Why Halloween III is Actually The Most Underrated Story of the Franchise

“It’s almost time, kids. The clock is ticking. Be in front of your TV sets for the Horrorthon, followed by the Big Giveaway.”

‘Halloween III – Season of the Witch’ you may think is the weakest link in the whole of the Halloween franchise, but you’d be wrong, so wrong!

For a start, there are two parts in the franchise which were directed by Rob Zombie and are just awful and we can write those off for a start. The reason that the third movie stands out as being different and misrated is that it doesn’t follow the Michael Myers storyline. Although the original Halloween plays its own cameo in the movie itself as being advertised as the movie shown right before the big Halloween Giveaway. The reason the story is so different in this movie from the rest of the franchise is that John Carpenter originally envisioned the Halloween series as a horror anthology and after Halloween II decided to go in a whole new direction else he did not want to continue anymore with the series.

Please be advised this post contains flashing images.

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Not only is this movie the most underrated in the Halloween series but it’s also one of the most underrated horror movies itself. If you’re not obsessed with the whole Myers family storyline (which I’m not) then this film if was released today would be considered a spin-off rather than a sequel. It could be viewed as a separate standalone movie in its own right.

What’s it about?

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Okay, things may get weird when we explain the plot. It’s a mix of horror and sci-fi. Released in 1982 and written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and produced by Debra Hill and John Carpenter. The story revolves around hospital emergency room Dr. Daniel “Dan” Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), the daughter of a murder victim, uncover a terrible plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), a madman who’s planning a Halloween mass murder utilizing an ancient Celtic ritual. The ritual involves a boulder stolen from Stonehenge, the use of Silver Shamrock masks and a triggering device contained in a television commercial which is all designed to kill millions of children. Booooo!

The soundtrack is pure 80s synth awesome

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You have to hand it to John Carpenter and Alan Howarth for some really great 70’s and 80s atmospheric synth scores. This has got to be the best Halloween score in any of the franchises in my opinion. It slowly and eerily builds up the atmosphere and compliments the scenes perfectly.

That song…

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“Happy Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Happy Happy Halloween, Silver Shamrock”… Throughout the movie, we are treated to the Silver Shamrock commercial for the big giveaway. The jingle on the advert is referred to as Happy Happy Halloween – Once you hear that song it is like an earworm. It will stick in your head for ages. It is basically the countdown to the Halloween giveaway sung to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”. The actual announcer’s voice on the advert is by the movie’s director Tommy Lee Wallace.

Silver Shamrock Novelties

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If you thought big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook were evil then they have nothing on Silver Shamrock Novelties and their dastardly plans for the Halloween holidays. Run by the charismatic Celtic Witch Conal Cochran.

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With microchips implanted in all of their Halloween masks which contain ancient stone from Stone Henge. When activated the masks would kill anyone wearing them and not only unleash a swarm of snakes and insects but revive an ancient age of witchcraft.

The bad guy

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The evil toymaker (and witch) Conal Cochran (brilliantly played by the late Dan O’Herlihy) is like a calm and collective cult leader. He has the whole town under his spell so much that they even have a 6pm curfew. Even though his crazy plan for world domination is a bit ambitious. Kudos for trying though. He should have just stuck to selling the rights to his amazing lifelike androids instead. He’d be richer than Elon Musk now.

The Androids

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Yes, in a Halloween movie you wouldn’t expect to see androids, but here they are and all created by Cochran. They are the perfect henchman and assassins for all his wicked plans. Just make sure you don’t say a bad word about Silver Shamrock or mess up your order as these guys will be coming for you.

The androids in the movie pretty much do most of the murders in the movie and are slow, silent killers very much like Michael Myers.

Oh no, not her too?

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Just when we think Dan and Ellie have got away and are about to inform the TV networks, Ellie turns out to be a damn android too and tries to kill our protagonist.

The ending

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If you have managed to survive the final scene without having an epileptic fit then you will know that we don’t actually know if Dan manages to stop the commercial being shown on all the TV networks as it ends with him screaming “STOP IT!” down the phone to the final network.

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Written by Jay

A caffeine-based life form with a love of the 80s and pop culture.


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  1. The whole point about Halloween 3 is that it’s neither here nor there….not so terrible as people made out when it was released, but nowhere near the masterpiece people have claimed in recent years, either. I think it has two legitimately great scenes, both of which occur almost back-to-back…the ‘demonstration’ scene, which is chilling, where Cochran sacrifices his most loyal employee and his family…and Cochran’s soliloquy about the nature and history of Halloween, itself…And the ending is strong, too…But for the most part, the film is just kind of lukewarm…There is absolutely nothing special about it, aside from it being the answer to a trivia question…

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