We pause briefly for a senior moment: When I was a kid growing up in New Mexico, horror movies were practically never on television. In the tiny three-channel universe of those days, about the only time they were ever on TV was during Science Fiction Theater, a weekly creature-feature flick that aired Sunday evening, unfortunately opposite The Wonderful World Of Disney, which my parents insisted my imbecilic younger sisters watch in the vain hope that they would grow up to be at least as smart as Disney's talking kittens and dancing pigs.
These days, you practically need superpowers to avoid seeing horror flicks, especially around Halloween. Anybody whose bloodlust hasn't been sated by AMC's 230-hour MonsterFest, which concludes Tuesday, is in serious need of Thorazine. Or one of the new multimedia horror platforms that have set up shop this week.
One of them, In2TV’s Halloween Channel (www.aol.com/in2tv) is strictly seasonal and will go out of business Wednesday. Until then, though, you've got 30 hours of scary stuff running from a Flintstones Halloween episode (Fred and Barney do battle with Rockula and Frankenstone) to the original 1952 version of House of Wax with Vincent Price (3D glasses not included). The Halloween Channel also has a bunch of classic Hammer horror films, including Christoper Lee in The Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and Peter Cushing in Frankenstein Must be Destroyed! (1969).
FEARnet, on the other hand, is a permanent fixture for people who feel no room in the house looks completely decorated unless it includes some kind of screen full of severed intestines. The video-on-demand side is available through Comcast Digital Cable (in South Florida, on channel 1). It's got 70 hours of programming a month, including a bunch of pretty cool freebies like Carrie, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Flatliners. (Ten hours a month in Spanish, too.)
When all your TV sets burn out from zombie overload, move over to to www.FEARnet.com. It goes on-line sometime late tonight with nine free movies in streaming video (including See No Evil, the classic 1971 suspense flick in which a blind Mia Farrow gradually discovers that everyone in her house has been murdered) and 50 others that can be downloaded for a fee. It even claims to have "horror ring tones" -- I'm not totally clear on what those might be, but I suspect I'll soon be hearing the dulcet tones of a hooker being disemboweled by a chainsaw echoing from cell phones in every corner of Aventura Mall. Short of downloading Freddy Krueger himself -- which I'm sure we'll be able to do by this time next year -- I don't see what more you could possibly want.