Halloween III (1982)
Plot: Hospital emergency room Dr. Daniel "Dan" Challis and Ellie Grimbridge uncover a terrible plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran.
As far as John Carpenter was concerned, Halloween 2 was the end of the Michael Myers story. Starting with this movie, he planed for the series to become a horror anthology series, in the vein of The Twilight Zone. This was the first movie with that concept in mind.
The title sequence is similar to the first two movies, but this time, the jack o'lantern is digital and on a TV screen. It was written/directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, the editor of Halloween 1. I feel like going from editor to writer/director is a big jump, but John Carpenter also contributed to the script despite being uncredited.
SATURDAY THE 23RD. A man is running down the road, chased by a car. The music is fucking dope. This man ends up in what I think is a junk yard. Some weird ass dude shows up, and our guy pulls a chain, which makes a car smash the guy. Our dude runs off into the night.
ONE HOUR LATER. It seems a stone from Stone Hedge has been stolen, according to the TV report. EIGHT MORE DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, SILVER SHAMROCK. What a catchy jingle. Our dude shows up at wherever we're at. I think it is a gas station or towing place. He has a mask and says "they're coming" before passing out. How mysterious.
Our main character, Daniel Challis, shows up at his ex-wife's house and surprises his kids with Halloween masks. Too bad mom already got them Silver Shamrock masks. Stay fucking up, dad. The mom is played by the same actress who played Annie in the first movie, to really drive home the fact that this is completely unrelated to the Michael Myers story. Almost as soon as he arrives, he gets a page. You see, he's a doctor, and also a drinker. But he has to go to the hospital despite his drinking condition. There was a drunk doctor in Halloween II as well. The man from the junkyard is brought to the hospital. He's unresponsive until the Silver Shamrock commercial plays on the TV. He says "They're going to kill us. All of us. All of us!". But surprise surprise, there is a creepy dude in the hospital already.
He's not masked. He's not burned. He's just a creepy dude in a suit. Dr. Dan takes a nap in the lounge as things are quiet. This creepy fuck heads into the room of the junkyard dude and RIPS THE DUDE'S SKULL APART. Via the eyeballs. Christ. Dr. Dan chases the guy outside, only to find the killer lighting himself on fire inside of his car in the parking lot. Totally normal behavior after killing a dude. Dan calls his ex-wife to let them know he can't pick up the kids tonight. She doesn't seem pleased at all, even after he tried to tell her that two dudes died at the hospital under non-health related issues. She doesn't give a shit, because I'm assuming he's a shitty father and does this kind of shit all the time.
Our broken headed dude's daughter shows up to identify the body. How awkward. Cops think it was drug related, but Dr. Dan doesn't believe it. The guy looked to be in complete control. You could say a guy ripping apart another guy's skull and then self-immolating in the parking lot has him a bit shaken. Legitimately. He heads to a bar where an ad for Halloween 1 plays on the TV. The daughter, Ellie, finds him there and asks questions. "And what he said was, 'They're gonna kill us all', and in a little while, he dead. And I don't know what the hell is going on." Her dad ran a store that sold Silver Shamrock masks, which he had with him when he came to the hospital. She did some investigative work and wants to go to the plant where the masks are manufactured. Dan sees this as a good reason to blow off his children again, lying to his ex-wife so he can head out on a road trip with a six pack and a hot babe.
Once they get to the city, it doesn't take long for everything to be weird as fuck. Everyone notices them immediately and stares. And there are cameras around town. It was a farming community until a rich Irishman came to down in the 1800s, converting the dairy factory into toy factory for Silver Shamrock. Now the place is a predominantly Irish town in the middle of California. The plan is to pretend to be a married couple and stay at a motel for the night, then go to the factory in the morning. The idea of staying at the motel is so they can talk without everyone staring at them. And, naturally, this leads to a sex scene. On a road trip to find out why her father was brutally killed, staying at the same motel he stayed at, right down the street from the factory that has something to do with his death, she wants to bang this dude. And it's super awkward. Oh, and the city has a curfew.
Dr. Dan does not follow the rules, instead sneaking around at night with a bottle of hooch. Luckily, he runs into a homeless man, who sheds some light on the mysterious factory owner, Cochran: He's dangerous and brought in all of his factories from outside of the city. The homeless man claims it will be the last Halloween for that factory, because he's going to burn it to the ground. It doesn't take long for two goons in suits to RIP HIS GOD DAMN HEAD OFF.
The lab finds nothing but metal and plastic in the ashes of the dead guy. A fellow guest at the motel notices that the Silver Shamrock logo keeps falling off of one of the masks. She fusses with it and sees that it has some kind of computer chip. She messes with it, causing it to shock her so severely that all of the tissue from below her nose to her chin was fried off, her teeth were also melted. And then a bug came out of her mouth. Wtf. A group of white coats take her away, then Cochran himself shows up to calm the situation. He and the innkeeper are heard discussing what happened. "Misfire." It's pretty gruesome.
The next day, the two go to the factory. They get dragged along for a tour with the top salesman and his family. All around the factory are creepy dudes in suits just standing around, staring. Like creepy creepers. Some areas are off limits, and Cochran won't even let his top salesman get a peak. And then, Ellie see's her dad's car. Ellie is abducted, and they come for Dan, but he escapes. He sneaks into the factory and finds GOD DAMN ROBOTS. All of these creepy fucks were ROBOTS. And now they have Dan. He just...gives up. You're pretty fucked when a group of robots get you, so I get it.
OH SHIT. COCHRAN STOLE THE STONE HEDGE STONE! He's using particles/energy/magic from the stone in the chips that go on the masks. Then we get to see what this is all about. When the Silver Shamrock plays on Halloween night, the chips will melt the heads of the wearers, which then fills with bugs and poisonous snakes, killing whoever is wearing the mask, and whoever is near. This commercial airs ALL THE FUCKING TIME, too. They've been running these ads all month, with a huge give away at 9PM on Halloween night making sure people will watch. Silver Shamrock is the biggest mask producer in America. There's a montage of kids buying masks all around the country. THEY'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.
That nurse doing lab work for Dr. Dan? They came for her, too. Power drilled her head. She was too close to the truth. RIP. You see, Cochran is a prankster at heart, and this whole plot is a big prank on the children because he's mad that Halloween has turned into such a joke. Every 3000 years, there is a huge sacrifice of children and animals. "It's time again." Cochran ties Dan up, puts a mask on him, then turns on Halloween 1. "Happy Halloween." He's got a little over an hour before the "giveaway". That's obviously too much time and Dan gets free. He calls his ex-wife first to make sure she gets rid of the masks their kids have, but she won't listen to him. He gets Ellie, then dumps a big box of the chips out over the computer systems, causing all the robots to short out. Then, the stone comes to life and vaporizes Cochran before exploding. Uh. Just roll with it. The factory also blows up.
Dan and Ellie escape, but SWERVE, Ellie was actually a robot! So he knocks her god damn head off. Even after that, her body tries to kill him multiple times. Dan makes it to a gas station before 9 and calls TV stations to take the ad off the air. It works. On one channel.
"STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!"
Divorce this from the idea that it's a Halloween movie, and it's pretty dope. Great music, great effects, weird story, well shot. It's pretty cool. Very strong anti-corporation/consumerism themes in this. The main character is a piece of shit, but you end up kind of having to root for him anyway, there's ANCIENT EVIL MAGICAL WITCHCRAFT, and a super downer ending. Everything that made 80s horror movies dope.