More than 30 years ago, power trio Tommy Lee Wallace, Debra Hill, and John Carpenter set out to change the game when it came to Halloween movies. They envisioned a franchise that would be an anthology of sorts, birthed out of the story of Michael Myers, but not limited to it. Each year a new, different Halloween-themed movie would be released, giving the viewing public something fresh to thrill them in theaters. What a great and exciting idea!
Except, Universal Studios and executive producer Moustapha Akkad didn’t quite think so. Riding high on the success of Halloween (1978), Akkad insisted that a continuation of the Myers story go into production immediately. So, 1981 gave us Halloween II – a mostly lackluster, not-as-creepy, unnecessarily gory propagation of Michael Myers mythos that was only relatively successful in the box-office. Afterwards, Wallace, Hill, and Carpenter secured the chance to go ahead with their dream anthology project. And from that came Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Wallace wrote and directed the film, with Hill and Carpenter producing.
Although it made a meager profit, the success of the film was sub-par. Critics in 1982 were none too kind to the film. Even Roger Ebert called it “half-baked” and “assembled out of familiar parts from other, better movies.” Audiences, of course, were confused and dejected by the lack of Michael Myers, and the movie just kind of fizzled out. Six years later, Akkad, the driving force behind the heedless sequels, virtually slapped Wallace and Co. in the face with the aptly named Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers.
Don’t miss Elbee’s featured presentation chronicling the histories of some of the most popular costume and mask makers, including the great Don Post, Sr., pictured here!
For many years, Halloween III struggled to find its home among fans and critics alike. In the last decade, the film has steadily gained momentum. Some even regard it as the best in the series. With its stirring combination of horror, science fiction, and (at times) comedy, the film is a noteworthy example of something ahead of its time.