Michael Myers is arguably the most notorious villain in all of horror cinema, so it’s difficult to imagine an installment of the iconic Halloween franchise that doesn’t feature him as a character. Yet, that’s precisely what happened in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The move was widely criticized by reviewers and fans alike, though, causing it to become the poorest performing installment in the series at the time.
The Shape was ultimately brought back six years later in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and has been the primary antagonist in every chapter since. Most people might look at the third movie as a mistake, then, but there was a reason why the filmmakers decided not to include the serial killer in their feature.
The franchise was always mapped out as an anthology by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. They envisioned different stories all taking place around the titular October holiday. Each entry in the series would therefore have its own distinct characters, setting and plot.
In their minds, the Michael Myers story wrapped up at the end of Halloween 2 and thus the next flick would revolve around a different bad guy. The audience, however, now associated the title of the film with the masked character. And so, when the slasher didn’t show up to kill some people in Halloween 3, moviegoers were understandably disappointed.
The film instead went with a witchcraft theme, where Dr. Dan Challis and Ellie Grimbridge’s investigation of a mysterious slaying led them to the eerie owner of the Silver Shamrock Novelties company. They soon learned that the businessman was attempting to revive the ancient aspects of Samhain and attempting to kill kids through his Halloween masks and a TV commercial.
The movie has since gone on to become a cult classic and even inspired a fan-made sequel. As such, it’s possible that the feature was just ahead of its time. Since then, Michael Myers has been a staple of the franchise for decades but the events of the film, just like every other installment in the canon besides the original, have been erased by the 2018 sequel Halloween.
Still, Halloween III: Season of the Witch may be getting some representation in the next couple of chapters if Tom Atkins has his way. The flick’s star has voiced his desire to cameo in one or both of the upcoming sequels. This would be an awesome little easter egg to anyone who’s fallen in love with the redheaded stepchild of the beloved series, but we’ll have to wait and see if it happens.