Well, the time has unfortunately finally come. Today’s post marks the end of another year of the Halloween Horrors series. As they say, all good things must end. I guess that goes for GREAT things as well.
As many of you (readers and contributors alike) may know, this year’s Halloween Horrors series has been the most successful yet in a couple different ways. Not only did this year’s series provide the largest number of contributors that the series has ever been honored to feature, but the site also saw it’s highest numbers ever… by a wide margin over the previous high. However, instead of continuing to lament the series conclusion for another year, I will choose to celebrate what we have been able to accomplish here this year, and in order to do so properly, we must go back to the very beginning.
Sometime in early summer, when I first contemplated what would become this year’s theme, I chose to pass the idea by a few trusted friends and regular contributors. One of those people that I told was Paul Ashford of Little Rubber Monsters. Although I have known and been friends with Paul for years, I really had no clue what his opinion of the theme would be. Within what could not have been more than 2 minutes, he had replied: “I’m claiming “Halloween Knight“, a Halloween episode of Knight Rider!” Okay, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but you get the jist.
I laughed pretty hard at this choice. It just reeked of ridiculous. Granted, I had not seen the episode at this point, but I remedied that within the span of 48 hours. And wouldn’t you know it, it was ridiculous! It was also over-flowing with Halloween imagery and horror movie references. In other words, it was perfect! This year’s theme was set! So, as a “thank you” to my friend for helping “seal the deal” of what would easily be the most fun I’ve had working on this series since its inception, we’re letting him lead us out and into Halloween!
Speaking of ghoulies, be sure to check out Ghoulies Unflushed, the new podcast hosted by Paul Ashford and Graham Le Neve Painter. The show debuts this Halloween on Project Louder (projectlouder.net). I’m sure you can find the link on either the Horror And Sons or Little Rubber Monsters Facebook pages.
Well, that’s it, folks! Thank you to everyone who helped make this series so much fun for me, and I hope it was just as much fun for all of you! Let’s do this again next year…. hopefully, with the world in a little better shape. Happy Halloween!
So, I’m sure if you are reading this then you are aware of the 80’s TV show Knight Rider.. starring the Hoff as Michael Knight, who goes on various adventures with his talking car KITT.
Growing up in the 80s, I remembered this show well, along with the likes of Street Hawk, The Fall Guy & The A-Team. However, it wasn’t until many years later when I met my wife, Niki, that I started to re-watch Knight Rider through its 4 seasons. You see, Niki is a HUGE Knight Rider fan, and I was more than happy to sit though the episodes for nostalgia sake and to discover a lot of episodes that I had never seen before.
And it’s through this that I discovered a total hidden gem… “Halloween Knight”, an episode first aired in October 1984. I definitely missed this one as a kid, as being a huge horror fan, this episode would have no doubt catapulted my interest in Knight Rider back then.
The episode is basically a whodunnit… Bonnie, Michael Knight’s mechanic, witnesses a murder through her bedroom window during a Halloween celebration. Someone dressed in a Gorilla costume strangles a female party goer. However, Bonnie faints before she can investigate as she’s just taken some medication for a cold she is suffering. Queue Michael Knight and KITT to investigate if it really was a murder or if Bonnie was just hallucinating due to passing out…
And this is where the fun begins… It really feels like the writers behind this thought, “How much Halloween spookiness can we cram into one episode?”
You see the the main suspect is a creepy caretaker who is the spitting image of Anthony Perkins. Not only this, but his name is actually Norman Baines. Yes, folks we have ourselves a Psycho rip off! And wow! Do they do a great job! You see “Norman” is played by actor Kurt Paul, who himself was the stunt double for the real Norman Bates in Psycho 3, as well as having a role in Psycho 4, and then playing the main man himself in Bates Motel (1987).
The Psycho references are never ending, with Norman Baine’s character acting suitably creepy for every minute of screen time he has, Of course, there is even a cheesy 80’s synth version of the Psycho theme played throughout the episode that follows him around. We even get a scene where it appears he is carrying a body in a sack, which he takes into his house, where he produces a big knife, presumably to chop it up… before Michael Knight steps in to confront him! But wait… No, it’s Halloween and Norman was simply carting a sack full of pumpkins to carve! We even get the ultimate Psycho reference… yes, the appearance of the Psycho house itself! The very same one from Universal Studios in California, wonderfully acknowledged by Michael Knight as they head up to it: “Boy, this place looks really familiar!”
It’s not just Psycho references that will keep horror fans interested. There’s a cool hologram effect of a Little Rubber Monster head that projects onto a bathroom mirror giving the location of the Psycho house, a sexy witch (and her black cat) who wants to use KITT as her “Witchmobile”, a tour through a costume shop to look for a gorilla outfit with REAL gorilla hair (is that even legal?), and quite possibly the pièce de résistance of the entire episode… a Silver Shamrock pumpkin mask from everyone’s favourite Halloween movie… Halloween 3: Season of the Witch!
Yes, believe it or not, Halloween 3 gets its very own reference in Knight Rider with a Silver Shamrock badged Pumpkin mask in full view, worn by Norman Baines at the kooky Halloween party towards the end of the episode. Not only this, but Norman starts choking while wearing the mask and has to take it off, which could even be another nod to what happens to those wearing the mask from the movie!
Seeing that mask alone would have been an incredible little reference for me, but tying it in with all the Psycho references and general 80’s Halloween goodness (look out for a bizarre Cylon costume from Battlestar Galactica) has really made this my favourite episode of Knight Rider, and generally one of my favourite Halloween themed TV episodes out there. I only wish I could have watched this one as a kid as it would have made a big impression on me and could well have turned me into a Knight Rider nerd, like my wife.
Incidentally, many years later in 2018 she got to fulfil her dream and drove a KITT replica around the streets of LA, accompanied by that famous theme tune of course. Oh, and speaking of KITT, the black Pontiac Trans Am who is undoubtedly the star of the show… Yes, his scenes were a little more limited in this episode, BUT he managed to almost steal the limelight by having a great scene right at the end.
The grand finale Is a car chase with the killer (was it Norman? You will have to watch it yourself!), which ends up in the parking lot of a Drive-in cinema. To catch up, KITT turbo boosts right through the drive-in screen, which is showing Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D! Yep! There you go, horror fans! Yet another great reference thrown in right at the end as excited movie goers are treated to KITT bursting through the screen while wearing their 3D specs!
I’ll wrap this review up by simply saying you must try and track down this episode this Halloween season, even if you aren’t a Knight Rider fan you will find plenty to enjoy!
Thank you.. and thank you Dustin for another year of letting me ramble about something I love!