Underground Film Journal

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Halloween: Season Of The Flicker

By Mike Everleth ⋅ October 31, 2009

Did Tommy Lee Wallace appropriate the experimental film tradition of  the “flicker film” for his classic Silver Shamrock commercial for Halloween III: Season of the Witch? This is the “special message” that was broadcast to kids on Halloween night that would trigger their Silver Shamrock masks to make snakes and spiders come out of their faces. It’s best to watch this full-screen and blaring to see how long you can take the assault.

So, I was all set to find a horror-movie themed short film to post today on Halloween, but my friend Hillary posted this to Facebook the other day and I couldn’t resist putting it up. I haven’t seen Halloween III in full in years, but once one does see it and hears this irritating music about a thousand times throughout the film, it’s permanently scarred into one’s brain.

Music for the film is credited to John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, but who really came up with this annoying ditty? What’s truly great about it is that’s clearly designed to be supremely grating. So, I think calling it out on its annoyance factor is actually a compliment and those who criticize the film for including it are completely missing the point.

And, as a quick p.s., Alan Howarth also composed the soundtracks to the horror films Evilution and Basement Jack, both of which are going to be released on DVD on Nov. 17.