'Happy, Happy Halloween ... Silver Shamrock'
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 1982's "Halloween III: Season of the Witch," starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin and Dan O'Herlihy. Directed and written by Tommy Lee Wallace, a longtime contributor John Carpenter films (including the original Halloween in 1978).
THE PLOT: A sinister mask-making company has secret plans to kill millions of treat-or-treaters with something hidden in Halloween masks. (Hidden laser beams inside the masks will fry the little kiddies -- pretty terrifying at the time. Of course, it'd be years before we realized that no such high-tech toys actually work as advertised.) Watch a clip.
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: This is the only move in the Halloween series that doesn't revolve around the character of Michael Myers. That, coupled with the $2.5-million budget, doomed it to the worst box-office performance of all the movies in that family.
SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: Nobody can get the TV jingle of Silver Shamrock Novelties Co. out of the head: "Six more days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Six more days 'til Halloween ... Silver Shamrock."
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID: "A low-rent thriller from the first frame. This is one of those Identikit movies, assembled out of familiar parts from other, better movies." --- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.
WHY WE LOVE IT ANYWAY: Aside from the great ad jingle, there are references to other movies sprinkled liberally throughout ("The Thing," "On Golden Pond") and a sense of humor that would become standard in horror movies later in the decade.
TOP 5 LINES FROM HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH
5. "I don't believe this commercial! It never stops!"
4. "Drinking and doctoring. Great combination."
3. "All witches, all skeletons, all Jack-O-Lanterns, gather 'round and watch. Watch the magic pumpkin."
2. "Well, he had to be one strong businessman, I can tell you that. You don't just pull someone's skull apart without a little lower-arm strength, know what I mean?"
1. "I was always taught that when someone needs help, you help them. Unless there's trouble. There isn't going to be any trouble is there?"