Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day. Or whenever I fucking feel like it.
If hindsight is 20/20, what does that make nostalgia? Why is it possible to look back at our failures with clear eyes yet the things that are tied to our youth are blind to use? Halloween 3 (I’m dropping the subtitle for brevity) was a film I remember loving as a kid. Maybe it was the catchy ass Silver Shamrock jingle– which I’ll get to in a minute– or the fact that I, like many a youth, was obsessed with Halloween (The holiday, not the film. Although I would eventually become obsessed with that too.)
It was in my regular rotation as a kid but much like Follow That Bird or The Last Unicorn, it eventually got left at the wayside. Years after the fact and with a little bit of film appreciation under my belt, I would always recommend it to friends. I would defend it as a hidden gem and use points to argue that it was something different and should be appreciated for taking risks. It was always baffling to me that the critics and general horror fans hated it, considering this is a franchise that thought having Michael Myers fight Busta Rhymes was a good idea.
But within the last decade or so, it’s gone through a bit of a critical reappraisal. Much like all of John Carpenter’s films, it’s been reassessed and deemed the best Halloween sequel. That’s faint praise considering most of the sequels are trash rats would think twice about dining on but the series does have 2 and H20, which are pretty good films.
John Carpenter has always been at the very least, a decade ahead of his audiences. Almost everything he made was either a commercial flop or a critical failure or both. But just like clockwork, after the 10 year mark, the film will be deemed a classic. It’s happened time and time again and although Halloween 3 took a bit longer to go through the process, it got there eventually.
Is the new found love it’s got justified? Is nostalgia truly blind? Were all the critics at the time right? Is Tom Atkins in this film a sexual predator? So many valid questions and one statement answers most:
If John Carpenter is 10 years ahead of everybody else, Tommy Lee Wallace is 20 years behind.
Looking over his filmography, you notice every single one of his films have aged terribly. Fright Night 2 is a piss poor sequel to the original, Vampires: Los Muertos is nigh unwatchable and with the exception of the excellent cast and fantastic score, IT hasn’t held up.
And that brings us to Halloween 3.
The only thing more confusing to me than the sudden love for this thing, is the fact that I used to love it. I’m really at a loss trying to pinpoint what attracted me to this movie when I was younger. My only guess is the Silver Shamrock jingle. A remix of the London Bridge is falling down song, it’s annoyingly catchy.
I guess this is as good a point as any to actually talk about the goddamn plot of the film. Tom Atkins plays doctor pussyhound, who, after treating a man who was brought into his hospital rambling like a loon, watches said man get killed by an unknown assassin. He then watches the assassin douse himself in gasoline and kill himself. Doctor Pussyhound is very confused by all of this. Added to the mix, is the daughter of the loon who desperately wants answers.
She wants answers and he wants to tap ass, so they team up to hardy boys this mystery. Going off of his cryptic ramblings and the Halloween mask he was clutching, they piece together enough evidence to send them off to the Silver Shamrock factory, makers of the masks.
Is the clearly nefarious mask factory behind the murder and if so, what are they trying to cover up? If you haven’t seen this film, whatever your guess is, you’re wildly off. The villains plan in this film is so fucking convoluted, it makes the bad guy in Road House seem rational and that son of a bitch destroyed the businesses he was trying to extort.
I’m going to go into the very wacky plot of this film, so if you haven’t seen it and you don’t want it spoiled, turn back now.
Where to fucking begin. Ok, let me try to break this thing down. The evil head of Silver Shamrock put microchips in every mask they make, to kill every child on Halloween as part of some sort of ancient Celtic ritual. That by itself, isn’t terrible. In fact, it’s a really cool premise but that’s not exactly all there is to the plan. In order to kill the kids, he needs to harness some of the magic from one of the pieces of stonehenge. Mixing black magic with technology, not bad so far.
But for some reason, the screenwriters decided to make all of his henchmen robots. He has robots running around. Now, my question is: did he get his money (because it’s made quite clear that’s he’s insanely wealthy by only making gags and masks) by making the robots and the mask company is a front or did he really make that much money by selling masks and then just buy robots?
The daughter of the loon is eventually turned into a robot, so did he make all the robots? Why the fuck are there robots? Couldn’t this have been a hell of a lot more streamlined a plot if they were just a wacky cult? And are his masks the only Halloween masks in the world? Because for this to work, all the kids have to watch TV at the same time while also wearing his masks.
What is the incentive for every kid to buy these masks because they’re not free and what guarantee will they even watch TV in the first place? I’m in the weeds with this fucking plot.
My wife used to have a rule: every film gets three “get the fuck outta here” moments. After the fourth one, she turns it off. The entire 3rd act of this film is nothing but “get the fuck outta here” moments. After they escape the factory, the film becomes a race against time to stop the television stations from airing the special and killing millions of kids.
They’re driving break neck speed to save the day, when out of nowhere, it’s revealed that she, is in fact, a robot. Now I’m assuming it happened when they kidnapped her at the end of the 2nd act but she’s with him during the entirety of the factory escape. Why the fuck would she help him escape?
The film ends with Tom Atkins screaming at the audience to stop it and at that point, I already had.
This film is still better than its score would suggest and it’s far better than most of its sequels but it’s not a hidden classic. It’s a watchable film with a really interesting idea buried under the crazy.
But it does kill kids, so that’s a plus.