After a bit of a hiatus, Cryptic Collectibles is up and running again – just in time for Halloween. While mulling over what to post, I serendipitously came into possession of a few vintage (30-year-old or more) issues of TV Guide – one of which covered Halloween of 1981. So, seeing that many horror fans (particularly if you’re of a certain age) were introduced to the genre through television, I thought it would be nice to celebrate our favourite holiday with a look at some the classic ads featured within the magazine.
Vintage HALLOWEEN TV Guide Ad, Oct. 1981.
Many horror fans know that 1981 was a pretty great year for the genre, for not only did it see the release of such modern cult classics as An American Werewolf in London, My Bloody Valentine, The Howling, The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th Part 2, Scanners, Dead and Buried, The Prowler and Happy Birthday to Me. but audiences were able to tune in for the network television premiere of John Carpenter’s original 1978 classic Halloween.
As a then-9-year-old, I remember that night quite vividly as my family’s TV set had burned out a couple of days earlier and my father went out and bought another – just so we could all watch this and other creepy Halloween programming. As this was still before the days of video stores and VCRs in every household, it was quite a big deal to catch first-run movies like this on television. Interestingly, the film’s sequel, Halloween II , also opened in theatres the very same night as this premiere aired – October 30th, 1981.
- HALLOWEEN Oct. 1981 TV Guide Description.
A bit of trivia for Halloween buffs: additional scenes of Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Sam Loomis explaining to a medical review board how dangerous Michael Myers is, as well as an afternoon meeting between Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis and P.J. Soles were shot by Halloween II‘s cast and crew to pad out the original film’s running time – which was shortened when scenes of violence were removed for the television broadcast.
Another flick making its premiere that week was the made-for-TV horror classic, Dark Night of the Scarecrow:
DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW TV Guide Ad, Oct. 1981.
Some other amazing old ads for spookily fun television programming for Halloween of 1981:
IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN TV Guide Ad, Oct. 1981.
Vintage Bugs Bunny and Fat Albert Halloween TV Guide Program Ads, Oct. 1981.