Alibi V.27 No.43 • Oct 25-31, 2018 

Idiot Box

The Boo Tube

Halloween around the dial

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, which is bad for kids (no late trick or treating) and adults (what’s the point of even drinking?). Your best option is to stay home, lock the front door, eat that entire bag of fun-sized Snickers you got at Walmart and watch a lot of scary TV. So what’s haunting the airwaves this Halloween? Let’s take a look.

If you like monster movies and the like, there are more than enough to choose from this year. TCM treats us with the usual all-day marathon of classic fright films. European auteurs Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim join forces for the 1968 anthology Spirits of the Dead (TCM 9:45am). Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasence and David Warner headline the British anthology From Beyond the Grave (TCM 12pm). It’s off to Italy after that for Mario Bava’s Boris Karloff-hosted collection of horror shorts, Black Sabbath (TCM 2pm). The horror anthologies wrap up with 1945’s spooky Dead of Night (TCM 4pm). Capping off the day’s frights, TCM meets up with Vincent Price for House of Wax (TCM 6pm) and sticks with the star for a couple of Poe outings, 1961’s The Pit and the Pendulum (TCM 7:45pm) and 1964’s Masque of the Red Death (TCM 9:15pm).

AMC goes as on-the-nose as possible with a marathon of Micheal Myers movies (the killer, not the comedian), starting with 1978’s Halloween (AMC 9am). That’s followed, appropriately enough, by Halloween II (AMC 11am), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (AMC 1pm), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (AMC 3pm), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (AMC 5pm) and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (AMC 7:05pm).

Paramount chooses another killer franchise, handing out a fistful of Freddy Krueger flicks in reverse order. Tune in for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (Paramount 8am), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (10am), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (12pm), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (Paramount 2pm) and 1984’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street (Paramount 4pm).

If you’re in the mood for something slightly less scary, Freeform has got you and the rest of the family covered with Disney’s witchy horror comedy Hocus Pocus. It airs multiple times over the course of the day and evening: Hocus Pocus (Freeform 5:30am/9:30am/12:40pm/3:45pm/6:50pm/10pm). Fans of stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy will be happy to note their 1993 film is interspersed with the recently aired “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Bash” (Freeform 11:40am/2:45pm/5:50pm).

If you’re burned out on movies, there are a few series to keep your peepers peeled for. Disney Channel spends all day getting animated with “Hotel Transylvania: The Television Series” (Disney 12:30pm to 10:30pm). POP digs into its treat bag and fishes out reruns of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s psychic do-gooder melodrama “Ghost Whisperer” (POP 11am to 5pm). IFC debuts the third season premiere of its “small-town sheriff fights demons” series “Stan Against Evil” (IFC 8pm). And—inevitably—Travel Channel sends a group of ghost hunters to wander around in the dark and whisper-scream “What was that?” for four hours with another “Ghost Adventures Live” (Travel Channel 6pm to 10pm).