Top Five Halloween Episodes and Specia__________________________________________________________________________________________ls
by: J. Bridger
Author of: Shifted Perspective
Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. I spend it marathoning bad movies on AMC with Michael Meyers and, of course, the bad creature features and CGI-sploitation of SyFy. That said nothing can top the nostalgia bomb of classic TV episodes or old time cheesy specials. Here are my top favorites in descending order.
55) Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes “Halloween” = This had to be added to the list for a variety of reasons. There’s the gimmick of everyone turning into their costumes, especially my love for Xander going military commando (a plot point that served for the rest of the series). There’s also the introduction of Ethan Rayne and digging deeper into Giles’s Ripper past. It’s even fun to see Spike try and lead an attack on a slayer who thinks she’s a “proper lady” circa about the 1790s. Still, the part that makes this memorable is where the Buffyverse decides to make it a canon idea that Halloween is too commercial for the demon world and is supposed to be a night when vampires, witches, and the like take a vacation. Brilliant.
44) “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” – This is a classic. I assume everyone’s seen it by now and, if they haven’t, they really need to! Every year, I watch and hope this time the Great Pumpkin shows and, every year, my heart breaks for Linus who remains ever faithful. Halloween specials come and go, but only Charles Schulz could make a classic by adapting Waiting for Godot for the kiddie crowd.
33) The Worst Witch – made popular by constant reruns on the Disney Channel in the mid-nineties, this special endures as possibly the most WTF viewing experience during this season. It’s about Fairuza Balk, years before The Craft, as a struggling witch in a British academy for
witchcraft and wizardy magic. It was based on a middle grades’ series of books, and, if it sounds a bit like Harry Potter, that’s not an unfair comparison. She has a blonde more posh witch harassing her and her potions teacher hates her. Still, it’s so cheesy bad that it can’t hold a candle to Rowling’s works. The fun, though, really comes in halfway with Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard and the most 80s-tastic music video ever made. Check it out here on Youtube. You’ll be rewatching it on a loop, trust me.
22) The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horrors” - This is a Halloween institution, but I admit that I haven’t watched The Simpsons in about eight years. Still, I have a fondness for the first about seven to eight of these. The run from IV to VI (they number with Roman numerals) is the best. In Treehouse IV, you get Bart Simpson’s Dracula, which is a perfect send up of the Francis Ford Coppola version. In Treehouse V, there’s an equally adept parody of The Shining (called here The Shinning) as well as one of the funniest running gags in the show’s twenty plus year run. Finally, no one can say enough about Treehouse VI when Homer is sucked into the third dimension. This was back in 1995 when computer animation was novel, but, even now, it doesn’t look dated as much as amusing. Hands down the three best episodes of a fun tradition.
11) Garfield’s Halloween Adventure – This is my favorite Halloween special of all time. I know my age is showing because this first aired in 1985. I remember being a kid and watching it with my brother on Betamax tapes (yes there was something once besides VHS or even DVDs). It’s got everything---great animation, fun songs, and a truly scary atmosphere. I won’t give too much away, but in his quest for candy and more gluttony, Garfield gets himself and Odie embroiled in a pirate plot. It’s up completely on Youtube. You won’t regret watching this either.
J. Bridger is giving away one e-copy of her book Shifted Perspective (Tails of Change, #1) to a very lucky Wastelander. Just fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
*contest in international