Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween III (1982)

A kid is happily playing with toys in one of those rooms with the one-way mirror (or are those called two-way mirrors?), wearing some kind of plush or fabric pumpkin-head mask that covers his entire head. Then a mad scientist pushes a button—no, he makes something come up on the television in the room with the kid (maybe by pushing a button, sure)—and a light on the mask blinks, the kid frantically clutches his head and pitches over, and the mask constricts and collapses to smaller than kid-head size, at which point cockroaches or beetles come pouring out of it. (Right: holy shit!) The evil scientists intend to broadcast that signal to televisions everywhere, having already distributed these masks all over the place; we see other happy children wearing these masks in television rooms around the country, ready to have their heads devoured by bugs or turned into bugs or whatever it is that happens. The end.

Television is bad for kids.

[I think my memory of this movie may actually be quite clear and accurate; the real problem is that I saw only a few minutes of it. This was on TV, in the days before you could push a button (or at least check the Internet) to find out what show you were watching, so it was years and years and years before I knew what disturbing weirdness it had been that had scarred me in a small way at that late-'80s Halloween-night slumber party. And no wonder I couldn't figure out what movie it had been: who makes a third movie in a series that has nothing at all to do with the first two?! It would be like if Iron Man 3 came out and instead of Iron Man it was about a group of mischievous street urchins who rob a candy store.]

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