Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1983 ****

The black sheep of the Halloween franchise, this 1983 film from writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace is a truly bizarre diversion; the original script was sourced by Joe Dante from Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale, and doesn’t refer back to the other Halloween films. Instead, the small town of Santa Mira is the setting of a demonic Silver Shamrock toy factory run by Cochran (one-time Oscar nominee Dan O’Herlihy), and his plan for world domination involves mass-produced masks. Kneale’s interest in paganism gives an edge to the proceedings as Daniel (Tom Atkins) investigates the scene, with each mask containing part of Stonehenge and Cochran’s plan to activate their powers using a tv commercial. Halloween III rises to some gory moments, but the off-kilter concept makes for a rather startling little genre piece.


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