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George At 

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch

One of the strangest sequels of all time, 1982's HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH is goofy, gross and bizarre.

After two films featuring the masked Michael Myers, producer John Carpenter goes a completely different direction.

The mysterious Silver Shamrock company owns a small California town where they create three Halloween masks that EVERY kid in America wants.

Why is beyond me. The TV commercials are insanely annoying, the masks are kind of bland, but apparently the music in the spots "3 more days to Halloween, Halloween..." ahhhhh! is some sort of earworm.

As the film opens, a stranger grasping one of the masks arrives at the emergency room, terrified and saying "They're going to murder us all!"

Doctor Challis flips from doc to Matlock in about ten minutes after his new patient is murdered by a stranger that then kills himself in his car.

When you learn more about the man in the car later, it begs the question 'Why did he do that?", but hey, leave your common sense at the snack bar for this one.

Challis is played by Tom Atkins (The Fog, Creepshow, Escape from New York) a Carpenter regular. He's the perfect 80's hero as he follows the mystery to Silver Shamrock.

The company is led by Conal Cochran, played by Dan O'Herlihy (The Last Starfighter, Robocop) as a cross between a Bond villain and an Irish folk hero. He has plenty of fun being bad.

It's all very 80's. Some of the special effects are gruesome but all are pre-CGI so they play laughably today.

The film has a dark mean streak with its focus on murdering children that would never be presented today. Modern audiences would be way too sensitive to accept the major plot point.

It's too silly to be taken very seriously though, with Carpenter just starting to show the obsession with bugs and spiders that would really spill over in 1987's "Prince of Darkess".

It's written and directed by first time director Tommy Lee Wallace, who Stephen King fans know as the director of the TV version of "IT".

He's no Carpenter, but does an OK job creating some goofy scares.

Often remembered as a box office failure, it actually made nearly $15 million on a $2 million budget.

Now that I've watched it, that damn Silver Shamrock jingle is stuck in my head again..."eight more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock!"


Listen closely for the operator's voice every time someone tries to make a call outside the town, that's Jamie Lee Curtis.

This oddball sequel gets a C-. I'll give it a couple points just for playing it so dark while having an 80's sense of humor and a great Carpenter synth score.

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