Alibi V.23 No.44 • Oct 30-Nov 5, 2014 

Idiot Box

The Boo Tube

Halloween around the dial

Halloween is fast approaching. If you haven’t already picked out the evening’s spooky entertainment, good old TV always has something to offer—and this time of year, it’s often intentionally scary. So what treats can the idiot box offer us this Halloween? Let’s take a peek.

For the most part, the broadcast networks are ignoring Halloween this year. ABC’s new sitcom “Cristela” (KOAT-7 7:30pm) is the exception, airing an episode in which Cristela and her pal Maddie dress up like Hall & Oates. (Seems frightening enough.) NBC airs its supernatural shows “Grimm” (KOB-4 8pm) and “Constantine” (KOB-4 9pm). But those are always horror-based, so they scarcely count.

If you’re into ghost hunting, TV is always happy to accommodate with some jerky camera work and a “What was that!” shriek. Over on Country Music Television (of all places), there’s a day-long marathon of “Ghost Hunters” (CMT 7am to 4am). That’s 21 straight hours of not seeing any ghosts. If you want to add to that, there’s “Ghost Adventures: Ireland’s Celtic Demons” (Travel 7pm), which will spend an hour or so trying to scare up some Irish boogeymen.

Of course the bread and butter of any Halloween viewing experience is horror movies, and there are plenty to choose from this Oct. 31. Turner Classic Movies has been offering plenty of old-school scares this month. Things hit their stride on Friday afternoon, though, with a run that includes Carnival of Souls (TCM 2:45pm), Repulsion (TCM 4:15pm), Night of the Living Dead (TCM 6pm), Curse of the Demon (TCM 8pm) and Poltergeist (TCM 11:30pm). Night of the Demon, a surprisingly serious 1957 tale of the supernatural, is a personal fave.

ABC Family offers up a double-feature of Tim Burton flicks for the family: Dark Shadows (ABC Family 2:30pm) and Beetlejuice (ABC Family 5pm). If you’re in the mood for some ghosts, you can catch a triple-feature of everybody’s favorite “found footage” series: Paranormal Activity (FX 1pm), Paranormal Activity 2 (FX 3pm) and Paranormal Activity 3 (FX 5pm). Comedy Central tries to be funny and scary, giving audiences Stan Helsing (Comedy Central 12:18pm) and Vampires Suck (Comedy Central 2:19 pm). Neither is funny nor scary, so let’s chalk that up as a “trick” and move on.

Lifetime hands out two of its made-for-TV shockers: Flowers in the Attic (Lifetime 6pm) and Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (Lifetime 8pm). Flowers should have been trashier, and something should have actually happened in Lizzie Borden, but both have their moments. If you prefer some undead action, there’s the gory comedy Zombieland (TBS 7:30pm). And if you have a hankering for some cinematic slashers, MTV offers you a two-fer with Freddy vs. Jason (MTV 6:08pm). But if you know your knife-wielding killers, it’s all about Michael Myers on this day. Yup. AMC knows what time of year it is and gives us the most appropriate marathon of the day: Halloween (AMC 1pm), Halloween II (AMC 3pm), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (AMC 5pm), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (AMC 7pm), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (AMC 11pm) and Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (AMC 1am). If that don’t get you through All Hallows’ Eve, nothing will.