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Halloween III: Season of the Witch

tn_halloweeniiiHALLOWEEN III isn’t the worst HALLOWEEN sequel, but it’s probly the most hated because it’s a new story unrelated to Michael Myers. Producer John Carpenter had this knuckleheaded idea that it was better to treat it like an anthology series, each one a new story having something to do with the holiday. What he didn’t consider seriously enough, maybe because he’s too modest, is that the first HALLOWEEN is a masterpiece and not a whole lot of stories or concepts feel worthy of being in the same series. Maybe if he’d done HALLOWEEN III: THE THING people would’ve gone for it, but not this.

I do know a cult of horror fans who swear by SEASON OF THE WITCH. Their numbers are smaller than the Thorn Cult from parts 5 and 6, and they’re probly just overcompensating for the people who hate the movie just for being a different story and not on its actual quality. And these cultists had me going a bit, I was starting to remember it as being kind of good.

mp_halloweeniiiThere are good elements: starring role for Tom Atkins (I saw him standing on my block earlier this year, not sure if that’s relevant), cool opening credits (almost like an 8-bit version of the original HALLOWEEN’s credits), moody keyboard drones by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, occasional bits of weird gore, effectively annoying TV jingle, a great WIFN (what in fuck’s name) moment in the beginning when a guy kills somebody with his bare hands, then gets in his car, calmly pours gasoline over his own head and lights himself so he and his car blow up. You know, that’s all stuff that appeals to me, but it’s still hard to get around the fact that this movie is about an Irish novelty gift millionaire/warlock plotting to use Halloween masks in combination with lasers, subliminal messages on TV and maybe black magic or something to melt kids’ heads and have snakes and bugs crawl out of them (SPOILER).

I think that bears repeating. This movie is about an Irish novelty gift millionaire/warlock plotting to use Halloween masks in combination with lasers, subliminal messages on TV and maybe black magic or something to melt kids’ heads and have snakes and bugs crawl out of them. I’m not joking or exaggerating, that is the plot of the movie. It’s all very sensible and I would totally buy it except one thing, this plan hinges on the universal popularity of three generic mask designs. I guess the skull and the witch are okay, but the pumpkin? Come on, man. No kids wants that. It’s a drug store reject, not a highly coveted item. I guess maybe this just demonstrats the power of advertising.

Atkins plays a doctor who sees the weird incident at the hospital and, following clues along with the daughter of the guy killed by the self-immolator, goes undercover as a tourist in the town where the famous Silver Shamrock evil mask factory is located. It’s mostly a conspiracy movie, the good guys trying to uncover the secret before the bad guy steps out from behind his mask of bland pleasantries to kill them, and also of course to stop the masks from melting kids heads and, more importantly, increasing the bug and snake populations. That could throw off the whole food chain.

They get staked out by creepy emotionless suits who turn out to be made of clockwork (but just played by people, no cool animatronics or plastic faces). So that explains the guy killing himself. Spoiler.

I like Atkins’ character. He seems nice but it’s established that he’s a drunk who disappoints his kids and pisses off his ex-wife. There’s a scene where he calls and tries to convince her to destroy the kids’ Silver Shamrock masks (the ones she got them, by the way, that they like better than the ones he got them). She has reasons not to believe him. But at the end of the movie he goes to a gas station and calls somebody – a TV station, the FCC, somebody – and yells that although he can’t prove it they gotta believe him that if they don’t turn off the Silver Shamrock commercial then millions of people will die. And they do it! I guess they didn’t know about his history of alcoholism, so they took his word for it.

If the whole thing wasn’t so ridiculous it would be a pretty cool ending because it’s unresolved and possibly apocalyptic. And it’s not in the same world as Michael Myers, we know because the original HALLOWEEN is playing on a TV a couple times. So just because there’s a world in HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS doesn’t mean the world didn’t end here.

The writer/director, Tommy Lee Wallace, is a long time Carpenter associate, going all the way back to art director on ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 and all the way forward to directing VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTOS. At least this is a more memorable sequel than that one. It’s so absurd it’s kind of fun, actually, in the sense of some weird TV movie that maybe scared you as a kid or something. Probly shouldn’t have been called HALLOWEEN III though. Maybe next time.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 1:15 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

68 Responses to “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”

  1. “This movie is about an Irish novelty gift millionaire/warlock plotting to use Halloween masks in combination with lasers, subliminal messages on TV and maybe black magic or something to melt kids’ heads and have snakes and bugs crawl out of them.”

    And automatically becoming better and more interesting (or, at the very least, more original) than most 80s slasher crap.

    I know I’m in an even smaller cult about this, but I find a genre based on a bunch of idiot teens being chased by a guy in a mask where the big spin is what wood shed tool he’s killing them with… well, mostly as boring as cold McD’s french fries. C’mon Vern, can’t we have something a little more wild for Halloween? After that woolly mammoth of a horror movie recommendation talkback, I figured we’d be hearing you write about something a little more imaginative like werewolves or spaceships or blood sucking tentacles from beyond (maybe all three in the same flick). Anything but the “guy with a knife”. At least movies like Opera and Candyman gave some really weird and freaky spins on the slashing.

    HIII:SOTW was originally written by Nigel Kneale, the Brit writer who did the Quatermass stories. You probably haven’t heard of him, but Carpenter loves this guy’s stuff. So much so that he made a tribute flick you have heard of called Prince Of Darkness and used the pen name Martin Quatermass (get it?). Kneale specialized in some really freaky end-of-the-world stuff. And if you liked Prince Of Darkness (did you ever review that one?) you might like Quatermass And The Pit. Too much plot to summarize here, but it deals with a (spoiler) a pit full of skulls and dead aliens and the universal human need to hate and war against anyone a little different than we are. Already, you’re dealing with something more interesting to chew on. Scared by The Idea and not by The Slash.

    A rambling post, I know. But I guess my point is that there’s a lot more out there that’s a lot more interesting than YET MORE SLASHER CRAP. Sorry. I’ll shut up now.

  2. Oops, sorry Vern. You did see and review the Quatermass flick, under the American title 5 Million Years To Earth. And you liked it, so you get where I’m coming from here.

    I know hindsight is 20-20 (like with my Quaterfuckup) but wouldn’t most fans have preferred the 80s to be filled with Carpenter written-produced Halloween films with a different Halloween-themed horror story each year… rather than those awful Michael Myers sequels? Again, I guess I’m in a tiny cult on this, probably a cult with one member.

  3. Well, this was one of the movies people asked me to review, and it’s not a slasher movie. Also, I specifically said on the post that I was looking for more slasher movies. In fact, in my opinion I purposely chose to do this one as a surprise for you because I thought you would be delighted that it wasn’t a slasher movie. But you didn’t even say thank you.

    Yes, I’ll keep reviewing other types of horror movies too, but slasher movies are one of my interests, so it’s gonna keep coming up. But hopefully you’ll be more interested in some other ones I write about. I’ll look for other ones in the magic laser subliminal message Halloween mask snake subgenre.

    As for PRINCE OF DARKNESS, I never really got into that one for some reason. I did like and review QUATERMASS AND THE PIT though.

  4. Well, when evil masks was the example of the type of thing they would do of course that plan didn’t win anybody over. Now you can look at it with nostalgia and everything but if this was a brand new movie I think it would actually be even more hated than it was then.

    But you’re right, if Carpenter had stuck with it I’m sure it would’ve been a good alternative to parts 4, 5, 6 and 8. (I still like H20.)

    thanks Doc

  5. You’re right, Vern. I should have thanked you for that review. Thanks especially for the observation on the far-from-cool pumpkin mask and the power of advertising. I liked that especially. Freaky true fact: they actually sold those masks in stores that year as a cross-promotion marketing bit of genius. I guess it never occurred to them that kids might be put off by a dorky pumpkin mask where the only novelty is that it makes their heads explode in bugs and slime. That is, if anyone had bothered to see HIII who would also want to wear a pumpkin on their head. Way to go, marketing guys.

  6. I think I’m going to try and watch horror films this October, I’ve never been a particular fan of them (or at least the jump scare tactics many of them employ i always found the jump scare stuff cheap and annoying) and so have never really watched any of the classics of horror or slasher genre (other than zombie flicks). But I think I’m going to change that this Halloween.

    Isn’t this anthology horror series idea what the ‘Trick R Treat’ guys say they want to do? I’m suprised it hasn’t been tried more often. If anything it’s gone the opposite way with stuff like the Saw series, which has continually built up an impenetrable and convoluted storyline. Which always seemed so ridiculous to me, a horror series that surely thrives on people just going to see it at halloween because it’s a horror film, relying on people having watched and remembered the plots of the last 5 films to understand it?

    Also for some reason the plot of this film vaguely reminds me that Buffy episode where a bad guy did a magic spell that made everyone become whatever Halloween outfit they were wearing for real. So kids with monster masks suddenly have real monster faces and start terrorising people. Which I always thought was an awesome horror film concept and kind of a shame it’s been wasted on a 40 minute buffy episode.

  7. I’m pretty sure that the plot of the Buffy episode has also been used in one episode of “The Fairly Odd Parents”. I wonder which one came first.

  8. Weren’t they druids? This movie fucked with me, as a child, so I may be a little fuzzy. However, I still don’t remember them as witches or warlocks, but druids. Hence all the Stonehenge shit? Great review, Vern.

  9. yeah I’ve always thought the love this movie gets was undeserved

    I mean it’s just flat out not a very good movie and that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a Halloween sequel without Michael Myers

  10. I loved Prince of Darkness. It didn’t make any fucking sense and whenever characters stop to, you know, speak, it becomes sort of hysterically awful. But what it gets right that so many people these days fuck up from day one is atmosphere. Carpenter lays on the mood so thick that even in day time scenes where people are just having poorly written conversations, your on edge. And c’mon, its about college students who find out a can of intelligent green water that turns out to be the devil. Or something.

  11. So many thoughts in just a few posts that I’ll just number them annoying.

    1. Tom Atkins is great.
    2. I really hope some guy in a mask uses different tool shed objects to kill everybody that belongs in Don’s tiny cult (except Doc because he’s a good poster)
    3. Having recently watched Prince of Darkness after having seen a lot of Italian horror films, John Carpenter definitely set out to make an Italian horror film.
    4. Did I just read a quote that said “Wasted on a 40 minute Buffy episode.” Please tell me you just saying that you think it would be a great 90 minute movie and not that you think anything done on Buffy is a waste. I mean, if you think the second then I hope you’re also a part of Doc’s cult (but not kill you because you’re a good poster but just scare you a little)
    5. What’s it about the Halloween season that makes me wish death upon posters?

  12. Lawrence – heh, don’t worry, I meant the first. I love Buffy, I just meant that I enjoyed the concept so much I’d like to see it expanded into a film, which isn’t really possible now. Buffy’s “horror” episodes could be a little hit and miss, and the “eveyone becoming what they’re dressed as on halloween” concept wasn’t really played up as a full on horror concept.

  13. Buffy was a show that I have enjoyed watching. Buffy was not scary, not in any episode ver.

  14. *any episode EVER.

  15. C’mon, the Gentlemen were pretty scary.

  16. Yeah, OK, those guys make the cut. I think part of why its not scary is part of why its a good show: the humor. The charcaters always have the quips and jokes and while they are always funny, they make you take the guy in the suit monster much less serious. In Hush, everyone shut the fuck up and, Holy Shit, the monsters were allowed to have some degree of menace.

  17. Agreed. The whole concept of Buffy was to take horror conventions and undercut them with humor, then undercut the humor with serious drama. Everybody knows that vampires are ridiculous, but coming home and finding someone you love dead on the floor, that’s scary.

  18. The really weird thing about Carpenter’s anthology idea for the HALLOWEEN series, and I think a prime factor of why the idea was so thoroughly rejected by audiences, is that they waited until the third movie to do it. The had already done a direct HALLOWEEN sequel, establishing a continuity, and it was weird that they tried to break that. Maybe if SEASON OF THE WITCH had been part 2, people would have been more accepting. But probably not, because it’s just not a very good movie.

  19. Scariest film for halloween has to be Ghostrider.

    We can only wish some dude in a mask was stalking and using gardening tools on the main cast. Now that would be a film the whole family could enjoy.

    Still you gotta admire Carpenter for throwing away the world he created with the first two to films, probably just to fuck with peoples expectations. Or did he do it because Donald Pleasance was just unavailable ? (At that time a Halloween movie without Donald would be like a Halloween movie without Michael Myers i guess)

  20. “Everybody knows that vampires are ridiculous.”

    Well, everybody except the folks who made LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

    Speaking of which, has Vern ever reviewed that film? I can’t seem to find a review.

  21. As a 10 year old, who hadn’t seen a lot of horror movies other than the old Universal monster movies, Halloween 3 did scare the hell out of me. It’s just one of those things that we’d better not revisit.

    I do remember an interview with Dan O’Herlihy where he said the script changed a lot just before shooting. He mentioned a more explicit Druid stuff. Whether that would have been better, I do not know. Anybody read that version?

  22. You should review SUSPIRIA! It’s kind of a slasher movie in places sorta kinda! I admit there are only a few actual slashings but they’re both unforgettably insane.

  23. Vern, the kind of movies you like are boring please stop reviewing them. Also, I like this thing that you’ve probably never heard of because it’s a book.

  24. Uh, Mickey, you do know that Vern is the author of three books, don’t you? And have you ever read another film critic who is familiar with the source material for STARSHIP TROOPERS, PAYBACK and I AM LEGEND? And those are just the three that come to mind immediately.

  25. Yes Jareth, I’ve been reading Vern’s stuff for about a decade. I was taking a playful jab at Doc Phibes because I thought his post was a little bit (unintentionally) condescending.

  26. You know, I personally rather like HALLOWEEN III. Except for the end where its revealed to be some stupid Druid thing run by a charming old Irishman, the whole movie is actually a pretty tense conspiracy horror with Tom Atkins playing an interestingly flawed hero. The concept is a unique one, and even though its hampered by TV-level production I think it’s full of great moments, especially the very end. And that’s not just nostalgia talking; I watched it last year and enjoyed it quite a bit. (Apparently it was decent material from the get-go, because VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTOS is virtually unwatchable).

    Also, Stacey Nelkin, who plays Tom Atkin’s creepily much younger love interest (check out their icky, Seagal-esque sex scene) is important to geeks for several reason. First, she was originally cast as the “Sixth Replicant” in BLADE RUNNER before the character was cut out of the script for budget reasons. Second, her creepy sexual relationship with Woody Allen as a teenager (um, she was a teenager, not Woody) would inspire Mariel Hemingway’s role in MANHATTAN. Something to think about.

    I think Dan P. may be on to something in saying that its the fact that they chose to alter the series at the critical #3 juncture which proved too much for audiences to handle. Even though HALLOWEEN III is uneven, I think its a much more unique and interesting film than any of the subsequent HALLOWEENS, and I really wish Carpenter had stuck to his guns on his original plan. Sure, people were pissed, but they’d have gotten used to it and in time, come to love it. But the great news is, now that Rob Zombie’s had his way with the series, we have a second chance to pull the trigger on this anthology idea. Wouldn’t it be GREAT if the remake of HALLOWEEN III is actually SEASON OF THE WITCH??? Holy shit, that would be so damn money I don’t know if I could deal with it.

    They could get a Donovan cameo in there, just to finally have that title make even a little of sense.

  27. Fair enough, Mickey; I mis-read your post. Just trying to keep things civil in here.

  28. I guess he’s not a warlock then, is he? I mean the stone henge stuff definitely means druid, but I figured you could call him a warlock because otherwise I don’t know where the hell they get “Season of the Witch” from. Maybe it should be HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, SKULL AND PUMPKIN.

  29. Mr. S,

    I’ve had that exact same thought about the potential HALLOWEEN 3 remake. Doing a SEASON OF THE WITCH remake would be awesome.

    Or at the very least, they could pull a fake out for the first 5 minutes and make it seem like SotW remake before turning into a Michael Meyers movie, maybe have some kid watching a SotW-esque movie on TV.

    I kinda thought that Zombie did that with part 2. After two years of talking up how he was going to do his own thing and not follow the original HALLOWEEN II, I thought starting off in a hospital immediately after the events of part 1 was an amusing way of fucking with the audiences’ expectations. I honestly wondered for a few minutes if it was going to be a straight forward remake of the original part 2.

  30. To keep the Donovan theme going, the next one should have been Halloween IV: Sunshine Superman. Because there’s nothing scarier than sunshine and/or Superman.

  31. I was one of the few to suggest this movie, so don’t blame Vern for bad taste. There was a reason why he’ s avoided this movie in his Halloween reviews apart from the absence of Michael Myers. But regardless of the movie, this made for a hilarious review! Thanks again Vern, for the time and patience to write something thoughtful about a movie you probably didn’t even want to sit through.

    And while we’re on the subject of masks and slashers, does anybody here kind of miss having masks in slasher movies? It seems like a fading gimmick now, but for every asian remake concerning a ghost whose face is covered in hair, I actually kind of miss those crazy masks. Is it expected that if it is a slasher movie, that you feel that there should be a mask? And if not, does it disappoint you if they don’t have masks in a slasher movie? Can a mask make a slasher that much more effective than the standard “Thriller” killer?

    Also, is there any chance Vern that you’ll make a book about slasher movies like you did with Seagal?

  32. I think masks are important. It makes the character seem more like a monster than just some dude.

  33. I can go either way on masks. I like how the masks used in THE STRANGERS weren’t especially integral to the antagonists; they just seemed to wear them blithely. And how about Anton Chigurh: a terrifying character, no mask necessary.

  34. Here’s a story. I was playing a show in an old band of mine when I was in College and one of the other bands that were playing gave a little verbal intro to their next song that went something like, “This song is about our favorite movie, it’s (the song) called Season of the Witch”.
    It was then when I had the audacity to yell, “Hold on! Not Halloween III: Season ofthe Witch!” Them: “Yes!!!”
    Me: “Worst movie EVER!!!”

    After their set they tried to explain to me that the ORIGINAL intention of the Halloween series was to be an anthology, with different Halloween-related stories for each movie. They were clearly wrong. Carpenter just wanted to rid himself and his contract of Michael Myers sequels.

    I don’t think it’s the worst movie ever, anymore. But it’s still pretty bad. I mean how do you just steal a piece of Stone Hendge? WIFN???

  35. “If the whole thing wasn’t so ridiculous it would be a pretty cool ending because it’s unresolved and possibly apocalyptic. And it’s not in the same world as Michael Myers, we know because the original HALLOWEEN is playing on a TV a couple times. So just because there’s a world in HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS doesn’t mean the world didn’t end here.”
    That doesn’t prove anything. In SWAT, the old tv show it’s based on is playing on a tv in one scene, and in another, the characters sing the theme tune, which means they’re aware of a TV show whose characters and events have been reimagined into their lives!

  36. That reminds me, Vern. Have you ever seen Troll 2?

  37. Actually if there ever was to be a remake/sequel to this movie, they should have it “Assault on Precinct 13” style with families held up in their houses fighting off raging “trick or treaters”. The families escape and find a close shelter nearby. Only the shelter is an all too familiar place, where they find Michael Myers hiding there from a long vacation! It turns out that the irish company making the masks were not under the spell of sam hain but sheryl moon! Who despite her stripper past now has the power to control michael myers, trick or treaters and many more remakes to come!

    Halloween 3make in 3-D!

    “cause this seasons a bitch..”

    directed by Rob Zombie

  38. It doesn’t have to be an exact remake, but if I go see HALLOWEEN 3MAKE (thanks, rewrite)
    and they don’t at least have a TV in the background playing the Silver Shamrock jingle,
    I swear to God I’ll burn the theater down.

  39. I think the masks in THE STRANGERS were integral to the killers if only because NOTHING was integral to the killers. They were just doing what they were doing and the fact that they wore masks added to the fucking nuts ass, motiveless shit they were up to. Anton Chigurh is a very scary character for sure, but we haven’t seen him in the context of a slasher film. I guess you could make the argument that his behavior is slasher-esque, but at the end of the day he is just a guy doing his job, although admittedly quite sociopathically. There are tons of scary characters that just would not work as a slasher villain. I just personally feel like a slasher should in some way have the appearance of a monster, if not with a mask, then by being a deformed hulking mutant (or in the case of Jason, probably the alpha-slasher, both).

  40. Also, I would just like to comment that “WIFN” is pretty damn catchy.

    Now that you’re a famous critic, I hope they use this in future releases of this movie.

    Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (Special Double Blu Ray Disc Edition)

    “WIFN (what in fucks name)”

    -Vern, AINTITCOOLNEWS.COM

  41. thanks for stepping outside of slasher country. you know we’re worth it. haha

    just rented Just Before Dawn, Intruder, Basketcase 2, Visiting Hours and Pumpkinhead. really amping up the horror around my place this week.

  42. I’ve been doing the same thing Dan, there are a lot of classics the Mrs. has never seen and it’s time to educate. We’re currently going through the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET saga, for posterity’s sake. Tonight we watch part 4 and I have a feeling that after seeing it she might veto part 5.

  43. That scene in #3 with the snakes crawling out of the kid’s head and killing the parents…

    Surely that was fucking nuts, Vern.

  44. Vern — probably they they originally intended to call it SEASON OF THE MAN-WITCH, but ran into the obvious problem. But actually, WITCH, SKULL, AND PUMPKIN would have been a pretty cool subtitle. Maybe they’d get some bonus traffic from people thinking they were going to a sequel to BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE.

    SPOILERS BELOW
    and RRA — yeah, that scene’s great. The kid and his family are intentionally abrasive, but I certainly didn’t think they were going to KILL him, especially so brutally. Its sort of a comedic scene, and then all the sudden, the kid’s body just seizes up and he goes down and starts twitching (the little kid does a great job acting out his mounting desperation and searing pain without his face or voice, so kudos to him). Its so gruesome and unexpected, especially since you get to see his parents react with complete disbelief and horror. I mean, how awful is it that they brought their kid here, and now watch him die horribly — completely out of the blue from their perspective. I think its an effective scene, and a good example of the way the movie pulls some unexpected moves.

  45. Kinda weird synchronicity, there, Vern.
    I was 8 when this came out on VHS, and we had just bought our 1st VCR. My mom and I would watch horror VHS tapes every weekend, and this was (by far) my favorite.
    My mom has early-onset Alzheimer’s now, and when I went to see her last weekend, somehow the conversation rolled around to the horror movies we used to watch. She didn’t remember much, but as soon as I said “Halloween 3”, she busted out the Silver Shamrock song.
    So, yeah, this will always be the best horror movie ever made, in my opinion. Even if it is terrible.

  46. Vern is right — this movie pretty much sucks. It get some novelty points for making no sense, but let’s face it — that quality is not exactly unique in the genre.

    Prince of Darkness was pretty lousy, too. An evil seltzer bottle that sprays people in the mouth is almost as dumb as pilfered Stonehenge monoliths.

    Mickey — I hope she DOES veto it. My philosophy on NOES is the same as my philosophy regarding Halloween and Jaws — watch the first one and pretend the rest never happened. Maybe that’s an extreme view, but life is short and one must have a code to live by. (Mine also involves never watching an Ashton Kutcher movie on an even or odd calendar day.)

    I was just thinking about Quatermass and the Pit. Scared the hell out of me on TV as a kid. Not available on Netflix. Maybe the forces of the universe are telling me to let sleeping memories lie.

  47. You know frank, I would agree with what you say about the Halloween and Jaws series, but I actually kind of enjoy the nonsense NOES sequels. On this run through of the series I actually enjoyed part two more than the first one.

  48. I am really annoyed with people putting down Halloween 4. I recently re-watched it along with 5 and 6. Part four is actually a good piece of b level horror slasher filmmaking that has some really interesting concepts. For instance, I like how the police essentially believe Loomis for once. Or the posse of rednecks looking to hunt Michael. Plus there is some good tension built set pieces. A total worthy sequal if you ask me.

  49. I’ve always preferred 5, though for the life of me I couldn’t tell you why. I think maybe the camerawork was a little weirder or something.

  50. Is there any other horror icon with a back story and history as convulted and screwy as Michael Myers? Usually these horror guys have a set starting point and then other sequels maybe reveal more tricks and little details, like Freddy being the son of 1000 maniacs, but they have some fundamental thing that is maintained. Jason was a little boy who drowned and came back to kill people. Freddy was a child killer (molester?) who was killed by angry parents and cam back to kill people. But Michael? In one movie he was going after Laurie just because she happened to be there and he was the boogeyman in human form. Then it turned out he was going after her because she was his sister. Then it turned out he was fixated on killing family members, even extended ones. Then it turned out he was the way he was because of the Thorn cult and the curse of something or other. I mean Come on, he’s a guy in a mask who kills people it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with A reason why he is crazy and then stick with it, if you need to explain it in the first place (which you don’t.) In fact, I read somewhere that in the novelization of Halloween, the writer of the book decided that Michael Myers was the reincarnation of a serial killer/warlock who was executed in Medieveal times. Seriously.

  51. I just found out the the director of Halloween 5 ended up with directing lots of German TV movies, including “Adrenaline”, a (for a German mid 90’s TV production) pretty entertaining action movie with Til Schweiger (“The Replacement Killers”, “Driven”, “Tomb Raider 2”, “Inglorious Bastirdz”) and “Die heilige Hure” (“The Holy Whore”), about a nun who works as whore at night. (Got no idea if this one is any good, but I remember how it was heavily advertised when it came out and the title of it was some kind of running joke on German school yards back then.)

  52. Hey CJ, you ever see a German TV movie called Puma? It’s about this real sensitive German kung-fu instructor who gets involved in a Die Hard scenario in a mall. It’s got some of the best kung fu (choreographed by Donnie Yen) I’ve ever seen from a non-Asian production, let alone a made-for-German-TV one. I found it on semi-bootleg import in a porn shop on 34th Street (porn shops have the best kung fu in NYC) and thus far I’m the only person I know who’s even heard of it. It would be nice to know that it’s not just some delusion I made up.

  53. No, it exists, I remember it. They even made a TV series one year later, that only lasted a few episodes. Haven’t seen it (I would if I had known that Donnie Yen was involved), but I know what great action German TV is for any reason capable of. So I believe you when you say that it’s awesome.

  54. Does German TV really have awesome action? Why don’t you guys have more of an action film industry then? I’ve seen action movies from all over the world, from Chile to Russia to Indonesia, but aside from Puma I don’t think I’ve ever seen a German one.

  55. Mr Majestik: Y’know, you are not the only one who asks this question. For any reason “German action” only seems to make a profit when it’s made for TV. The few tries of bringing it to theatres caused some of the biggest box office bombs in German history, while the show “Alarm für Cobra 11” is on the air for more than 10 years. (and wins pretty much every year at least one “World Stunt Award”.) The production company of it (“Action Concept”) probably doesn’t invest any cent into good scripts or actors, but HOLY SHIT, they can blow shit up! Just look at this scene from the movie “Der Clown” (which was one of the afore mentioned box office bombs), which was done all practical, without any CGI:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cldUg41u5TM

    It also may have something to do with the mafia-like German film industry. (Uwe Boll may be a questionable filmmaker, but you should try to find some of his interviews in which he talks about the impossibility of making a movie in Germany. He is 100% right!) While we have meanwhile a good working “independent scene” (Everything that isn’t produced by Bernd Eichinger and Constantin Film can be considered as independent), which gives us every year several great movies from (almost) all kinds of genres, the producers who have the money to build up a whole action film industry are only making comedies or “the history drama of the week for the Oscar jury”. (I’m not saying that “Das Leben der anderen” or “Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex” are bad, but they are to some degree very formulaic.)
    It’s sad. If you wanna see well made action made in Germany, you have to turn on the TV.

  56. I can’t watch that clip right now (my boss blocks practically everything) but the synopsis of Der Clown, both the TV show and the movie, sounds amazing. Do I have to be a German citizen to partake of this multimedia extravaganza in which a clown fights crime with a rocket launcher? If so, what’s your immigration policy like?

  57. Nah, “Der Clown” isn’t that amazing. In fact it’s pretty bad. But HOLY SHIT, do the action scenes rule most of the time!

  58. Holden, you ever read Foywonder’s review of DER CLOWN?

    His photo captions are Vern-esque fucking comedy gold.

  59. No, do you have a link?

  60. Thanks for the link. Although I didn’t really laugh about the captions, but I always love to read foreign reviews of German productions.
    (And to clear this up: Yes, German shopping malls ARE closed on Sundays. All stores are closed on Sundays, except for gas stations and kiosk’s. Our stores aren’t even open 24 hrs!)

  61. Holy crap, that blowed up REAL good. They do that on TV over there?!!

    (But are you sure there was no CGI? Cars were sailing past a helicopter, man.)

    RRA: The Virginia Madsen/Maximum Overdrive crack made me laugh — and then the fact that I understood that joke made me cry.

  62. Seriously, there was no CGI! That stunt gained lots of attention and respect within the international stunt people community and even was the main reason why that movie won the 2005 World Stunt Award for best Action In A Foreign Film.

  63. Quick question – WIFN happened to the villain? The movie does have two very effective scenes (the ending and the child’s death), and Nelkin is really appealing, but damn was the villain’s comeuppance(?) incoherent or what?

  64. Also: Have a happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, have a happy Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

  65. it’s almost time kids….

  66. HALLOWEEN 3 is probably my favourite entry in the series, because its not the boring slasher snoozefests later entries in the series would become and also I´ve watched the first two l HALLOWEEN so many times, I´m so sick of them. They could have ended the Michael Myers storyline with part 2 and continued doing some more interesting episodes in the series like part 3. But no, just put out the same generic slasher-movies that basically killed my interest in horror-movies for a long time.

  67. […] truth, this film is consistently a better film than H2o, yet this is the sequel most hated by many Halloween fans. The reason: Michael Myers is not in it. Well, he sort of is, but only on TV. This is the only […]

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