Rob Zombie's Halloween Timeline Still Had At Least One More Story To Tell

The timeline of the "Halloween" movies is as clear as mud. At last count, David Gordon Green's 2022 film "Halloween Ends" will be the fourth film in its particular continuity, stemming from the 1978 original, but then skipping straight to the 2018 film. The "Halloween" series also did this in 1998 with the release of "Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later," which stemmed from the 1981 film "Halloween II" (in the "H20" timeline, all of the "Halloween" sequels after "Halloween II" didn't happen, although "Halloween: Resurrection" still did afterwards). "Halloween III," incidentally, took place outside of the Michael Myers timeline, and "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" ignored "Halloween III." Apart from John Carpenter's 1978 film, it seems, pretty much all the other "Halloween" sequels have been discarded at some point. 

Also existing in its own pocket dimension is a pair of "Halloween" movies written and directed by Rob Zombie. In Zombie's rendition of the Michael Myers story, Michael (Tyler Mane) grew up in an abusive household, and a very particular set of circumstances caused him to snap and become a notorious masked killer. The first half of Zombie's "Halloween" (2007) was devoted to the young Michael's sad downfall, while the second half was more or less a condensed version of the 1978 film. Zombie's "Halloween II" (2009) continued the Michael story, but delved deeper into the first film's psychological aspects, becoming a sad litany of trauma. Michael was now an itinerant hobo with a bedroom in the woods, and his younger sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) was unraveling at the thought that Michael was related to her. 

The Zombie vision of "Halloween" ended after two feature films, but as actor Tom Atkins revealed in an interview with Broke Horror Fan, there was to be a "Halloween III" in the Zombie continuity too.

The second Halloween III

In terms of his association with the Michael Myers series, Tom Atkins previously appeared in Tommy Lee Wallace's "Halloween III." In that film, subtitled "Season of the Witch," Atkins played an alcoholic doctor who investigates a bizarre conspiracy inside the Silver Shamrock Halloween mask company. As it turns out, the maker of the masks hates children, and has assembled masks using computer parts and tiny chips of Stonehenge (!). The plan is, when children put on the masks and then watch a TV signal at a certain time on Halloween night, the chip of Stonehenge inside the mask will activate and magically transform the wearer's head into a mass of bugs and worms. 

Perhaps as an homage to the weirdest film in the "Halloween" series, Atkins was set to play a doctor in the second "Halloween III," this time as an evil shrink. Since the theme of Zombie's "Halloween" movies was mental health, the so-called "Halloween 3D" was to be set in a mental hospital. Zombie wasn't going to direct. That honor would belong to Patrick Lussier, and the film was, true to its title, to be shot in 3D. The conceit of "Halloween 3D" was that Laurie mistakenly killed Dr. Loomis instead of Michael. Atkins said: 

"When we were working on 'My Bloody Valentine 3D,' [Lussier] sent me a script of his version of 'Halloween 3', which was a continuation of the Rob Zombie storyline. I was going to play a really demented shrink who was taking care of Laurie in a psychiatric hospital. I was their doctor, and I was up to no good. I certainly wasn't going to do them any good. In the script, I ended up being killed by ol' Michael Myers."

Remember the 3D trend?

Patrick Lussier's 2009 film "My Bloody Valentine 3D" was actually shot in 3D, something that needed to be established in the late '00s and early '10s. This was a time when 3D movies were very much in vogue. And since 3D movie tickets were typically more expensive than your average 2D movie tickets, studios were very keen to release more and more films in the format, even if they weren't shot that way. Many films at the time were subject to a post-production 3D conversion process that rarely looked good. Those who were unlucky enough to see "The Last Airbender" or "Wrath of the Titans" in 3D can attest to their ugliness. The success of "Avatar" notwithstanding, these 3D movies rarely moved the needle in any significant way. 

Atkins posited that it was the general contraction of the medium's popularity that eventually pushed the production company, the Weinstein Company, away from making "Halloween 3D." He said, "I guess 'Drive Angry' didn't do well at the box office, and they took it away from Patrick, and nobody did it."

"Drive Angry" was a 2011 film with Nicolas Cage that was shot in 3D. It was not a huge success. It also didn't help that "Halloween II" wasn't as big a hit as the 2007 film. So "Halloween 3D" was not made, and the "Halloween" series would stay fallow for nine years. 

The 13th and final (?) film in the "Halloween" series will be released on October 14, 2022.