Welcome to day three of your Halloween marathon.
These days when I say, “Halloween Movie Marathon,” what I really mean is “October Entertainment Extravaganza.” There are simply too many movies, television specials, sitcom episodes, and old commercials to jam it all into a single day. Over the years my list has grown exponentially and has even spilled into September viewing in a mad dash to jam everything in before November comes knocking. To help space it all out, I’m curating seven full days of 1980s Halloween goodness for your viewing pleasure. Today’s list will be for October 27th.
Note: I’m already starting to think I made a terrible mistake promising seven of these articles. We’re only on day three and I’m worried I won't come through. I previously mentioned the series being complete by the first day of the marathon (October 25th). I’m amending that now, for my own sanity, to state the articles will be posted before the day you need them.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
An unofficial goal of mine is to try and get at least one Halloween-themed movie per day of the marathon. Note, that doesn’t mean it has to be a Halloween franchise movie. Of course in this case we do, yet again, have a Halloween movie on tap: part three for day three. The best part about this addition is that it’s a standalone movie, which means I don’t have to worry about pairing it with any of the other movies from the franchise. No prior viewing required. Beautiful.
Halloween III is of course pretty well known among horror fans these days, having gone from the ugly stepsister of the franchise to a fan favorite. We all know the stories about the botched marketing (“The night no one comes home…”) and the terrible critical reception. All you need to know now is that the movie is a lot of fun, a bit campy, and very much required viewing during my marathon.
Also: Tom Atkins.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Yet again I’m suggesting a movie that has absolutely no connection to Halloween, and yet feels incredibly perfect for the season. I’d argue the mere presence of Elvira would turn any movie into a Halloween movie. I don’t care if it’s a Christmas flick. Elvira is in it? Yeah, Halloween movie.
Maybe that’s due to her appearance in seemingly every Halloween-themed commercial ever made. Or those cardboard standees that would pop up in October showing Elvira promoting beer and soda. Or perhaps it’s simply her profession as the ‘80s official horror host (sorry, Joe Bob).
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark feels like a slightly darker Pee Wee Herman movie with…well with Elvira and boob jokes. This is another must-see around Halloween for me, and I hope you agree.
The Real Ghostbusters: "When Halloween Was Forever" (1986)
Once again, we have a Halloween TV episode closing out the list. This particular episode is a fairly new addition to my personal viewing. And listen, I’m going to say something potentially controversial now: The Real Ghostbusters doesn’t hold up for me. I’m willing to give it a pass for a Halloween episode, but sadly I won’t be re-watching the entire series any time soon.
There are some children’s shows that are made for both kids and adults, and then there are the ones that are strictly for kids. This, for me at least, falls into the latter category. Still, this particular episode is fun, and I paired it with Halloween III purposely because they have a similar plot point of the old ways of Halloween coming back. Close enough anyway that I felt they worked thematically.
My one gripe about this episode is the mispronunciation of Samhain (a mistake that the villain of Halloween III does not make). Otherwise, the pumpkin-headed character of the same name makes a fine addition to the expanded cast of ghosts in the animated series.
We’ve reached the end of our third day of Halloween viewing. I hope you’re taking note of which movies and episodes you plan to watch once the first day of the true marathon arrives (October 25th). Or perhaps you’ll bookmark these articles and come back as a reminder. Speaking of which, be sure to come back soon for the next installment.
Be sure to come back and follow along with the marathon:
More coming soon!
Until then, friends. Breathe deep of the night.