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on 10 November 2012
Trade Secrets:

Shout! Factory present 'Halloween III: Season of the Witch' uncut and in its correct aspect ratio on this Region A locked disc. I never saw the DVD Universal released Stateside, but given the praise that disc has received over the years, I wouldn't be surprised if this hi-def transfer was struck from the same source.

With a thin-but-clear sheen of grain covering the image, 'Halloween III' is rewarded with an increase in detail and clarity. As ever, close-ups provide the best cases for oohs and aahs, but what struck me especially were the little patterns and textures now clearly visible on clothing and other materials (most notably when "Little Buddy" tries to rip through the degenerating pumpkin mask in his death throes).

Digital noise reduction may have been applied, as there is a surprisingly slight amount of grain in evidence, but there's no obvious detrimental knock-on effect, and that filmic quality is very much in evidence with little in the way of print damage.

Likewise, edge enhancement is never a problem, and black levels are rock solid. In fact, Dean Cundy's darkly envisioned cinematography is given perhaps the most substantial upgrade, with strong colours that pop right off the screen and shadows which only ever swallow details they were always intended to.

The disc is supplied with a basic DTS HD Mono audio track that won't exactly blow away seasoned audiophiles, but still does an efficient job of reproducing the film's original sound design. A front-heavy affair, dialogue and music are well balanced, with John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's jump scare music cues receiving a notable boost. Of course, the Silver Shamrock jingle has never sounded better either (ohhono).

Onto the extras, and 'Stand Alone: The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch' is exactly the kind of retrospective documentary fans of this once sadly doomed sequel have been waiting for. Members of the cast and crew reflect on the film's development, its disappointing release and the slow-but-sure rise in its cult appeal.

In 'Horror's Hallowed Grounds: The Locations of Halloween III', hosted by enthusiastic mega fan Sean Clark, we're taken on an eerily nostalgic trip through the present day locations used three decades earlier to shoot 'Season of the Witch'. Most of the key haunts are covered, with Clark later joined by director Tommy Lee Wallace as they explore the small town that doubled for Santa Mira; and watch out for a fun cameo by an actor from another underappreciated 80s horror sequel.

Two audio commentaries are also made available. The first features Tommy Lee Wallace, who's joined/moderated by Rob G. (from `Icons of Fright') and Sean Clark (once again). This is a most enjoyable listen that delves into virtually every aspect of 'Halloween III', whether on or off-screen. There's never a dry moment, and its three contributors pull off the impressive balancing act of being both deeply informative and highly entertaining.

The second track plonks star Tom Atkins in the spotlight alongside moderator Michael Phelps (who worked on the 'Night of the Creeps' Blu-ray). Atkins exudes a huggable warmth as he fondly recalls his time playing Dr. Challis (with tongue wedged in cheek). At times, the discussion becomes more of a commentary on Akins' career as a whole, with some surprising 'Lethal Weapon' trivia and one particularly lengthy tangent focusing on his nightmarish experience behind the scenes of William Peter Blatty's 'The Ninth Configuration'. Lack of focus aside, Atkins makes for some brilliant disembodied company, and fans shouldn't hesitate to sit through 'Halloween III' with him.

And rest assured, both commentaries enjoy poking fun at Atkins' character's natural ability to hit on anything without a Y chromosome.

Additionally, a selection of trailers and a still gallery are included to round out a package that even incorporates reversible artwork. If there's one problem worth noting, then it's the lack of a scene selection option. I mean, c'mon, what gives?

Final Processing:

This was the disc that finally convinced me to buy a region-free Blu-ray player (albeit a modestly priced one with all the durability of a Kinder Egg), and I'm glad I took the plunge. Shout! Factory have released what looks set to be the definitive edition of 'Halloween III: Season of the Witch' for a while at the very least. Any fans on this side of the pond not held back by region coding shouldn't hesitate to mark it down on their import list.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 November 2014
A different animal to the Halloween films that preceded and followed it, Season of the Witch is slowly but surely gaining an appreciation as a standalone horror film. Gone is Michael Myers' indestructible killing machine, in his place is the nefarious Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), the owner of the Silver Shamrock corporation that specialises in Halloween masks. Cochran has a sinister plan this year - and it's deadly - Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin) are caught in the middle of the vile plot and may just be the only salvation to Americana.

With Nigel Kneale involved in the writing process Season of the Witch is delightfully fiendish. There's definite barbs being stung here about the commercialisation of holiday occasions, that capitalism kills, Cochran is intent on restoring Halloween to the true meaning of its origins, creating a Silver Shamrock world order in the process. Kneale would take his name off the credits when the studio tampered with his vision, a shame because his core essence remains - even if Cochran as a Warlock Wicker Man type could well have been genius.

With John Carpenter and Debrah Hill over seeing things from their production chairs, the picture had supervision of some standing. Tommy Lee Wallace maybe directing but it feels like a Carpenter movie, from Dean Cundey's photography - Carpenter's foreboding synth musical score - and the sharpness of the gruey horror scenes (which are excellent), it's not hard to see the "non Michael Myers" Halloween series that Carpenter had envisaged after part 2 had been and gone.

Boosted by an irritatingly potent advertisement jingle (a Silver Shamrock variation on London Bridge is Falling Down) that counts down the days to Halloween and the day of carnage, Season of the Witch is consistently gnawing away at the senses. Having Atkins and O'Herlihy propping up the acting helps, both are reliable performers for this material, while the race against time finale has edge of the seat credentials.

It doesn't all work of course, there's some drag and the narrative feels schizophrenic at times, while if it wasn't for Cundey's camera work then Wallace's inept direction of the non horror scenes would be over exposed. Yet as it asks Halloween franchise fans some forgiveness for not actually being part of the franchise, it delivers a smart sci-fi horror hybrid that's not without shock and awel. 7/10
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on 31 May 2014

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Cast: Tom Atkins, Dan O'Herlihy, Stacey Nelkin


Cochran, the CEO of Silver Shamrock, a company manufacturing Halloween masks, has a diabolical plan to kill millions of American children on Halloween. Something is hidden in the masks and will be triggered by a TV commercial...


HALLOWEEN III - SEASON OF THE WITCH could have been a lot more than it turned out to be. The absence of Michael Myers is not a bad thing at all. Personally, I believe this character is seriously over-hyped. He was a good character for HALLOWEEN 1 and 2, but that's all. The makers wanted to go a different way with HALLOWEEN III, a way without Myers, and they were on the right track.
The story - written by director Tommy Lee Wallace - itself is not bad but badly executed. It would have needed a little more "fleshing out" to distract from the fact that it is totally illogical. It could have worked!
They assembled some really great actors, who do their best, namely Tom Atkins and Dan O'Herlihy, still this movie fails:
- the Halloween song REALLY gets on one's nerves. It's funny hearing it once, it's funny hearing it twice... but after you hear it 6 or 7 times it REALLY becomes a nuisance.
- logic usually cannot be applied to horror movies - and certainly not to the HALLOWEEN movies, but this one really is the worst: snakes and bugs coming out of Halloween masks? Where were they hidden???
- Dan O'Herlihy's character lacks a motive for his actions. Besides if he is so famous and his company is all over the news, how does he expect to get away with the crime?
HALLOWEEN III had potential. Carpenter again composed the music, but he was no longer involved in the screenplay.
I did like the dark and threatening atmosphere that comes across well. That's why I give it 2 stars instead of 1.


Feature running time: 92 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (non-anamorphic)
Audio: English 2.0
Subtitles: NONE
Extras: None
Region: 2 (locked)

Picture quality: 1/5
Audio quality: 2/5
Extras: 0/5
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on 5 October 2012
this review is about Halloween III DVD sanctuary release 2002
i'm not going to comment on the film, any Halloween fan has seen the film and know what the films about
this review is about the Picture and audio quality and special features/extras
again besides from the region 1 U.S. version which has no extras at all except for trailer
this 2002 sanctuary release is the only version you'll get an audio commentary
by Horror expert Stephen Jones and film critic Kim newman, no making of featurette
but an audio commentary and Production notes is the only reason i bought this DVD a few years ago

the picture and audio quality is very average, it's widescreen of course, runtime is 96mins
but looks like a VHS transfer with Audio and picture enhanced a bit.
the commentary is the same as the Halloween II sanctuary release commentary
it was disapointing about half way through the film, Kim newman and Stephen Jones didn't know
what else to say about the film so they starting talking about other films.

as a Halloween fan i found it a waste of money, if your fans of Stephen Jones and Kim newman
then buy it to listen to their commentary, but that's it

there's also a new scanbox release of this film which is a re-issue of the 2002 sanctuary release
with same commentary

I think scrap both sanctuary and scanbox releases
and buy the new shoutfactory release
this new Halloween III collector's edition by shout factory is the best version ever
the picture and audio quality is excellent way better than the sanctuary release and scanbox version
also has making of Documentary with cast and crew interviews
and audio commentary by Tommy lee wallace etc
this shoutfactory release is definitely worth the money, the other released versions are not

this review is based on my opinion
so up to you, your decision of which Halloween III DVD release to get.

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Am not going to bore you and go on about how this film should never have been called Halloween 3, well the only thing am going to say is, it should of been called The night of the Mask or its underline title, The season of the Witch so I am going to review this film as a separate entity from the Halloween series.

The film is great with a brilliant performance by Tom Atkins(the fog) the story is about a mask maker who has lost the plot and wants to commit mass murder by using Halloween masks, that have a power to make snakes and all sorts of poisonous creatures. I loved the beginning with the opening title with a, graphic pumpkin, plus the soundtrack was so creepy, this is a great film if you can get past the fact that Michael Myers is not in this, well he does appear for a breath second.
review image
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on 19 March 2012
if you dont class this as part of the halloween films and just see this film as a one, then its actually not bad!.. micheal myers is nothing to do with this film at all! i wonder why they went off the plot from myers... probaly because myers had his eyes shot out, then burned to death in halloween 2! ... anyway... its about some halloween masks and when you watch the halloween advert for the masks whilst wearing them, snakes and whatever comes out of your skull.. your dead basically!... good film tho, know it dont sound much but its still a good watch!... the music does give the fear factor too! very simular to that music played in halloween!.
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on 28 February 2014
Halloween III is the black sheep of the series in that it has nothing to do with Michael Myers. In the making of program you find out "why". Its a fascinating set of extras and the Horrors Hallowed Grounds program is worth the price alone.

The film has never looked or sounded better on home video. Its great.

The film is enjoyable and quirky and you get to see Blade Runner's "lost" Replicant in action as the female lead.

BEWARE ITS REGION LOCKED so you will need a multi region Blu ray player. If you don't know what that is you probably don't have one!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 October 2014
Let’s get it out of the way... ‘Halloween 3: Season of the Witch’ was a critical (and more importantly) commercial failure. Basically, after the highly successful (and profitable) ‘Halloween’ and ‘Halloween 2’ people were expecting big things from the third instalment. The first two were about a – seemingly unstoppable – killer called Michael Myers and his relentless desire to generally murder youngsters. However, Part 3’s ultimate ‘failure’ was that it basically has nothing to do with the first two instalments.

Part 3 is a completely new story which doesn’t follow on at all. And that was the main ‘problem’ people had with it. So, it got immediately slated and has kind of fallen off the radar, as far as horror movies go.

However, if you don’t really look at it as a ‘Halloween’ movie and simply a stand-alone horror film, it does tend to take on a life of its own. We join Dr Daniel Challis when a possibly mentally-unstable old man is brought into his hospital, only to be murdered in very suspicious circumstances. Therefore, Dr Dan teams up with the man’s grieving daughter to investigate. And, their investigation takes them to an out-of-the-way town in the middle of nowhere, run by the – somewhat creepy – Conal Cochran.

First of all, Dr Dan is a rather different hero. He isn’t very reliable, frequently forgets to visit his ex-wife, buys his kids rubbish present, flirts with pretty much anything in a skirt in the hospital where he works and then sleeps with younger women in meets in a bar (all while wearing a handkerchief hanging out of the back of his trousers). And, did I mention while he’s doing all this he’s also trying to save the world from cyborg robots and fiendish occult plots.

But, dodgy heroes aside, the film is actually pretty creepy. First of all you have the music (which is done by horror legend John Carpenter) which adds to the dark, unsettling atmosphere. Then you have Dan O’herlihy, playing arguably one of the most nasty villains in cinematic history. He really does have a plan or two up his sleeve and it isn’t nice! Then you have the general gore. It’s hardly a ‘gore-fest’ but when the gore comes, it’s pretty gruesome and what isn’t gory is pretty unsettling.

If you want to give Halloween 3 a go, don’t view it as part of the franchise. Just be in a mood for a darkly-nasty horror tale. It’s also probably best to put at least half of your brain on hold for the duration – that way you can ignore the odd plot hole. I don’t care what people say about it. I still love it!
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on 10 August 2012
Review for the SCREAM Factory edition:

I think it's fair to say that Halloween III has been treated very badly over the years with bad quality bare bones DVDs with no special features and terrible picture and sound quality with full screen instead of its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio. I think the reason why its been treated so harshly is no secret but since 7 films about Michael Myers have come after it, people have gotten over the whole missing MM thing and are starting to realise that it's a pretty good film after all.

This release is even better than a lot of the special editions for the other Halloween sequels, it has a cardboard outer sleeve with great cover art and the DVD sleeve has reversible cover art with the same as the outer slipcover or the original theatrical artwork if you prefer. The picture quality is just amazing, restored to its original aspect ratio with crystal clear picture, you can't even tell it was filmed 30 years ago, it looks like it was filmed only yesterday. The sound quality is also very good.

Finally SPECIAL FEATURES are included for a Halloween III release! These include an audio commentary by the director and an audio commentary by Tom Atkins. A making of video that features interviews with most of the cast and crew, The locations of Halloween III, Teaser and Theatrical trailers, TV and Radio Spots and a Stills Gallery. This is my favorite film in the Halloween franchise and if you love this movie and want to see it in the best possible way then this is for you, highly recommended
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on 4 July 2010
Face it Michael Myers died before this was released, so it was no wonder he did not appear in it. However the title really had everybody on low expectations to what was to be expected because Michael Myers wasn't present, but I digress on that aspect and actually watched the movie in adequate anticipation for what I was going to see and not for what it wasn't (basically because Michael's not in it) it's a good movie and one I will never forget.

The plot is really weird of how this guy goes insane due to a commercial he seen on T.V, then gets killed by a man in a suit who crushes his skull in a hospital; then Dr. Dan Challis comforts this girl after her Fathers death (the guy that gone insane after a commercial) who herself being a detective tries to track down her Father's killer with Dan by her side. It's really about Mr. Cochran, who is the owner of The Shamrock Company and he is getting kids hyped for The Halloween Special on T.V and he makes masks that for no apparent reason, kill kids who watch the commercial only when the masks on. The masks evokes snakes and things like that out of their face (only when watching a commercial with one of them).
It's got a lot of plot holes for sure, and I cannot say I hate it because I have watched it a few times now. I give it 3 stars regarding the fact that Michael Myers is in many sequels after this! I mean what gives and where was the logic in making the 3rd one without Michael Myers? It should have had a different title that would have given it more praise I think. But still it holds up in a way, only when I watch it subconsciously as a normal horror movie - but I don't recommend it that much to anyone who hates the idea of Michael being left out in a Halloween movie.
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