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review added: 10/31/00



Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1982 (1998) - Goodtimes

review by Dan Kelly of The Digital Bits

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Film Rating: D

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/C/F

Specs and Features

96 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1) single-layered, Snapper case packaging, production notes, film-themed menu screens with sound and animation, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD mono), subtitles: English, Spanish and French, Closed Captioned


"Happy, happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, happy, happy Halloween..."

Man, oh man... is this movie ever lame! Anyone who's paid attention to film in the past couple of decades will know that this sequel bares no resemblance to any other Halloween film. There's no Michael Myers, no Haddonfield, no Dr. Loomis and no fun at all. Worse yet is the fact that John Carpenter and Debra Hill (Carpenter directed Halloween and they both produced and wrote it) are co-producers of this awful bomb of a film. There's not a whole lot to like about this film, so I'll keep it short.

The plot of this film revolves around a crotchety old man by the name of Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), who so hates the world that he wants to take it over by putting mind-altering Halloween masks in the hands of eager children. How will he get them all to wear their masks at the same time, you may ask? Easy - by seducing them with one of the most gut-wrenchingly irritating commercial jingles ever recorded on film. If death by Halloween mask were the only way of escaping hearing that song once more, you can be sure I'd put the damn mask on. It's bad… and they play the song a lot.

Cochran runs his mask factory in the secrecy of a northern California town, that is policed by a truckload of scary men in black who are willing to torture and/or kill anyone who tries to escape. Enter Daniel (Tom Atkins, who always gets the young chicks in John Carpenter films) and Ellie (Stacy Nelkin), who are in search of Ellie's missing father. It seems he made a trip to the mask factory to pick up a shipment for his toy store and has yet to return. This is the basis of the story, and there's not a whole lot more to it. It's a bad, bad movie, but if you feel you need to see it anyway, you've been given ample warning.

Goodtimes apparently took the "you can't polish a turd" attitude with their DVD release of Halloween III. It's a near worthless movie, and they don't try to make it look any better (or worse) than it already is on DVD. This is the first time it's been released in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It's a relatively grainy looking film with a slightly washed look to it. Colors are intact and black level is somewhat detailed, but on the whole it's just not a great looking picture. Again, this is an instance where anamorphic enhancement would have done wonders for picture quality. The audio is an adequate mono track. Dialogue is clear and without distortion. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth provided the soundtrack to Halloween III, and it sounds just fine but lacks the dynamic range of 2.0 stereo and 5.1 mixes.

Extra features are non-existent here. In Goodtimes favor, they are a small studio, so chances are they couldn't even afford a theatrical trailer for the film. This film does have its audience, so a little something extra would have been welcome. Oh well.

I really don't know what else to tell you about this release. It's an awful movie (not even worth a few laughs) and a lackluster DVD (to say the least), and it sports some pretty bad packaging. Still, the option is available if you'd like to torture yourself by watching this movie on DVD. If that's your bag, go for it.

Dan Kelly
dankelly@thedigitalbits.com




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