Years ago, I would host and attend regular movie parties. We’d sit and watch awful films, laugh at plots, mock the narrative, and just have genuine fun. It was like MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 with a bunch of immature brats and younger adults who wanted to stay young—all of us were not paid for our efforts, but I dare say we came up with good comedy. If only iPhones and YouTube were available in the late 1990s, we’d have great podcasts. Maybe we would have been sued by companies for copyright issues.
One film caught our attention early and became a long standing joke for life: Halloween 3, the Season of the Witch.
If you never saw it, don’t be fooled by the name. It has nothing to do with the lunatic killer Michael Myers, and no it was not made by Rob Zombie. This movie was from director John Carpenter. He didn’t want to create another Halloween starring ‘The Shape’ so instead he changed the story. This one features a mask making company called Silver Shamrock that does some funky things with cursed rocks from Stonehenge and comes up with a plot to kill all kids that buy masks they create. The movie features women who look like robots that have their heads come off, awful music that never seems to end, and kids wearing pumpkin masks that turn into bugs and snakes. In doing so John Carpenter violated a rule some horror movie makers go by: Not to kill off children in brutal ways in movies. Though it wasn’t brutal but actually quite tacky, leading to the humorous nature of the film.. In other words,it’s one of the one films ever made.
Or is it?
This is where I wonder if it was maybe not as bad as it seems. Are we just judging the movie when compared to Sam Loomis shreaking about a monster in Haddonfield? If so Halloween 3 will never be as good.
In all fairness, the notion of wearing a mask and having it turn into snakes and bugs is frightening. In the movie it happens at 9pm because Silver Shamrock has seemingly been able to convince the entire youth of America that they should be home by 9 to watch ‘the big giveaway’ live on TV. It’s assumed that all cable networks at the time (1970s) were going to run the 9pm ad from the company. I know, I try to be logical, even with an illogical horror movie.
I think this film would have been much better were it to have been made in current times. Seriously. Think of it, minus our the mockery of the movie I’m sure you have done along with me and my friends, the movie has a social message: People are convinced easily by awful ads on TV to do just about anything. Including rushing home from tick or treating to tune in for some stupid giveaway. People are mind-numbed by television.. and even more modern technology has fried the parts of the brain that did not happen to become numb in the process of life.
In other words Halloween 3 is an epic narrative… a dark comedy.. an eloquent judgement on our times: Parents who will buy anything for their kids, including masks that will eventually turn into the demise of the nation. And kids will want anything to fit in. And in the end, parents and kids will be equal in their inability to think for themselves and be convinced by whatever advertising tells them to do.
I don’t think John Carpenter thought he was making a social commentary. Instead, watching Season of the Witch, it would appear that he was just smoking a hell of a lot of pot.
So … sing the song and watch the TV. Watch… watch… watch…
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