Turner Classic Movies Does Halloween

Yet more reasons to love TCM, the best network ever.


Year-round, TCM features kitschy, wacky horror films from off the beaten path on Fridays and Saturdays late night. They’re going overboard in October, as they should.

(All times are Mountain Standard, cuz that’s how I roll.)

Some highlights:
The Devil Doll (1936)
Saturday, 10/27 4AM
See Lionel Barrymore in drag! Be slightly amused and slightly creeped out by tiny little dolls running amok! Set your DVR because it is 4 o’clock in the morning, but do check out this seriously wacked-out film from Tod Browning (of Freaks fame.)

Cat People (1942)
Saturday, 10/27 7AM
Simone Simon is kind of feline to begin with. She helps create a great atmosphere in this moody, sexy black-and-white film. Plus, producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur, no extra charge.

A Night at the Movies (2011)
Saturday, 10/27 12PM
Everybody’s favorite creepy uncle, Uncle Stevie (Stephen King) does what he does best and riffs for an hour about pop culture and horror films. It’s a lot of fun.

Village of the Damned (1960)
Saturday, 10/27 1:15PM
This eerie little ditty features some of the first evil children in movies (Dondi wouldn’t be for a few more years). These kids are seriously unnerving with their eyes all aglow even in black-and-white. Great popcorn flick.


Diabolique (1955)
Saturday, 10/27 6PM
Sexy Simone Signoret in a twisty little French number that manages to be fairly scary and keep you guessing to the end.



M (1931)
Monday 10/29, 12:30AM
Fritz Lang’s classic teems with atmosphere, cigarette smoke, and German men in good coats. Peter Lorre is his usual brilliant oddball self, this time embodying the pathetic monster as the police and the citizen mob close in on his child murderer.

Freaks (1932)
Tuesday, 10/30 7:15PM
This weird pre-Hays-code film remains shocking to this day. One of the most disturbing aspects is the way its unstinting eye stays fixed on images we aren’t really sure we should be watching. Were these performers with birth defects really okay with this? Are we any different than the people who used to shell out a few quarters to see the bearded lady and the legless, armless man in seedy sideshows? There’s something bold and also deeply unnerving about director Tod Browning’s willingness to just keep the camera running and let us squirm it out for ourselves.

Just leave the TV on TCM pretty much all of Wednesday, 10/31. Devil bats and zombies, bodysnatchers and then Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Invisible Man… All of the classics rolled into one night.

Ring in your All Hallows Eve with a bunch of really great old films that, in their stark simplicity, manage to embody true horror.

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