Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween 2021!


And that's a wrap!

So ends yet another spooky stroll to October 31st. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for spending your month with me at the Countdown to Halloween. I'm afraid I wasn't as prolific as in years past, but it's been that kind of a year. Life is very different than when I started this blog (exactly 14 years ago today as I write this), and time is scarce. What time I did spare for the blog, however, I gave my all.

Be safe, have fun, and most of all, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

But still to come...

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Don't Go to Sleep (1982 TV-Movie)


Today's feature is the 1982 TV-movie Don't Go to Sleep.

In this movie, a mother, father, son, daughter, and grandmother move into a new house in the hopes of putting behind a family tragedy that took the like of another daughter. After moving into the house, the surviving daughter claims that her deceased sister is still alive and living under her bed. The family is of course weary of her claim, but a series of strange occurrences leads the family to take the daughter's claim seriously.

This movie is a reminder that made for TV horror from back in the day may not have had the freedoms that theatrical horror has had, but it could still be just as chilling regardless.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Pulsar, Halloween (1977)


I usually save longer features for Fridays during the Countdown, but with only a few days left, I'm bending my own rules. Today's post is the 1977 progressive rock album Halloween by the French prog band Pulsar.

This was the third album for the band and their most noteworthy album. While not directly tied into the holiday, it's eerie and ethereal enough to fit in with the season.


Monday, October 25, 2021

Ghost Cartoons of Louie Zong


One week to go in the Countdown to Halloween. One. Week. Let's make it count, folks!

Today I offer a couple of short yet delightful cartoons from animator Louie Zong. Zong's work features short musical cartoons without words that are whimsical, sweet, and simple. Some of his most popular cartoons feature adorable ghosts singing a soft tune, which is actually the sound of a theramin-like instrument.

Below I feature all of Zong's ghost cartoons I could find, including his latest at the bottom which was just released last week.

For all of Louie Zong's animations, visit his YouTube channel here.


Friday, October 22, 2021

The Vampires, "At The Monster Ball"


Happy Friday! As with all Countdown to Halloween Fridays, I present a longer-form item for you to enjoy. This week I present the novelty music album At The Monster Ball by The Vampires!

The Vampires aren't a real band, alas; they're a group of session players brought together for this fun album of goofy monster-related songs. Published in 1964 and produced by legendary TV and movie music conductor Milton Delugg (he wrote the Munsters theme!), this album is perfect for Halloween listening. Pure innocent fun for all!

Enjoy! Have a great weekend! Be spooky!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Halloween TV Commercials 2021 Edition Part 2: Local TV Commercials


With today being October 20th, it means we're now in the home stretch of the season. No more playing around. Time to get seriously Halloweeny!

Today I offer another round of entertaining spooky TV commercials. But this time, we're focusing on local TV commercials, which aren't usually high budget, but have a great deal of fun and creativity. Let's get to it!

We start with this quick commercial for Mel-Mac Shoes in Laurel, Mississippi, which goes the classic "Halloween Safety Tips" route.

This is a cool commercial for the local dark attraction Pope's Haunted Farm in Texas. Local commercials are so awesome!

Another case in point!

And the hits just keep on comin'!

Finally, McDonald's is an international business of course, but this particular commercial was produced for a local franchisee in Minnesota and only aired there. A real fun one!


While we're focusing on local business, please patronize the local businesses in your area. They need your help more than ever.


Friday, October 15, 2021

ABC Weekend Special, "The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf"


Welcome to Friday! This means we have a long-form program to share, and this week it's something I've been looking for for years and couldn't find it--until now! Today I present the 1985 ABC Weekend Special "The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf!"

The ABC Weekend Special aired on ABC for a number of years as part of the network's Saturday morning lineup, scheduled after the earlier morning cartoons and before American Bandstand, and was aimed at a preteen audience. As for this particular installment, I'm going to borrow the description from the YouTube user who uploaded it, as it's clear and concise:

"13-year-old Walt Cribbens finds himself transforming into a werewolf for two minutes at a time. He has no idea why he is a werewolf, so he decides to seek answers with the help of his best friend Cindy, who witnessed his very first transformation. This quest is complicated by a series of local robberies that throw suspicion on Walt."

I remember this being a lot of fun, so I hope you enjoy as well.

Have a great weekend! Look out for Michael Myers, he's back in town!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

You Can't Do That On Television, "Halloween"

Today's Countdown post should be a fun one for Generation X readers out there. Today I present an episode of the fondly remembered '80s Nickelodeon series You Can't Do That On Television.

You Can't was a Canadian-produced sketch comedy show aimed at pre-teens. The series began airing locally in Ottawa in 1979 before going national in Canada and in the US on Nickelodeon in 1981. The show became a huge hit for Nick, becoming the most famous show on the network at the time. The green slime poured on the show's young performers remains associated with the network to this very day.

Each episode's skits revolved around a particular theme, and in this episode, that theme is Halloween. This video is courtesy of the Museum of Classic Chicago Television, a YouTube channel that is a showcase of classic TV recorded in the Chicago area. It's one of my favorite YT channels; check them out!


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Woody Woodpecker, "Spook-A-Nanny"


Today at the Countdown I feature an unknown-to-me Halloween cartoon starring a childhood favorite character, Woody Woodpecker.

In "Spook-A-Nanny," Woody tries to fool his friends into thinking he's a ghost at their Halloween party, but they see right through his disguise. Afterwards, some real spirits appear on the scene to get the party started, dancing a dance called Spook-A-Nanny.

Walter Lantz cartoons aren't part of pop culture conversations much these days, which is a shame, as while they weren't on the same level as Disney or Looney Tunes characters, they had a charm of their own.


Monday, October 11, 2021

Batman: Strange Days


It's the second full week of the Countdown to Halloween, so why not start it off with a bit of Batman?

Granted, he's maybe not the first thing you think of when you think of Halloween, but superheroes have been a Halloween costume staple for decades, and besides, Batman kind of has Halloween built into him, you know?

This short cartoon titled "Batman: Strange Days" was created by Bruce Timm in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary back in 2014, and features Bats in his earliest character design from 1939. Here, he rescues a damsel in distress from his first-ever supervillain, Professor Hugo Strange. The cartoon is done in beautiful film noir style, and to make it more appropriate for Halloween, features a large zombie.


Friday, October 8, 2021

The Three Stooges Halloween Special

Hey there numbskulls! It's time for a long-form Halloween program, as I do every Friday during the Countdown. And this week, I'm featuring three of my favorite people of all time--The Three Stooges!

The Three Stooges Halloween Special is a compilation of several spooky-themed Stooges films put together for the official Three Stooges YouTube channel. I've featured a couple of their frightful films before, and I'm very happy to present more to you this year.

So jump in the saddle and enjoy the show! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Have a great weekend! Ride that hayride! Haunt that house! Drink that cider! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fridays, "Diner of the Living Dead"


Today on the Countdown I offer a fun, if gross, skit from the infamous 1980s comedy series Fridays.

Fridays aired for three seasons on ABC in the early 80s and featured future Seinfeld co-creator Larry David and cast member Michael Richards ("Kramer"). The skit below is one of the earliest, and most notorious, of the entire series. On the third episode of the first season, "Diner of the Living Dead" aired, about a young human couple looking for a bite to eat, and stop at a local diner--completely staffed by flesh-eating zombies.

The skit is pretty gory for a comedy show, even one airing late at night, and a decent number of ABC affiliates were so offended by the sketch that they dropped the series from their schedules

So I choose to show it to you now. Enjoy!

Just don't watch while eating!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Sesame Street: Bert and Ernie Meet The Mummy (Sort Of)


Welcome back! Today's entry in the Countdown to Halloween is a fun clip from the classic days of Sesame Street. Lovable characters Bert and Ernie, the Abbott and Costello of Sesame Street, meet an ancient mummy who looks suspiciously familiar.

OK, it's a statue come to life, not a mummy, but you get the point.


Monday, October 4, 2021

Halloween TV Commercials 2021 Edition Part 1


Hello pumpkins! Welcome to the first full week of the Countdown to Halloween. I hope you spent the first weekend of October doing scary, spooky things! I know I did--I got a flu shot. Scary! And I just started decorating for the holiday, finally. I only got a few items up so far, but I'll be adding more and more throughout the week.

For the first true article of the Countdown (with Friday's post being just an intro), I present one of my favorite categories of Countdown articles--great Halloween TV commercials. As much as most people find your average commercial an annoyance, Halloween-themed commercials let you know that society is ready to get its scare on. Let's check out my first of what I hope will be several sets of commercial goodness!

First up--would you move into a haunted house just to enjoy a brand new Audi? These people certainly would!

Next, Walgreen's has long been a Halloween headquarters for the latest decorations and candy. Check them out now if you haven't already!

In this next commercial, the villains have taken over Disneyland in Calfornia! Beware of the grim, grinning ghosts!

Think that's scary? That's nothing compared to the haunting of Universal Orlando during Halloween Horror Nights!

Airing this very year, here is Freeform's fun promo for their classic perennial, 31 Nights of Halloween!

Finally (for now), this next commercial gets me right in the nostalgia bone. It's a Woolworth and Woolco ad from my childhood shilling the cheapest costumes Ben Cooper had to offer. For me, THIS is Halloween!

I hope you enjoyed these exhibits of creepy capitalism. Stay tuned for more installments this month, and please hang around for all my exhibits during the Countdown to Halloween. The fun is literally just beginning!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Countdown to Halloween!


Welcome one and all to the 2021 Countdown to Halloween! 'Tis time once again to leave our coffins and enter the dark of night that is the Halloween season. But we don't do it alone. We have dozens of fellow blogger friends ready to roll with 31 days of Halloween horror, hi-jinks, and spookiness.

Check out all the blogs at the official Countdown to Halloween site, run this year by Dex of AEIOU, Michael May, and Naaila Moon of Zombie Crossings. It's only due to their hard work that the Countdown continues. Thank you all so much!

As for this neck of the spooky woods, you will find movies, cartoons, TV episodes, commercials, and who knows what else. What I know for certain is we will have a great time!

My goal is to post something new every weekday, Monday through Friday, as best I can. Please show your support for the blog by leaving comments and sharing your favorite articles. I really appreciate it!

And now, let the Countdown to Halloween begin!