Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween from Silver Shamrock Novelties

AMC is showing HALLOWEEN III as I type...what a nutty movie. The Silver Shamrock song is pretty much always playing in my mind at any given point in my life.

Anyhoo, Steve Weeks sent out a notice a couple of days ago...the Ultimate Podcast is resurrected for a special Halloween show. Love him or hate him, you know you're gonna listen.

And if that doesn't scare the Eurogamers off the lawn, just put up a FLGS sign and tell 'em they gotta pay full MSRP.


Shellhead said...

This is the review of Halloween III that I wrote for my high school newspaper in November of 1982. I apologize in advance for the heavy abuse of quotation marks:


Halloween III Season Thriller

Yes, boys and girls, it’s that time of year again. It’s that nebulous span between the late-summer bombs and the holiday hits, when the public faces a mediocre selection of movies, such as Halloween III: The Season of the Witch.

In this “slasher flick,” an evil genius named Cochran (played by Dan O’Herlily), is plotting to destroy the United States, through a bizarre combination of advanced technology and ancient sorcery. As an Irish millionaire who got rich from selling novelties and gag items, he visualizes this scheme as “the best joke of all!”

Cochran utilizes a grotesque version of the Trojan horse ploy by selling Halloween masks, which come complete with microchip implant. At the conclusion of an eight-day countdown to Halloween on a commercial campaign, a subsonic signal is activated. At this signal, the hapless trick-or-treater wearing the mask has his brain transformed into poisonous snakes, spiders, and other creatures. These assorted creepy crawlers then proceed to attack other nearby victims.

True to horror movie tradition, the square-jawed, macho hero, Tom Atkins, and the dewy-eyed heroine, Stacey Nelkins, attempt to foil the villain’s plans. All they have to do is get past the high-tech security system and a veritable army of androids that protect Cochran’s factory/headquarters. After a decapitation, an eye-gouging and a few other gory scenes, including the surprising fate of the heroine, the movie ends in a chilling cliffhanger.

Although in many respects a typical “slasher” movie, Halloween III: The Season of the Witch contains a few differences. For a movie about Halloween, the appearance of the androids was unexpected, although they were immediately recognizable as such to anyone who saw Blade Runner last summer. To break the tension, there were a few capricious touches, such as the cameo appearance of the original Halloween on a television set. Even Cochran displayed a wry sense of humor, by applauding the hero’s efforts, just before meeting his own demise.

Besides the title, the only real connection between Halloween III: The Season of the Witch and its predecessors is the director, John Carpenter. Like too many other “slasher” movies he has done, Carpenter follows the basic horror movie formula. But behind the grisly murders and the shock value of certain scenes, there isn’t much of a story, or for that matter, much to be afraid of. In the end, the only thing convincing about Halloween III: The Season of the Witch is the fact that Halloween is the season of the B-grade horror movie.

Frank Branham said...

Bad Shellhead:

You spologized for quotations marks, but not for screwing up the director's name. John Carpenter was replaced halfway through Halloween II and had nothing at all to do with Halloween III.

I adore the movie. If they had released it without the Halloween III baggage, it would be a cult classic. I really wish they had continued with the idea of doing deranged movies like this once per year, instead of trotting out Myers again...and again.

Michael Barnes said...

Witches building robots under the guise of a dummy corporation. Genius.

Film? Not so much. It's pretty bad, really, but Frank's right- without the Halloween name it'd be held in higher regard for its sheer goofiness alone.

TCM is showing some really great stuff tonight- a couple of the Val Lewton RKO pictures with Karloff (THE BODY SNATCHER and BEDLAM), the Lugosi/Karloff teamup THE INVISIBLE RAY, and best of all THE OLD DARK HOUSE.

Of course ZONE TROOPERS is on over on one the the HD movie channels...

Shellhead said...

Good point, Frank. Carpenter was executive producer and not director of Halloween III. I missed it, and my page editor missed it, too.

ozjesting said...

I will have to seek out Steve Weeks page to send him a proper email...but as he was plugged here;

All up I have enjoyed his podcasts. I love his obvious enthusiasm and his wink and a nod sense of humour...but my favourite irony of this current show was his objections to the Dice Tower "hijacking" the hobby. And YET he spends a good 15 minutes talking about it! Assuming I had no idea what the Dice Tower was to begin with I can't follow the dis...and if I DO know, and am listening to Steve, odds are I already agree with him! ;) So it appears Toms "hijack" has been successful in even hijacking our time with Weeks ;)

Good Show Steve...but I think you stick to the games, sing the songs, and leave Tom out of it...unless you secretly dig him and like saying his name ;)

PS: Halloween has NO traction in such there was literally NO theme movies to choose from. Sad. We had to play Last Night on Earth instead...which was an excellent choice indeed ;)

ozjesting said...

Oh yeah...what a weak line-up of "Halloween" games. Myetery Rummy, Fearsome Floors and a rules reading review of Betrayal??? Where is the Ameritrash here?!? Arkham Horror, Fury of Dracula, and given Steves use of BGG as a discussion point, what about Last Night on Earth? Esp given the minor firestorm that erupted over the "luck factor problem"...which was really a game specific microcosm of the AT v Euro argument!
Sort of like getting home from Trick or Treating to discover your sack is only full of jolly ranchers and pennies while your brother hit the REAL houses and has a case of Mars Bars ;)

the*mad*gamer said...

Thanks for your comments OZ!

I really want to visit Australia one day!

and by the way I like Jolly Ranchers! HA!

Michael Barnes said...

It's a good show Steve...the visit to the Dice Tower was particularly inspired. Too bad you didn't meet the requirements to join the Goodtime Gang, or the Treehouse Club, or whatever the hell that group that voted on that arbitrary award is. Maybe a couple of paypal donations to his minivan fund, I mean, his church's "At War With Satan" fund will get you a vote next year...

the*mad*gamer said...

Thanks for the comments Michael!

When are you coming back on the show?

Michael Barnes said...

I'm big time now, Steve...a dumptruck full of money might change my mind though...

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xl pharmacy said...

Happy halloween to you sweety! awesome stuff!