Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Halloween Scene: Halloween 3 Season of the Witch (1982)

4:00:25 am

So, as I already explained Halloween 3 was supposed to be the beginning of an anthology film series based around the creepy holiday of Halloween. Instead, Season of the Witch turned into an abnormality in the Michael Myers series, but that doesn't mean it's not a good flick.

John Carpenter still produced this third installment and he did the score, but Tommy Lee Wallace wrote and directed this installment about an evil mask corporation that used pieces of Stonehenge to make witch, mummy and pumpkin masks that would make the wearer turn into a monster and then die if they were listening to the commercial jingle after the first Halloween flick played on TV. It's a pretty crazy plot and only gets crazier when you really delve into the plot, but damn is it a fun movie.

Forger all the "where's Michael Myers?" complaints, this movie is enjoyable on its own. And lets be honest, none of the Michael Myers flicks after this one were all that new and inventive (and I'm saying that as a huge MM fan).

H3 stars veteran horror actor Tom Atkins (Maniac Cop, Night of the Creeps, Creepshow) as a doctor who gets drawn into this crazy world by a woman whose father set fire to himself in Atkins' hospital. Yeah, it's just that confusing.

With much respect to my hero Brian over at Horror Movie a Day , we share the same favorite scene. Yous see Atkins has a wife (I think an ex, but I'll be honest, as usual, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have and fell asleep at some point towards the end before waking up) and two kids. He's supposed to take the kids trick or treating on Halloween, but he gets wrapped up with the girl whose dad died. She's been doing a lot of digging into her father's disappearance and found out that he had been to some small town where a mask factory is. Which brings me to my favorite scene. Atkins calls his wife and tells her that he can't take the kids out because he has to go to a fictional medical conference. He's at a payphone, by the way, and after he hangs off he slides a six pack off of the top of the pay phone (which I hadn't noticed until then) and gets in the car with this woman he just met.

They end up in a motel filled with other people trying to get to the mask factory. One guy is the number one mask seller in the company. His kid ends up being a test subject whose head turns into bugs and snakes. There's another lady who discovers the Stonehenge chip inside the mask and fiddles with it until a blue lazer shoots out of it and burns her face off. It's a GREAT effect when you get to see her practically melted face. Well done!

From there, things get a little fuzzy as I was blogging about Freaks and getting a bit sleepy. Anyway, Atkins and the girl try and infiltrate the mask company. Atkins gets caught and tied up. The mask company dude explains something about how Stonehenge is involved and then ties Atkins up in a room which he easily breaks out of. YEAH!

The end of the movie involves him discovering that the girl her saved is actually some kind of robot (it makes sense within the movie I guess), her/it almost killing him and then him getting to a gas station where he calls the TV stations and tells them to turn the commercial off, but one of the three stations doesn't. Frick, there goes the world I guess.

So, yeah, the only Michael Myers inclusion is on a TV commercial and that's just fine in my book because this movie is totally bizonkers in its own right. The evil mask owner freaking stole Stonehenge Carmen San Diego style. That's AWESOME. It's over the top and fantastic and I think I'd watch Tom Atkins in just about anything, so you should give H3: Season of the Witch a chance and bask in it's out-there glory.

Also, the opening credits are a really cool "update" tribute to the original Halloween's glowing jack-o-lantern as you get to see pieces of a pumpkin created on an old school computer. It really makes you appreciate the internet.

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