Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 10/31/00
Season of the Witch
1982 (1998) - Goodtimes
review by Dan Kelly of
The Digital Bits
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
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.