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 V.19 No.43 | October 28 - November 3, 2010 
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Idiot Box

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Halloween around the dial

Halloween on a Sunday is perfect. You can go to as many parties as you want on Friday and Saturday night and still have time to nurse your hangover on Sunday afternoon before the trick-or-treaters start ringing your doorbell. The timing also affords you the luxury of wallowing on the couch all day watching classic horror movies and other seasonal treats. So what if you eat up all those fun-size Snickers before the kids in costumes show up? Just turn off the porch light and keep watching TV.

Hallmark takes over for TV Land with some major idiot box flashbacks. Things start out early with Rankin/Bass’ terrific 1967 stop-motion-animated TV special Mad Monster Party? (Hallmark 4 a.m.). After that, it’s a massive marathon of “The Munsters” (Hallmark 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) followed by an awesome accumulation of “The Addams Family” (Hallmark 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.).

What would Halloween be without an entire day worth of amateur paranormal investigators stumbling through darkened corridors yelling, “What was that?” every couple of minutes? So don’t forget the “Ghost Hunters” Marathon (Syfy 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), followed by the now traditional “Ghost Hunters Halloween Live” (Syfy 5 p.m.)—six hours’ worth of uncut infrared cam footage from ... what do we have on tap this year: abandoned prison, crumbling insane asylum? An old train station in Buffalo? Man, I feel sorry for those ghosts.

A&E follows close behind with a marathon of its own amateur paranormal investigator series “Paranormal State” (A&E 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.). A&E ends fresh, though, with “Amityville: The Final Testament” (A&E 6 p.m.)—which will undoubtedly be the last thing we hear about that ugly house in Amityville ... until next Halloween. Discovery Channel loads up on some seasonally appropriate reruns as well with its paranormal docudrama series “A Haunting” (Discovery 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). For variety, there’s also “The Haunted” (Animal Planet 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.). It’s just like “A Haunting,” only with pets instead of people. Wonder why your cat yowls all damn night or why that stupid little Chihuahua keeps shivering? Yup, it’s ghosts.

It’s no surprise to find Turner Classic Movies featuring a full day of classic screamers. You can watch a pile of Vincent Price pictures starting with 1962’s Tower of London (TCM 11:30 a.m.). The Tingler, The Mad Magician and House of Wax follow. The Price marathon segues nicely into the Haunted Houses marathon thanks 1959’s Vinnie vehicle The House on Haunted Hill (TCM 6 p.m.). After that, it’s 1963’s The Haunting and 1982’s Poltergeist.

AMC presents a handful of more modern horror flicks including 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn (AMC 4 p.m.) and 2004’s Dawn of the Dead (AMC 6 p.m.), but it’s all just a preamble to the premiere episode of “The Walking Dead” (AMC 8 p.m.). Based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman and directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist), this dark new drama about life after the zombie apocalypse is among the most anticipated of the fall. What a perfect way to eat up Halloween night.


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