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You Broke It: Halloween III Season of the Witch

Year of Release: 1982
Genre:  Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 3 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0.5 / 5


Of all the trilogies that went awry this week, this one really went all out to screw up a franchise. The only way this could have been more of an 80s mess is if Linnea Quigly had been in it. A little birdy has informed me that the Halloween franchise has long since past the point where its a trilogy (I don’t think there are words for the number of movies that make it up now) but trying to find three separate franchises where the first two movies were connected and the third falls under the banner but has nothing to do with the first two is a tall order. Let’s travel back to a simpler and less colour coordinated time and investigate the wonders of Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

I said no onions!!

John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Tommy Lee Wallace’s ill-conceived idea begins on a back road somewhere where a strange man is running away from a mysterious car. This movie’s nearly 100 minute run time is incredibly well padded, so the running carries on for quite a while before the car and its drivers eventually find the man hiding in plain sight and try to kill him with their bare hands. The man manages to escape and make his way to a little gas station but not without a few injuries, so the owner (who has a very odd-looking face) takes him to the hospital to be treated. It’s here that we meet our first main character, Dr Dan Challis. The good doctor really doesn’t do much but sleep in the nurse’s lounge, but for him to be active right now would interfere with the plot’s (alleged) development. In one of the rooms our stranger has been sedated and is busy resting, all the while clinging to a jack-o-lantern mask that he refuses to give up. While he’s sleeping a man similar to one of the Men In Black goes into the room and cracks the stranger’s skull in before going back to his car and setting himself on fire. Making any sense yet? No? Don’t worry, I’ll try to get you there…

Laser beams: now with extra mintiness.

In an attempt to shift the movie into second gear we find out that the stranger has a daughter named Ellie, and she wants to know exactly why anyone would want to kill her dear old dad. Since the old man owned a Halloween novelty store and was on his way to top up on his Silver Shamrock line of Halloween masks she decides that this is as good a place as any to start. Dr Dan also goes beyond the call duty and decides to tag along with her to try and find out what happened to his poor patient. The two make their way to Santa Mira, a tiny little Irish community in the hell and back of nowhere that’s about as relaxed and welcoming as London in 1984. Everyone’s under surveillance, the entire town is centred around the Silver Shamrock factory, a curfew’s in effect from 6pm and the most irritating advert for the Shamrock masks is playing on every TV in the country. Still not seeing how the movie’s working here? Don’t worry, if you actually watch it in all its tedious glory everything’s so slow to happen that you have plenty time to figure out what’s going on.

If she'd flossed regularly this might never have happen

OK, so the long short of it is that the Silver Shamrock company is busy making some very special Halloween masks for all the wee ones out there. The factory is owned by a man named Conal Cochran and the masks he’s making come kitted out with a very special trademark attached to the back that, when activated, kills the children and makes them ooze insects. This is all in some way connected to an ancient Celtic sacrifice that apparently takes place every 3000 years and involves sacrificing a lot of children at a time of planetary alignment. The trademarks are powered by a giant stone that Cochran managed to steal from Stonehenge and cart all the way back to the States without anyone noticing a thing. The stone, along with the bewitched and bedazzled trademarks, will activate themselves on Halloween night (most of the movie takes place in the lead up to Halloween rather than on the actual day) by a specially programmed advert. Dr Dan and Ellie now need to find a way into the factory, find out what’s happening, stop Cochran and not be killed by his army of super advanced robots.

My final thoughts. Having read some reviews I was quite surprised to find that some people out there quite enjoyed this movie. I think the problem for me personally is that the Halloween movies, apart from this one, define what good horror is and they are the standard against which all other movies are measured. Michael Myers terrified me as a child and can still give me nightmares, so to see this is just sad. Whether it could have functioned as a stand alone movie if it didn’t fall into the Halloween franchise is hard to say. To give it some credit, however, despite its complete lack of continuity and irritatingly slow pace it does contain two short scenes from the original Halloween movie in it. Having done that it already has more of an authentic Halloween feel to it than anything Rob Zombie could have hoped to accomplish 🙂


  • A car moving at 1.5 miles an hour can easily crush a man.
  • Brandy and surgery go brilliantly together.
  • You need a little lower arm strength to rip someone’s skull to pieces.
  • Malls will be the death of small Halloween mask shops.
  • Motels bring out the sleazy in everyone.
  • Security cameras in the 80s were designed to be very loud and very noticeable.
  • The local town drunk should be your first port of call when trying to snoop for information.
  • Children frequently go trick or treating way up in the hills surrounding a major city.



The Final

Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 5.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!


If Saw and The Strangers were ever to bump into one another one night at a party and have a drunken one-night stand, and that union resulted in the birth of an incredibly angry child, that child would be The Final. After the nightmare that was Monsturd I felt like I needed a movie that stood at least half a chance of being good, and with movies like this it’s always very touch-and-go, so I thought it was a fair challenge. Thankfully I can report that this one doesn’t disappoint. If you’ve ever wondered just how far people will go to get even with those that’ve repeatedly beaten them down, then The Final is a delightfully atmospheric trip to the dark side.

Parts of my brain are dying off just looking at them.

It’s a story as old as time and slasher movies themselves: popular kids making the lives of the unpopular kids an absolute living hell. You can never quite decide which is worse, the male version which involves random beatings or the female equivalent which involves being the cattiest, nastiest bitch out there. As their vapidness and seemingly endless desire to mate increases, the popular kids’ attacks become ever more scathing and horrible, but the tables are about to turn. The unpopular kids have devised a plan to take their dignity back (or, at the very least, torture the hell out of their nemeses). The plan is simple: invite the tormentors to a costume party in the hell-and-back of nowhere, drug the booze and chain them to the floor and one another. From there all that limits you is the imagination and weapons you have at your disposal.

Freaky clown? Check.

With everyone tied up it’s time to get to work. The premise is very simple: the outcasts have no intention of killing their captives; they simply want to make them as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside. Of course, even when you’ve been lured to a house under false pretences, drugged, chained to a floor and woken up to a group of 6 people wearing freaky masks holding guns, there’s always going to be that one smart arse who thinks it’s all a joke. Proving him wrong is a rather simple task: cattle gun to the face and leg. This, however, is only a taste of things to come, and for the rest of the night the captive kids will be subjected to all kinds of brutal torture methods, including a musical use for acupuncture needles and a shaving cream that melts the hair (and skin) right off your face. Most of the torture methods are meant to be ironic and based on both the individual tormentor’s own horrible personality and things that they should’ve learned at school but didn’t because they were too busy bullying the outcasts to pay attention.

I know it’s a rather short review but the movie itself isn’t that involved, it’s just an effective slasher / revenge movie whose point is driven home right at the end during a news report about the captives and their fates at the hands of the outcasts. It’s certainly not light viewing but I do thoroughly recommend  it if you’re in the mood for some creative methods of getting back at the people you don’t like.


  • For safety and strength, bitches always travel in packs of 3.
  • Horror movies provide excellent teaching material for up-and-coming psychopaths.
  • Red meat is for people who don’t care what they look like.
  • Never ask an ex-soldier from the Vietnam War for help in the middle of the night.
  • In the South the only way to get the police to come and help you is to say that black people are robbing a house.


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