Halloween horror on TV

James / October 29th, 2015

When it comes to Halloween, watching horror films is a big tradition. Usually I stick to DVD’s, but there is a more festive appeal to watching them on TV, especially live TV, because you’re watching it at the same exact time as other people. Though you’ll never meet, you feel like you’re part of a larger community.

Each year, with time permitting, I usually scan the TV listings very briefly. Here’s what my quick search has turned up.

1) TCM (Turner Classic Movies) – Always the best. Today they’ve been playing some William Castle films, and Roger Corman, including some films that I’m covering on Monster Madness this year. Tomorrow, There’s a Hammer marathon, including The Mummy (1959) and some of the Hammer Dracula/Frankenstein sequels. Tomorrow night, looks like a Val Lewton marathon. Then on Halloween, it’s a mixed bag of stuff, including Doctor X, White Zombie, House of Wax, Mark of the Vampire and others. Some are great classics, other are minor. What’s great about TCM is that they are COMMERCIAL FREE, and in HD, the classics look better than ever. My only wish is that they would play some of the Universal Monster classics, and that they would have longer marathons. Their marathons sometimes take breaks to play other genre films. If it were up to me, it would be straight up horror all week, or fuck it. All month.

2) AMC – Fear Fest. Originally “American Movie Classics.” Classics no more. The one thing I like about this marathon is that they start it up weeks in advance. It’s the longest running annual Halloween TV marathon that I know of. The problem is that most of the movies are slashers, and are “slashed” by TV censorship, not to mention, tons of commercials. Watching these movies get butchered like this, makes me want to put in the DVD’s instead, as much as I want to get into the Halloween TV watching spirit. The marathon has already been going on. They already played what looks like most the Halloween franchise, and they’re replaying it in loop for the next 3 days. I know it’s Halloween, but that’s a lot of Halloween!

3) METV – Svengoolie! Not a marathon, but every Saturday night, horror host Svengoolie has been showing both classics and stinkers. Last Saturday, he hosted the original Dracula (1931). Wow! First time I’ve EVER seen that played on TV. And this Saturday (Halloween), he’s playing Frankenstein (1931). I’m impressed. It’s rare to see a horror host on TV nowadays, and it’s also rare to see the Universal classics which are so important to what Halloween is.

4) STARZ – Ash Vs. Evil Dead. This one trumps all. On Halloween, Bruce Campbell returns to his iconic role, and with Sam Raimi directing the first episode, count me in.

Anyone know some more good Halloween stuff on TV?

James’ favorites