- Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a cult classic in the Halloween franchise, despite not featuring Michael Myers.
- The movie was part of an attempt to shift the franchise away from one storyline and potentially become an anthology series.
- Michael Myers makes a cameo in Halloween III through a television airing of the original Halloween film, separating it from the main continuity.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is something of a red-headed stepchild in the vaunted franchise. As the only Halloween installment not focused on Michael Myers, the movie had an odd appeal to it and eventually became a cult classic. It was part of an aborted attempt to shift the franchise away from one story and went out of its way to demonstrate that it was unconnected to Myers. Despite this premise, it still has many people begging one question: is Michael Myers in Halloween III?
The trickery involves members of the Halloween III cast watching the original movie on television. It’s a great moment of meta-commentary, and the brief glimpse of Myers’ signature white mask on the screen perfectly maintains his record of Halloween movie appearances. But the reasons behind his cameo run deeper than just a clever bit of commentary, signaling the direction the franchise was trying to go in.
Updated on October 17, 2023 by Timothy Blake Donohoo: As the Halloween season increases interest in the series every year, many moviegoers have found a renewed interest in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Likewise, many have wondered how, despite not being focused on Michael Myers, the character still appears in the movie. This has been further driven with the news of the franchise’s future, making many looking back on its most esoteric entry with fonder eyes.
How Halloween 3 Revamped the Horror Franchise
Released three years after the original movie, Halloween II directly followed up from the events of Michael Myers’ first massacre in Haddonfield. The concept of a sequel to a slasher movie was still somewhat novel at the time, and the creators behind the first movie had never envisioned the possibility. This was evident Halloween‘s director John Carpenter struggling to conceive the script for the followup, with the revelation that Michael Myers and Laurie Strode were related being a necessary contrivance in his mind to even justify the new film
He and the movie’s producer and co-screenwriter Sandy King were skeptical of continuing with the franchise after Halloween II. This stemmed not only from the movie’s more mixed reception compared to the first, but also how difficult the second movie was to make. According to an article published in Fangoria at the time of Halloween III‘s release, they felt that Myers’ story was played out — Carpenter described the second film as “half a movie” — and wasn’t interested in continuing if it devolved into their iconic killer simply hacking through victims every time. They agreed to be a part of the sequel only if the franchise shifted gears, which is why Halloween III had no Michael Myers.
What Is Halloween 3 About?
In ditching Michael Myers, Halloween III: Season of the Witch took on a different premise entirely. The concept was to make the franchise into an anthology series, with each successive “sequel” telling a new and completely separate story based around the spooky holiday. That explained why Michael Myers isn’t in Halloween III, which involved a popular series of Halloween masks designed to kill the wearer when exposed to a special signal. The masks’ creator designed the entire thing as a horrific prank and intended to kill millions of mask-wearing children on Halloween night by broadcasting the signal as part of a TV special broadcast on all three networks.
The basis behind this story played with themes of ’80s television commercialism and how it impacted holidays, though this idea is usually used regarding Christmas. Exploring the pagan roots of Samhain, Halloween III was more of a sci-fi scare than anything related to slasher movies. It made the movie stand out and seem fresh amid the many ripoffs and imitators that the original 1978 Halloween movie inspired. Nevertheless, many fans were disappointed, namely because Michael Myers wasn’t in the Halloween III cast. Despite this criticism, the iconic killer still shows up in the movie – just not in the major way that some wanted.
Was Michael Myers In Halloween III?
Television plays a central role throughout Halloween III: Season of the Witch, with Halloween mask adverts playing during virtually every commercial break. It provides a subtle way to reference Michael Myers, as a promo for the first Halloween film appears just before another mask commercial runs. Said promo involves a television airing of the iconic movie, cementing that it takes place in a different continuity from Halloween III: Season of the Witch. This moment separates the third film from the first two by ensuring that a future sequel doesn’t find a way to tie them together as a means of generating a story.
Had Halloween III done well without Michael Myers, the franchise might have proceeded with different stories each time. However, the film did poorly at the box office, and the series returned to Myers with the next film. It has yet to leave him, and the franchise is now wedded to his story indefinitely. Regardless, his odd cameo in the oddest film in the series spoke to a moment when the creators had something different in mind. It’s part of Season of the Witch‘s weird charm and a reminder that — as different as it is — it’s still very much a part of Halloween.
The Halloween Series Has Left Halloween III Far Behind
While Halloween III: Season of the Witch was disliked due to no Michael Myers, the franchise as a whole did recover and become an even bigger property within the annals of horror. Six years after the movie’s release, it was followed up by Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers, which made it clear that the villain missing from the third movie was back in Haddonfield. This new movie began the now infamous “Thorn Trilogy,” which gave Myers a supernatural origin story. That concept and the movies themselves weren’t well-received, which resulted in three new continuities of movies afterward. These films were largely related to only the first or the first two Halloween movies, with Rob Zombie’s duo outright remaking those classic movies.
The David Gordon Green Halloween reboot trilogy is the most recent form of the series, with the initial 2018 entry being very well-received. Sadly, the followups didn’t quite match this quality, with the final movie Halloween Ends being seen as a poor ending for the franchise. Now, the TV rights to the property have been acquired by Miramax, which seeks to create a cinematic universe involving the iconic characters. This may finally bring about a return to the anthology format planned with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, even if it doesn’t involve Michael Myers.
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