Chariots of the Pumpkins by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
Speaking of perfect ways to start of an October 31st, lets move to this selection from the (unjustly) lesser-lauded Halloween 3, a film so damn Halloweeny, it practically out-Halloweens every other film in a series called Halloween. No small feat.
When John and Michael parted ways in 1978, the money guys weren’t content to just let that be the end of the Myers tale. John didn’t want any part of a sequel though, and declined to direct, being more creatively inspired to explore new stories, like The Fog. Allegedly, he only agreed to pen the script so he could recoup some money following the original, from which he claims he never saw much in the way of profit. Additionally, he co-produced the sequel and provided some scoring, no doubt assisting in that aim.
By the time the inevitable Halloween III rolled around, John finally got his wish, and they produced a Halloween-themed film, completely separate from Michael Myers. But it seems it was just a little too little, too late. Needless to say, the fans were not pleased.
However, Halloween III is superior to just about every other sequel in the rather disappointing and hum-drum franchise that is Halloween. And of the many things it has going for it, it’s score stands proudly among them.
A collaboration again between Carpenter and long-time musical partner Alan Howarth, this score honestly feels more Carpenter-esque (in my estimation) than the one they provided for Halloween 2. Perhaps Howarth is more instrumental to that sound we call “Carpenter’s” than he’s given due credit for.
This is an 80’s, synth-drenched sound that just reverberates “horror.” And if October 31st sounds like anything, Chariots of Pumpkins might be a perfect descriptor.