Happy Halloween, everyone!
Course, by the time most of you read this, it’ll be November. Hell, it might technically be November even by the time this gets posted. Oh well. I like November, too. Stove Top and Sunday circulars.
I hope you had a tremendous season, and I hope Dino Drac played some small part in making it just a little bit sweeter. I know I missed some time this month and didn’t get to do nearly as many articles (or videos or podcasts) as was expected, but all I can do about that now is sit on the couch and hate-eat a bunch of cake. Next year, I’ll plan better for life’s hiccups.
Here’s one more edition of Classic Creepy Commercials to close out the Countdown, because your Halloween season won’t be complete until you watch a Martin promo from 1992. Admit it!
FOX Halloween Promo! (1992)
This October ’92 promo for Fox’s Thursday night lineup featured Halloween episodes of The Simpsons and Martin, but I think the real money in its last second mention of The Heights. I never strayed far enough from 90210 to get into that show, but I’ll never forget how literally every girl in my seventh grade class spent one full month singing its theme song, as if by curse.
Fox’s actual literal pitch for this particular Heights episode: “Watch these two have sex!” There’s no coyness, no subtle hinting… they pretty much just come out and say, “this week we’re gonna show you this character and this character doooo eeeeeet.” It’s weird to see that five seconds after Toga Homer.
Walgreens Halloween Commercial! (1992)
Walgreens is still a secret hot spot for Halloween hubbub, but it’s nothing like it was in the ‘90s, when they sold so many candies and decorations that no other chain carried. (And I guess that’s still true, but I’m talking about the really good stuff, and not just electronic skeletons that play Kidz Bop versions of Same Old Love.)
Listen close and you’ll notice that one of their spooky hanging monster toys plays THAT SOUND. I don’t think THAT SOUND has a name, but it’s the Wilhelm scream of Halloween SFX. The same noise has been used in dozens if not hundreds of battery-operated Halloween toys, and the phenomena dates back for at least 30 years. Heck, you can even hear it coming out of those motionettes that Madd Matt reviewed back in 2014!
Hy-Vee Halloween Commercial! (1992)
Wow, I wasn’t expecting this one to be such a knockout!
It’s obvious that the Hy-Vee theme song was produced long before this commercial, because even the shittiest producer never would’ve paired that song with those visuals unless he had absolutely no other choice.
The results are unintentionally awesome. It’s like watching the opening from Tales from the Crypt scored with the theme from That Girl. I love how they even cut the shots TO the music, as if this marriage would somehow make more sense that way.
Even neater is that Hy-Vee was just promoting normal food products, and not even exclusively ones that could be construed as “party goods.” I lost it when they cut to that shot of raw beef, staged from the same black-as-night dimension of death. What the hell, Hy-Vee? Nobody there thought this was weird?
Pepsi and Doritos for Halloween! (1992)
This local promo starred someone who I’m assuming meant something to the people of Iowa, but to me he’s just some rando trying to hold too many bags of chips. Still, since he’s flanked by a pair of inflatable Frankensteins, I felt compelled to pay tribute.
Pepsi and Frito-Lay used to be the stars of the season, always working in Halloween package designs, spooky television commercials and all sorts of contests. I grew up believing that a Halloween party wasn’t a Halloween party unless it included ten bags of Ruffles and twenty liters of Pepsi. Weird, since both companies seem to do so little these days!
Side note: The guy in this commercial looks like a wrestling manager who never took off. He’s like Jackyl by way of Jamison.
Fox Kids Halloween Promo! (1995)
I don’t know the exact specs on Fox’s old Halloweek stunt, but I’m guessing it meant that they ran the spookiest episodes from all of the shows in their lineup. (Notice how they used that one shot of the Power Rangers with pumpkins for heads, which is actually a thousand times more famous now, thanks to GIF depositories!)
I was too High School Cool to devour Halloweek back when it happened, but I grew loving similar stunts, and still love them today. (I think I’ve watched Halloween marathons of Roseanne on sixteen different networks this year alone, despite having all of those episodes on DVD, twice. And they’re saved on my DVR from last year’s marathons, anyway. What can I say? The mutant sense of camaraderie is just such a draw.)
Thanks again for being a part of Dinosaur Dracula’s 2016 Halloween Countdown! We may have to lose the pumpkins tomorrow, but you can still expect spooky content to be sprinkled onto the site all throughout the year. I’ll be keeping Dino Drac After Dark alive for the foreseeable future, too!
(No, seriously — your support means everything. Thank you for making life worth living weirdly. Happy Hallo!)