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A Singular Season

October is the perfect season for horror marathons.

The two are almost synonymous. Not even Christmas, that twinkling 800-pound gorilla, can boast such round-the-clock programming. Of course, wintertime itself is a constant reminder of the year-end holidays, and there is truly no escaping all of the Christmas music, commercials, office parties, decorations, rampaging Krampi, etc.

Horror marathons are important because they set a mood, or what I like to call ‘Halloween Spirit’. Even if you can’t enjoy cascades of brilliant leaves and cozy hayrides, you can always open a portal to the moon-kissed realms on your television.

Here are 13 TV mini-series or single seasons for you to freshen up this year’s marathon.

Ultraviolet – BBC

This stylish techno-thriller is only six episodes long. It stars Idris Elba (!), with an appearance by Stephen Moyer as a vampire (!)

Hemlock Grove – Season 1

The first season of this show has werewolves, vampires, monsters, and mad-science. The cast is great (Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Dougray Scott, Lili Taylor) and so is their chemistry. And it’s DARK.

Werewolf

This sleeper hit from the late 80’s was the most elusive thrill of my childhood. Every rare once in a while I’d manage to catch an episode and watch transfixed as colossal werewolves battled for dominance.

Being Human

This low-key BBC series is about a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire who share a flat. The show runs for several seasons and was adapted in America, but Season One is a strong mix of character and horror.

Juda

This Israeli production is a horror-comedy about a small time criminal who returns from a trip in Romania with new problems, powers and a terrible thirst. It’s suffers from a lower budget but makes up for it with mad-cap performances.

The Frankenstein Chronicles

Also from BBC, this mystery set in the grimdark Victorian era follows Sean Bean(!) as he tracks down the one responsible for a rash of mutilated bodies. Season One is phenomenal – fortunately it is a complete story, so you can avoid Season Two. 

The Passage

This vampire thriller only lasted one season on Fox, but the relationship between leads Mark-Paul Gosselaar and child actress Saniyya Sidney was fantastic. The secret power struggle with the psychic vampire master Jamie McShane is also great – the entire cast kills it in this one. Don’t worry about the show being cancelled – it wraps up at the end.

Dracula

This NBC adaptation starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers is bonkers in a wonderful way. It functions almost like a prequel to the story we know, re-mixing and re-contextualizing the relationships and motivations between all the classic characters.

Forever Knight

The last vampire show on this list is a 90’s gem about a vampire cop. One of the vampires from Forever Knight even made a blink-and-you’ll-miss it cameo on Buffy.

Slasher

The first season of this show was more brutal, clever and fun than I expected it to be. If you like the ‘Scream’ franchise, you’ll like season one of Slasher.

Scream

I’d also recommend MTV’s first season of Scream! A worthy addition to the franchise.

Death Note

The animated adaptation of Death Note floored me, even though I’d already read the manga. This twisty supernatural saga about dueling geniuses and death gods has a global body count.

Death Valley

MTV made a COPS style mockumentary show about an LAPD task force that handled the werewolves, vampires and zombies in the San Fernando Valley. Bizarre, gory, silly, fun.

I hope you found something new on this list. If you’d also like to set the mood for October with a book, check out ‘We Bleed Orange & Black – 31 Fun-sized Tales for Halloween’.

A twisted faerie finds a lost child, a teenage werewolf sneaks out during a full moon, and a legion of monsters begins the downfall of man. Explore Halloween from Appalachia to the Arctic Circle and journey from the Old West to Mars.

This spooktacular goody bag harvests all the joys and terrors of the best night of the year. If you love air crisp as cider and scented with burning leaves, if you greet the darkness with a jack o’lantern grin, and if you yearn for the veil between worlds to grow thin, then you bleed orange & black.

Get 31 stories for .99 cents

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Nosferatunes – 13 Vampire Songs

The children of the night…what music they make!

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Here’s another 13 songs for your next Halloween party. This isn’t a definitive list, just a few hand-picked tunes that will enthrall a crowd with different…tastes.

This list starts off moody, like a newly risen, angst ridden revenant and grows stronger and stranger until it becomes a naughty vampire god. Pop your cape, sharpen your fangs, and dig up these tunes…

Marceline_go_with_me

1. Moon Over Bourbon Street

Sting

As a horror-starved kid I was thrilled to find a main stream song about a vampire.

2. After Dark

Tito & Tarantula, Dusk ‘Til Dawn Soundtrack

This entire album has a lot of great songs to set the mood for your party, especially if it’s ‘that kind of party’.

3. Dracula Moon

Joan Osborne

I love the honky tonk sounds in this one.

4. Closer

Kings of Leon

I’ll admit, this is a new one to me but I dig it.

5. Night of the Vampire

Roky Erickson

This is the least bizarre of Roky Erickson’s songs, but a good place to start getting weird.

6. Dracula’s Lament

Jason Segal, Forgetting Sarah Marshall Soundtrack

I chose the short version from the soundtrack because I like the mood and piano, but there are longer versions on youtube.

7. Blacula (Stalk Walk)

Gene Page, Blacula Soundtrack

This song is deadlier than Dracula.

8. Black Dracula

Killa Sha featuring Foul Monday

This song popped up randomly on a Wu-Tang station but it’s different enough to make the cut.

9. Dracula’s Wedding

Outkast

Wonderfully playful.

10. Oh Sookie

Snoop Dogg, True Blood Soundtrack

There’s often a song on these lists I refuse to apologize for, and this is that song.  The greatest song to come from True Blood since ‘Bad Thing’ and better than the last 3 seasons combined.

11. Dracula Perfect Selection – Beginning

I don’t even know what’s going on with this one.  Konami released a rap album? With music from Castlevania?

12. Soul Dracula

Hot Blood

This song should be played at every party, regardless of the holiday.

13. Fright Night

J. Geils Band

This video is pure, un-cut madness straight from the 80’s.

As a bonus, here is the intro to a great odd cartoon I used to love: Count Duckula

 

Don’t forget to check out previous lists of handpicked Halloween songs from other years here, here and here.  Do you know of a song that should have made the list?  Let me know in the comments.

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Tricky Dick

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That’s Rough Riding

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ICH BIN EIN SEQUEL

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Beyond the Monster Mash

The Monster Mash is awesome, nobody is disputing that, but it is not the only ‘Halloween Carol’.  This may come as a surprise to anyone who has ever tried to assemble a playlist for a halloween party.

If you are in a rush and only want to choose one album to set the mood I would recommend Halloween Hootenanny, Rob Zombie’s spooktacular record of original songs by the Ghastly Ones, Los Straitjackets, The Bomboras, Rocket From The Crypt, Zacherle, etc.  If you picked up an album from any of these contributing artists you are well on your way.

But if you want a hand picked list of rare gems I present the following list of terrifyin’ tunes from the crypts of Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Doo Wop, Disco, Cajun and…Thai Funk???

– Wolfman Jack by Binary Star.  Awesome story about a werewolf in the ‘hood, and the best you’re gonna find unless The Werewolf of Watts ever gets greenlit.

– Witch Queen of New Orleans by Red Bone.  This cajun rock song is about Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of N’awlins.

– Are you ready for Freddy? by The Fat Boys.  I’m going to assume you already own ‘Nightmare on my street’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  If not consider this a two-for-one, because Are You Ready for Freddy? teams Freddy Krueger with the Fat Boys.  Unlike the Fresh Prince video that was filmed but never released, the Fat Boys video is on youtube!

-Dr. Frankenstein by Ice Cube.  People probably know this song but may forget to add it to their halloween mix.  What better way to get the party bumpin’?

– Fatal by RZA.  As long as we’re getting hardcore here’s the Wu Tang Clan’s RZA with the best (only?) thing to come out of Blade Trinity.

– Monster Crack by Kool Moe Dee.  Why not go old school with a rap about the crack monster?

– The Horror by RJD2.  From Hip Hop to Trip Hop, this is a groove I listen to year round.

– Do The Zombie by The Symbols.  Here’s a pre-Romero zombie Doo Wop song that’s great fun.

– Monster Beach by The Surf Trio.  This is the ultimate distillation of the ‘surf guitar’ vibe present in so many Halloween songs.  Possibly the greatest song ever.

To end this list here’s a 3-peat of Disco Dracula:

– Soul Dracula by Hot Blood.  The video alone is mind blowing.

– Soul Dracula by Messer Chups.  Now with added Surf guitar!

– Soul Dracula by Thai Beat A Go-Go.  In this version the melody is sung with lyrics in Thai!

There are thousands of wonderfully weird Halloween – worthy songs out there, and hopefully these will lead you down some interesting haunted trails.  Happy Halloween!

Get the rest of the Halloween Mixes here

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