Tag Archives: horror movies

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch Is The Imperfectly Perfect Halloween Film

If you would have told me ten years ago I’d be writing these following words, I would absolutely say you were out of your fucking mind. HALLOWEEN III: THE SEASON OF THE WITCH is finally recognized by most fans as a worthy entry in the beloved horror franchise; and honestly I couldn’t be more pleased that SOB Colonel Cochran is part of the inclusive horror legends club.

Now, John Carpenter’s Halloween and it’s sequels, particularly 2 and 4, are of course amazing and essential Halloween viewing. However, Season of the Witch is an entirely different bag of dicks in the franchise as we all know and although the fans have been much kinder to the red-headed stepchild of the series in recent years, the hatred still exists for those unwilling to accept a non-Michael Myers Halloween movie.

To that, I just have this to say…

Which brings me to a very good point that we can only watch Myers gut up teenagers so many times before our brain sensors tell us enough; we want something else. Which is precisely what John Carpenter had in mind when studios were pushing for another Halloween film from the director after burning Michael alive in Halloween II. The Shape was dead and Carpenter grew tired of the story- hence Season of the Witch came to be with the idea of a Halloween horror anthology series focusing on different and terrifying urban legends and folklore surrounding the holiday. The main idea of the film would be “witchcraft meets the computer age.” They brought in Joe Dante ( Gremlins) to direct, and hired the remarkable Nigel Kneale (the Quatermass films) to pen the script, which focused on modern-day Druids practicing Halloween in the old-fashioned way. Oh and well, with a couple of androids thrown in. After all, the early to mid-eighties movies focused a LOT on technologic advances; peering into the future with slave robots and such.

Now get Pauley that beer SICO.

Dante dropped out of the project when Steven Spielberg and John Landis offered him a chance to participate in Twilight Zone: The Movie. Even though Halloween III was a box-office bomb, I’d much rather be associated with Season of the Witch than a movie that contributed to the death of three people. Anyways, in stepped in Tommy Lee Wallace to direct who also helped Carpenter coin that Silver Shamrock jingle that is forever imbedded into our brains as some sort of fucked up version of “London Bridge Is Falling Down”; which is exactly what the tune was modeled after.

Halloween III may be the most “halloweeniest” of all the movies in the franchise- yeah, I just made that word up for all-intensive purposes. It takes every aspect of the beloved holiday and throws it all together in this film like a delightful bowl of Halloween candy varieties. When you think of Halloween, you think costumes, children, trick or treating- and this installment has it all and then some. Along with aheavy dose of old-world style witchcraft. For the longest time, society has paired witches and Halloween together in an unholy matrimony. It’s sort of problematic to practicing witches, as they are who they are all year round, and they are certainly not evil, but that’s an argument for another day. It’s never been a deal breaker for me so let’s move on.

While, other films in the franchise may have scenes involving Trick or Treating that set the nostalgic Halloween mood, Halloween III focuses on the premise of DEATH by trick or treating and their beloved masks. That’s pretty fucked up and to boot, the film had the balls to kill a kid very brutally in front of us. It was trailblazing at its finest.

As for atmospheric settings, one could never forget the montage near the end with that Silver Shamrock jingle going off in the background like some sort of death march for the children decked out in their Silver Shamrock masks rushing through a night of candy- collecting all in an effort to get home in time for “the big giveaway”. Beyond the opening credits and nighttime neighborhood scenes in Halloween 4, this movie gives off the some of the most Spidey-senses worthy moments of the holiday ever captured in these films. My favorite moment, and maybe the most iconic, is the group of children trekking across a dark landscape, silhouetted against a pumpkin-orange sky. Few images in the Halloween series better sum up the spirit of Halloween night as much as this one moment right here.

It’s a true aesthetic pleasure to say the very least.

Then, there’s Conal Cochran: the most underrated horror villain of Halloween… EVER.

I don’t use the word “underrated” lightly, however, I feel it’s quite appropriate here. Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), the proprietor of Silver Shamrock Novelties and sworn allegiance to the dark arts of Witchcraft make him for a dangerous enemy to have indeed; especially if you’re a kid. Cochran, presumably has way more kills under his belt than not only his film predecessor Myers, but the holy trinity of slashers themselves – Freddy, Jason, and Michael. And think about this: The ending is open-ended and leaves us to speculate whether the final commercial ran its full course. If it did, then Cochran would have succeeded in committing mass genocide of children across the United States.

What a dick, eh? Cochran, who uses his success of his company to coordinate the largest Samhain sacrifice to appease the Celtic Gods on the glorious night of Halloween, is as evil and terrifying as they come. As if his ominous stare downs weren’t creepy enough, his monologue alone is chilling to the bone (the thrill and absolute madness in his voice sells it completely). Cochran is hardcore. But as tough as he was, he was no match for Tom Atkins: The Man, The Myth, The Mustache. If anyone can save the world from a Pagan madman, beer guzzling- womanizing Dr. Challis was gonna be that guy.

While the movie has gained moderate success over the past few years, maybe the key factor in acceptance of the bastard installment is our own maturity and longing for the nostalgia aspect of what Halloween once represented. As children, we hated it. As adults, we embraced it as the perfectly imperfect Halloween film it is. What a grand joke on the children, eh?

Celebrate the Season With This “Halloween 4” Neighborhood Ambience Ghoul Log Video!

Celebrate the Season With This "Halloween 4" Neighborhood Ambience Ghoul Log Video!

Time to saturate my blog with yet another Halloween post and no fucks are given at this point- especially when it come to Halloween 4.

In the spirit of the spooky season, Halloween “ghoul logs” have become a popular ambience effect added to our seasonal mood-enhancing routines modeling after the infamous Yule Log. Horror’s favorite channel Shudder recognized this need with their now addition to the Ghoul Log to the site’s streaming service; adding several options with a typical scary Jack-O, and the Trick R Treat effect. However, Youtube offers other options for those who choose to go another direction- like Brandon Tobatto who has uploaded a glorious piece of ambience you can stream directly to your computer or TV via the Youtube app. And yep, you guessed it- It’s all about Halloween 4.

I’ve gone off several times about how much I enjoy the sinister ambience of The Return of Michael Myers, and I’m just glad someone who feels the same way I do, decided to put this beautiful hour and thirty-three minute long neighborhood mood setting from the film into a Ghoul Log of it’s own. The Windy streets, subtle hues of black and blue, along with all the houses Rachel and Jamie encountered on their fateful night of trick or treating are all featured in a continuous slide show of peaceful yet sinister Halloween nostalgia.

Enjoy or I don’t want to know you!

Halloween 4 Is The GOAT For Halloween Nostalgia

I’m slightly obsessed with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers as this is the Halloween film I probably watched most as a kid on VHS. Growing up with a father who saw the original in theaters and is just as obsessed with the series, fate would have it that this love for the franchise would trickle down the gene pool as well. Hell, I even find a bit of charm in Dangertainment for fuck’s sake. That’s commitment; and I’ll fight you to the death if you utter any slight against Season of the Witch. However, as much as I love all the films and the original is an untouched classic that will forever hold the top spot as Halloween cinema champion, Halloween 4 is the GOAT for retro Halloween fuzzies and the best film in the series to put you into that spooky season feeling.

The opening credits

I’d be hard pressed not to say this might be the BEST opening in the entire franchise. Had Loomis not screamed, “You don’t know what death is,” and had a skull pumpkin intro in Halloween II, well then shit there would be no contenders. The opening sequence here to the long-awaited return of the Shape after fans booed Halloween III into the pits of cinematic hell (only to be resurrected beautifully later), is the perfect stage of sinister Autumn ambience set in the silent, yet spooky Midwest. The simplicity of this adds an uneasiness to the air, that something evil is lurking and foreshadowing the chaos to come. And that’s something the 80s’ is infamous for via the Halloween holiday. The simplicity of it all with janky homemade decor strung about that adds a slight edge over any animatronic you might find at any Halloween superstore. It’s eerie as fuck and captures the setting of a 1988 Halloween small Midwestern town perfectly. As a matter of fact, this opening alone needs all the awards. Can we make make that happen already?

Jamie’s School

The scenes’ in Jamie’s school are both frustrating and beautifully nostalgic. While you want to punch the shit out of these kids for saying these awful things to this poor kid, the scenic atmosphere that rings all the nostalgic bells in my Spidey Senses go off at a flashgun rate. From the noisy plastic costumes with the Ben Cooper masks, to the die-cut Halloween décor plastering the halls of the school, it makes for one HELL of a nostalgia-fest; including the bullying aspect. We’ve all been there- hopefully not to this extent, but we all know kids can be ruthless bastards.

Vincent’s Drug Store

Aside from the opener, Vincent’s Drug store scene is my absolute favorite part in this movie. My Goddess it’s like a wave of childhood memories drowns me in my own nostalgic mojo goo. Aside from all that, it’s a fairly crucial scene as this is where Michael picks up his mask for the movie. Dwight H. Little did an excellent job here much like with the rest of the film, capturing the ambience of a 1980s’ Mom and Pop shop during the Halloween holiday season. I’ve studied this scene dozens of times. it’s a fun little activity if you’re bored, and there are a TREASURE TROVE of Halloween memories found within Vincent’s Drug. Apart from the cool wall of masks, I’m sure most fans of the film have seen what I’m talking about it here, but in case you need a refresher…

Like a Garbage Pail Kids plastic costume!

Halloween Blow-Molds! *Upper right corner*

And of course the infamous dangly spider we all had along with a Nightmare Makeup Kit!

And finally, the 80s’ ambience of trick or treating

Aside from Halloween III, the Halloween films don’t really focus on this all important aspect of the holiday. In H4 however, we got a whole part of the movie dedicated to it as a set-up to the looming evil that is following Jamie and Rachel. Something about the gloomy blue and black hues scored with a bunch of kids running around in their garbage bag costumes just gets me feeling fuzzy about the whole thing. Also, the Halloween decorations (again) give into that nostalgic feeling of happiness. Numerous jointed skeletons are found in this movie. And I can’t seem to get enough of them.

So there it is. The GOAT for Halloween movie nostalgia. I SAID IT. If you don’t own it, pick it up for yourself; I highly suggest the new 4K version here from Amazon!