...and then Druids for some reason!
October 21, 2014 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I love how they gave H3 short shrift. It was a good film, but should have been just called "Season of the Witch".
posted by Renoroc at 3:29 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, Halloween, why did you have sequels and break my heart?

Over and over again.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Am I the only person who talmost yells "Speed kills!" at slow drivers and then thinks better of it?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:53 PM on October 21, 2014

I was gonna say Halloween II isn't so bad - and really, it isn't, especially considering all the other sequels - but even though structurally it's probably the best Halloween sequel, it fucks things up in one very important way: it is the Halloween movie which introduces the idea that Laurie is Michael's sister and that's why he picked her. Others may disagree, but I think that particular addition sort of takes a piss on a huge part of what made the first one so scary - that he chose Laurie and her friends for no discernible reason. Same as why he killed his sister and her boyfriend. It's much scarier if there's no why - at least not one we can ever understand.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:56 PM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]

Of course they had to draw Druids into it. How long until we have a horror film that stars a bizarre scary-monster version of Jesus? (bonus points for a gory version of the sacred heart iconography).
posted by idiopath at 4:02 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Halloween III is of course my favorite.

It was the one that was supposed to launch Halloween as a franchise of films only connected by taking place on Halloween, and they brought in Nigel Kneale of Quatermass fame to script it. He turned in a draft, argued with the producers about changes and then quit, later getting his name taken off the film. In the Kneale bio I have it stresses how much better the first script was, then pretty much describes Halloween III as is.

The whole loosely tied franchise thing of course never ended up happening.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

The series isn't over until they go to space.
posted by The Whelk at 4:03 PM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]

Well there was the whole Druids In Space spin-off series so I don't know if that counts or what.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:12 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm sure at least one of the times Doctor Who has ripped off Kneale has to be Druids In Space.
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

That "related horror anthology thing" could totally work now tho, maybe if it was once a year on Halloween you get another 80 minute spooooky movie with familiar faces?

I could see someone like Lifetime doing that.
posted by The Whelk at 4:23 PM on October 21, 2014

Am I the only person who talmost yells "Speed kills!" at slow drivers and then thinks better of it?

I will occasionally say "Speed kills, Del." to overly loquacious salespeople, but mostly for WKRP reasons.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:28 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love this, if for no other reason, for the way it shits on the Rob Zombie reboots.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:32 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I love how they gave H3 short shrift. It was a good film, but should have been just called "Season of the Witch".

Here is the How Did This Get Made episode on "Halloween: Season of the Witch". Definitely worth listening. Lots of laughs.

*edit Ugh, I originally linked to the How Did This Get Made episode of "Season of the Witch " starring Nicholas Cage. It is now fixed.
posted by Fizz at 4:33 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I saw H3:SotW twenty years ago and last week when my 4 year old son wanted a pumpkin mask I was all NOPE I WANT YOU TO LIVE.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [13 favorites]

Three more days till Halloween...
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

The mask has a laser that turns you into snakes and bugs, that's pretty cool.
posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

IIRC the biggest shocker of Kneale's involvement was that he wasn't actually the one to put Stonehenge into it.
posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on October 21, 2014

Knock, knock, let me in
Leave terrible redone film
You haven't a piano
posted by Mblue at 5:24 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Don't mind the guy's deliberately fast-paced patter, but he's got to articulate better. I couldn't tell what he was saying for about a third of the video.

He should speak at a natural pace and speed up the playback, pitch-corrected. Pretty sure that's what Ben Croshaw does for his Zero Punctuation reviews.
posted by ardgedee at 5:29 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I prefer my abridged versions of John Carpenter's Halloween re-enacted by bunnies.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:47 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Every time someone mentions Season of the Witch I think of this thing (excerpt).
posted by LionIndex at 7:22 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Dissolve actually did a rundown of all ten movies too a couple of weeks ago: All 10 Halloween movies, in charts and percentages.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:44 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I rewatched the first Halloween, in glorious widescreen HD for the first time, and it really holds up. I know many people are a fan of the lack of an "origin story" for main characters--in this case Michael Meyers is just plain evil, just because. I thought the early scenes Donald Pleasance were the weakest; there's no tangible reasons why Pleasance is doing what he's doing. The rest of the film, though, is pretty brilliant. Something Hollywood seems to have completely forgotten how to make is a good suspense film. They love gore these days, but solid suspense is a bridge too far, I guess. And Halloween is a superior suspense film. I love how so much of it is actually set during the day, in a beautiful suburban neighborhood, and contrasts that with that haunting score and the turn-your-head-and-miss-it stalker. And there's death and violence but no gore and, amazingly, virtually no blood--there's probably a cups' worth used in the whole movie.

I remember the sequel as pretty decent, but a lot of running around a dark hospital and that's it. Part III I never saw, but based on the comments here I may have to check it out. The final one, H2O (wow what a dumb title that was) was a really solid movie and had the best best best final scene/shot, putting to rest the whole damn series, thank you. No, no more sequels, it's done. Didn't you see that last shot? Let it be.
posted by zardoz at 8:10 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

We... may have oversold III. On the other hand, I think everybody needs to see it once.
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Three more days till Halloween...

Oh, god damn you to hell, art.
posted by maxsparber at 8:58 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Silver Shamrock.
posted by maxsparber at 8:59 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

I loved part III when I first saw it, but rewatching it a year or two ago I didn't think it held up all that well. It's still pretty interesting as "homemade science fiction in the vein of Phantasm," as the Dissolve article that AlonzoMosleyFBI linked above puts it, but it's more of a curiosity than anything else. In a way it might have been better as an entry in one of the horror/fantasy TV shows that were big at the time than as a feature film.
posted by whir at 9:13 PM on October 21, 2014

Phantasm is full on dream logic.
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love the original Halloween. Besides being a good suspense movie it also really makes me nostalgic and looks just like I remember the late 1970s in the suburbs. Somebody posted that 70s fashion blog the other day and it was mostly not how I remember the 1970s at all. This shot is exactly how everybody dressed when I was a sophomore in high school. Exactly. Or this one.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:03 AM on October 22, 2014

"Season of the Witch " starring Nicholas Cage.

How long is he going to keep doing this stuff? Left Behind. Ghost Rider (and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Bangkok Dangerous. This thing.

For God's sake, how fucked up can one man's taxes be?
posted by Naberius at 6:23 AM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was pretty amazing.
posted by maxsparber at 8:08 AM on October 22, 2014

> but no gore and, amazingly, virtually no blood

Say what? Gore is blood.

Did anyone else wait through the whole "other videos" thing at the end (while spooky music played) expecting a last-minute scare? Just me, then? Am I all alone in here? *looks nervously over shoulder*
posted by languagehat at 8:10 AM on October 22, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to see a screening of the new Adam WIngard movie The Guest (it's wonderful go see it)... preceded by Halloween III: Season of the Witch. I'd managed to never see H3 and was sort of dreading having to sit through it, but it was entertaining. Entertainingly bad, but still entertaining, and I'm glad I saw it because it's clear how many current filmmakers were inspired by it. Including Wingard, which justified the screening organizer's choice to show the films in that order as more than simple sadism.

I'm not superstitious but I also wouldn't let my hypothetical kid wear a pumpkin mask now.
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:06 PM on October 22, 2014

Yeah, actually I just rewatched Halloween 3 and it's not as bad as I remembered. It would seem that my enjoyment of it has been heavily influenced by my expectations about it going in - when I expected it to be good I was disappointed, and when I expected it to be terrible I was pleasantly surprised.

It's not too bad and is a fascinating document of its times, reflecting a lot of fears about industry and media consolidation that were current at the time. (Also, potato bugs.) It borrows liberally from the Stepford Wives, the first two Halloweens, and Alien, and there's an old drunkard character in it who is basically Zadok Allen from "Shadows Over Innsmouth." I withdraw my dis-recommendation.
posted by whir at 9:09 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

...although it's also evident that John Carpenter wasn't sure which of the British Isles Stonehenge is located in at the time he produced this film (hint: it's not the one with the shamrocks).
posted by whir at 9:15 PM on October 22, 2014

I bet the stone came over on this flight.
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on October 22, 2014

I just want to say I loved Zombie's remakes (yes, even the second one) and it took Lords of Salem (and his last two albums) to sour me on his work.

And I hated 'Season of the Switch'.
I have seen them all... and H3 is the only one I have regrets about.
Although adult me wishes they'd gone that way with the whole series.
posted by Mezentian at 8:27 AM on October 23, 2014

I wrote up a review of it today. A quick summary of my feelings:

-- It has a lot more to do with English folk horror than American slasher films, thanks to having been scripted by Nigel Kneale, who authored the Quatermass films and the classic British television horror movie The Stone Tapes.

-- Nobody really understood that this was intended to inaugurate a Twilight Zone-style anthology of films inspired by Halloween as a theme, and I think Carpenter panicked and added in slasher elements.

-- Unfortunately, the resulting film gets a little muddy. I think the idea of a Druidic culling of the weak and young during the holiday festival of Samhain is a totally valid horror premise, and English horror has been addressing the idea that cairn stones and megaliths are a sort of primitive technology forever, but it totally gets lost in this film, and the presence of one of Stonehenge's stones seemed silly.

-- The theme song for Silver Shamrock is the real evil of the film.
posted by maxsparber at 8:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

One thing that's always baffled me about the Halloween series is the complete inability of subsequent production teams to design a mask that looks the same as the one worn in the first two films, the high-water mark being the fourth film, where the good folk of Haddonfield are apparently stalked by Marcel Marceau.

Possibly there is a DVD feature somewhere which goes into extraordinary detail about this.
posted by pinacotheca at 9:22 AM on October 23, 2014

Maybe it's a Shatner likeness thing?
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on October 23, 2014

Could be!

Although, looking at the Wikipedia page for Halloween 4, I'm reminded that the promotional poster/VHS/DVD cover actually uses a shot of Myers in the Shatner mask, so maybe not. I guess it's nothing more than the original mask being lost/destroyed in the time between H2 and H4, and the new mask being deemed "good enough". Then maybe they accidentally left it outside in the rain overnight or something before it was used in Halloween 5.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, the first minute or so of H4 - a collection of gorgeously eerie autumnal scenes - is well worth watching! The remaining 87 minutes, less so.
posted by pinacotheca at 2:47 AM on October 24, 2014

Of course, if I'd bothered to actually read the Wikipedia article I just mentioned:

During filming, it was considered that the customized 1975 Captain Kirk mask be reused for this film. However, the mask was long gone and a new one was purchased from a local costume shop.
posted by pinacotheca at 3:00 AM on October 24, 2014

Holy cow. All this time I had no idea that was a Captain Kirk mask. That's hilarious.
posted by whir at 6:25 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just saw this on Twitter: How 'Halloween III' Went From Reviled to Revered in Just 30 Years

..."Revered" may not be the word I'd have chosen.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:09 PM on October 31, 2014

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