I’m halfway back from an unexpected break, because October likes to hand me more tricks than treats. Here’s the latest edition of Classic Creepy Commercials.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure! (1998)
This CBS promo from 1998 celebrated the first airing of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure in NINE years, which means that the special was completely absent throughout most of the 1990s. (It premiered in October of ‘85 and ran consistently through ‘89.)
I knew that the special ceased its annual airings prematurely, but I didn’t remember it being that severe.
Weirder still, Garfield and Friends (the Saturday morning cartoon) was in production until 1994, and still on air until late ‘95! It’s hard to argue that this was a simple matter of Garfield losing his shine. Maybe the special was locked away over some annoying rights issue?
From what I can tell, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure aired in ‘98 and then again in ‘99, and then had a couple of shots in the early 2000s. (And maybe a few more if you count oddball airings on cable networks. I don’t.)
I still think there’s money in a network running a “retro special night” during the Halloween season, with Charlie Brown and Garfield leading the charge. ABC already has the rights to It’s The Great Pumpkin, so imagine if they grabbed Garfield and then had the cast of The Goldbergs do the bumpers. SO good! Read More…
I know you’ve heard me sing this song before, but before now, I didn’t have the proper materials to hit the right notes. Indulge me, please. I need to talk about SHOCKTOBER.
SHOCKTOBER was an October-long stunt that WPIX ran in the early ‘90s. Every weeknight at 8PM sharp, WPIX broke from its normal menu of cartoons and sitcom reruns to air a horror movie. Put so simply, it hardly seems worth the fuss I’ve made over the years. Trust me, it was!
I went into greater detail about this several months ago, but to summarize, WPIX is a broadcast TV station (rooted in New York but with tentacles reaching into many other states) that back then was every kid’s “home base.”
You didn’t flip to WPIX for first-run sitcoms or any “big” television events, but it was the only non-cable channel that almost constantly aired things kids could be satisfied with, whether it was a Cheers repeat or an episode of Rescue Rangers.
Many kids had televisions in their bedrooms, but very few had cable access on those televisions. *I* didn’t, at least. WPIX became my “default” channel — the one I left on in relative perpetuity, only breaking for here-or-there hours on the bigger networks. In my bedroom, WPIX was the nightlight and the soundtrack.
SHOCKTOBER started in 1991, but I didn’t seriously latch on until ’92, which appears to have been the final year for the stunt. Though I wasn’t much of a horror fan in October of 1992, I was thirteen years old — the perfect age to start dipping my toes into the many pools that previously freaked me out. (Horror movies stuck, mayonnaise didn’t.)
Judging by my research, the 1992 version of SHOCKTOBER began on October 1st and ended on the 23rd. That left enough slots open for seventeen different movies, most of which aired on school nights. In many cases, I didn’t so much “watch them” as simply “leave them on.” I’d occasionally glance up from my homework (comic books) to marvel at the mayhem, but even that was enough to give the 1992 Halloween season a true “horror” vibe.
Other movies grabbed my attention outright. I first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 as part of this marathon, and I completely fell in love with it. I can still remember laying sideways on my bed, and being super pissed that Taryn and Will — my two favorite characters — didn’t survive. I’ve seen the film a hundred times since that night, but I’ll always associate it with SHOCKTOBER.
Check out the 1992 lineup, which I’ve reconstructed from old TV listings: Read More…
A few people asked if I planned to bring back Dino Drac’s Envelopes of Evil. Well, yes! Running this site is mad expensive during the Halloween season. I need some green to go with all of that orange.
LIMITED TIME ONLY! UNITED STATES ONLY!
With that, it’s time to unveil Dino Drac’s Envelope of Evil IV, stuffed with hardcore horror collectibles that I will carefully jam into a padded USPS Priority Mail envelope. The cost is $35, and that includes shipping. (Keep in mind that the shipping costs on these is over $7!)
The contents of the fourth Envelope of Evil are very horror movie-themed, which is my diplomatic way of saying that this one may not be for all audiences. It’s a mix of super old Funpack items and several exclusives, and absolutely nothing in this assortment will be sold again. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever!
Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn more about the goods! Read More…
It’s October 1st, and you know what that means. The tradition must continue!
It’s time to unveil my 2018 Halloween Mood Table!
…which is more of a Halloween Mood Creature, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
I invented the Halloween Mood Table back in 2007, as a means to reinvigorate my spooky spirit while in the midst of a depressive episode that totally took me out of the game. Over the years, what began as a simple end table evolved into a huge production, but the point of it all never changed.
The Halloween Mood Table is your freaky failsafe. Build one, and you’ll always have a little corner where Halloween is alive and well, no matter how you’re feeling or how busy you are. It’s a cross between a Christmas tree and a Wiccan altar, but somehow better than either because you get to use fake spider webs.
I’m very proud that so many of you count the Halloween Mood Table among your own autumn traditions. Nowadays, there are people building these things who’ve never even heard of me. It’s kinda great, and it will stay that way until there’s a Mood Table article on BuzzFeed that namedrops everyone in the NY metropolitan area except me.
My 2018 Halloween Mood Table is the strangest yet, and it’s not even a close race. I knew I couldn’t top the richness of last year’s Mood Table, but once I noticed that our wooden easel looked vaguely humanoid, I had no interest in trying. This year, I was going avant-garde.
So yeah, the core “body” is a wooden easel. After adding an ALF mask and some skeleton legs, my Mood Table really started to take shape. While there were enough flat surfaces for this to still qualify as a “table,” I felt more like Dr. Frankenstein. I created LIFE. Read More…
You know how I bombard you with weird appetizer recipes every Christmas season? I’d like to start doing the same for Halloween. You can’t stop me.
I’ve been collecting these little Halloween recipe books for longer than you’ve been alive. They’re placed near the registers in every supermarket at this time of year, and I always buy them. It’s become reflexive. Who knew you could do so many gross things with chicken?
I usually grab ’em early in the season, when I’m still dreaming about hosting my own Halloween party. Those parties never seem to materialize, so as it relates to making goblin heads out of celery sticks and oranges, I have an untapped lust.
Well, no more! I’m finally taking the plunge, party or no party. Below are five spooky appetizers, all built from recipes found in these books. (Credit to the Pillsbury Doughboy, I guess.) I hope they encourage you to spend at least one autumn afternoon as a creepy cook.
Monster Tacos are actually easier to prepare than regular tacos. Instead of shredded cheddar, you use a full slice that’s been trimmed to resemble monster teeth. Instead of diced tomatoes, you slip in one whole piece to act as the tongue. Toss in some olive eyeballs, and you’re done!
They’re like edible Food Fighters, or maybe cousins of those horrible cupcakes from Young Sherlock Holmes. Best of all, they definitely “read” as monster faces. (I own a lot of spooky recipe books, and all too often, you’d need to serve the dishes with PowerPoint presentations for anyone to have any clue about what you were going for.)
Recommended? Yes! The prep is quick, the presentation is great, and as it turns out, I might like tacos with one big piece of cheese and one big slice of tomato better than the traditional way. Trust me, it works! Read More…
I can’t say that it’s been a banner year for Halloween junk food. So far, I’ve seen too many repeats and not enough new-and-noteworthy candies. (Course, average buyers wouldn’t notice the difference, and they’re the ones who matter.)
On the other hand, I did manage to find enough new-for-2018 goodies to continue my annual essays about Halloween junk food. Below are five of this year’s must-haves.
Brisk/Venom Symbiotic Dark Cherry Limeade!
Found on: eBay
Guys, do not sleep on this one. Brisk’s Symbiotic Dark Cherry Limeade isn’t just “okay” or “good enough to drink” — it’s downright phenomenal. I’d go so far to say that it’s the best “soda” I’ve had in years, even if “soda” isn’t the right word.
It’s somewhere between a Brisk Iced Tea and a Ssips Cherry-Berry juice box. “Dark cherry limeade” is pretty much my dream flavor, but this was still so much better than I was anticipating. I would not be surprised if Brisk keeps the flavor around even after this Venom promotion runs its course. Honestly, they might not have a choice. I’ll picket the f out of them.
GRADE: A+. While the Venom theme may be the draw, it’s the taste that will guarantee repeat purchases. I refuse to believe that there exists a single person who won’t love this. Read More…