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'Happy, Happy Halloween ... Silver Shamrock'



Halloween3 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.


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?"

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:26pm]


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