Monday, February 23, 2015

Movie Review: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - USA - Horror - Rated R
Written and Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O'Herlihy

Not even a good plot for a 30 minute Night Gallery episode stretched into 98 minutes of amateurish and derivative hell.

A paranoid man holding onto a Halloween mask is brought into a hospital and ends up being murdered by an unemotional killer who then pours gasoline on himself and sets himself on fire in his car. The bizarre incident leads the on-call doctor at the hospital and the murdered man's daughter to investigate and takes them to a strange town and the toymaker who runs the town. The toymaker's current line of Halloween masks, one of which the murdered victim was holding, is very popular and every kid wants one, especially with the popularity of the TV commercial and the jingle every kid is singing. But what is behind the masks may not be so kid friendly as the commercials lead one to believe.

I have truly tried to drag out an appropriate summary of the all too simple plot of this movie, and without giving much in the way of spoilers, but there just simply is not much to it. It is exactly what you expect it to be, and that ain't much.

Following on the heels of the successful Halloween movie and its sort of successful but inferior sequel, apparently the producers of this wanted to go in a different direction, and without Michael Myers. Poor decision.

This movie was recommended to me by others on a blog and recommended as a hidden gem. As close as this movie comes to being a gem would be in the form of a petrified turd.

It starts off not too badly, but by the point the plot is revealed it is a wait and see game of agony until this movie ends, and ends without adding anything past the first 10 or 15 minutes. The dialogue is stilted like it is written by some basement dwelling nerd who has only watched porn movies his entire life. The dialogue exists to advance the movie and is in no way even close to natural, more like dialogue written for a porn movie.

The most annoying part of the movie, and it is a tough choice deciding what is most annoying out of all the annoyances, is the constant use of playing to the camera for suspense, which is not in any way suspenseful. They overuse to death a strain of music from the original Halloween every time someone walks into the frame which is almost constantly, then they proceed to beat the corpse as they continue to do this. It's almost as though a group of amateurs got together and decided to make a movie, and thought that if something worked once in a movie then using it a hundred times should make it a hundred times better...NOT!!!

Continuity, and I mean lack thereof, is another annoyance. In several scenes where a motel plays a prominent role there are exterior shots of the motel, or I should say the same exterior shot of the motel with a single vehicle in the parking lot regardless how many vehicles were previously established to be in the parking lot. Gaffs in continuity and the aforementioned poor writing and beating the audience to death with cheap gimmicks, not to mention just a plainly stupid plot in the end, make the whole movie seem amateurish and lazy in its production.

Another thorn in my side was, and this may be an 80s thing, the misogynistic view of women in this. It's subtle, but every woman in this either is an easy lay, likes to be man-handled, is a screaming bitch, or is nosy. This movie expresses zero positive attitude toward women, which is why I previously called the writer of this a basement dwelling nerd. This should appeal very much to gamergate geeks who prefer being derogatory to women and are too stupid to get anything other than a simple 'the aliens are bad, shoot them' type of plot. The rest of humanity will probably want to avoid this waste of good film stock.

My Rating: I give it a finger! I am tempted to say "2 on each hand" as much as I hated this detestable movie.

Get Halloween III: Season of the Witch on DVD, Blu-ray or Instant Video

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