Alibi V.17 No.44 • Oct 30-Nov 5, 2008 

Idiot Box

Dead Air

Halloween around the dial

Sure, you could go out to a club on Halloween night, get drunk, hit on some girl in a sexy kitty outfit and then drive home looped on Bacardi. But I wouldn’t suggest it. Odds are you’ll get pulled over by APD and sent to the BAT Mobile. Trust me, you do not want to spend a weekend in jail dressed as a pirate.

Instead, stay home, turn off your porch light, eat all those “fun size” Nestlé Crunch bars yourself and let your good friend the Idiot Box set an appropriate holiday mood for you. Almost every channel around the dial has got some sort of Halloween-related programming. Granted, most of it consists of crummy reruns and bad sequels. (Honestly, you don’t need to spoil your day with a 40-year-old episode of “Bewitched” or Exorcist II: The Heretic.)

“Goosebumps” (Cartoon Network 7 a.m.) is basically the tween “Twilight Zone.” Adults will grow bored quickly with CN’s 17-hour marathon, but kids should be reasonably attracted to the brand name--even though it isn’t an animated show. (What’s up with all the noncartoons lately, Cartoon Network?)

Adults and kids can both enjoy “The Munsters” (WGN 2 p.m.). America’s second-favorite horror-related sitcom (behind “The Addams Family,” of course) gets an eight-hour marathon courtesy of WGN. If you do get bored, be sure to check back in at 10 p.m., when the Chicago superstation airs “Alice Cooper’s Along Came a Spider” (WGN 10 p.m.), a 30-minute behind-the-scenes look at shock-rocker Alice Cooper’s new album.

As usual, American Movie Classics spends the night screening films that are not exactly classics. Constantine (AMC 4 p.m.), Resident Evil (AMC 6 p.m.), House on Haunted Hill (AMC 8 p.m.) and Return to House on Haunted Hill (AMC 10 p.m.) will give uncultured twentysomethings who can’t watch movies made before 1985 something to ogle.

For the rest of us, there’s Turner Classic Movies, which features several great programming blocks including Tod Browning (7 a.m.), Bela Lugosi (9:45 a.m.) and Herschell Gordon Lewis (12:30 a.m.) films. My personal pick? The four-film H.P. Lovecraft marathon featuring The Haunted Palace (TCM 6 p.m.); Die, Monster, Die! (TCM 7:30 p.m.); The Shuttered Room (TCM 9 p.m.); and The Dunwich Horror (TCM 10:45 p.m.).

Video game-centric station G4 gets into the spirit, offering a couple of appropriate film choices starting with fantastic 2006 Korean monster movie The Host (G4 6 p.m.) and continuing with notorious 1985 gore comedy The Toxic Avenger (G4 8:45 p.m.).

WE TV started out life as Romance Classics back in 1997. It became WE: Women’s Entertainment in 2001. Apparently women like reality shows about ghosts because that’s all the station seems to show these days. For Halloween, WE is airing “666: Searching for Satan” (WE 10 p.m.), a road trip special hunting up historic locations and trying to make them sound creepier than they really are.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without the Ghost Hunters boring the crap out of us for seven hours straight. TAPS maniacs can savor every second of “Ghost Hunters Live Halloween” (Sci-Fi 5 p.m.) as the team sets up its infrared cameras and EVP recorders at historic Fort Delaware and waits. And waits. And waits. ... Where’s that episode of “Bewitched,” anyway?