Halloween III: The Nap of Michael Myers
“How'd that get in there?”
“[Enters the room, shreds the script, and brutally massacres Tommy Lee Wallace for making such a horrid film]”
“You gotta be fucking kidding me!”
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (a.k.a Halloween III: The Nap of Michael Myers or Halloween III: The Absence of Michael Myers) is a prank film directed by Tommy Lee Wallace created under the guiding (and drunken) hand of his good frenemy John Carpenter, better known for the original Halloween as well as John Carpenter's The Fog, Escape from New York, and The Thing. Released in five theaters in 1982, it was not received well by audiences, who yearned for another "slice-and-dice" horror film. It has to date grossed $0.00, making it one of the least successful installments to date, alongside Halloween 5, Halloween: Resurrection and Rob Zombie's abysmal Halloween II.
After killing off the franchise's murderous main character, Michael Myers, at the end of Halloween II, Michael Myers was essentially finished, as far as John Carpenter was concerned. So, when Moustapha Akkad approached Carpenter with Halloween III, he flat out refused, claiming to have "washed his hands" of the franchise. But when Akkad offered him $20, Carpenter agreed, on one condition -- No Michael Myers.
This condition was hard to come by because Myers had been such a popular character. To make it even more complicated, Dick Warlock, who played Myers in the previous film, was contracted and required to appear in the film. They suggested that he play a different role -- that of an assassin.
The film opens cold as Michael Myers (Warlock) gets a call from Akkad that his services will "no longer be required." Depressed, he turns on Eraserhead and falls asleep. He is not seen for the rest of the film.
The main story follows the adventures of Dr. Dan Challis (Burt Reynolds). After learning that aliens from the planet Ireland are implementing a scheme to kill every child in British Columbia with the song London Bridge on Halloween Night, Challis decides to take them on single-handedly. Soon, he finds himself battling robots, snakes, and Stonehenge itself in a desperate struggle to save British Columbian mankind as we know it.
Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), the owner of evil Silver Shamrock novelty shop, plans to air a TV commercial, manipulating the lyrics to the children's song:
Anybody wearing their masks during this commercial will be in mortal danger. Unfortunately, Challis isn't able to save mankind, and the TV ad goes on and on and on as Challis looks into the camera and screams, "Stop it! STOP IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!" Leaving everybody in suspense.
See also: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
- Dr. Dan Challis... Tom Atkins
- Ellie Grimbridge... Stacey Nelkin
- Conal Cochran... Dan O'Herily
- Marge Guttman... Rosie O'Donnell
- Buddy Kupfer... Ralph Gay
- Station attendant... Shaft
Carpenter decided that he was no longer interested in Michael Myers after the behind-the-scenes struggles on the set of Halloween II, specifically Carpenter's acohol problems. Carpenter also felt that although he had already made a large number of important decisions on the film's development, he would shove the responsibility of actually directing the movie on Wallace. As a result, their long-time friendship was soon severed, along with a myriad number of heads.
The new story was developed by Carpenter and Wallace. The incorporation of supernatural elements was meant to bring in new fans while frustrating old ones. Carpenter said in a 1994 interview, "Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad, right?"
Director of Photography Dean Cundey accidentally signed on for this film, having served as Director of Photography on the previous installments, but demanded his name be taken out of the credits after he learned after production had wrapped that Michael Myers was not in the film. He even went as far as to wear the Michael Myers costume in new scenes that he directed himself, much to the chagrin of Wallace and Carpenter. Carpenter said, "Just because I directed Halloween II behind Rick Rosenthal's back doesn't mean you can direct Halloween III behind mine."
Moustapha Akkad, on the other hand, thought it was humorous and decided to give the film a back story explaining Michael's absence.
Akkad then negotiated with Cundey on credit issues, and the result was that Cundey would be credited as Michael Myers under the name Dick Warlock. Cundey was still credited as Director or Photography, except under the name Alan Smithee.
At one point, Carpenter wanted to subtitle the film, Season of the Witch, and the name stuck, despite the absence of any witches in the film.
Fans of the previous epics were offended that the filmmakers would dare do anything new with the franchise and led an uprising that resulted in a civil war across much of Hollywood. As a result, the filmmakers wisely chose to not pull a fast one on the devoted fanatics next time, and quickly produced Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (also known in some areas as Halloween 4: Michael Myers Is Done Napping). This 5-hour long masterpiece was released six years later, and it so astounded the moviegoers that everyone forgot about the train wreck known as Halloween III until it was released on DVD in 2005.
In 2003, during the Halloween: 25 Years of Sequels anniversary convention, Akkad commented on the film, stating,
|Halloween III is a huge bowl of elephant piss. And, thankfully, I don't count it as the Halloween franchise.
Moustapha Akkad died in 2005 after sitting through Halloween III. His last words were, "Where the fuck is Michael?"