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TV Wasteland: Happy Halloween!
Time for TV tricks and treats
By Rob Vaux
October 29, 2012
It’s Halloween this week, which means that every cable station will hustle its cache of horror movies out for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, not all of said stations can differentiate between “horror” and “good horror,” which means you’re going to get a lot of crap in addition to the good stuff. We don’t like it any more than you do… that’s why we’ve gone through the entire TV schedule on Halloween to find the best of the best. If you’re looking for something to watch while waiting for trick-or-treaters, pick any one of these twenty classics – all airing Wednesday – and set them up on your DVR. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
The Body Snatcher (TCM, 6:30 PM EST)
The Devil Bat (TCM, 4:00 PM EST)
Dracula (1979) (Cinemax, 11:50 AM EST)
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Frankenstein (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
The Ghoul (TCM, 7:30 AM)
Halloween (AMC, 4:00 PM EST)
The Last Man on Earth (TCM, 2:30 PM EST)
Misery (BBC America, 2:30 PM EST)
The Mummy (1932) (TCM, 12:30 AM EST, Thursday morning)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) (Spike, 2:00 PM EST)
Repulsion (TCM, 11:00 AM EST)
Shaun of the Dead (Comedy, 1:58 PM EST)
The Shining (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
Son of Frankenstein (TCM, 9:30 PM EST)
Stephen King’s It (Spike, 4:00 PM EST)
Tremors (Cinemax, 5:20 PM EST)
White Zombie (TCM, 5:15 PM EST)
The Wolf Man (TCM, 11:15 PM EST)
Young Frankenstein (FMC, 1:00 PM EST)
Revolution (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
The team heads into hostile territory to find some help for Nora, while Aaron shows us what he was like before the blackout, thanks to some handy flashbacks.
The Goonies (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EST)
They still never say die. Also, one of them was Samwise and another one got an Oscar nomination. See if you can guess which ones.
The Mummy (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EST)
It’s Brendan Fraser vs. the best special effects 1999 can buy. Enjoy!
Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part II (AMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:15 PM EST)
The original two films that set the franchise in motion show up tonight on AMC. They’re not particularly good, but they certainly beat any of the drek that followed. Also, Kevin Bacon + arrow = slasher film immortality.
Hocus Pocus (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Disney demands that you love this movie. LOVE IT! LOVE IT NOW! If you don’t they’ll be forced to get out the Happiest Shock Collar on Earth…
Premonition (FMC, 10:00 PM EST)
I saw this film. I actually reviewed this film. And yet I can’t tell you the first thing about it without checking.
Ghost Rider (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
I remain quite fond of director Mark Steven Johnson’s first Marvel adaptation, Daredevil. This follow-up sure taught me.
Punisher: War Zone (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Trivia time: who is the first actor to play two different Marvel characters on film? If you answered Chris Evans, you would be wrong. It’s Ray Stevenson, who stars as Frank Castle here and also appears as Volstagg (the pudgy Warrior Three) in Thor.
Teeth (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
Because Promise Keepers don’t actually keep their promises. Especially when they have to bite horny boys’ dicks off with their vagina dentata.
The Girl (HBO, 9:00 PM EST)
HBO continues to push its lurid Hitchcock soap opera in hopes of sucking some goodwill off of the big-screen version.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
The weakest of the Star Wars films won’t get any better with all the commercials Spike crams into it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Starz, 6:40 PM EST)
Jack Sparrow’s fourth outing didn’t fly for a lot of people. I still dig it. Because Geoffrey Rush. And tragic mermaid-priest romances.
Syfy is running a Scare Tactics marathon all day, for those so interested.
Face/Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The finalists must create a Halloween character for use in a stunt show. Viewers will vote on the winner, who will be announced on Halloween night.
The Fly (Sundance, 9:00 PM EST)
Anyone who says remakes can’t work has never seen David Cronenberg’s stunning reboot of the 1958 original. Not just a horror masterpiece, but also the best film on Cronenberg’s already legendary resume.
The Unknown (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Before he made Dracula in 1931, Tod Browning directed this silent movie about a criminal who pretends he has no arms. Lon Chaney stars, so set your DVRs!
Freaks (TCM, 9:15 PM EST)
Browning hired real circus freaks to star in one of the most disturbing cult classics ever made.
Bedlam (TCM, 10:30 PM EST)
Boris Karloff stars in a 1946 shocker about the infamous insane asylum: so horrific they invented a whole new word just to describe it,
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Jason X (AMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
He doesn’t go to hell until the end, and then they put him in outer space. You now know everything these two films have to offer.
Prom Night (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
This is the wretched remake, not the slightly-less-wretched original.
Transporter 3 (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
The girl is freaky-hot but too skinny. And Jason Statham beats up a lot of people. The end.
Creepshow (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
George A. Romero assembled a stunningly diverse cast for his E.C. Comics homage, including Hal Holbrook, Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen and a pre-star Ed Harris. All of them have a blast.
Girl vs. Monster (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
They’re kind of cramming this one down our throats too.
Edward Scissorhands (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST)
Did Tim Burton always style his hair like Edward’s or was Edward designed to look like Tim Burton? The debate rages on.
Beetlejuice (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EST)
Can you imagine a big studio taking a chance on something this out-there today?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:30 PM EST)
I kind of like it and even I’m hoping the next one is better.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
It wouldn’t be Halloween without the perennial Peanuts classic, in which Snoopy battles the Red Baron, Charlie Brown gets a sack full of rocks, and Lucy Van Pelt generally acts like the inhuman monster she is.
American Horror Story: Asylum (FX, 10:00 PM EST)
A huge storm hits the asylum, giving a group of inmates a chance to escape.
Arrow (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
Laurel helps Oliver save an innocent man accused of murder.
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
Benny gives Dean a call when a gang of vampires beat the crap out of him for reasons yet to be determined.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The team heads to haunted tunnels beneath Lockport, NY for their Halloween episode.
Face Off (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The winner is declared live as viewers’ votes are tallied and previous contestants reunite to talk about their experience.
Universal’s Classic Monsters Marathon (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
TCM celebrates Halloween with a quartet of greats from the Universal vault: Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. See the top of the article for more.
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:45 PM EST)
Just in case you need a reminder of why they call this the best horror movie ever made. See the top of the article for more.
The Shining (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
On a completely separate note, if you haven’t seen last week’s South Park, try to catch it again. It riffs on this Stanley Kubrick classic to marvelous effect.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: Resurrection (AMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:15 PM EST)
Why you’d want to waste a perfectly good Halloween on these Halloween movies is beyond me.
Hard Candy (Sundance, 8:00 PM EST and 9:45 PM EST)
Those who prefer more cerebral scares should tune in to watch precocious teen Ellen Page take on seductive pederast Patrick Wilson in a brilliant game of cat-and-mouse.
Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire (Cartoon, 7:30 PM EST)
A new Scooby-Doo cartoon finds an evil bloodsucker putting the moves on Daphne. (If they really wanted to be gutsy, they’d have him put the moves on Fred…)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Cinemax, 9:00 PM EST)
This is Part 2. I think.
Final Destination 5 (Cinemax, 10:35 PM EST)
As Final Destination movies go, you could do a lot worse.
The Haunting Hour (Disney XD, 9:00 PM EST)
Disney XD hits up another tweener horror story about a mischievous girl who inadvertently opens the wrong book.
Zombieland (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson put a unique spin on the zombie apocalypse, reminding us that the end of the world doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Monsters vs. Aliens (FMC, 6:40 PM EST, 8:30 PM EST and 10:20 PM EST)
If you miss a showing, don’t worry: FMC is running it all night. It’s clever and funny enough to justify a look.
Friday the 13th (MTV, 8:00 PM EST)
Trust MTV to rely on the remakes instead of the originals.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (MTV, 10:15 PM EST)
Or in this case, the sequel to a remake of an original.
Halloween (Spike, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Spike soon follows suit, with the crass Rob Zombie version of the elegant John Carpenter original.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Starz, 7:20 PM EST)
Don’t look. It will put you right off your fun-size candy.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
Stephen Hawking returns, and naturally Sheldon finds a way to screw up his growing friendship with the man.
Elementary (CBS, 10:00 PM EST)
Someone is secretly killing terminally ill patients in a hospital. So says Holmes and who are we to disagree?
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
Halloween comes a day late, as Elena and Damon seek out victims at a fraternity party.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
Catherine investigates a teen found savaged in a dumpster.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EST)
It’s not bad, for a would-be blockbuster. You’ll just have to forgive the ill-conceived homage to Mickey and the broomsticks.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Schwarzenegger and Cameron do the same thing with $100 million that they did with $6 million in the first film. Believe it or not, that’s a pretty awesome accomplishment.
Babylon A.D. (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
Vin Diesel officially lost all credibility with this sad piece of dystopian sci-fi.
Lake Placid 3 and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
That last title is lying to us.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
One member of the team attempts an audacious stunt in an effort to counteract the growing crisis.
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
Another Grimm may be connected to a hideous murder, which doesn’t do much for the gang’s peace of mind.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Audrey gets closer to the answers from her past as a new threat arises in the town. Generic enough for you?
Nikita (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
A terrorist attack looms, prompting Nikita, Michael and Sean to take action. AKA just another Friday for Nikita.
House on Haunted Hill (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
A gloriously slumming Geoffrey Rush headlines this gleeful reboot of the old William Castle horror film.
Conan the Barbarian (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
O Conan, why do we love you so much? (This is the good version, btw.)
The Scorpion King (Bravo, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
This has never been anyone’s idea of a “good” anything.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (MTV, 10:00 PM EST)
Nice to see someone giving Edgar Wright’s comic masterpiece a little love.
The Book of Eli (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
Let’s face it: this movie belongs on a Turner basic cable station.
War of the Worlds (TNT, 10:30 PM EST)
It has its charms, but Spielberg’s been better.
Category 7: The End of the World (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Because in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, everyone wants to watch a movie about a killer storm.
Metal Tornado (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The weather-based mayhem continues as Lou Diamond Phillips inadvertently sets loose a magnetic tornado on the world.
First Blood Marathon (AMC, 1:30 PM EST)
AMC is running all four Rambo movies in order, starting at 1:30. The original (and still the best) airs again at 10:00 PM EST.
Apollo 13 (Bravo, 7:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
Ron Howard has never been better… though that’s not saying quite as much as some people think.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EST)
This has shifted over to Cinemax for a time. Catch it if you can!
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
My biggest problem with this inept sequel is that it seems to think it’s smarter than it really is.
Over the Hedge (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EST)
This clever adaptation of the long-running comic strip still holds a lot of charm.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (FX, 6:30 PM EST)
The Surfer looks great. The rest of the movie? Not so much.
Armageddon (FX, 9:00 PM EST)
I’m going to refrain from snarking here just because the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan is a hoot.
Kick-Ass (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
Matthew Vaughn isn’t doing the next X-Men film. Here’s a reminder of why that sucks.
The Green Hornet (Starz, 6:50 PM EST)
I wasn’t sure I could loathe Seth Rogen as much as I do in this movie.
Jonah Hex (TNT, 9:00 PM EST)
This is much worse than The Green Hornet, though Josh Brolin rocks pretty hard. Ironic…
Everyone remember to set your clocks back!
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9:00 PM EST)
The group gets separated from each other… which is never a good thing.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
Debra hooks up with a crime writer who appears to have the good on Hannah.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
Emma and Captain Hook join forces to steal a magic compass from the giant at the top of the beanstalk. Seriously, are you gonna say no to that?
666 Park Avenue (ABC, 10:00 PM EST)
Jane finds out her secret connection to the Drake, which I imagine is a bit of a shock.
James Bond Marathon (10:00 AM EST)
BBC America celebrates Bond’s 50th anniversary with a screening of his films: Diamonds are Forever, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Living Daylights, and From Russia with Love. You can probably skip the first three, but the last two are solid bits of Bond.
Swamp Shark (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
I wouldn’t mind these Syfy original movies so much if they made even the pretense of caring about them. Even the titles are tired and lazy.
2-Head Shark Attack (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
See what I mean?
Hot Tub Time Machine (Comedy, 7:46 PM EST)
John Cusack and friends relive the 80s, change NFL history and seriously fuck up Crispin Glover in this delicious goof of a film.
The Punisher (Spike, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Thomas Jane can’t find the right sense of savagery or desperation to make a mark as Marvel’s ubiquitous vigilante.
Clash of the Titans (TNT, 8:00 PM EST and 10:15 PM EST)
AKA, the first film to ruin the nascent 3D craze.
Happy Halloween everyone!