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Tommy Lee Wallace
Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkins, Dan O'Herlihy
Tommy Lee Wallace

Kids all over America want Silver Shamrock masks for Halloween. Doctor Daniel Challis seeks to uncover a plot by Silver Shamrock owner Conal Cochran.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 9/18/12

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Tommy Lee Wallace
• Audio Commentary with Actor Tom Atkins
• “Stand Alone” Documentary
• “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” Featurette
• Trailers & TV Spots
• Still Gallery


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Halloween III: Season of the Witch - Collector's Edition [Blu-Ray] (1982)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 10, 2019)

Can anyone imagine a Friday the 13th movie without Jason? Or a Nightmare on Elm Street entry sans Freddy?

Of course not! Who would be nuts enough to pursue a horror sequel that loses its iconic lead villain?

The producers of 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, that’s who. Although Michael Myers acted as the evil force at work in 1978’s Halloween and 1981’s Halloween II, “The Shape” doesn’t show up for the franchise’s third chapter.

That makes Witch unique in the Halloween annals, and it did harm to the franchise. The series went dormant for six years, an eternity in the horror business.

Witch flopped in most ways, probably because fans didn’t want a Halloween movie without Michael. Despite that drawback, I wanted to reacquaint myself with the much-derided film, one I’ve not seen since its theatrical issue.

Silver Shamrock makes the most popular Halloween masks in America, but matters take a turn for the sinister when elderly Harry Grimbridge (Al Berry) shows signs of mental distress. While in possession of a Silver Shamrock item, he screams that “they’re all going to kill us” and winds up at the emergency room.

Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) treats Harry and finds himself involved in an insidious mystery when a strange man murders Harry and then blows himself up in the hospital parking lot. Along with Harry’s daughter Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), he investigates and traces the terror back to Silver Shamrock.

With Witch, the big question revolves around how much criticism it earns solely due to its status as part of the Halloween franchise. Would so many fans dislike the movie if they simply titled it Season of the Witch and didn’t tout it as an extension of the successful series?

Probably not. I suspect a lot of the animosity aimed at Witch comes from its inclusion as a Halloween film, and it’d receive higher praise if it existed on its own.

But not much higher praise, so let’s not go crazy here. Taken on its own, Witch comes with some potential, but the end result never turns into anything especially impressive.

With its story of an insidious corporate conspiracy, Witch would fit in with the anti-establishment films of the 1970s. This becomes the strongest aspect of the movie, as its basic premise inspires potential intrigue.

Unfortunately, execution sputters, especially because Witch can’t settle on its tone. The movie veers into a few different lanes, as it rambles from broad comedy to satire to conspiracy thriller to basic horror.

A better-made film might be able to handle all these shifts, but director Tommy Lee Wallace can’t figure out how to connect the various dots. The different elements butt against each other in a clumsy manner that makes for an awkward experience.

The screenplay also can’t quite find enough real content to flesh out the movie’s 98 minutes. The story progresses at a sluggish rate and takes silly detours along the way.

In particular, the decision to send Challis and Ellie into a romantic affair serves no discernible purpose other than titillation and time-filling. It also seems tough to swallow given that Atkins is 24 years older than Nelkins, and the rapidity with which Ellie gets smoochy-smoochy with Challis feels improbable at best.

There really does remain a good conspiracy thriller at the heart of Witch, and that damned Silver Shamrock theme will stay lodged in your brain for weeks. I just can’t find much else to praise about this spotty effort.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Halloween III: Season of the Witch appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image held up mostly well after 37 years, but some iffy issues occurred.

For the most part, sharpness looked fine. A few slightly soft shots appeared, but the movie usually seemed accurate and well-defined.

No issues with jaggies or shimmering materialized, but light edge haloes crept in at times. A couple of small specks popped up along the way, and some digital noise reduction occasionally made skin tones a bit mushy and overly glossy.

In terms of colors, the film opted for a natural palette, with a blue impression for nighttime exteriors. Overall, the hues showed pretty decent pep and clarity.

Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and low-light shots offered nice smoothness. Despite a few drawbacks, this became a mostly appealing image.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, it also seemed fine for its age. Speech remained intelligible and usually felt reasonably natural, with little edginess on display.

Music was pretty full and rich, whereas effects seemed positive. Those elements showed reasonable punch, though some louder bits displayed minor distortion. Overall, this was a perfectly adequate mix for its age.

We find a bunch of extras in this “Collector’s Edition”, and we start with two audio commentaries. The first features writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace, as sits with moderators Rob G and Sean Clark to provide a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, influences, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, photography and connected areas.

On the positive side, the commentary touches on a good array of subjects. On the negative side, it seems surprisingly dry.

Oh, the track perks to life at times, mainly when the participants crack on what a horndog Dr. Challis is, and we do learn a fair amount about the production. Nonetheless, the commentary feels lackluster and doesn’t become an especially engrossing listen.

For the second commentary, we hear from actor Tom Atkins. Along with moderator Justin Beahm, he brings his own running, screen-specific chat that covers story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and other impressions of the shoot.

Overall, this becomes a decent overview. We get occasional insights about Atkins’ experiences but not much I’d call truly memorable.

Called Stand Alone, we get a 33-minute, nine-second documentary. It provides info from Wallace, Atkins, director of photography Dean Cundey, executive producer Irwin Yablans, stunt coordinator Dick Warlock, costume designer Jane Ruhm, composer Alan Howarth, commercial creator Sam Nicholson, and actors Stacey Nelkin and Brad Schachter.

“Stand” examines the path toward this spinoff sequel, Wallace’s impact on the production, story/characters, cast and crew, sets and locations, costumes, effects, music, and the movie’s release/reception/legacy.

Inevitably, some of this material repeats from the commentary. Still, “Stand” gets a boost from alternate perspectives, and it manages to become a pretty good overview of the production.

Under Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, we find a 19-minute, 44-second show. Hosted by Sean Clark, it takes us to various Witch locations. As usual, Clark makes this a fun exploration of the shooting spots, one abetted by the presence of Tommy Lee Wallace at a few places.

In addition to two trailers and three TV spots, the disc finishes with a Still Gallery. It offers 41 images that mix movie elements, publicity shots and ads. It ends up as a good compilation.

When you finish with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you’ll sing the Silver Shamrock jingle for weeks. Unfortunately, you’ll remember nothing else about this wholly mediocre horror/thriller. The Blu-ray brings erratic visuals along with age-appropriate audio and a nice array of bonus materials. Not much about this movie succeeds.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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