Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Article 5397 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-17-2017
Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Featuring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy
Country: USA
What it is: Something different

When a terrified man is brutally murdered in a hospital, a doctor and the victim’s daughter try to find out what led up to the murder. There investigation takes them to the town of Santa Mira, where a Halloween mask company named Silver Shamrock has a dreadful secret…

Original director Joe Dante wanted to do something different for the series, and hired Nigel Kneale to write the script. When Tommy Lee Wallace took over as director, he and producer John Carpenter rewrote the script to simplify the story and add more violence and gore. When Nigel Kneale saw the movie, he was appalled and sued to have his name removed from the credits. I don’t blame him. In its completed form, you can still find elements that remind one of Kneale’s other work, but the murder scenes often seem gratuitous and unnecessarily brutal, and they bring the real story to a dead halt. Personally, I’d like to see an adaptation of the original script (which was reportedly comic in tone), but given that this movie didn’t do well at the box office, it’s probably not going to happen. Yet, from what I gather, the novelization of the movie did marvelously well; I wonder if it was based on the original Nigel Kneale screenplay. In its present form, I found it interesting at times, but badly flawed and sometimes rather stupid. However, if there’s one thing I’ll really remember about this movie, it’s the Silver Shamrock commercials; these may be some of the most annoying ads ever made.


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