Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Featured Scary Movies and Series

The Halloween Anomaly, Season of the Witch

Some pretty great minds went into creating Halloween’s third film, Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982).  Tommy Lee Wallace wrote and directed the film with contributions from Debra Hill and John Carpenter himself!  While this film was supposed to be the start of what they all hoped would become a Halloween anthology series (that would never be), it is most certainly a hidden gem of a horror movie altogether! The movie took a lot of risks to create a masterpiece that has developed a definite cult following some 30-some years later!  And the worst part is the more time that goes by, the creepier the movie gets…almost in a predictive sort of way!

Behind the Scenes: Halloween Part III

The creators of the Season of the Witch found a hidden fear in the fabric of society. The movie successfully showcases horror by way of brainwashing and mind-control, conspiracy and full-on hopelessness. Here are some of the most interesting facts in the making of Halloween Part 3: Season of the Witch…

Cameo Pharmaceutical

In Halloween (1978), Dr Loomis suggests a drug called “Thorazine” to Nurse Chambers. Thorazine is supposed to suggested to suppress Michael Myers’ mental and psychiatric disorders. In Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), this same drug is prescribed by Dr Challis to Harry Grimbridge during his stint in the hospital!

Truly Hypnotizing

The creators were insistent upon the Silver Shamrock theme song and commercial playing as much as possible throughout the film.  Branding the film with the Silver Shamrock Novelties company logos, stickers, and themes was imperative in creating the fear that is experienced throughout the film. Ultimately, the Silver Shamrock theme song plays a total of 14 times throughout the movie!

Where Was Halloween Season of the Witch Filmed?

The film was produced in California.  The gas stations are located off the Sierra Highway, and also in Loleta (both are still there). The hospital was in Sylmar, however, no longer remains. And the Silver Shamrock commercials were filmed in Sierra Madre.  The movie also uses the Rose of Shannon Motel and a manufacturing factory in Loleta. Random scenes are shot all over L.A. As well.

Voicing Cameo

Halloween’s previous films starred Jamie Lee Curtis.  She is also the phone operator in the third installment, Season of the Witch. The role is uncredited, but she sounds absolutely convincing! She is also the voice reciting the curfew.

Coining Witchcraft in the Computer Age

halloween season of the witch silver shamrock commercial on a TV

Several people, including the film’s director (Tommy Lee Wallace), credit Debra hill with the concept of introducing witchcraft to the computer age.  Witchcraft had not previously been used to fuse with or take over technology in the way it is used throughout the Silver Shamrock story.

The Masks Were Real

The three Silver Shamrock masks present throughout the film were mass produced as a part of a merchandising campaign. Don Post was selected for the job, as he had previously done similar merchandising for E.T. (1982), Star Wars (1977), and Planet of the Apes (1968).  The producers felt that if the masks were released early enough, fans would purchase them prior to the film’s release and wear them to the actual movie theater.

A Masked Plot

Tommy Lee Wallace, writer and director of Season of the Witch, explained that he had an intricate plan for the three masked sold by the Silver Shamrock Novelties company.  Each mask was going to represent another film in the series…thus connecting Season of the Witch (loosely) with the other movies in the franchise.  Unfortunately, after this third movie in the franchise totally bombed at the box office, Halloween would have to return to their cash cow, famed slasher Michael Myers, instead of merely leaving behind his mask.

Mostly Acting Newbies

Almost all of the cast of the third Halloween film were total newbies…only having previous credits as extras or cameo types of appearances. There were a couple bigger names, but ultimately the film relied upon newer, green talent. Amazingly, the acting itself is pretty alright and the movie maintains a fairly strong level of suspense. 

Halloween Cameo Appearance

Halloween (1978) itself receives a cameo appearance roughly 1:17 to 1:19 minutes into the movie. The movie can be seen played on a small TV as a Silver Shamrock victim sits strapped to a chair and locked in a room with a mask over his head.

The Silver Shamrock Theme Song

The Silver Shamrock theme song is based on the popular “London Bridge” song.  London Bridge was in the public domain, so it became a clear choice as a catchy, modifiable tune that people would recognize, remember, and be able to follow along with.

Robot Guts

Robot guts was seemingly new territory as the staff ended up using orange juice.  The high-in-vitamin-c citrus drink can be seen pouring from the robots’ mouths throughout the films.

Got Milk?

black and white skeleton drawings

Although the crew used orange juice for robot blood, the Silver Shamrock factory was actually producing something much different before being cast in Season of the Witch.  A milk factory was used as the Silver Shamrock headquarters due to its availability, location ambiance and size.

Inspirations for Making the Film

There are obvious tips of the hat to both Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers general concept) and George A Romero (Season of the Witch film title). Halloween itself (the holiday, not the movie franchise), deserves an applause, for without Halloween, none of Season of the Witch would be possible! The movie focuses on the sale of Halloween masks to would-be trick-or-treaters, days before…you guessed it! Halloween!

An Under appreciated 80s Horror Movie

Season of the Witch is one of the most original horror movies to come out of the 80s, despite drawing a lot of inspiration from even very popular pieces such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Season of the Witch (1972). The acting is pretty decent, believable. The characters are drawn perfectly.  The film style and natural fear is excellent, in traditional Carpenter-Hill fashion. And Tommy Lee Wallace totally knocks the ball out of the park when it comes to directing the movie. Regardless of its amazing feats, the brilliant attempt at reinventing the Halloween franchise came a little too early; Thus, Season of the Witch joins the ranks of underappreciated 80s horror movies.

And if it were still possible to actually buy Silver Shamrock masks, every fan absolutely would!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox

How is Laurie Strode in Halloween Movies If She Died?

Scary Movies and Series

How Did They Bring Laurie Strode Back for the Halloween Movies? 

Laurie Strode’s character (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) was a long running heroine in the Halloween franchise.  She is one of the most successful protagonists out of all the horror movie franchises…and thus, her death came as a shock to Halloween fans. The producers of Halloween: Resurrection (2002) decided they were going to kill off Laurie’s character.  So how is it that she is back and starring in the 2018 Halloween movie, released on October 19th, 2018 and the new 2021 Halloween Kills movie?

Horror Enthusiast has probed the Halloween rumors and creator interviews to determine the truth behind Jamie Lee Curtis’ reemergence as heroine Laurie Strode.

Why is Laurie Strode in the New Halloween movies?

The creators of this new Halloween movies are laying down some pretty good ground work and they all seem to be on the same page.  Danny McBride has been interviewed about the 2018 movie (he was co-writing it, so his opinion is of sincere value) and has claimed it is not a remake.  He explains that they are not picking up after Rob Zombie’s remakes. In fact, it ignores them, and many other movies in the franchise as well.

The real reason Laurie Strode has been allowed back into the franchise, is because the new movie ignores all previous films besides the first two movies. This means, all Michael Myers history after 1981 never happened for this new film.*  As far as script writing goes for Halloween (2018), Laurie Strode never died to begin with.

Additionally, McBride has offered some more insight to the inspiration behind the new Halloween movie, and it all starts with his own likes.  McBride states that he has always loved the Halloween franchise, and that the first movie has been on of his all time favorites.  He says the simplicity behind the original movie led to efficiency probably meant to describe the entire movie] and that he wants to create a “straight-up” kind of horror in these new Halloween movies.

*It has been suggested that McBride and team may also choose to completely ignore the second movie in the franchise as well, Halloween II (1981). This would mean picking up after Michael Myers falls out of the second story window in the first film, gets up, and walks off.

Halloween (2018)

It is important to remember that Halloween (2018) is not meant to be a remake of anything. It is a continuation of a story.  So much of the telephone game has created rumors that this is a remake of the original Halloween movie, even incorrectly listed on IMDB as a “reboot of the original film” (at the time of writing this article anyway).

Released in October 2018 release, Halloween 2018 became an instant classic. A team of true Halloween movie lovers like Carpenter, McBride and Green all working together, along with bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis, means creating a masterpiece that has horror fans everywhere more than excited!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox

Join The Horror List