Halloween tends to get the shaft when it comes to TV specials when compared to the juggernaut that is Christmas. But every year our favorite hallowed holiday makes some strides and we see more and more themed programming throughout October.
I am a Halloween junkie so I will watch anything related to the holiday. No matter how lame the show is, and outside the realm of something I would normally watch. All they have to do is throw on an orange font they have got me on the line. While I love horror movies, I love them all year, so I specifically look out for shows that have a literal Halloween theme. (Click after the jump to hear more...)
The majority of the creepy, kooky, spooky content is in the last few days leading up to the 31st and I thought I would share my personal picks. So clear out your DVR's and settle in with a mound of candy. I have listed them by groups and then by date.
A Scooby-Doo Halloween (5:00pm - Cartoon Network) Pretty much all Scooby-Doo specials are Halloween appropriate, but this one features the gang solving mysteries on the the Holiday itself and features KISS as the guest star (ROCK...sorta).
Zombies: A Living History (8:00pm - History Channel) This two-hour documentary looks at the long history of zombie legends, from the dawn of civilization to today.
October 27thIt's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (8:00pm - ABC) One of these years Linus will get to see that pumpkin. The 1966 Peanuts classic airs, followed by the bonus cartoon "You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown."
Chiller 13: Horror's Creepiest Kids (8:00pm - Chiller) This one may make you mistrust those little monsters sitting next to you. This latest installment of the Chiller 13 series of specials counts down the most terrifying moments in horror film history featuring some of the most sinister little devils to appear on the silver screen.
13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo: Marathon - (2:00pm - Boomerang) This short lived 80's series was a favorite of mine. It sees the gang tracking down a different monster every episode. It gets big bonus points for featuring Vincent Price as narrator and guest star. Though it loses points for being from the Scrappy-Doo era.
Halloween Wars: Marathon (7:00pm- Food Network) I got surprisingly addicted to the Halloween themed run of this reality cooking show. The contestants did some amazing things in incredibly short amounts of time. Each episode had a guest judge including, R.L. Stine, Gunnar Hansen and Rob Zombie.
Making Monsters: Marathon (8:00pm Travel Channel) This brand new series is maybe my favorite of the season. It focuses on Distortions Unlimited, a family-run business that’s the largest animatronics creator and producer in the world, pumping out hundreds of creatures year-round to the haunted house, Halloween and scare-amusement industry. Catch up on all four episodes. I really hope this show gets picked up for a longer run at some point.
Roseanne's Wicked Halloween Bash (Oct. 30 & Oct. 31 - 11:00pm - TV Land) Roseanne always had some really cool Halloween themed episodes, and they are all collected here. This two-night marathon (four hours each night) features each Halloween episode of Roseanne, kicking off with the first one featuring the infamous “Tunnel of Terror.” Other memorable episodes include Roseanne’s night at the Lobo Lounge dressed as a lumberjack, Roseanne’s visit from the ghosts of Halloween past, present and future, and the arrival of baby Jerry Garcia Conner. The event culminates with the final Roseanne episode, which spoofed Rosemary’s Baby and guest-starred Marlo Thomas, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley.
The Munsters: Marathon (9:00pm - Hallmark Channel) A ten-hour marathon on Halloween day.
Modern Family (9:00pm - ABC) A very solid Halloween episode last season has set the bar high for this show. I hope they succeed again and set up a nice tradition.
American Horror Story (10:00pm - FX) We all love this show and it's persistent creepiness, so I'm definitely psyched to see them up the ante for their Halloween edition. Zachary Quinto guest stars in this two-part Halloween episode (concluding Nov. 2) FX will also be airing the first three episodes as a min-marathon on the 31st.
Community (8:00pm - NBC) Pretty much every episode of this show is a "theme" so I have hopes that this year Halloween is extra special. The episode titled “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps” sees Britta run anonymous personality tests on everyone for a psych class. One of the test results seems to indicate that someone in the group is deeply disturbed. At the group’s pre-Halloween party, she enlists Jeff to help draw out the potential sociopath, and the two lure everyone into telling their favorite horror stories. If you're not regularly watching this show you are missing out big time.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: Aye Aye!; Trick or Treat (9:00am - PBS) This groovy kids show has lots of good wholesome fun with just a hint of spooky goodness. Great for the little ones.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXII (8:00pm - Fox) FINALLY this special is airing in October right before Halloween. No lousy baseball pushing this into November. People may complain this show has gotten stale, bu I still get as excited about the special as when I was 11 years old.
As a bonus if you're looking for any past Halloween themed sitcoms I came across this great site which has tons of them.
There are tons of random horror movies on all week. AMC and SyFy both have loads, but you're dealing with commercial and edited films so why bother? Also on most channels you're not seeing anything really interesting or out of the ordinary. Your best bet, as has been the last few years, is TCM. Beautiful, unedited, uninterrupted versions of some of the best classic horror and suspense. Watch as much as you can. I task you to try to watch the into from David Edelstein (in for Robert Osburne) and not stay for the feature.
9:30 pm A Night At The Movies: The Horrors Of Stephen King (A brand new special that sees the master discussing the best horror and Sci-Fi film and their impact and why we love to be scared)
10:30:00 Dementia 13
12:00 am Straight-Jacket
1:45 am The Pit And The Pendulum
3:15 am The Masque Of The Red Death
5:00 am The Devil's Bride
5:45 pm The Bad Seed
8:00 pm Dead Ringer
10:00 pm The Black Room
11:15 pm The Other
1:00 am Dead Men Walk
2:15 am Motel Hell
4:00 am 10 Rillington Place
6:00 am The Two Mrs. Carrolls
9:30 am Doctor X
1:45 pm Godzilla, King Of The Monsters
8:00 pm Cat People (That goddamn pool!)
9:30 pm Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows
11:00 pm The Body Snatcher
12:30 am Isle Of The Dead
2:00 am Bedlam
3:30 am The Seventh Victim
5:00 am Ghost Ship
6:15 am The Leopard Man
7:30 am White Zombie
8:45 am Devil Doll
10:15 am The Uninvited (One of my top 5)
12:00 pm Berserk
2:00 pm Dial M For Murder
4:00 pm Them!
6:00 pm Forbidden Planet
7:15 am The Reptile
8:45 am The Gorgon
10:15 am Dracula, Prince Of Darkness
12:00 pm Dracula Has Risen From The Grave
1:45 pm The Revenge Of Frankenstein
3:15 pm Frankenstein Created Woman
5:00 pm The Mummy
6:30 pm Curse Of The Mummys Tomb
8:00 pm Village Of The Damned
9:30 pm Night Of The Living Dead (Turn off the lights and let yourself settle into the original classic. Still as effective as ever)
11:15 pm A Night At The Movies: The Horrors Of Stephen King
12:15 am The Innocents
2:00 am The Haunting
4:00 am Repulsion
And of course for all of you lucky people who have the FEARnet channel, they are doing their annual 24 hours of Trick R Treat on Halloween day. Great to keep on in the background all day and night.
That should be plenty to keep you occupied. Just be sure, while watching all that TV, to put your masks on when the Silver Shamrocks commercial comes on.