Halloween III Is a Tantalizing Road Not Taken

“What’s the matter? Don’t you have any Halloween spirit?”
“No.”

That. That right there is why I wish the Halloween series had successfully been turned into an anthology series. I just love the idea of movies treating Halloween the same way Christmas movies treat Christmas. Like it’s this all-consuming, culturally important thing. I fucking love Halloween.

All I knew about this going in was it was written/directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and it was set on Halloween. So basically I knew more than enough to be pretty sure I was going to love it.

One thing that did bother the hell out of me was the sexual relationship between the protagonists. It’s completely unnecessary, but it wouldn’t even be worth bringing up if it weren’t for the fact that it’s pretty damn skeevy. After they’ve already fucked at least once, a the panicked pornstache protagonist dad asks proto manic pixie dream girl, “Wait, how old are you?” She laughs girlishly and assures him she’s “older than he thinks.” Maybe it’s to reassure the audience that their relationship isn’t as gross as it looks, but it achieves the fucking opposite, because it means that when they initiated the act, pornstache dad had reservations about her age. Awesome. Just… awesome.

It doesn’t help that this character is later turned into a damsel in distress–which is itself a ruse because she’s actually been replaced by a robot double who will give our hero his last bit of peril. While we’re on the subject, why the fuck didn’t she turn on him before he killed her boss and blew up his factor/all the other robots? Doesn’t make much sense.

Honestly, though? I don’t care about all of that as much as I should, because Halloween III is a wonderful horror movie with an anticapitalist bent, and you know how damn easy I am for exactly that combination.

Also, when the robots are killing people, it’s almost always… weirdly sexy? We’re first introduced to one pinning a guy down and choking him. Another finishes the same guy off later in his hospital bed by handgagging him and it looks like he’s about to pinch his nose closed (at which point I had Wallace pegged as a serious breathplay enthusiast) but he instead pulls his skull apart (ouch/dramatically less sexy). And the last corporately-sanctioned murder we see the robots perform sees one robot grab the victim from behind and force him to his knees and the other grab his head. It’s a very suggestive position, but like the previously mentioned kill it’s pretty effectively ruined when the robot uses brute force to decapitate the victim. And I don’t think I’m just seeing this stuff because I’m kinky as fuck, I honestly think it was pretty intentional, even if I’m not sure what the reason behind it was. (Or if there was any reason beyond “why not?”) I was on the fence until that last kill, but it was just too damn provocative to ignore.

Before I move on from things that are likely to get me kinkshamed (or at least silently judged), I should mention that being strapped to a chair and having a Halloween mask carelessly placed over my face before being “forced” to watch horror movies doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend Halloween, so I’m not sure what Dr. Challis’s problem is.

I do hear and agree with all the complaints that there aren’t nearly enough (any, really) witches in this movie. We’re meant to understand that Cochran is performing witchcraft, which is fine I guess, but if I weren’t otherwise in love with the movie I’m sure I would’ve been pretty disappointed that a movie called “Season of the Witch” was so… not witchy? Anyway, it’s an understandable source of contention.

But yeah, I love this movie. Fight me. I wish I could put exactly what I love about movies like this and Fright Night Part 2 into words so I could solicit recommendations for similar films. It’s like… they take themselves pretty seriously and they get really dark at times, but there are also elements to them that are more than a little silly and those elements are taken just as seriously as the rest of the film? I don’t know if that makes any sense, or if that that’s even why I like these movies so much. I just know I want a lot more like them!

(A-Rank)


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