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How Halloween III Overcame the Hate to Become a Cult Hit

Once considered a franchise misfire, the once-panned Halloween installment found an audience on its own terms and without Michael Myers.

For all the 40-plus years of the Halloween franchise, Halloween III: Season of the Witch stands out as the most bizarre. It’s the only movie in the series not to center on Michael Myers, the mass murderer of John Carpenter’s indelible original. The critics at the time were savage, and while it made a modest profit, it was just a small amount compared to the previous two movies. It was enough of a failure to keep the franchise dormant for six years before returning to the Myers plot in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in 1988.

Original Halloween III: Season of the Witch VHS Box.

However, Halloween III had the last laugh. Home video and cable airings allowed it to find its audience — drawn by its unique qualities and sometimes nonsensical storytelling — who turned it into a cult classic. With the exception of the 1978 original, no other movie in the Halloween franchise is so memorable or so beloved. Understanding why means accepting that great movies aren’t necessarily good ones. Halloween III earned much of its early critical scorn for excessive weirdness. In time, however, that became part of the point… read more >

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