Updated: Oct 27, 2022
Welcome to day five of your Halloween marathon.
We are getting very close to the big night now (in both “real time” as I write this as well as “marathon time” if you’re reading these articles on the day they are to be used). I’ve been saving some heavy hitters. I hope you’re ready!
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 29th.
This is not really a Halloween movie, but it’s also not really not a Halloween movie. The film takes place in what seems to be the dead of summer, but our main villain has…well…a pumpkin for a head. You do the math.
Like Trick or Treat from the previous day’s list, we again have one of these revenge-gone-wrong movies. I didn’t bother to explain what I meant the last time I mentioned this phrase, so allow me to rectify my shortsightedness. In both movies, we have a protagonist that initially wants revenge against their enemies, but then has a change of heart far too late.
In the case of Pumpkinhead, a senseless tragedy sends Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) into the lair of a witch, seeking a curse to help him get revenge. The special effects by Stan Winston are top notch, the acting is great, and there’s a wonderfully creepy shot of the haunted pumpkin patch that I absolutely adore.
Night of the Demons (1988)
We have a 1988 doubleheader tonight and boy is it a doozy! Ever since I discovered Night of the Demons, I’ve watched it every single October without fail. Is it a good movie? Objectively speaking…no. But is it a fun movie? Hell yes!
On Halloween night, a group of teens gather at a local abandoned house, (Hull House) to have a party. After unwittingly summoning demons, high jinks ensue. Honestly, there really isn’t much more to it than that, except for the perfunctory “history of Hull House” to explain the spooky goings-on.
Highlights include the animated opening credits, “Angela’s Dance,” and another iconic role by Linnea Quigley.
“Angela’s Dance” is probably one of my favorite moments in the entire movie. Angela (Amelia Kinkade) is dressed up like Siouxsie Sioux and rocks some sick moves to Bauhaus' "Stigmata Martyr" as she’s possessed by a demon. The dance scene is legitimately disturbing, and yet the juxtaposition against Sal’s reactions always elicits a laugh.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)
That’s right. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? An absolute classic of Halloween television specials, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure ranks right at the tippy top of my top five. (For those who are interested, my top five Halloween Specials of all time, in no particular order, are as follows: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, The Adventures of Pete and Pete: “Halloweenie”, Winnie the Pooh: Boo to you Too, and The Simpsons Halloween Special AKA Treehouse of Horror I).
No Halloween marathon would ever be complete without a viewing of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. I tend to fluctuate between thinking this one is the best Halloween special ever made and Charlie Brown being the best. I still don’t know for sure which I prefer, though I have to say there are many memorable moments from Garfield that I look forward to every year.
The scene when the old man is discovered sitting in his chair by the fire, followed by the ghost pirates chasing Garfield and Odie, still manages to give me the chills all these years later. I vividly remember being scared out of my pants as a kid when those scenes played out.
On the other side of the spectrum, it’s not Halloween until I sing along with perhaps my favorite song from any holiday special ever made.
When you’re curating your own marathon list, trimming off the fat form my suggestions, I implore you to allow Garfield’s Halloween Adventure a single viewing, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
We’ve reached the end of our fifth day of Halloween viewing. This may have been the best one yet. As last time, I’ll leave you a simple Halloween recipe to accompany your viewing.
Here are all the other installments:
Until then, friends. Breathe deep of the night.
Halloween Party Mix
Tony’s Note: There are a lot of Halloween Party Mix recipes out there, but this has long been my favorite. It’s almost like you’re making caramel corn, only instead of using popcorn you're coating pretzels, peanut butter Ritz, and peanuts with the glorious ambrosia. As if that’s not enough, you then mix in other bits of candy. Also, I implore you to actually add the candy corn. Not only is this what makes it a “Halloween” party mix, but they actually taste pretty good when mixed with everything else. Give it a try!
1. 1(11 ounce) package pretzels
2. 1(10 1/2 ounce) package miniature peanut butter filled butter flavor crackers (I use Ritz)
3. 1cup dry roasted peanuts
4. 1cup sugar
5. 1⁄2cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
6. 1⁄2cup light corn syrup
7. 2teaspoons vanilla extract
8. 1teaspoon baking soda
9. 1(10 ounce) package M&M's
10. 1(18 1/2 ounce) package candy corn
1. In a large bowl, combine first 3 ingredients.
2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, butter and corn syrup.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam).
5. Pour over pretzel mixture and stir until coated.
6. Pour into a greased 15x10 inch baking pan.
7. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
8. Break apart while warm.
9. Cool completely.
10. Toss with M&M's and candy corn.
11. Store in airtight container.