Updated: Oct 27
Welcome to day six 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 30th.
The Monster Squad (1987)
I previously made a case for Universal Monsters being so closely tied to the Halloween season that even if a movie isn’t set in October, it deserves to be a part of my Halloween marathon. Such is the case, once again, with The Monster Squad.
Surprisingly, I never saw this movie as a kid and only discovered it through the horror community in my early 30’s. Even so, I’ve become a huge fan. There is a whole slew of things in The Monster Squad that probably would not fly today (I still can’t quite believe what Dracula calls little Phoebe as he lifts her into the air by her chin). Still, it’s so perfectly of its time, it’s hard to be mad about any of it. We sort of just accept that this movie was somehow made for kids and no one thought to question it.
The Midnight Hour (1985)
The Midnight Hour is another made for TV horror movie that aired for Halloween (on our marathon list), yet when compared to Dark Night of the Scarecrow, it’s easy to see the quality on this one isn’t quite as high. That doesn’t bother me in the least though, because this is a fun--if not sometimes corny--Halloween party that I absolutely want to attend every year when October rolls around.
There are some notable names here, including LaVar Burton and Dick Van Patten. Apparently, Macaulay Culkin makes an uncredited appearance, though somehow I’ve never spotted him.
One of the major reasons this movie has made it onto my yearly marathon list is because of the existence of the entire broadcast premier complete with commercials. It’s always a blast to watch movies this way, at least for children of the ‘80s.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Yes, I know, this came out in the ‘60s. You can absolutely debate whether or not it belongs on a curated list of movies and television specials that came out in the 1980s, but as always, I have my justifications.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was pervasive in the 80s. We all grew up with it on television every October. It is the quintessential Halloween special, challenged only by Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. As far as I’m concerned, which one lands on top is inconsequential, as they are both essential viewing for Halloween. Normally I’d watch them back-to-back on the same night, so if you’re not all that keen on my separating these bosom buddies, feel free to reunite them on the evening of your choosing.
What can I say about this special that hasn’t already been said? We all know it and most of us love it. Traditionally, I would watch this whatever night I carved my jack-o-lantern, hopefully with a big bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds and a slice of pumpkin pie.
We’ve reached the end of our Sixth day of Halloween viewing. If you’re reading this on the day it is written for (10/30), it means tomorrow is Halloween! Are you ready? Samhain knows I’m not. If I could, I’d rewind time right back to September so I had another crack at spooky season. But since that’s not gonna happen, I’ll simply leave you with a Halloween treat recipe to accompany your viewing.
I won’t write out the recipe for this one because I found a blog post that goes into extensive detail about the recipe, decorating, and more. So for the full recipe and all the info you’ll ever need, navigate straight over to A Table Full of Joy.
I don’t usually make these for Halloween, but this year I spotted a box of those vibrant orange Rice Krispies, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were going to be on my Halloween menu. If I’m being completely honest, I probably won’t bother with all the decorating, frostings, candy eyes, and other spooky adornments. They’re orange…good enough. Though I will say if you can’t find those orange Krispies, this blog post tells you how to dye your treats.
See you tomorrow for the final installment of the week-long Halloween movie marathon!
The installments thus far: