Thursday, September 20, 2012
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH Blu-Ray Review!
Halloween III: Season Of The Witch has always stuck out like a sore thumb from its brethren in the Halloween franchise. Original director and series producer John Carpenter and his producing partner Debra Hill had originally envisioned a sort of anthology series of films, each with a different horror story under the Halloween banner. An admittedly cool idea, but when the blockbuster success of the first Halloween film demanded the continuance of Michael Myers' story, the second installment picked up right where the first one left off. Then, with Myers seemingly dead for sure at the end of 1981's Halloween II, Carpenter and Hill went back to the original anthology idea for the third film. Audiences were confused and enraged by the Myers-free, unrelated plotline of 1982's Halloween III, and the film sank like a stone at the box office. But thanks to cable and home video, this unique and nasty flick found a rabid cult audience over the years...an audience that is sure to be thrilled with Scream Factory's new extras-packed DVD/Blu-Ray release of Halloween III. Scream Factory (a division of Shout! Factory, the fine folks who brought us the Corman Classics series over the last few years) has pulled out all the stops with this new special edition, and it's tough to imagine any fan of Halloween III being disappointed with the treasure trove of extras included. A new retrospective documentary, entitled Stand Alone, details the film's troubled history and eventual reclamation from oblivion by a rabid fan base, and included contributions from Tommy Lee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Stacy Nelkin, Dean Cundey, Alan Howarth, and more (John Carpenter is strangely absent). This warts-and-all doc is worth the price of admission alone. Series producer Irwin Yablans bluntly states that he felt abandoning the Myers storyline was a huge mistake. Wallace claims that his sole writing credit was a misnomer, adding that most of the original script was generated by British writer Nigel Kneale (creator of the Quatermass films, of which Carpenter was a huge fan). The disc also includes a tour of the film's locations, vintage TV spots (including one for the film's network TV debut!), and two commentary tracks--one with Wallace, the other with Atkins. Scream Factory has packaged Halloween III with a brand new cover illustration, but in a nifty concession to VHS-era fans, the DVD and Blu-Ray come with reversible packaging showcasing the iconic original artwork as well, so you can decide for yourself how best to display the movie on your shelf. Picture and sound quality are top notch all around as well. This release is a welcome addition to any '80s horror fan's collection, and bodes well for the rest of Shout Factory's upcoming titles (including The Funhouse, They Live, Terror Train, and, of course, Halloween II, with other movies to be announced). Good luck getting that damn Silver Shamrock jingle out of your head, though.