Setting: Northern California, October 23rd-31st
Halloween III opens with a man, Harry Grimbridge, a costume shop owner, carrying only a mask and running from unemotional pursuers. He is unable to escape and is attacked at a petrol station. He is taken to the local hospital, raving that 'they're gonna kill all of us', where he meets divorced father Dr Dan Challis.
He is later strangled by a strange man who invades the hospital and is killed when his car explodes. This prompts the doctor to investigate, especially after meeting Harry's attractive daughter Ellie.
They discover that her father had disappeared on a visit to pick up more masks in remote town Santa Mira, home of the Silver Shamrock mask-making company. The town is spookily strange, as is Cochran, the owner of Silver Shamrock, a company which is advertising a Halloween special night on Television for the children.
They soon learn that Cochran is behind a plan to use a stolen part of Stonehenge to kill all the children watching his broadcast. They are transformed into snakes and bugs, killing any in their path. Although Dr Dan kills Cochran and escapes, the broadcast is to go ahead. He succeeds in getting it taken off 2 out of the 3 channels showing it...
|4.||Buddy Kupfer Junior||Transformed||Factory|
|Tom Atkins||Doctor Daniel|
|Stacy Nelkin||Ellie Grimbridge|
|Dan O'Herlihy||Conal Cochran|
|Ralph Strait||Buddy Kupfer|
|Jadeen Barbor||Betty Kupfer|
|Brad Schacter||Buddy Kupfer|
|Garn Stephens||Marge Guttman|
|Nancy Kyes||Linda Challis|
|Al Berry||Harry Grimbridge|
|Essex Smith||Walter Jones|
|Maidie Norman||Nurse Agnes|
Halloween III was, without doubt, a very brave departure for the series. It has nothing to do with the other Halloween films, indeed, in Halloween III, the film Halloween is
twice shown, once as an advert, and once during the Night of Horror.
The film is very atmospheric. Unlike all the other films in the series, it does not say what year it is set in, implying that this could happen at any time. Some parts are dated, however. One of the devices used to create the impression that things aren't quite right in the town of Santa Mira is the use of CCTV cameras. Although these cameras were rare, if not unheard of, in 1983, they are becoming almost as numerous on our streets as lampposts today. Other plot points, such as the theft of Stonehenge and the alignment of the planets, are unnecessary.
All the characters are more believable than in the other films in the series, and they all have more at stake. Instead of being a group of unconnected teens, they are families, with it being Ellie's father and Buddy's family that are killed. The hero, the divorced Doctor, has his children's lives at stake as he knows they plan to watch the Silver Shamrock broadcast.
Halloween III owes more to films like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers than Halloween, and the hotel scene is lifted direct from Psycho. Although the least successful in the cinema of the Halloween films, it remains a brave experiment.