Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ultimate Halloween Marathon!

 Ultimate Halloween Marathon!

It's officially 11 more days until Halloween! With plenty of spooky things to watch on TV, horror fans from all over truly love this time of year! With American Horror Story, Chucky the TV series, What We Do In The Shadows, Eli Roth's History Of Horror, non-stop marathons of classic horror movies on such channels like Paramount, SyFy,  and AMC, this entire month there's always been something new or old to watch to truly get into the Halloween state of mind. Between these TV shows, channels, and streaming services, there's always at least three or four awesome things to watch in the days leading up until the 31st! Here are 10 killer movies or shows to check out to get into the Halloween spirit!

10) Halloween Baking Championship
- I usually don't like cooking/baking shows. Of course there's Halloween Wars, but the Halloween Baking Championship I feel is a little more unique with its challenges. Plus I always felt this show wasn't repetitive like Halloween Wars. I myself can bake a little bit, but watching these people whip up these crazy tasty looking dishes always floor me. Plus, who doesn't love a cake that's usually themed with something spooky?! Some of this stuff looks so awesome you honestly cringe whenever the judges cut into it to taste!

9) Halloween franchise
- No Halloween movie marathon would be complete without...well the Halloween movies. These films have always been very near and dear to my heart since my mother absolutely loved the original film. I guess back in 1978 my father took her to see the first film at the drive-in. Later that night my dad picked up a hitchhiker (ah, the 70's) and my mother nearly killed him since she was so spooked over seeing the movie. I remember it was a rite of passage when my mother finally allowed my sister and I to watch the Carpenter classic, and they were a huge part of my life growing up as a true blue horror fan. I always view the first two original films as one giant film. I feel I loved Season Of The Witch before it was cool to love it. (Tom Atkins will forever be my silver fox husband. *swoon*) I always wonder, had that film actually done well, what other cool original ideas could they have thought of for separate sequels. I feel the Michael Myers storyline has been beaten to death, and for the most part the films following the first two aren't that good. Sure part 4 is good (great ending), 5 was a mess, six was awful (both cuts), H20 I actually really love. I view that as a true part 3 of the Myers storyline. Yeah it cashed into the whole Scream/I know What You Did Last Summer craze in the late 90's, but I have tons of memories watching this one and loving the fact JLC came back. Plus that opening and ending! That's how you start and finish a sequel! 7 was awful and yes...I saw it in theaters. The Rob Zombie remake as much of a mess as it was (I'm sorry but white trash Michael Myers? Really?) still holds a special place in my heart since it was released on my 19th birthday, and my mother and I had so much fun seeing it, we even saw it again the following week. H2 is visually stunning, and a pretty good example of someone self-destructing suffering from grief and PTSD. I sadly could relate since by the time H2 came out I had lost my mother, and seeing movies like this just didn't feel the same after losing her. I HATED the 2018 movie (sorry to people who loved it. Remember guys, Jason Goes To Hell is my favorite Friday the 13th sequel.) but despite JLC returning again I thought it was poorly written, and after so much hype just fell flat. Unless you're living under a rock, I'm sure any horror fan has checked out Halloween Kills either in theaters or streaming like I did on Peacock. To whoever watched it and loved it...good for you. But honestly guys...I rather watch Winchester lick his own asshole for an hour than to watch that train-wreck again. #facts. Any who, these movies are usually on TV 24/7 during the whole month of October. I myself are planning on watching 1,2,3,4, and H20 before next week!

8) Roseanne - Halloween specials 
- Even though the woman herself is a POS, the original show...well at least the first 8 seasons were pure gold. It tells the story of a blue collar lower class family dealing with daily realistic struggles. What Roseanne was best known for were the absolute killer Halloween episodes since she claimed she was the "Queen of Halloween." Starting with season 2, we got to see the family in awesome Halloween costumes, the entire house decorated, and Dan and Roseanne constantly trying to one up each other when it came to tricking/scaring each other. The only Halloween episode I feel that fell flat was the one from I believe season 8 when Roseanne has her baby. Man...that one was weird! Still, watching these classic Halloween themed episodes are a must, not just for the costumes...but for Dan and Roseanne being total couple goals trying to scare the living shit out of each other!

7) Creepshow/Creepshow 2/ Creepshow TV
- Romero + King were the ultimate team for the 1980's. Together they made Creepshow in 1982. A cast jammed packed with well known or up and coming actors. Brilliant effects, creepy music, and five chilling tales in the style of 1950's horror comics. Creepshow is one of my favorite horror movies (who doesn't love Romero and King?) and I've always enjoyed the guilty pleasure otherwise known as part 2. (We won't ever speak about part III) What's even cooler is that Greg Nicotero made the TV series which airs on Shudder and AMC (perfect format making this into a TV series since that means the amount of stories/episodes are endless!) For the first film, I would say my favorite stories are Father's Day, The Crate, and Something To Tide You Over. For the sequel I hated they only did 3 stories, but of course The Raft wins top place for me. I know people always think of Tales From The Darkside as the unofficial part 3 (I could see that) I always loved the Lover's Vow storyline (is that even the name of that segment?) but for the TV series, originally I was a little worried since the first season just didn't seem to grab my attention. Luckly part 2 kicked things off last spring with a bang. Model Kid, Public Television Of The Dead, and Dead and Breakfast hit all the marks for me. Season 3 so far has been pretty good. Some episodes are better than others, but I feel if they continue with this overall vibe, fans of the original movies have a lot to look forward to! Since I hurt my back last month, I've been catching up on shows I haven't gotten around to finish, and Creepshow is always something to look forward to every Thursday! This month I've actually watched the first movie twice so far!

6) Night Of The Demons
- Of course any horror movie that actually takes place on Halloween is a must to watch. Back in college, I actually first watched Night Of The Demons after discovering that the same director as Witchboard made this cult classic! I've always loved makeup artist Steve Johnson, and I absloutely loved the fact he met his future wife B movie queen Linnea Quigley on this film. Telling the story of a group of teenagers who decide to throw a party on Halloween night at a giant abandoned mansion. Here they make the fatal mistake of doing seance, which accidentally releases three evil spirits that take over a few of the teenagers, that start picking off the guests one by one. Can the survivors make it until dawn? This film is pure 80's cheese at it's finest. It spawned 2 sequels, and an actual half decent remake. Still, nothing beats the original which is a staple to watch every October! Plus that ending! Makes you think twice before bitting into an apple again!

5) Trick R Treat
- Horror anthologies when done right can be a total blast (Creepshow, Creepshow 2, Trilogy Of Terror, Tales From The Crypt, etc.) to watch this time of year. Trick R Treat is one of the best films made in this style, and totally captures the whole October/Halloween vibe. With Sam, the tiny little...child? Who appears in every segment, we witness all stories connect to each other over the course of Halloween night. Some stories are slightly better than others, but overall is a must to watch in order to get into the proper Halloween spirit. I for one hope this director continues doing horror movies that are holiday themed. I mean he's tackled Halloween and Christmas. Let's see a Thanksgiving themed one next! Killer turkeys for everyone!!!

4) The Stepfather 
- I absolutely love the first 2 Stepfather movies. These were favorites of my late mother's, and I have tons of fond memories renting the three films while growing up. The first movie is always a must to watch in October since it takes place in autumn. Here we watch Jerry Blake, a charming, handsome, and friendly real-estate agent who's recently married a window with a troubled teenage girl. But here's the twist. Jerry isn't who he says he is. In fact, the year before in another town he slaughtered his entire family, changed his looks and identity, and started a new life elsewhere. In seems that this follows a pattern. The brother of Jerry's last murdered wife figures it out that he's been doing this for years. He marries into families of single mothers, and tries to be the "perfect" family, until something happens and he's disappointed. Snapping, he starts planning a new life elsewhere, changes his identity and looks, and then slaughters his entire family before finding a new one. What makes it even more scary is the fact this is loosely based on a true story. The first films are great, and Terry O' Quinn does SUCH a great job. This isn't your typical slasher, and scenes such as the one from above truly capture the beautiful autumn surroundings in this "perfect" little neighborhood. 

3) Dark Night Of The Scarecrow
- Man, back when made for TV movies were awesome! In fact this isn't the only made for TV movie that's making this list! Back in the 70's and 80's, made for TV horror movies were HUGE. ABC or NBC would usually do a movie of the week and show such classics like Devil Dog From Hell, Don't Go To Sleep, Trilogy Of Terror, and most famously...Dark Night Of The Scarecrow. I actually saw this movie for the first time in college. A buddy of mine knew I was staffing a horror convention and gave me money to buy this film that had just been released on blu-ray. I went to the booth, and had no idea I was actually meeting the director! He was super awesome, and signed both mine and my friend's copies of the film. A few nights later, I went to my friend's dorm where a bunch of the guys were planning on drinking some beers and watching this. I was SO glad I had never seen this movie before, since it was a total blast to watch. Telling the story of a sweet mental disabled man named Bubba, who is falsely accused of harming a little girl who actually got hurt when a dog attacked her. A bunch of men from the small farming community decide to put justice in their own hands, and hunt down Bubba using their own dogs. Here they pick up his scent, and see that Bubba actually has hidden himself as a scarecrow in the middle of a field. His elders mother always taught him to hide whenever the town's people were harassing him. Here the men open fire, and brutally murder Bubba in cold blood. It isn't that long afterwards, that they receive word that Bubba actually saved the young girl's life, and that a dog was responsible for hurting her. Here the men stage it to look like they were forced to open fire in self-defense, and get off with a slap on the wrist. That is...until the men all start dying in mysterious farming accidents, with the scarecrow always spotted nearby. Is it Bubba back from the dead? Or is it something much worse? This film is a classic and one of my favorites to watch every October!

2) The Crow
- Come on guys, we can't say we're shocked to see this on my list? This is the ultimate movie to watch now on Devil's Night (October 30th) Not only is it one of my ALL time favorite movies, it's always visually striking, and despite the tragedy that surrounds the production of this film, we get to see the late Brandon Lee finally step out from his father's shadow, and give the performance of his life. It often makes you wonder...had the accident not have happened...what other stellar performances were we robbed of when Brandon died and his career/life was cut short. This is the ultimate revenge movie, and this film as well as the song Burn by The Cure will forever be Brandon's. The scene at the end when he's exhausted, and laying against Shelly's grave will forever rip my heart out. We miss you Brandon. Thank you for this beautiful film. I'll be pouring one out in your honor next week on the 30th, and shouting "Fire it up!" 

1) The Midnight Hour 
-  I told you that Dark Night Of The Scarecrow wasn't going to be the only made for TV movie! The Midnight Hour is my ALL time favorite movie to watch every Halloween. I'll never forget renting this movie as a kid, and how my sister and I absolutely fell in love with it. For years I searched for this film, before finally finding it on VHS as well as bootleg. Fingers crossed we finally get the blu-ray release it deserves! This is a cult classic, jammed packed with stars, a killer soundtrack, cool makeups, and best of all every vampire, ghoul, zombie, ghost, werewolf, and witch crammed into this charming fun movie! Everyone who has seen this movie all says the same's the perfect film to watch on Halloween! I was lucky enough to have the guy who played Phil to sign my VHS copy, and even leave a sweet message on my voicemail years ago. It will forever join the ranks with The Monster Squad, as a fun childhood favorite of mine. Also LeVar Burton squirting ketchup and breaking eggs on his mummy costume is classic!

So what are you guys watching this week?
Happy Halloween everyone!!!

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