys are all around, would they really stop to have sex? He is also much older than this woman. I guess since Atkins plays a doctor, the young woman finds that sexy. Maybe I'd better go to medical school if I want to score with hot young women when I'm his age.

Another problem concerns the time that these masks are supposed to go off. We are told by the mask maker that when the commercial airs at 9:00 pm on Halloween night, all the masks will react and kill the children. However, if it's 9:00 in California (where this takes place) it would be 11:00 where I live or midnight on the east coast. Children would mostly be in bed by then! Few parents would allow their kids up that late to watch any "big give-a-way". The plan is to wipe out kids all over the country, but it looks like only kids on the west coast would be up when the commercial airs. If there was an explanation about how this problem would be overcome, I missed it. I guess once again, "A good magician never explains."

And just how in the hell did this guy steal a piece of Stonehenge, anyway? He admits it was difficult, but again offers no explanation of how it was done!

And how many freaking times did the female robot attack Atkins at the end? I lost count.

Well, it's not a total loss. It was a neat idea for a film, but they shouldn't have glossed over so many things.

I'll give it 5 of 10 stars.

Happy Happy Halloween Halloween Halloween Happy Happy Halloween Silver Shamrock!

STOP IT!!!! STOP IT!!!! STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So sayeth the Hound.

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52 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

Worthwhile

10/10
Author: jonpd from San Diego
11 October 2002

Many viewers have bashed on this film, claiming it stinks and that it has nothing in common with the other HALLOWEEN films. Well, let me tell you, if you're a true Carpenter idolizer you'll see him written all over this. Writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace didn't necessarily write the best script in the world, but his direction is decent. The performances are kind of stale, but they still come through. On the more positive side, Carpenter's electronic score is one of his greatest in my book. From the eerie opening to the chase sequence, the music fits the movie perfectly. Granted, the film has nothing to do with Michael Myers and Haddonfield, etc., but it is the same season, and Myers was supposedly BURNT TO A CRISP WITH HIS EYES SHOT OUT!!!!!! in the end of HALLOWEEN II. HALLOWEEN III is definitely worth viewing. And watch for Tom Atkins' wife in here: she's played by the same actress who played Annie in HALLOWEEN (Nancy Loomis Kyes).

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45 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Not A Great One, But Accomplishes Rule #1 For A Horror Film

5/10
Author: 102AFalcon from Alexandria, VA
13 June 2003

I've read almost all of the reviews here and honestly, I cannot argue with many of the negative points that are raised here. The movie DOES use the "Halloween" name while having only one tiny thread of connection to the Michael Myers movies that came before it and would come later (and that thread, involving a lab technician, can be charitably described as really lame). It is boring in stretches, the idea of Tom Atkins hooking up with Stacey Nelkin is pretty ridiculous, and the plot makes no sense if you think about it for more than 5 seconds.

But I don't hate this film. Why? That's very simple. The first rule of a horror film is to scare the viewer and HALLOWEEN III has scared the hell out of me every time I've seen it! It's hard to pinpoint why, exactly, but the atmosphere of the movie is a huge factor. This film is jammed with ominous synthesized music (very 80's touch), cold and sharp-looking camera work, and a feeling of overwhelming dread and fear. It's very hard to establish atmosphere in any movie or TV show; I was talking about this movie with my brother--who said that he didn't think it was scary at all--and I compared it to THE X-FILES. Both that show and this movie were able to quickly drag me into their bizarre and frightening worlds.

I don't think I could flat-out recommend a movie with this many huge problems, but I'd say it might scare the viewer, and that's not so bad considering how many abysmal horror movies do nothing else right and cannot get that deceptively simple task completed, either.

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