Monday, January 19, 2009
Halloween III: Season of the Witch Review
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is probably the biggest dark horse and black sheep in horror movie history. Seriously, no one really cites this film as being that great all. Rightfully so, this film has nothing to do with Michael Myers or Laurie Strode, and doesn't even pay homage to it. In fact, Halloween III is not even a straight forward horror movie or slasher, it is more of a supernatural science fiction film, and unfortunately, despite some great starting points fails to deliver on anything more than an bad attempt at spinning the series into "The Outer Limits" which was the original intention.
The third installment of the Halloween series revolves around to or three plot points. First we have a company that is manufacturing children's halloween masks. They have cornered the market and are going to broadcast a signal that makes the masks kill the kids. On the flip side the company has also stolen some rocks from Stonehenge.Oh and if that wasn't enough, there's a robotic murderous army controlled by the company killing anyone that might pose a threat.
Here is a trailer for Halloween III: Season of the Witch:
The acting is terrible in this film. Seriously this thing is a piece of junk. However, the initial start of the film really surprised me. The camera movements were solid, and the interior hospital scene's were creepy and right on point. The way the camera switched angles and the way the director decided to shoot the hysteria that loomed in the on goings of this film was just fantastic. I really enjoyed how this movie started. The more involved you got in this film, the worse it got.
There is a love scene in this film that just looks awkward to say the least. It really does look terrible, and I'm not sure why it was included. Not only that, the sexuality is toned down to tease levels and really only proves to be a hassle to the audience; male and female.
The gore effects are toned down, and while stranglings in this film are awesome, the majority of kills are slow and stupid. The camera shifts away from the scenes and has an object in front of the view points, making it hard to see what is going on. This is noticeable in the scene where a scientist is drilled to death by a robot, the camera lens props itself behind a table so you only see the legs and hear the sounds of the penetration. You would think this would intensify the film, but it actually hinders the tension a lot. If you're a fan or have memories of the "Spice" channel on cable, you might remember that porno companies would do the same thing. You wouldn't see any private parts or any sort of "action" and when you saw the bumping and/or grinding, you would see a vase or object directly in front of the camera lens, giving porno an R rating, which was worse than late night Showtime. Trust me, I know it all too well.
The music is horrendous. It is annoying and takes you out of the film completely. I had a hard time with the looping of the main halloween song that was suppose to initiate the mind control of children and kill off adults. It was a very sour and horrible tune, and while the intentions might have been that, this was very annoying to me and made me want to smash my television set.
Why Halloween III: Season of the Witch is Scary: The movie might be laughable in a lot of ways. However, there are two major scary themes that play throughout this whole film. If you are too bored or cynical about the movie, you might miss these two crucial scary things about this movie.
The first is Universal Mind Control. This is not something new at all, in fact you might remember the idea of mind control through television, and media quite well in film. For instance, lets take a trip to a more recent film and discuss Batman Forever. The main plot of that Batman film was that The Riddler was creating a 3-d device that would control the minds of Gothem City, and give him a super brain full of information. Not buying it? Consider Videodrome's hallucination sequences spiraling out of control for James Woods as he watched potential Snuff FIlms. Also consider movies like The Signal, A Clockwork Orange, The Stepford Wives, and dare I mention The Ring, all of which have plots surrounding mind control of some kind. You see this film is not necessarily about forcing the minds of people to react a certain way. It is casually introduced to children via the masks, and the results are terrifying as they tune in to watch the special program on Television. Now consider how much we give up in our daily lives in realms of freedom and control. Consider how much you use your cell phone, and if you have gps consider that too. We have willingly given up our freedom of privacy for communication, games, and convenience, and much like this films main plot, we too are brainwashed and controlled in a lot of ways. You can argue with me that you're not, and I can shun the idea, but it's true. The theme of "A Brave New World" by Huxley is a great literary formula that lines this theme I'm trying to cite as scary; he doesn't write that we will be abducted by Big Brother and forcefully enslaved, but rather, we will willingly give up our civil liberties. Rage Against the Machine once wrote, "You don't have to burn the books, you just remove them..." and that too holds a clear message to the storyline of Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The scary part of this film is how close it is to our society now. If you do not think that we are sheep at all, consider the Election process and how the media swerved the nation into supporting one candidate while making a villain and a mockery out of the other. Yes, the idea of mind control is scary, but not just on a cult level like in religion but on a more easily digested level of media consumption. We're all to blame.
The second thing that I wanted to mention about this film in regards to why it is a scary movie is the fact that the killings all involve Robots. The robots in this film kill people and do not think twice about doing so. This is scary to me, unlike movies that involve self aware robots, because robotics in the wrong hands can be devastating to us all! That is why it is scary that today in the U.S people are terrified about Robotic research and other countries are finding new ways to use robots. Robots will never become self aware and destroy us all, but they can be used to deliver killing sprees! Ok, I know I'm reaching hard for this one, but it's true. If we create humanlike robots, and instruct them to kill, they will, and won't "think" about it.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a cool trip into science fiction and has horror elements. However, the supernatural portions of this film outweigh the series quality and hinders the growth potential of what is now known as the Michael Myers saga. For 1982, this film had some great camera movements, and photography, considering the budget was a mere two million dollars. However, it really isn't that great of a film and shouldn't be called Halloween at all. I do recommend Halloween III for those collecting the series, or just so that you have seen it and can talk about it with friends or coworkers. The film stands up on its own, but it's not that great. It really tries to jump a shark with the ending, and well, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
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