Halloween III Season of the Witch (1982)

R | 98 mins | Horror | 22 October 1982

Director:

Tommy Lee Wallace

Cinematographer:

Dean Cundey

Editor:

Millie Moore

Production Designer:

Peter Jamison

Production Companies:

Dino De Laurentiis Corporation , Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

       Production materials in AMPAS library files listed Wendy Wessberg’s character, “Teddy,” as “Teddy Bryant.”
       According to a 27 Aug 1982 Universal Pictures press release, producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill decided to develop Halloween III Season of the Witch just days after the 30 Oct 1981 release of Halloween II (see entry). The “entirely original” addition to the Halloween franchise would have “nothing in common with the previous films.” Contrary to the violence depicted in the final film, a 3 Mar 1982 Var article claimed that Halloween III would feature “no gore, no knives, no blood,” but would instead focus on science-fiction horror. A 24 Nov 1981 HR article anticipated an Oct 1982 release; executive producer Irwin Yablans hoped to advertise the film by airing Halloween II on television the night of Halloween III’s theatrical opening, as was done with Halloween (1978, see entry) upon the second installment’s release. Although Yablans expressed desire to have a major studio market the film, he also considered distributing it through his own company, Compass International.
       Following the 3 Mar 1982 Var story announcing Nigel Kneale’s participation as screenwriter, the 1 Apr 1982 DV indicated that principal photography on the $2.5 million picture was expected to begin 19 Apr 1982 in Eureka, CA. A 25 Oct 1982 DV article reported that original director Joe Dante moved on to another film. To replace Dante, Carpenter hired his childhood friend, Tommy Lee Wallace, who had worked as editor and art director on Halloween under the credit “Tommy ... More Less

       Production materials in AMPAS library files listed Wendy Wessberg’s character, “Teddy,” as “Teddy Bryant.”
       According to a 27 Aug 1982 Universal Pictures press release, producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill decided to develop Halloween III Season of the Witch just days after the 30 Oct 1981 release of Halloween II (see entry). The “entirely original” addition to the Halloween franchise would have “nothing in common with the previous films.” Contrary to the violence depicted in the final film, a 3 Mar 1982 Var article claimed that Halloween III would feature “no gore, no knives, no blood,” but would instead focus on science-fiction horror. A 24 Nov 1981 HR article anticipated an Oct 1982 release; executive producer Irwin Yablans hoped to advertise the film by airing Halloween II on television the night of Halloween III’s theatrical opening, as was done with Halloween (1978, see entry) upon the second installment’s release. Although Yablans expressed desire to have a major studio market the film, he also considered distributing it through his own company, Compass International.
       Following the 3 Mar 1982 Var story announcing Nigel Kneale’s participation as screenwriter, the 1 Apr 1982 DV indicated that principal photography on the $2.5 million picture was expected to begin 19 Apr 1982 in Eureka, CA. A 25 Oct 1982 DV article reported that original director Joe Dante moved on to another film. To replace Dante, Carpenter hired his childhood friend, Tommy Lee Wallace, who had worked as editor and art director on Halloween under the credit “Tommy Wallace,” and was previously considered to direct Halloween II. At this time, the story was “still in the verbal stage,” and Kneale returned home to England to prepare the script. However, Wallace receives sole writing credit for the feature.
       A 19 May 1982 Var brief corrected Universal press materials published in the 31 Mar 1982 Var which omitted the names of executive producers Yablans and Joseph Wolf, associate producer Barry Bernardi, director of photography Dean Cundey, and Moustapha Akkad, who receives a “presented by” credit onscreen.
       The 16 Oct 1982 NYT noted that the film cost $4.6 million, including $2 million in overhead costs paid to Universal; producers agreed to grant Halloween mask creator Don Post shared profits on merchandising rights in exchange for his company’s work on the film’s props. Although the skull and witch masks were adaptations of Don Post Studios’ own products, the Jack-o’-lantern mask was created especially for the film. Prior to the picture’s 22 Oct 1982 release in 1,250 theaters, the props were mass-produced from their original molds and marketed for sale among consumers aged 13—25. Universal also sponsored radio promotions and mask-making demonstrations led by Post at Universal Studios in Universal City, CA.
       According to U.S. copyright records on 1 Oct 1982, Jove Publications released a novelization of the screenplay written by fantasy and horror author, Dennis Etchison, under the pseudonym “Jack Martin.”
       As the third installment of the Halloween series, Halloween III Season of the Witch was followed by multiple theatrical releases and remakes, including filmmaker Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007, see entry) and Halloween II (2009, see entry). A 25 Sep 2009 DV article suggested that producer-distributor Bob Weinstein planned to film Halloween III in 3D, although the picture would be unrelated to the original 1982 version. As of Feb 2014, the film has not been produced.
      End credits include “Special thanks to Republic Airlines, Ruxton, Ltd. and the people of Loleta & Eureka, California.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1982.
---
Daily Variety
20 May 1982.
---
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1982
p. 3, 14.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 2009
p. 1, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 1981
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1982
p. 3, 52.
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 1982
p. 4.
New York Times
16 Oct 1982.
---
New York Times
22 Oct 1982
Section C, p. 28.
Variety
3 Mar 1982.
---
Variety
31 Mar 1982.
---
Variety
19 May 1982.
---
Variety
27 Oct 1982
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Moustapha Akkad Presents
A John Carpenter/Debra Hill Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit cam
2d unit asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Prop master
Prop master
Const coord
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker
Labor foreman
Standby painter
Const painter
Halloween masks created by
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Costumer
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Dial ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff asst
Title seq by
Silver Shamrock commercial
Titles & opticals by
Titles & opticals by
Anim courtesy of
MAKEUP
Spec makeup by
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Casting
Visual consultant
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Scr supv
Asst to Ms. Hill
Asst to Mr. Bernardi
Asst to Mr. Chernov
Asst to Matt Franco
Craft service
Video coord
Extra casting
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Loc asst
Loc asst
Caterer
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Post prod expediter
Animal coord
Asst animal coord
Motor police
Motor police
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Halloween III
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Release Date:
22 October 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 October 1982
Production Date:
began 19 April 1982 in Eureka, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Dino DeLaurentiis Corporation
Copyright Date:
3 December 1982
Copyright Number:
PA156591
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the night of Saturday, 23 October, in Northern California, a middle-aged man runs through an abandoned junkyard to escape two assassins. One hour later, the escapee barges into a gas station clutching a Jack-o’-lantern mask, startling the attendant, who sits watching a television advertisement for Silver Shamrock Novelties’ Halloween masks. He mutters, “They’re coming!” before collapsing. Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Challis arrives at the house of his ex-wife, Linda Challis, after work, and presents his children with two Halloween masks. Daniel receives a telephone call instructing him to return to the hospital and attend to the collapsed man. The patient becomes erratic upon hearing the Silver Shamrock commercial jingle playing on a nearby television, claiming, “They’re going to kill us...all of us.” Once the patient is sedated, one of the assassins enters the hospital room and crushes the bones in the man’s face. Daniel chases the killer outside, but the assassin gets in his car, douses himself in gasoline, and lights himself on fire. The doctor telephones Linda and says he will be unable to pick up the children that evening. The following morning, the patient’s daughter, Ellie Grimbridge, identifies the body as that of her father, Harry Grimbridge. On Wednesday, 27 October, Daniel convinces Teddy Bryant, the hospital pathologist, to search for anything suspicious in the autopsy. On Friday, 29 October, Ellie Grimbridge runs into Daniel at a bar, and he informs her of Harry’s strange behavior upon arriving at the hospital. She brings Daniel to her father’s store and reads from his appointment book, deducing that Harry ran into trouble on his way back from retrieving an order of Halloween masks in Santa Mira, California, the location ... +


On the night of Saturday, 23 October, in Northern California, a middle-aged man runs through an abandoned junkyard to escape two assassins. One hour later, the escapee barges into a gas station clutching a Jack-o’-lantern mask, startling the attendant, who sits watching a television advertisement for Silver Shamrock Novelties’ Halloween masks. He mutters, “They’re coming!” before collapsing. Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Challis arrives at the house of his ex-wife, Linda Challis, after work, and presents his children with two Halloween masks. Daniel receives a telephone call instructing him to return to the hospital and attend to the collapsed man. The patient becomes erratic upon hearing the Silver Shamrock commercial jingle playing on a nearby television, claiming, “They’re going to kill us...all of us.” Once the patient is sedated, one of the assassins enters the hospital room and crushes the bones in the man’s face. Daniel chases the killer outside, but the assassin gets in his car, douses himself in gasoline, and lights himself on fire. The doctor telephones Linda and says he will be unable to pick up the children that evening. The following morning, the patient’s daughter, Ellie Grimbridge, identifies the body as that of her father, Harry Grimbridge. On Wednesday, 27 October, Daniel convinces Teddy Bryant, the hospital pathologist, to search for anything suspicious in the autopsy. On Friday, 29 October, Ellie Grimbridge runs into Daniel at a bar, and he informs her of Harry’s strange behavior upon arriving at the hospital. She brings Daniel to her father’s store and reads from his appointment book, deducing that Harry ran into trouble on his way back from retrieving an order of Halloween masks in Santa Mira, California, the location of the Silver Shamrock factory. Determined to help Ellie investigate, Daniel telephones Linda and again excuses himself from picking up his children. He and Ellie drive to Santa Mira, a secluded Irish farming community, to investigate the factory’s owner, Conal Cochran. Hoping to prevent suspicion, they rent a motel room pretending to be a married couple. While paying for the room, Daniel notices Harry Grimbridge’s name in the register. Inside their room, Daniel kisses Ellie as they argue about sleeping arrangements. At 6:00 pm that evening, speaker systems announce the beginning of city-wide curfew, and Santa Mira residents retreat to their houses. After dark, Daniel runs into a homeless man, who warns him about the town’s security cameras and declares that he plans to blow up the factory because Cochran refused to give him a job. Later, two assassins tear off the homeless man’s head. At the motel, Ellie befriends Marge Gutman, a woman who has also come to town to pick up an order from the factory. Daniel telephones Teddy, but she reports that tests have been inconclusive. When he returns to his room, he and Ellie make love. Meanwhile, Marge discovers a microchip attached to the back of one of the mask’s logo emblems. When she pokes the chip with a hairpin, a blue laser beam blasts away her mouth and nose. As she dies, a large wasp crawls from her mouth. Shortly after, a team of men in white coats remove Marge’s body from the scene, followed by Conal Cochran, who assures Daniel and Ellie that Marge will receive treatment at the factory. In the morning, Daniel telephones Teddy and asks her to find background information on Cochran. Teddy admits she is suspicious that someone has tampered with the autopsy, since she is unable to find any human remains among the ashes and automobile parts. At the factory, the workers claim they know nothing of Harry’s whereabouts after he picked up his order on 21 October. Cochran assures Daniel and Ellie that Marge is well, and invites them to accompany the family of mask salesman, Buddy Kupfer, on a guided tour of the facilities. As Daniel notices several men who resemble Harry’s killer, Ellie sees her father’s car parked in a garage, but the men stop her from approaching. That evening, Cochran’s men kidnap Ellie. Daniel attempts to make an emergency telephone call, but repeatedly receives an error message, and runs to the factory. Once inside, Daniel approaches an elderly woman kitting in a chair and demands to know Ellie’s location, but discovers that the woman is an animatronic robot. When an assassin attacks, Daniel punches him in the abdomen and pulls out a wire covered in orange slime. Just before dawn on 31 October, Cochran arrives and escorts Daniel to the “final processing” area of the factory, where he reveals a stolen piece of England’s Stonehenge monument, which he claims has powerful magical properties. He shows Daniel a video feed of the Kupfer family trapped inside a testing facility disguised as a sitting room. As the Kupfers’ son watches a flashing television image of a Jack-o’-lantern accompanied by the Silver Shamrock jingle, his latex mask melts onto his face and he collapses, as crickets and rattlesnakes emerge from his decomposing corpse. Daniel becomes lightheaded watching snakes bite and kill the boy’s parents. Meanwhile, in cities across the country, children go trick-or-treating wearing their Silver Shamrock masks. Unable to reach Daniel at the motel, Teddy telephones her colleague, and asks him to come in the following day to confirm her findings: a pile of tiny gears, washers, and springs. Just as she telephones the sheriff’s office, an assassin kills her by piercing her ear canal with an electric drill. In a darkened cell at the factory, Cochran straps Daniel to a chair and explains that the last “true” Halloween took place three thousand years earlier, when the Irish practiced sacrificial ceremonies under a particular planetary alignment. Claiming that the planets have aligned again, he hopes to use his masks and the television commercial to kill several thousand children at midnight. He places a mask on Daniel’s head and positions him in front of a television. After Cochran leaves, Daniel smashes the screen with his foot and uses the glass to cut his bindings. He escapes through a vent into the warehouse, where he uses the telephone to call Linda and warn her about their children’s masks, but she refuses to listen. He frees Ellie from her cell and sneaks into the control room, turning on the television screens and showering the workers with a box of microchips. The chips misfire, producing electric shocks that short-circuit the robotic workers and form a force field between the television sets. The Stonehenge rock emits a blue beam of light, evaporating Cochran’s body, then explodes. As Daniel and Ellie drive away, Ellie, having been transformed into a robot, attempts to break his neck, forcing him to drive off the road. Daniel knocks off her head and goes to the gas station where Harry collapsed, telephoning someone, begging to have the Silver Shamrock commercial taken off the air, and insisting that thousands of children will die. However, as Daniel desperately yells into the telephone, the clock strikes midnight and the television commercial changes to the flashing image of the Jack-o’-lantern. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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