Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

logoDirector: Tommy Lee Wallace

Writer: Tommy Lee Wallace (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy, Michael Currie, Ralph Strait, Jadeen Barbor

Plot: A large Halloween mask-making company has plans to kill millions of American children with something sinister hidden in Halloween masks.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow start, but Great Finish

Story: Halloween III Season of the Witch starts with a man running for his life and a group of suited man chasing him down. The man ends up in hospital giving us a chance to meet our leading man Doctor Daniel Challis (Atkins) who treats the man before he finally get killed with the killer committing suicide afterwards.

For some reason we have one scene telling us next to nothing to show each day passing towards Halloween, before Daniel teams up with Ellie (Nelkin) the deceased man’s daughter to look into his obsession with a new line of Halloween masks being released.

Daniel and Ellie’s investigation takes them to the small town with the factory in, it has strict rules and the mysterious toy maker Cochran (O’Herlihy) keeps everything involved with outside people and if anyone bad mouths the copy the usual end up dead. When Daniel and Ellie finally learn the truth the race against time to stop the evil toy makers plan from happening.

Halloween III Season of the Witch is the follow on the to Halloween, without the Halloween major character from the original idea, yes, NO MICHAEL MYERS, but still the film actually works out well by the end. I was hugely disappointed and bored during the first half and very confused about the lack of witch inclusion. In the end it was a twisted version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a very good twisted idea of trying to take over the world. I was surprised with the end that fully pulled me in even after the slow start. (7/10)

Actor Review

Tom Atkins: Daniel Challis is a doctor whose patient is murdered under his care, he starts to investigate with the man’s daughter only to find himself in the middle of a cult like community manufacturing Halloween masks. Tom does a solid job in the leading role. (6/10)

Stacey Nelkin: Ellie Grimbridge is the daughter of the first victim who wants to know the truth but when she ends up learning the truth she must fight to survive the evil toy maker. Stacey makes for a good partner in investigating. (6/10)

Dan O’Herlihy: Conal Cochran is the evil toy maker planning to use his new Halloween masks to control the children of the world, he is calm and calculated with his plan which has devastating effects. Dan does a good job as the evil toy maker. (7/10)

Support Cast: Halloween III Season of the Witch ha your trademark disposable character for a horror film.

Director Review: Tommy Lee Wallace – Tommy does an interesting job with this film giving us a slow start but great ending. (7/10)

Horror: Halloween III Season of the Witch doesn’t really give us enough horror early on but in the final act we get some true terror. (7/10)

Settings: Halloween III Season of the Witch brings us into a new town where everyone works for the toy company. (7/10)
Special Effects: Halloween III Season of the Witch has good special effects used for the kills. (8/10)

Suggestion: Halloween III Season of the Witch is one film that many people criticise but by the end people will enjoy. (Horror Fans Try)

Best Part: Testing.

Worst Part: First half.

Kill Of The Film: Test room

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The Halloween franchise did continue.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $14.4 Million

Budget: $2.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Witchcraft enters the computer age, and a different terror begins.

Trivia: After Michael Myers died at the end of Halloween II (1981), the plan by John Carpenter was to make a new “Halloween” movie each year, each telling a different Halloween-related story. After this movie underperformed at the box office, the film-makers decided to bring Michael back to life for future sequels.

Overall: A surprisingly good horror film because of the final act of the film.

Rating 65

 

Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club – Escape From New York (1981)

I would like to start out by saying this is the first of two reviews from the latest showing from Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club and I would suggest fans to check out the site and come and join the club.

 logo

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Nick Castle (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins

 

Plot: In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic Filled With Venom

 

Story: Escape From New York starts by taking us into the future 1997 (now the past) where Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison with no guards and no escape. When the President’s (Pleasence) plane gets hijacked and hauntingly crashed into Manhattan island right when the world is looking to become at peace. Everyone on the American side is panicking and an organised rescue mission is out of the question. Hauk (Cleef) the warden takes a chance to offer soon to be prisoner Snake Plissken (Russell) a pardon if he can retrieve the President and a tape important to the peace talks. Hauk injects Snake with explosives that will detonate in 22 hours before sending him on his way.

Snake arrives in the city by landing on the World Trade Centre where he ends up meeting a string of colourful criminals with some being good Cabbie (Borgnine) Brain (Stanton) and the evil Duke (Hayes) who runs the island. We follow Snake as he locates the President and has to find a way before the explosives go off killing him.

Escape From New York is always considered a bit of a cult classic with the easy to follow race against time rescue mission. We get the traditional mix of villains with the anti-hero having to navigate and for the most part know who he can trust. We also have the all too generic last resort being the criminal, granted this was one of the early usages of the idea. While certain parts of this film have dated it would be fair to say the most part this still looks very fresh and puts us into a world where the future is different to anything we could have imagined. I do feel this is what the action genre was always about the fun of slightly over the top action and tough guy persona leading the way. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kurt Russell: Snake Plissken is the ex-special force soldier who has fallen onto the wrong side of the law. He gets given a chance for a pardon but then gets betrayed by Hauk giving him just 22 hours to save his own life and save the President. Snake has a tough guy persona playing everything cool even if the odds are completely against him. Kurt gives this character the mark of being the coolest character he has portrayed on film. (8/10)

 snake

Lee Van Cleef: Hauk is the warden of the prison who comes up with the idea of putting Snake on the one man mission to save the day, he is smart enough Snake could be a slippery customer but shows faith in him even if he starts to think the mission could have gone wrong. Lee does a good job in the power position trying to cover his own arse. (7/10)

 

Ernest Borgnine: Cabbie just seems to show up when Snake needs wheels or directions, he makes for good comic relief as he doesn’t seem to take the situation too seriously. Ernest does make for a good supporting character. (7/10)

 

Donald Pleasence: President who spends nearly the whole film captured by The Duke and has to play the prisoner to the prisoners in a clever role reversal. Donald does a solid job but never gets to show off his acting skills. (6/10)

 

Isaac Hayes: The Duke is the king of Manhattan and after what could have been the coolest and awkward entrance with his chandelling cover car we get to see how what he says goes and that he wants out with the President being his leverage. Isaac makes for a good villain of the piece and wants just what all prisoners would want, freedom. (7/10)

duke

Support Cast: Escape From New York has a supporting cast of weird and wonderful characters but the stand out two have to be Brain (Harry Dean Stanton) and Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau) who help Snake along the way.

 

Director Review: John Carpenter – John showed how he can challenge anyone with his action films even if they are not all the cops and robbers, focusing more on the future we could have. (9/10)

 

Action: Escape From New York is filled with action, we have bullets flying all over the place, stealth like kills and a brilliant car chase across a mine filled bridge. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Escape From New York takes us into a bleak future where everything is a lot darker with Manhattan being a prison now but it also gives us the chance to see how close we could have become to peace. (8/10)

Settings: Escape From New York turns Manhattan into a warzone with prisoners coming out of every corner looking for their next victims. A point has to go out for a brilliant shot looking at Manhattan from a distance with the Twin Towers front and centre, very haunting image. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Escape From New York does use very dated computer technology but for the most part never relies on the special effects. (8/10)

Suggestion: Escape From New York is one that all action horror sci-fi fans must watch because it really is just easy to watch and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Snake in general.

Worst Part:  Let’s be picky here and go with the idea of how Air Force One got hijacked in the first place.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase across the land mined bridge.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel ‘Escape From LA

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $25 Million

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: 1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

Trivia: Clint Eastwood was considered for the role of Snake Plissken. Kurt Russell based Snake on Eastwood.

 

Overall: Escape From New York really is a classic that should be watched by all because once you do the best eye patched character will no longer be Nick Fury it will be Snake Plissken.

Rating 80

The Fog (1980)

logoDirector: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Screenplay)

Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman, Tom Atkins, James Canning, Charles Cyphers, Hal Holbrook, George Flower

 

Plot: A Northern California fishing town built 100 years ago over an old leper colony becomes shrouded by a killer fog containing zombie like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths. DJ Stevie Wayne (Barbeau) tries to keep everyone safe from her lighthouse radio station, while hitchhiker Elizabeth Solley (Curtis) teams up with local Nick Castle (Atkins) to try and solve the curse on the town.

 

The Creatures

The Creatures

Verdict: Suspenseful horror classic

Story: The idea that the next generation will pay for a former generations faults isn’t the most original idea when it comes to film nowadays but this may be one of the first to us it to such a creepy effect. Most of the film relies on what you don’t see leaving it up to your own imagination about what the figures in the fog really look like. This also shows you don’t need endless jumps you just need to make sure you keep the audience at the edge of their seats. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Adrienne Barbeau – Stevie the radio station manager and DJ who uses the radio to tell everyone where the fog is going. It is a good debut role showing how one ladies desperate measure to save her son and the people she knows can be challenged. Debut Performance Award (8/10)

stevie

Actor Review: Jamie Lee Curtis – Hitchhiker Elizabeth who ends up being one of the characters that seems to kind of get in the way of the locals trying to survive. It is a good performance but I have to question what she really bought to the story. (5/10)

lee

Director Review: John Carpenter – The master himself proves again it’s about the suspense rather than the gore in this great directed film. (9/10)

 

Horror: Very good horror creates a very scary situation. (8/10)

Thriller: Builds and builds up tension making this very edge of your seat. (9/10)

Special Effects: Great special effects used throughout. (9/10)

Believability: Fog can create a very creepy everyday scenario but ghosts in the fog are a bit hard to believe. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: Small coastal town makes for a great location proving that fog is more than likely to not be considered unusual. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would say all horror fans should have seen this, it is considered a classic and still enjoyable now, much, much better than it remake is. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The Opening unusual events.

Worst Part: It is short.

Kill Of The Film: Father Malone

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Never had one but got an awful remake

 

Overall: Vintage horror that has to be seen

Rating 82

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

posterDirector: Patrick Lussier

Writer: Todd Farmer, Zane Smith (Screenplay)

John Beaird (1981 Screenplay)

Stephen A. Miller (1981 Story)

 

Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe.

Story: When Tom (Ackles From TVs Supernatural) returns to his home town tens years after a Valentine’s day massacre which claimed the lives of 22 people he finds himself in role of suspect. When people around town start to get killed by someone in a miners outfit similar to the original murderer tensions rise secrets revealed and a guessing game on who is now committing the crimes starts.

Verdict

Horror: When you see the term horror remake you usually start to think the worse (see Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th). This one comes off very well as the slasher horror genre had been struggling with the new found footage generation or torture porn fans take over the market. For a classic who is in the mask film this is a good watch for all horror fans. (8/10)

Special Effects: Some very good special effects using the 3D technology. Some of the kills are nicely done using some very good effects most notable one victim eats a shovel. (9/10)

Costume: An imposing villain wearing a miner’s outfit intimidating most of his victims (8/10)

Settings: Set in a small mining town adds a nice touch to a real story potential having come from it (8/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest this to all horror fans but it may not be the best for non-horror fans. (7/10)

Best Part: The opening killing spree is very good along with the reveal on who the miner is

Worst Part: Lack of development of characters who seem to get five minutes and killed off

Star Performance: Kerr Smith

Favourite Character: Tom

Least Favourite Character: Megan

Trivia: The first R-rated film projected in Real D technology

Similar Too: Halloween, Friday 13th

Overall: When it comes to good slashers this is one of them well worth a watch. It is good to see one of the Supernatural boys stepping out the show and making a role where he doesn’t know all about what going on. Some nice kills, good younger cast who make the situation believable.

Rating 78%