cult horror

HALLOWEEN III (1982)

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HALLOWEEN III  (1982)

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Alright, John Carpenter freaks, let’s take some HH time and look at the next sequel in this series. It is not wholly accurate to call this film a sequel, for it was the first & last film to endorse a New & Revolutionary concept. John Carpenter decided he was the second coming of Rod Serling, and Universal studios, after he earned them over 90 million dollars with the first two HALLOWEEN features, went along with the program.

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He decided that what needed to be created now was a horror anthology all centered around Halloween; that each new feature would have a fresh story line. After this movie tanked at the BO, only earning 14.4 million dollars on a 2.5 million dollar investment, Universal & Carpenter agreed it was time to bring back Michael Myers back to resurrect the franchise. (WTF, I just wrote a review for Deepa Mehta’s great Indian drama, WATER (2005), & they were very pleased to gross 3.5 million bucks worldwide.)

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HALLOWEEN III was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, it being his first feature film. He had acted as Art Director on the first two films. He is, has been an Actor, Editor, Art Designer, & Producer as well; a USC graduate. The original director hired was Joe Dante, but he dropped out. Wallace had turned down the chance to direct HALLOWEEN II (1981), because he disliked the script. He was married to actress Nancy Keyes, who appears in this film.

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Wallace has now directed 22 films since 1987, including ALOHA SUMMER (1988), FRIGHT NIGHT, PART 2 (1988), & VAMPIRES (2002). Most of his work was on television series like MAX HEADROOM (1987), and the mini-series IT (1990). 

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The cinematography was done again, for the third time now, by Dean Cundy.

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The musical score was done, again, by the collaboration of John Carpenter & Alan Howarth.

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Alan Howarth said: “The musical style of John & myself has further evolved in this film soundtrack, where we worked exclusively with synthesizers; composing, all the music as we watched the film.”

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Taglines:  And now the Earth will run with Blood again.

                The Night No One Came Home.

                The HALLOWEEN horror continues.

                 Witchcraft enters the computer age.

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HALLOWEEN III BABE GALLERY

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This Babe search was very frustrating; kind of slim pickings.

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We did luck out with the casting of the perky Stacey Nelkin as Miss Ellie Grimbridge.

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She has done a few nude scenes in her career.

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And he was able to provide some cheesecake for us.

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&, of course, one see-through shot for grins.

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She looks fine in a bikini as well.

Here’s the tricky part; a lot of other actresses appeared in the movie, getting me revved up to go on a “Tit-Search”, but Jadeen Barbor, Garn Stephens, Nancy Keyes, Wendy Wessberg, Paddi Edwards, & Michelle Walker–all came up as dry as a Nun’s Snatch after 40 years of being married to Christ in absentia ( I do wonder if nuns have access to crucifix-shaped marital aids?).

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But as luck would have it, the incredible Jamie Lee Curtis did some “Voice Work” on the film, she was the voice of the town operator. So, WTF, that is a good enough excuse to use some of her Fab Tit-Shots for this gallery.

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A lovely tub peekaboo nipple shot,

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Something from Mr. Skin.

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& a great classic tit-shot from the movie TRADING PLACES (1983).

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SYNOPSIS:

October 23 appears on the screen.

It opens with a middle-aged business man running out of the darkness along a rural highway. A large sedan rounds the corner, searching for him. He ducks through a wrecking yard, lit with blue lights, looking very much like the wrecking yard used in several Freddy Kruger films.

The man is clutching an orange pumpkin Halloween mask, with a SILVER SHAMROCK logo on it. He leaps a fence, and comes into a lonely service station; it begins to thunder & rain. The station attendant let the man in out of the horror-ible weather.

Harry: They’re going to kill us. They are going to kills us all. 

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Cut to Dr. Dan Challis at his ex-wife’s home, unable to keep a promise to his son for a weekend visit, because he is called into the hospital for duty. His shrewish ex-wife makes him beg for forgiveness.

Cut to the county hospital where Dr. Dan is assigned the emaciated, apparently drugged-out shop owner, Harry. Left alone in his patient-room in order to rest,

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he is visited by a man in a sharp business suit; who immediately, kills him by crushing his skull & driving his eyeballs into his brain. as he exits the room, Dr. Dan begins to chase after him, but the man got to his car first–

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dousing himself with gasoline, & lighting himself up; his 80’s Detriot barge sedan exploded, almost nailing Dr. Dan.

Cut to several days later–enter petite stacked Ellie, daughter of the murdered Harry. She knows something isn’t right in the nearby town of Santa Mira ( also the location for the filming of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) by the way).

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It doesn’t take much pouting & twizzling to convince Dr. Dan that he needed to accompany her there & solve the mystery.

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Ellie’s father had visited the SILVER SHAMROCK NOVELTY factory before he died, so they decided to start there. The motel manager told them that the CEO of Shamrock was the town’s savior saint, Conal Cochran.

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They book a room in the only motel, using the name of Smith, a “married couple”. Ellie insists that they share a room, so as to not arouse suspicion. Dr. Dan agrees that this is a “good plan”.

As Ellie unpacks, we are introduced to other folks who would have business at the factory the next day–Marge, a novelty store owner from Portland picking up an order, & Shamrock’s “top salesman, Buddy Kupfer, his wife Betty, & their son little Buddy (an obnoxious little only-child that needs to be bitch-slapped).

Dr. Dan goes to the motel office to call his hospital; the town operator tells him all lines are busy. He walks into town to get a beer, & some sandwiches, & on the walk back he bumps into the town drunk, who tells him that the Shamrock corporation is evil, never hiring any local folks, importing all their own. Dan gives him a hit off his personal flask, & moves on with images of Ellie naked dancing before his eyes. He has not been able to call out of town, even after three attempts (we recognize the voice of the Operator as belonging to Jamie Lee Curtis).

In an alley, the drunk runs into one of Cochran’s goons; trying to flee, he is cornered by several of them; their dead eyes & mute dialogue alert us to, their android status. One of them holds his arm while the other literally tears his head off; as his headless body drops to the ground, blood spurts & death mist shoots up into the air like he was killed by a samurai sword, soaking their wide-cuffed tight-fitting business suits in steaming blood.

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Cut to the motel room with Ellie, thank God, taking a shower. Through the frosted glass we make out large breasts, pink nipples, & a flash of bush as she wraps herself in a towel. As soon as Dr. Dan walks into the room, she opens her towel, &although no longer naked, she is wearing a sexy black teddy.

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Cut to the bed, his naked back, swapping spit, pulling down her nightie strap, showing a flash of nipple just before he gobbles it.

Cut to Marge in her motel room, reading a book, as two of Cochran’s perfectly coiffed automagoons burst into her room. They do not tell her why they are pissed off, just jump her shit, putting one of the lethal masks on her, & pressing the logo button. The mask lights up as it ate her face.

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They remove the mask so that we can see what was left of Marge’s face, & to observe spiders & pit vipers crawl out of it looking for more victims.

Cut to the next morning as Dan & Ellie are awakened by an ambulance pulling up at Marge’s door. Dr. Dan gets up, showing his naked butt ( & as cute as it was, I would have preferred a wholesome soft-core porn shot of Stacey Nelkin’s tits).

They dress, go outside to stand with the Kupfer family while 6 of the goons in white coats keep things pristine as they loaded up Marge, telling them she was being taken to a medical clinic over at the novelty factory.

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Later that morning they all meet at the Novelty factory showroom, where a smiling Conal Corchran, with a thick Cork accent, welcomes them to SILVER SHAMROCK. He congratulates Buddy on being their #1 salesman. Little Buddy is told that he may choose any of the three hallmark SS masks he wants for free; choosing either the Pumpkin, Witch, or Skull.

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Ellie & Dan, realizing that danger lurks, decide to leave.

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Little Buddy picks a Pumpkinhead mask, & somehow activates the Logo button, & the mask crushes his little pointed skull & suffocates him.

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Betty & Buddy are screaming & raising holy hell, so a couple of the Warhol-like goons zap them with blue laser rays & disintegrate them.  Nice bonus for their top salesman, right?

Cut to Ellie & Dr. Dan rushing back to their vehicle as Ellie spots her father’s missing station wagon. Walking toward it, the warehouse door shuts, & 6 more goons start toward them. They make it to their car, & head back to the motel (all of three fucking blocks from the Silver Shamrock factory; why don’t the goons just come over & grab them?).

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Dan tells Ellie to pack up while he tries to find an active phone to call for outside help, then he, of course just leaves her alone while he searches. Meanwhile a 4-door sedan full of goons arrives, & they snatch Ellie, taking her back to the factory.

Cut to Dr. Dan realizing he had fucked up, & that he needed to wait until dark to go rescue her. (Why he didn’t just get in his/her Cutlass & buzz the hell out of Santa Mira, & come back with state patrol or the fucking National Guard & save the day?).

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Well, instead, without a weapon or a plan, later that night, he breaks into the factory, finally figuring out that the goons in sharp suits were androids.

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They discover him, he leads them for a merry chase before they catch up to him, beat his doctor ass, & drag him into the “Control Room” to meet Cochran.

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Conal, ever the charming egotist Irish Warlock, can’t wait to reveal his wonderful Halloween surprise. On Halloween night, as children throughout the state are wearing the popular Silver Shamrock masks, they have all been alerted, by dozens of TV commercials, to rush  home by 8 p.m. to enjoy a special prize giveaway!

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Cochran explained proudly that each mask had a computer chip in it, with microscopic traces of pieces of Stonehenge that had gone missing recently.

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At 8 p.m. a signal would be sent out from the televisions that would activate the chips, kill thousands of children, & let loose a horde of poisonous snakes & spiders to kill others near them.

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All this blood- letting & murderous mayhem would be in honor of the original Halloween festival, the Gaelic festival of Samhain (which we all remember was somehow connected to Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN II, right?).

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Then the goons leave Dan tied to a chair, wearing a SS Skull mask,  walking off & leaving him alone to sweat for an hour before the TV signal kills him.

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But shit, this is fucking Dr. Dan here, the man who sucked Ellie’s tits, & banged her for hours; a man who will never give up–kind of the fucking hero of this tale.

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He breaks his hands free, pulls off the bullshit rubber skull mask, & goes off in search of Ellie. He knocks out a security guard & takes his pistol ( a marvelous gun that must have a 30 cartridge clip, considering how many times he will fire it before he gets out of there).

He finds Ellie, rescues her, beheading, gut-shooting, wire shorting-out of several android goons. He & Ellie shoot it out for several minutes, then pump desperate lead into O2 tanks, making them explode & jet about like cocked missles, barely escaping the place as it goes up in flames.

They get into her car, and rush out of town, with about 30 minutes to warn authorities about the upcoming slaughter. While speeding down the highway, Ellie attacks him, revealing herself to be (imagine that) a fucking Cochran android copy, which means Dr. Dan blew the shit out of the real Ellie; but he has his hands full, keeping her plastic fingers away from his neck & eyes. They crash into a tree.

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They both get out of the wrecked car, & Dr. Dan has an intense case of the Ass; he jumps her robot tits, pummels her robot butt, & then in his best Stallone grunt he manages to twist her head off the body. Then he rushes into the night on foot.

As luck, & the plot will have it, he comes to the same filling station that old Harry had fled to a week earlier, in the beginning of the film. It has a functional phone,

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& with five minutes to go, he miraculously contacts one of the television stations (in these pre-cable days there were only three of them). He rants like a mad man, & we assume that no one will pay any fucking attention to him; but with two seconds to go, two of the network stations interrupt the Shamrock ad “due to technical difficulties”, but as Dan clicks to Station #3, it does not stop, & the deadly signal is sent out. The scene ends, fade out, hearing Dr. Dan still screaming for them to stop the commercial. Roll the end credits.

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Rotten Tomatoes rated the film, with 120 reviews, at 33% Critic’s Approval & 24% Audience Approval.

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TIME OUT wrote: “The end result was a bit of a mess, but the movie was still hugely enjoyable (thanks to Dean Cundy’s camerawork & John Carpenter’s close supervision as Producer), and often as striking visually as its predecessors.” 

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Roger Ebert of the CHICAGO SUN TIMES wrote: “This is one of those ‘identi-kit’ movies, assembled out of familiar parts from other, better movies.”

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Vincent Canby of the NEW YORK TIMES wrote: “Director Wallace has a fondness for the cliches he is parodying–& he does it with style.” (that’s high praise, it’s what they said about STAR WARS, for Christ’s sake).

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Christlopher Null of FILMCRITIC.COM wrote: “Oh boy, this is a howler, justly ranked as one the worst horror films in history–& shocking that it did not kill Carpenter’s career outright.”

Tim Brayton of ANTAGONY & ECSTASY wrote: “There are more than enough plot logic holes, stilted characters & idiotic developments to make sure that it is bad for reasons transcending its simple poorness as a franchise sequel.”

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MY RATING:

OK, OK, so John Carpenter had no solid prophetic vision in regards to the future of the HALLOWEEN franchise, & for the hardcore fans of Michael Myers & the original concept, this approach was screwing the pooch for damn sure. It took Carpenter & the producers six years to finish HALLOWEEN IV (1988) THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS, & to crawl out of the creative shit pit they dove into with this film.

Oddly though, as B-Movie horror flicks go, this one was not the worst I have ever seen. It was watchable, albeit done best while shit-faced on the libation of choice–it was moderately well written, if you had it seen on its own, not affiliated with the HALLOWEEN saga. It did  have Nancy Keyes, Dick Warlock, & the voice of Jamie Lee Curtis going for it. It had a semi-original Twlight Zone-Lite kind of Horror Sci-Fi TV twist to it.

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It had veteran actor Dan O’Herlihy in it, who is a better actor than  Donald Pleasence, whom, by the fucking way, I worked with as an  actor on the TV series THE QUEST, a two-part episode titled THE  LONGEST DRIVE; later released on its own for VHS & DVD libraries.

My old buddy, Keenan Wynn was in it too, & they sat around talking  about celebrity pranks & blow jobs, especially the one Tallulah Bankhead performed drunk under a table at the Brown Derby & all about the Studios of 40’s Hollywood. I joined them, quoting titles, directors, co-stars neither of them could remember.

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O’Herlihy said, “Fuck me, how can this kid who wasn’t even born yet now all this trivia about shit we lived through?”

Keenan Wynn said, “I’ve been asking myself that for years now.”

Shit, that’s the kind of memory that sticks with you, folks–And it colors my response to this clunker B-Movie. I say, give it a fucking break, climb off its punk celluloid ass, & see it with unbiased eyes (& good luck with that ). I will bestow 5.5/10 HH stars on it. It ain’t that bad; no shit.

 

1 reply »

  1. Time to start my research on HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988), a film John Carpenter dropped out of, as he & Debra Hill sold their franchise rights to the series; so this film was fated to be the reboot for Mikey the Knife.

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