Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Silver Shamrocked.

So, I'm on Twitter as @silvershamrockd, and just about everyone knows what the username refers to. That's right: no one can hear the words "Silver Shamrock" without thinking of that delightful early-Eighties sitcom starring Ricky Schroder and the Leprechaun. And the bitchin' train that took them around the house and through the pool to a slammin' mini-bar with all the Colt 45 they could drink. Colt 45 and Ovaltine. Wasn't that Ricky Schroder who drank Ovaltine in A Christmas Story?

Yep, I'm being silly (and btw, while every girl in my class was crushing on the Ricker, my towhead of choice was A Christmas Story's Peter Billingsley. Hello? "Real People" had it all over "Silver Spoons."), but while I'm revisiting some bad-assness from my youth, I thought I'd throw a boner to one of my favorite horror films from childhood:

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). Yes, that film. Yes. That. Film. Damn it, what did I just say? YES, I love Halloween III! And I'm not the only one. Anyway, 'tis the reason for the season, so why not sing its praises? I'll start:

How fantastic is that Carpenter/Howarth OST? I was seven years old at the time Halloween III: Season of the Witch came out, and the idea that Halloween masks could actually kill kids blew my little mind. Not that it wasn't entirely unbelievable: the Tylenol murders in Chicago were happening at around the same time, and word on the playground was that adults were actually putting razor blades into the Halloween candy. Trick or treat indeed.

But Halloween masks? The only danger my plastic Princess Leia Cinnabon-hair mask ever posed was that of going out of style with Return of the Jedi. Oh, and I lost all peripheral vision while it was on. There was that. But again, killer masks? How cruel could adults be?

The answer lay in the test labs of Silver Shamrock Novelties, the anti-Willy Wonka of factories if ever there was one. Tucked inside were the keys to kid heaven, literally and figuratively. The pliant, sophisticated latex Silver Shamrock masks were a far cry from what we were used to:

And that wasn't all. Not only were the masks awesome all by themselves, they came with a catchy song and a bitchin' prize giveaway. So naturally, the kids in the film were sold. As kids in real life would be.

Just one thing ...

So ... a production glitch. Right? Right? Add the anamorphically stretched trick-or-treating montage at the half point, and sold! One terrified kid at home swearing off masks. And trick-or-treating. And shamrocks. But not Lucky Charms. Those blue diamonds were delicious.

There are many reasons to love Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Yes, it doesn't have anything to do with the series, but "Friday the 13th: The Series" couldn't have been further from Jason, and I loved that, too. And honestly, did you really love Halloween II so damned much that you couldn't wait to see more of the bad Laurie wig and Jamie Lee "I don't need to do this shit anymore, I'm gonna be in Trading Places and marry Nigel Tufnel in a few years" Curtis going through the motions? Yeah, okay.

Tommy Lee Wallace made a great film. And if you want Jamie Lee Curtis, she's in it, albeit in a voice role. Nancy Kyes (Loomis) played a stiff in Halloween II, but I much prefer her alive, as she is in Halloween III. You've got a creepy premise. You've got Tom Atkins, fer sobbin' out loud. And again, a hell of a catchy song that we all still sing every fall as we tick off the days 'til Halloween.

And if all that fails for you, there's boobs. Nice, perky, leading-lady boobs. And she turns into an android later. See, another reason to love this film!

So anyway, I'll be watching the magic pumpkin again this year, as I do every year, grateful that I made it through childhood without imploding or being poisoned or cutting my gums on a Chunky. Now, if I can just figure out how to do the same in my thirties ...