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Monday, October 27 2014 09:50

31 Days of Halloween: The Terrifying Tricks & Terrific Treats of Netflix #StreamTeam

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Netflix Stream TeamAs we enter the home stretch of 31 Days of Halloween here on THE ROCK FATHER, we're also in the biggest week for spooktacular viewing for the whole family. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, once a month I highlight some hand-picked selections, chosen for you right here at Rock Father HQ. From television terror to sinful cinema, there's plenty of devilish delights for this pun-fully eerie time of year. So pour the kids some hot apple cider, crack open a pumpkin beer for yourself, and sit back for these terrifying tricks and terrific treats!

For the Kids: CURIOUS GEORGE: HALLOWEEN BOO FEST,  A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

scoobyflixTop Pick SCOOBY-DOO: MYSTERY INCORPORATED

It only ran for two years, but this former Cartoon Network update of SCOOBY-DOO brought forth 52-episodes of ghostly goodness that captured the vibe of the original series, while coming off a whole lot smarter and even somewhat linking to it's first incarnation. While the kids won't catch the connections that grownups may recall, adults will also dig plenty of cool nods to a variety of horror films like the SAW franchise, and even Michael Jackson's THRILLER.

Television: THE WALKING DEAD, SUPERNATURAL, THE ORIGINALS

halloweenknightTop PickKNIGHT RIDER - "Halloween Knight" (October 28, 1984) & "Fright Knight" (March 7, 1986)

One of my favorite television series' of all-time, even KNIGHT RIDER caught the horror bug on occasion, with one proper Halloween episode in '84, and one that should've been a Halloween episode as part of the final season in '86 (where several episodes were aired out-of-order). While the latter featured Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) as a "phantom" in a fairly Scooby-Doo-esque plot involving the filming of a movie (even climaxing at the JAWS attraction of Universal Studios), it's the former that's the big winner. "Halloween Knight" is a straight-up homage to Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO, complete with a guy named "Norman Baines" performed by Anthony Perkins' own stunt double, Kurt Paul. They visit the PSYCHO house, include a bit of the music, and there's even more Universal Easter Eggs like the inclusion of a Silver Shamrock pumpkin mask from one of my favorite seasonal films, HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH.

as spielTop Pick - AMAZING STORIES (1985-1986)

When this Steven Spielberg-produced series ran on NBC in the mid-80s, I was captivated. Like THE TWILIGHT ZONE before it, this anthology featured stand-alone episodes with an otherworldly bent - like the series-starting "Ghost Train." While the entire series is essential viewing, "Welcome to My Nightmare" and "The Pumpkin Competition" are pretty appropriate for this week.

Bonus: "Remote Control Man" featured a bunch of NBC TV cameos, including K.I.T.T. from KNIGHT RIDER (see above).

hellraiserposterCinematic Picks:

Clive Barker's HELLRAISER (1987)

The first arrival of Doug Bradley as "Pinhead" is legendary at this point, but there's a personal connection to this film for me. HELLRAISER launched the career of actress Ashley Laurence as "Kirsty Cotton," and nearly 25 years later, I directed her in THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR (featured here) with Product of Hate. HELLRAISER is still a must-watch each Fall.

funsizeFUN SIZE (2012)

Nickelodeon Movies didn't do well with this one when it hit theaters (sidebar: some friends of mine built the chicken), but it actually does a really great job of capturing the feeling of what Halloween in the Midwest used to be like - in the early scenes. The story follows "feisty teenager" Wren (Victoria Justice) after she loses her kid brother (dressed as Spider-man) on Halloween and she joins forces with friends to hunt him down. The supporting cast including Johnny Knoxville and Chelsea Handler is solid.

Behind-the-Fright (Documentary):

A fantastic documentary that goes behind-the-scenes of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, featuring extensive interviews with the cast and crew.

Just before the remake/reboot of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET arrived, this documentary took it back time to where it all began. Here we join actress Heather Langenkamp for a rare journey down Elm Street, with film clips, rare photos, storyboards, and more treasures from the entire series.

THE ROCK FATHER is a 2014 Member of The Netflix Stream Team, highlighting exciting content that's available on nearly any device from Netflix.com
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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