The Halloween Channel

There's a Sci-Fi (now SyFy) Channel.  Why not a horror channel?  Halloween is year-round for so many of us.  We need a channel that caters to the rest of us.


Note: I wasn't aware at the time I came up with this idea that there was something similar called Chiller.  Unfortunately, my cable provider doesn't carry it (though it is available in the area via Direct TV and Dish Network, apparently).  However, I reviewed their program schedules and was sorely disappointed at how far short this fell from my vision for what a horror-themed network could offer.  I realize that budget is always a consideration in any endeavor of scale, but a larger factor is the imagination to develop and package together offerings that appeal to the broadest audience, including attracting non-horror fans into the fold on a regular basis.

Much of the groundwork for the programming on this channel has been done already.  Many of the pages on this site go into greater detail about content, and links to those pages are added where appropriate.

Original programming: Series

Drama

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter -
Adaptations of stories by Laurell K. Hamilton.


Vampirella: The series - Adaptation of the comic magazine anti-hero.

H.P. Lovecraft Theater -
Adaptations of short stories ( e.g., The Shadow Out of Time, The Rats in the Walls).


Continuance -
Psychic lawyer is the only person who can represent the dead.  Ghosts talk to him, and works on their behalf to protect their living relatives.  Pro bono ex post facto.  (legal drama)


Ghosttown -
Drama about ghosts in a Western town haunting tourists.


The Wolf Pack -
Group of werewolves act as an urban vigilante gang against supernatural predators (including their own), but there is trouble in the ranks as members vie for the position of leader of the pack.


Comedy

Mostly Ghostly -
Sitcom about ghosts sharing a crypt.


Frankenbride -
Mad scientist finds that making the perfect woman is more art than science.


Expositional

Unreal Estate -
"Haunted" houses around the country.


Witches' Kitchen -
Cross between The View and a Martha Stewart-type show: Halloween decorations, party food, how to throw a Halloween party.


The Ouiji Board -
Talk show gathers panel of people in the horror movie business to talk about their exploits in Hollywood and offer opinions on their craft.


Survivors -
Putative causes of an zombie apocalypse and how to survive one.


Screams and Groans -
Reviews of the latest sci-fi/horror movies coming to the big screen or disc.  Good films receive a "scream" while bad ones get a "groan."


Haunted Tours -
London's Whitechapel Ripper Tour, Edinburgh's Haunted Tour (included the original bodysnatchers, Jekyll and Hyde, and the plague), and various catacombs.


The Reel Story
(or maybe Final Cut) - How to make a horror movie.  (Six-part mini-series.  Details in "additional notes" section below.)


Reality

Monster Mash (aka Trash Mashers) -
Making props out of junk.  (Competition show)  (Examples here.)


Scares -
Hidden-camera reality show in which people are pranked in ways that scare them.  Halloween, horror, and monster themes are prevalent in the premise of each prank.


Horror trivia -
Contestants are tied up and forced to compete in a demented version of "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush" or face mock executions and other terrifying ordeals (e.g., being dropped in a pit of snakes, insects, etc.)  (Quiz show)


Project Blacklight -
Competition to make a complete haunted house attraction built around a weekly theme (e.g., slashers, circus, etc.).  (Competition show)


Locked in a Haunted House -
Duh.  (Competition show)


Zombie Chase -
Game show version of the "zombie runs" around the country in which contestants are chased through obstacle courses.  Weapons (i.e., paintball guns) are hidden in caches scattered throughout the terrain.


Animated

Sandman -
Adaptation of the comic book series written by Neil Gaiman.


Creepy -
An animated anthology of horror features based on the classic B&W horror magazine.


Gamma World -
CGI series based on the
RPG set in a distant post-apocalyptic future.  Features robots, aliens, and mutants, mutants, mutants galore!  (Think Star Wars: Clone Wars with more monsters and explosions.)

News magazines

Fangoria TV
(or Cinefantastique; whomever will partner) horror news - Features about up-coming horror movies, novels, and tv series.


Famous Monsters of Filmland -
Featurettes about the classic movie monsters.


News/current events reporting
These may be included in the above news programs, depending on the format chosen.
Halloween parades
Halloween in Salem, MA
Halloween in Oak Lawn (Dallas, TX)  (Example images here.)
Sci-fi/Comics conventions
Pug-O-Ween  (Example images here.)

Horror hosts
Sexy vampire girl - Focus is on horror movies.  Set in a castle or old house.
Mad scientist guy - Focus is on sci-fi movies.  Set in a lab with lots of equipment.
(For detailed production notes, see here.)

Documentary series

Behind the Screams -
The making of famous horror movies.


Classic tv shows -
Scooby Doo, The Addams Family, The Munsters, etc.


The Director's Chair -
Exploring the approach and style of famous horror directors: William Castle, Roger Corman, George Romero, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, Don Coscarelli, Tim Burton, etc.


Sci-fi/Horror Movie Hosts -
Elvira, Vampira, Morgus the Magnificent, John Zacherley, MST3K, etc.


Written in Blood -
Horror writers: Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Clive Barker, R.L. Stine, Forrest J. Ackerman, etc.


Class Acts -
Actors: Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, etc.


Effects and Make-up artists and designers -
Jack Pierce, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, Rick Baker, Tom Savini, H.R. Giger, etc.


Studios and other media entities -
Universal Studios, Hammer Films, EC Comics, other horror comics (and artists), General Mills' monster cereals (answer important questions like whatever happened to Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute), etc.


History -
Halloween, monsters: Vampires, Werewolves, the Frankenstein story (in its many incarnations), etc.


Special topics - One-off shows; Part II can be made if there is enough source material.

Movies


Trailer Park -
Looking at the history of trailers to bad movies


Horror movies vs. their remakes
(List of many horror remakes can be found here.)


Stuff


Cool Halloween toys -
e.g., Mighty Men & Monster Maker.


Action figures -
by NECA, Diamond, Sideshow, etc.


Horror prop collections -
Forrest J. Ackerman's, etc.


Halloween and folklore


Halloween traditions -
Trick or Treating, costume parties, Jack o'lantern carving, etc.  (See discussion here.)


Halloween vs. religion


What makes a monster? -
Organized around the traits found in monsters (e.g., resurrections, strength, etc.)  (See discussion here.)


Halloween candy -
History of various candies, how it's made, marketed, etc.


History


Disney's Haunted Mansion -
History of its creation and a tour of the attraction, both inside and out.  (See discussion of tombstones here.)


Retro commercials -
Compilation of ads for toys, candy, cereal (GM monster cereal), costumes, etc.


Halloween-specific (annually)


Costume tutorials -
Examples from fandom, conventions, etc.


Make-up design competitions


Costume contests


Prop-building


The best-decorated houses -
All the ones you see on the local news, only made national.  Plus some notable attractions such as the Munster Mansion in Waxahatchie, TX.


Music spotlights

Band profiles -
A look at the stage shows, album artwork, equipment (e.g., coffin-shaped guitars/basses), musical stylings, and song/lyrical inspiration of "Halloween" artists: The Ghastly Ones, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, The Misfits, Danny Elfman, The Nekromantix and The HorrorPops (shared members), Zombie Girl, Marilyn Manson.  (See discussion of Halloween music here.)


Behind the Curtain -
The backstory of famous horror-themed musicals: Rocky Horror, Corpse Bride, Little Shop of Horrors, Nudist Colony Of The Dead, Phantom of the Paradise, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Nightmare Before Christmas.  (See list of Halloween-themed musicals here.)


Original musicals -
Documenting the production of musicals that have never been filmed such as Evil Dead: The Musical and A Shoggoth on the Roof.


Talk show - Features sketch comedy, interviews, and musical guests from various horror and sci-fi realms.


Original programming: Movies

Modern adaptations of classic novels/stories -
Made current, set in present-day
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker
Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (The Phantom of the Opera) by Gaston Leroux
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth by H.G. Wells
The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
Herbert West, Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft
The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft
The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft

Adaptations of modern novels
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Damnation Game (1985) by Clive Barker
Weaveworld (1987) by Clive Barker
The Great and Secret Show (1989) by Clive Barker
Imajica (1991) by Clive Barker
The Thief of Always (1992) by Clive Barker
The Mummy (1989) by Anne Rice
Lullaby (2002) by Chuck Palahniuk
Diary (2003) by Chuck Palahniuk
Haunted (2005) by Chuck Palahniuk
Damned (2011) by Chuck Palahniuk
Additional authors to consider: Dean Koontz and Robert McCammon

Short story adaptations - Sixty minute anthology show.  Untitled.
The Monkey's Paw (1902) by W.W. Jacobs
Dracula's Guest (1914) by Bram Stoker
The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Masque of the Red Death (1842) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Black Cat (1843) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Cask of Amontillado (1846) by Edgar Alan Poe
The Pit and the Pendulum (1843) by Edgar Alan Poe
Additional authors to consider: Stephen King (see his collections of short stories) and Clive Barker (see the six volumes of his Books of Blood) as well as H.P. Lovecraft (mentioned as H.P. Lovecraft Theater above).


Schedule

Original programming mentioned above will be slotted into these sections, but syndicated shows are mentioned here to give a sense of the tone of the programming.

Morning - Blocks of cartoons and comedies.
Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
The Real Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters (Filmation)
The Addams Family
The Munsters
Monster Squad (1976)
The Groovie Goolies
[Original programming]

Afternoon - Soap operas and re-runs of classic tv series.
Dark Shadows
The Twilight Zone
The Outer Limits
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Night Gallery
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Tales from the Darkside
Monsters
Twin Peaks
[Plus original programming]

Prime-time - Modern tv shows.
Forever Knight
The Outer Limits (1995 version)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dead Like Me
Supernatural
Scare Tactics
Dexter
Torchwood
True Blood
The Walking Dead
American Horror Story
[Plus original programming]

Late-night programming - Horror hosts shows (two of these on Fri/Sat) and one on other nights.
Svengoolie (Episode list here.)
Elvira's Movie Macabre (Episode list here.)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) (Episode list here.)
Morgus Presents (Episode list here.)
Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater and Monstervision (with Joe Bob Briggs) (Episode list here.)
Cinema Insomnia (with Mr. Lobo) (Episode list here.)
[Plus original programming]


Special programming

The Halloween Channel will break away from standard scheduling from time to time for marathons and other special events.

Marathons

Tv series marathons -
Six-hour blocks of classic anthology series (e.g., Twilight Zone, Outer Limits) from 10am to 4pm (Central).


Best episode marathons -
The episodes voted the best of various series.


Movies series marathons -
The best films from notable horror franchises (e.g., Halloween, Hellraiser, etc.).


Vamp Week -
Vampire movies all week long (much like Shark Week on Discovery).


Frankenweek -
Similar with a Frankenstein-themed marathon.


Countdowns

Depending on how the material is treated, these could range from one-hour specials to multi-hour marathon blocks of programming, much like the countdowns on VH1.


Music countdowns:


Halloween's greatest hits countdown -
Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, Thriller, etc.  (See a proposed "greatest hits" list here.)


Halloween novelty songs -
Hosted by Dr. Demento.


Movies countdowns:


The essential horror movies -
You must see these before you die.  (See a list here.)


The essential sci-fi movies -
You must see these before the robots take over (or aliens invade).  (See a list here.)


The best sci-fi and horror tv shows -
Trek, Buffy, etc.  (See a list here.)


Universal monster movies -
Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, This Island Earth, Tarantula, etc.  (See a list here.)


Movie Slashers -
Jason, Freddy, Leatherface, Tall Man, Pinhead, etc.


Halloween traditions countdowns:


Halloween candy -
Candy apples, caramel corn, gummi body parts, etc.


Halloween tv specials -
Great Pumpkin, Fat Albert, Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween Special, etc.


Halloween episodes of tv series -
The best moments of network tv cashing in on the holiday.


Guest hosts
Actors from old tv shows - e.g., Bill Mumy from The Twilight Zone (among other shows)
Classic directors
FX artists


Seasonal programming: Around Halloween

Movies
Rocky Horror Picture Show - Shown at midnight on the Saturday before Halloween night.  Features audience participation footage (this has been done before during VH1 airings), a host delivering trivia and explaining the usage of props, etc.
Trick r' Treat
Halloween marathon - The movie series

Kids specials
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966)
The Fat Albert Halloween Special (1977)
Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween Special (1978)

Original programming covering Halloween-related events (Noted above under the heading of News programs)
Halloween parades
Halloween in Salem, MA
Halloween in Oak Lawn (Dallas, TX)
Sci-fi/Comics conventions
Pug-O-Ween

Seasonal programming: Around Xmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas (of course!)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (well, it features an Abominable Snowman and an island full of Misfit Toys)
Silent Night, Deadly Night marathon
Gremlins


Additional notes

How to make a horror movie - Mini-series (mentioned above).  Focus is on broad techniques but with specific emphasis to the tricks employed in horror films.
Part I: screenwriting and financing production
Part II: casting/directing - How to find the next scream queen
Part III: lighting and sound - How to film mostly dark, coloring scenes, etc.
Part IV: sets and special effects: blood, animatronic props, mask-making, etc.
Part V: cameras (hardware, use) and editing - How to build suspense and do reveals.
Part VI: marketing and promotion - Using the web, confusing fact and fiction (a la Blair Witch mythology).

Halloween and horror documentaries - These have already been made and are ready to air.  (See longer list here.)
American Scary (2006) - About horror hosts.
American Movie (1999) - The making of a low-budget indie horror film.
Best Worst Movie (2009) - About Troll 2.
Monsterama (2003) - 24 episodes (about 15 minutes each).
Monsterama: A Tribute to Horror Hosts (2004)
Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television (2004)
That $#!% Will Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture (2012)
The Aurora Monsters: The Model Craze That Gripped the World (2010)
Vampira: The Movie (2006)


   

Copyright 2012 the Ale[x]orcist with many additional ideas from Leiann.  Updated 2013.
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