Saturday, March 23, 2013

SCREAM FACTORY APPRECIATION MONTH: Halloween III - Season of the Witch (1982)

When screening at the Exhumed Films Horror-thon last October, this was the hint afforded to one of my favorite horror movies of all time: “One of the most divisive horror films of all time – wait for the title screen, then either sit back and enjoy or take the opportunity to catch some dinner”. Exhumed does not announce their features ahead of time for the 24 Hour Horror-thon and what more fitting a movie than Halloween III: Season of the Witch; the movie that features advertising that refers to its own personal horror-thon and giveaway in the clever campaign constructed by Silver Shamrock Novelties. Why do folks hate Halloween III? No. Michael. Myers. It’s not a “sequel” to “the night he came home”. It’s its own entity complete with mythology and iconic imagery. That means that the horror community, sometimes a bit quick on the gavel, can lash out. That’s precisely what happened 30 years ago when Halloween III belly flopped and the box office cried foul. It took many years for this blunder to become a cult favorite and gain the respect it deserves, ever growing and with the Scream Factory Blu-ray release, you’re guaranteed to be a fan too… if you can keep your mind open, love the Atkins and tell Stacy Nelkin where you want to sleep.  

Growing up I didn’t have the bias to hate Halloween III. It was presented to me as a part of a Halloween marathon during the month of October on network television. That meant that I watched the cut up versions. The first Halloween was filled with scenes that theatrical viewers wouldn’t even know existed. Halloween II, the same. Halloween III was cut to ribbons. All the juicy violence was stripped out and Atkins/Nelkin love scene reduced to a blip. Having meet Stacy at a Monster-Mania some years back and fawned over her graciously over the years, I can tell you that fewer disservices were ever visited on a pre-adolescent sex fiend like myself. I watched all three features on repeat as my father had the foresight to tape them off TV, commercials and all. Every day after school I would visit with the Myers house, Haddonfield Memorial and the Silver Shamrock factory. What a way to grow up.  

Scream Factory released Halloween II and Halloween III with beautiful new artwork, bonus features ablazin’ and some fun extras if you purchased from Scream/Shout Factory themselves. Halloween II featured a nurse’s hat from Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Halloween III featured a poster of the newly commissioned artwork for the release (which I obtained). The bonus features on the disc include a making of feature that is as interesting as the movie and a Horror’s Hallowed Grounds in which the audience is made taken on a tour of shooting locations as they appear today. These two items by themselves are must have for fans of the trilogy (if you want to be brave enough to refer to the first three as a trilogy). As a lifelong Halloween III fan a release like this is a dream, must own and tribute to Tommy Wallace’s vision of a Halloween gone fucked. 

You can pick it up at DiabolkDVD HERE (supporting the little guy is important). Also make sure to "like" Scream Factory over on FaceBook and follow their releases. You can also stop by their website HERE to peruse more titles and get acquainted with their product line and upcoming releases of which there are many. Save your pennies. Start a swear jar. Start a masturbation jar.
Pick up the iconic masks. Love your Tom Atkins moustache and wear it with pride. Sing the goddamn catchy jingle set to London Bridge is Falling Down and make sure to listen to the words of Conal Cochran (he’s a great man, you know) carefully because recant of the history of Halloween is as horrifying as the Shape. Even more so.



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