October isn’t merely a month, it’s an energy. A most macabre sensation that permeates from its 31st day, and inspires not visions of sugarplums, but of ghastly jack-o’-lantern grins, rattling bones, cobwebbed corridors, and—yes—candy. It’s an energy—a state of mind—we call… Halloween.
All Hallows’ Eve, the holiest of holidays, but not one on which you spring from your bed and race down the stairs to find presents awaiting underneath a tree. No, instead you’ll awaken upon hearing a shriek, and creep down a darkened spiral staircase—candelabra in hand—to discover nearly 24 hours of devilish delights courtesy of your fiends at VRV.
Allow us to put you in that Halloween state of mind, but please know, the creatures won’t just be stirring—they’ll be waiting in the shadows. Waiting for the candy-crash to prevail, and your eyelids to flicker. So no matter how horrid the sights, don’t close your eyes. Just watch, watch and feel the Halloween Energy on VRV.
Candy for Breakfast
Roll out of bed, fill your cereal bowl to the brim with treats, and begin your mourning with…
Rocko drops by Filburt’s TP’d trailer on Halloween to introduce him to the wonders of trick-or-treating, and the horrors of one-legged ghosts and those who hand out pennies. A sequence of candy-induced mania can be taken as either a cautionary tale, or a vision of what’s to come—that’s for you to decide. But I’ve decided that you’ll turn this episode off before the second segment, “Ed is Dead,” can begin and instead ask yourself…
Kids play Ghost in the Graveyard with a real-deal ghost in a graveyard. What could possibly be more October-approved than that? The episode with the scarecrow. But Nicksplat doesn’t carry the episode with the scarecrow, so you’re going to watch a ghost in a graveyard, and you’re going to like it.
“Bones, I smell old bones.” Only as my dear, departed grim-mother used to say: it ain’t the age of the bones, it’s what they belonged to. And in this instance, a gargoyle. So when darkness falls, the sounds of flapping wings will echo in the night as a pack of leathery devils descend on a desolate desert motel to retrieve the remains of their demon kin. A made-for-TV nightmare-fuel classic.
You’ve had your fill of cartoons and kid-centric frights, now it’s time to grow the hell up. It’s time for Glenn Danzig. Enter adulthood with a crash corpse in the more gruesome side of gothic as Danzig chats it up with host Mickey Keating on Shudder’s original talk show The Core. Bonus: A how-to guide on disembowelment!
Writer/director Mick Garris’s commentary track tells you everything you wanted to know about Mario Bava’s landmark anthology film, but were afraid to ask—all in the time it takes to watch the trailer.
George Romero and Stephen King’s ode to the E.C. comics of their youth is an anthological all-timer. The sequel is not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t flee from the floating lake-sludge, lock your car doors at the sight of a decomposing hobo hitchhiker, and retreat to Twitter to warn your followers of the problematic Old Chief Woodenhead. The ultimate lazy Halloween afternoon watch.
Won’t you come inside, there’s nothing to be afraid of: only a drunk and destructive Boris Karloff, a pyromaniac locked away upstairs, and an old woman who insists that you eat a potato. Equal to, but overshadowed by, his own Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, James Whale’s rendition of the darkest and most stormy of nights wittily takes jabs at the old dark house tropes—while never neglecting to deliver the chills.
The bad news: your son is dead. The good news: you can bring him back. The really bad news: he’s an evil piece of shit that wants to murder you. That’s all you need to know going into the third segment of this made-for-TV tale from the Trilogy of Terror team of Richard Matheson and Dan Curtis.
On October 31st, 1992 the BBC sent a team of reporters to investigate a family’s claim of a haunting, live on the air. It began as a lark, it ended in terror. It was also bullshit. A pre-taped special featuring real BBC news personalities, it cast a War of the Worlds-like spell on viewers, with the station’s switchboard flooded by tens of thousands of calls. Twenty-six years later, its gimmick being exposed does little to quell the shock.
Everything that is October condensed into two sublime minutes. The other eighty-six, while fine, are best saved for another time. This evening you’ll only be watching as the sun sets over pumpkin patches and scarecrows, taking us deeper into the night…
In the wake of his parents’ death, an adolescent’s grief manifests itself in the form of The Tall Man and a horde of robed dwarfs lurking the halls of Morningside Mortuary. Or maybe The Tall Man isn’t a mere phantasm. Or maybe he is. No, wait, he isn’t. Best not to think, just feel, as you stick your finger in the blind fortuneteller’s box, tuning fork your way into an arid hell dimension, and duck at the first sign of any silver sphere flying your way.
You watched The Old Dark House, you loved The Old Dark House, but you thought to yourself: “Where’s the naked cat-eating savage with balls and no dick?” For that you’ll need to check out this Lovecraft skin-crawler from the team behind Re-Animator and From Beyond. Here you’ll be introduced to Giorgio, your typical Castle Freak. He hates being chained up in dungeons, but loves killing prostitutes and peeping on the family that’s inherited his domain. Oh, and when you meet him, try not to stare.
The fog has rolled in off the coast of Antonio Bay, and with it comes a ghostly piece of the past in John Carpenter’s chilly campfire tale. Outside of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, this film possesses possibly the most potent batch of Halloween Energy ever.
Delirium After Midnight
Though midnight has passed, and the throes of delirium have begun, Halloween does not end until the sun rises. By now, nothing makes sense, and after these feverish films, nothing may ever make sense again…
There is a carnival. There is blood. There is Hervé Villechaize as Bobo. A dreamy spookshow curio best watched in a daze.
Nothing can truly prepare you for Fulci, but allow Terminator editor Mark Goldblatt to try as he tells you about the first time Italy’s maestro of the macabre opened the gates of hell.
And now experience the second time Lucio Fulci opened the gates. Face-eating arachnids, milky-eyed psychics, and the sight of a little girl getting half her head blown off. One of cinema’s true splatter-pieces.
Drive-in critic extraordinaire Joe Bob Briggs pays homage to the TV horror hosts of decades past, before presenting Pieces. What is Pieces? Well, as the tagline states: “It’s exactly what you think it is.” It’s the most deranged slasher of them all, the one that taught us that “you don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre,” and number four on my list of all-time favorite films. And just when you think that the gratuitous tennis playing is the result of candy-induced mania, Joe Bob is there to remind you that it’s real, it’s all too real.
By the time the credits roll, dawn will have arrived. The creatures are no longer stirring, the neighbors will soon toss soggy jack-o’-lanterns away, but Halloween doesn’t have to end. It never does. It’s a state of mind, after all. You can remain if you choose, or if it chooses you…