Some might call Halloween III: Season of the Witch to be a misunderstood classic and although I didn’t really care much for it, if it hadn’t been for Halloween being in the title, it would not have received the backlash it did back in 1982 and still today.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Suspense
Shout! Factory | R – 99 min. – $29.93 | September 18, 2012
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writer(s): Tommy Lee Wallace (written by)
Cast: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy
Theatrical Release Date: October 22, 1982
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Still Gallery, Trailers, TV Spots
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA Mono)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Disc Size: 37.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
Plot Outline: When a terrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital babbling and clutching the year’s most popular Halloween costume, an eerie pumpkin mask, Dr. Daniel Challis (TOM ATKINS) is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie (STACEY NELKIN), Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties Company and its founder, Conal Cochran (DAN O’HERLIHY), located in a small California town ruled by Cochran via a Big Brother system where everything and everyone is watched.
Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran’s shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country are kept from ever coming home.
Quick Hit Review: This much maligned “sequel” or entry in the Halloween series, Halloween III: Season of the Witch wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Prior, I had always heard and read about the hate the film received and after watching it, it’s obviously because of the title otherwise if were merely called Season of the Witch, it would just be another lame “horror/suspense” flick from the 80s that some will look back on with fond memories rather than loathing it for not featuring Michael Myers (outside of the first Halloween being played on television).
In any case, taking the movie itself at face value and ignoring it craps on the franchise, although Season of the Witch isn’t a very good movie, there’s a certain B-movie charm which helps one get through some of the questionable acting and, especially, gaping plot holes. The biggest is the fact “Shamrock Novelties” has this ingenious plan to kill millions of kids and their parents (it’s a part of some sacrificial ceremony) across the country as they watch a Shamrock commercial at 9pm. What time zone you might ask? They don’t say and apparently play it as if there are none in the United States; doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Another comes towards the end, so spoiler warning here, when our hero doctor escapes from town to warn others not to watch the commercial and, this is after he rescues the love interest, we get a twist that she has been replaced by a robot. Fair enough of a twist except for the part when she willingly helped him sabotage the villain at his headquarters. Why didn’t she do anything to kill him before? Makes no sense and seemed tacked on to give audiences one more scare…
Taking the plot holes aside, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is an OK movie with a discernible amount of entertainment value yet doesn’t hold much replay value. The acting is on the hammy side but I guess that’s to be expected from a film where the Halloween masks will devour kids after watching a commercial. Still, if you’re like me and avoided this non-entry in the series, at least give a shot just ignore that it has Halloween in the title.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover.
Audio Commentaries – There are two tracks: 1) Writer/Director Tommy Lee Wallace and 2) Actor Tom Atkins. I kind of wish both of these guys was in the booth together but they’re informative providing different perspectives of the filmmaking process. To keep things moving along and minimize the silent time, there is a host to ask questions.
Stand Alone: The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch (33:09; HD) – This is a retrospective featurette with new cast and crew interviews (including Director Tommy Lee Wallace, Executive Producer Irwin Yablans, DP Dean Cundey, Actors Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, etc.) which contains a fair amount of honesty about the box office flop, using “Halloween” in the title, how it was made in the first place and the cult following it developed.
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (19:44; HD) is the latest installment of the series hosted by Sean Clark as he, joined later by Tommy Lee Wallace, tour the original locations featured in the film.
Also included is the Trailer (2:44; HD), a Still Gallery (3:27) and some TV Spots (1:35; SD).
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Halloween III: Season of the Witch arrives on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfer. It’s a fairly impressive transfer with fine detail levels, the dark scenes show no major signs of flaws such as artifacting, high amounts of grain or dust marks and scratches. The color array seems to be well balanced as well making for a good transfer and certainly an upgrade over the DVD.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The disc comes with a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio and while it’s not really dynamic or anything, it gets the job done with clear dialogue throughout to go with John Carpenter’s score and that annoying Shamrock commercial jingle. Obviously this isn’t a track that will knock your socks off but it’s still notable.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, some might call Halloween III: Season of the Witch to be a misunderstood classic and although I didn’t really care much for it, if it hadn’t been for Halloween being in the title, it would not have received the backlash it did back in 1982 and still today. The Blu-ray has a good audio/video transfer and a fair amount of features.