What Is The 3rd Halloween Movie About?
Halloween’s second sequel, the 3rd movie in the franchise, left a lot of fans really confused. Whether having seen it when it was released in 1982, or later down the road after many other Halloween movies were released, it is undeniable that it does not seem to fit in with the rest of the franchise. Halloween III: Season of the witch (1982) is extremely well-done, however, and is absolutely scary in its own right. The oddball in the franchise is about a shady Halloween mask company called “Silver Shamrock Novelties,” who produce some super realistic and terrifying looking masks. These masks glow in the dark too, but that’s not all…they also take over your brain!
Literally, the masks are micro-chipped and every kid in America wants one! The mask company releases these creepy commercials that hypnotize kids into reciting the eerie Silver Shamrock theme song.
A Different Type of Fear
The Silver Shamrock Novelties company is creepy in every way. They utilize high-tech (for 1982 any way) surveillance equipment, mind-control devices, and implant microchips into their masks. They have brainwashing commercials and maintain control over an entire town. They even implement a curfew! This new type of fear that is created in Halloween part 3 is that of conspiracy and the control of society…almost a 1984 meets The Matrix (1999) kind of fear. Plus, if someone learns too much or if they get too close to figuring things out, they get taken out!
Why Isn’t Michael Myers In Halloween Part III?
Most Halloween fans instantly recognize this as the only film in the series that is not focused on the slasher who made the franchise famous. Michael Myers is not present in the film because the creators believed the franchise deserved to become much larger than just one single horror slasher. John Carpenter (Halloween creator) and Debra Hill, produced and helped direct this film. They were also involved on many other Halloween films (basically all of them in one fashion or another). Thus, their opinion mattered greatly when they explained the franchise should become an anthology series in the horror genre. They believed there should be a new fear in each Halloween movie…each focusing on the holiday by which the movies are titled. The director, Tommy Lee Wallace, shared this belief and had written Season of the Witch with the intention of it being the first of the attempt at an authentic horror anthology series.
Mind Control Instead of Traditional Slashers
Writer Debra Hill has explained that the idea behind the third Halloween movie was to create a mind control type of “pod” movie. She has cited Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) as inspiration on more than one occasion. The name of the film, Season of the Witch, is a tip of the hat to George A Romero’s Season of the Witch (1973).
Worst Grossing Halloween Movie
Unfortunately for Wallace, Carpenter, and Hill, and everyone else involved, Halloween III: Season of the Witch was the worst grossing Halloween movie of the entire franchise. The movie had a budget of $2.5 million and only grossed a little over $14 million in the United States. Most people have attributed the negative reviews and poor earnings from having been marketed as a part of the Halloween franchise. In fact, it could be suggested that if it were to have been marketed on its own it would have done much better (such as being called “Season of the Witch,” maybe notating that it were BY the creators of Halloween).
This was an experiment that could have been great, but terribly which left critics under-impressed for the hype. While the movie may be underrated (it is actually decent), making the Halloween franchise an anthology series would have been a fantastic idea. Sure, some of them would be worse than others, but the idea has had real success previously with other franchises and concepts. Examples include the very popular Friday the 13th TV series, the Outer limits, the Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, the Crypt Keeper, and others.
Final Words About Season of the Witch
Ultimately, there has probably never been a bad film produced, written or directed by John Carpenter. Having Debra Hill co-producing and involved on the project also instantly makes it better. That said, Halloween’s Season of the Witch creates a deeper paranoia than the traditional Halloween stories. And although Halloween 3 was totally separate from the Michael Myers story line altogether, it contributed greatly to the ‘conspiracy horror’ genre and has burned a mark in the Halloween franchise, forever!
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.