Monday, 31 October 2011
Halloween III: The Season Of The Witch
In 1981, eager to turn his 'Halloween' franchise into more than just a series of slasher films, director / producer John Carpenter approached Nigel Kneale for a script for a third, Michael Myers-less story to diversify the brand.
Kneale came up with a typically interesting tale about a respected captain of industry, a toy maker, who is secretly a Druid. His crazed plan, which involves a stolen chunk of Stonehenge, is to return Halloween to its original status: a pagan celebration of darkness and evil, and he is prepared to use his toys (specifically latex masks which are marketed as the must have Halloween accessory) to kill millions of children to make his point.
Hollywood being what it is, of course, several changes were made to the original script, most of which inserted the obvious shocks and scares that Nigel always tried to avoid, as well as some explicit violence. Not surprisingly, Nigel asked that his name be removed from the credits and disassociated himself from the project, although it turned out to be pretty good, considering, although most of the best bits are obviously derived directly from Nigel's initial ideas.
I've often wondered what the film would have been like if Carpenter had the courage of his convictions and alowed Nigel to take the series to the next level, especially as I find it enjoyable and interesting in its compromised form which leads me to think that, un-fucked about with, it could have been a masterpiece. As it was, the film found little favour with Michael Myers fans and failed to atract a new audience, effectively killing the franchise for several years. Shame.
Happy Halloween to all our readers. Don your Silver Shamrock masks now!