Halloween III: Season of the Witch isn’t even in the same universe as the first two Halloween films — the only mention of the events in the previous movies comes as a commercial for the first on television. If one ignores the fact that Season of the Witch is connected only via producer / composer John Carpenter, and looks at it as a film in and of itself, it’s far easier to take. I can’t imagine how pissed I would’ve been to have expected Michael Meyers stalking folks again, only to discover that this is about evil masks.
However, given the fact that it’s creepy and fucked-up beyond belief, what with the kids and the masks and the repetitive jingle. It’s basically a detective story with killers and witchcraft and androids. Once you get into the big reveal, shit really stops making sense — your evil overlords don’t ever really explain as to why they’re doing what they’re doing, other than something than something about Samhain.
You get to see our hero of the week, Tom Atkins, being a mediocre father and an alcoholic doctor. He’s fantastic and unpleasant, and you really only like him because he takes charge and tries to get things done. His actual personality is pretty abrasive and downtrodden. It’s purely because Atkins plays him as a guy who’s trying, despite being kind of a dick.
Still — Season of the Witch is creepy, uncomfortable, and so weird that you can’t help but keep watching. Any film willing to make killing kids a central plot point — and actually do so on-screen — is pretty well up on the psychotronic scale, and worth peeping.