Plot: As Halloween approaches, all the children have two things on their minds, candy and Silver Shamrock masks. The company has run endless ads for their masks and it has worked, as they’re insanely popular. When a man is rushed into his hospital, clutching one of the masks and saying haunting things, Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) takes notice of the situation. At first he thinks the old man was crazy, but he soon learns that perhaps there’s more to that story. He meets the man’s daughter Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), who is certain her father is sane and together, the two look into his activities in the days leading to his death. All signs point toward Silver Shamrock, which is in a town that seems to be under total control of the company. With curfews and cameras, Silver Shamrock keeps the town on a close watch and even handles legal and medical issues within company confines. Is this just a company that has some intense privacy issues or is there a darker force at work at Silver Shamrock?
Entertainment Value: Always known as the Halloween movie with no Michael Myers, Season of the Witch tried to kickstart a new direction for the franchise, but stalled out of the gate with audiences. I do think the movie gets an unfair shake, as if it wasn’t part of this storied series, it probably could have found a stronger base. The story has great potential, as an evil company seeks to use high end tech to turn masks into mystical weapons. That is a bad ass premise, but the flick never hits the gas and we’re left with a doctor who plays detective, with some horror elements sprinkled in. I love Tom Atkins, but aside from getting laid, the motivations of his character seem suspect at best. I guess if all doctors were this concerned with their patients though, the medical field would be a more loving place. The masks angle is cool, but it just doesn’t pay off and too much time is spent on playboy/doctor/detective Atkins. Once we get inside Silver Shamrock, things pick up a lot and the movie greatly benefits. I think Season of the Witch is solid, but not much more than a middle of the road horror movie. It deserves more credit than it gets, but its easy to see why audiences didn’t embrace it as the second coming. But for fans of 80s horror, it is worth a watch.
All we have a is blink and you’ll miss it shot of Ellie’s bush, the rest is “you can almost see something” type stuff. Despite a shower scene and sex with old man Tom Atkins, Ellie manages to keep herself covered otherwise. Not a flood of the red stuff, but some nice scenes and fun deaths. A slow, very business-like decapitation is perhaps the highlight, or a woman’s exploded face also stands out. There’s also everyone’s favorite, the snake and bugs pouring out of a child’s cracked open head. And don’t forget a mean spirited, cruel finger in the eye, which is just hilarious. So some nice bloodshed and cool looking effects, fun stuff. Tom Atkins’ performance is like he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but we don’t get that much memorable dialogue. He’s fun to watch here, especially as he uses his old man sexual prowess to seduce Ellie. He seems much more like a cop than a doctor who is involved for some unknown reason, but that’s just Atkins, he always seems like a cop to me. The premise is creative and interesting, but other than that, the ice cold and well groomed villain, and Atkins’ low blood sugar style performance, not much stands out as weird or over the top.
Overall Insanity: 1/10