Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Spooktober: The Halloween That Almost Wasn't, aka The Night That Dracula Saved the World (1979)

In 1979, ABC served up a bizarre, live-action Halloween special aimed at the whole family. While it won an Emmy, The Halloween That Almost Wasn't wasn't a ratings bonanza for the network, and hasn't aired on broadcast television in years. It's been nearly 20 or so since it last aired on the Disney Channel.

Dracula (Judd Hirsch, Taxi) learns from a TV news report that he's been accused of threatening to put an end to Halloween. So he decides to clear his name by rounding up some of his closest friends, including the Monster of Frankenstein (John Schuck, ex-McMillian & Wife, nearly a whole decade before The Munsters Today) and the Wolf Man (Jack Riley, ex-The Bob Newhart Show), through his servant, Igor (Henry Gibson, ex-Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In).

But, as we're about to find out, there's no honor among ghouls, at least in this case.....

Starts out promising, but then it gets lame.

Rating: C.


Silverstar said...

This special stands out for me because it's one of the few 'Monster Mash' (i.e., a project featuring several famous classic monster characters together in a single story) outings that features a witch character in a prominent role; witches are often left out of Monster Mashes. The Witch, incidentally, was played by Mareitte Hartley, of the Polaroid camera commercials and CBS's "Goodnight, Beantown".

hobbyfan said...

Ah, yes, Mariette Hartley. Everyone thought she & James Garner were a real life item because they did all those Polaroid ads together back in the day. Goodnight, Beantown paired her with post-Hulk Bill Bixby, and it lasted maybe 2 seasons.

It's a rarity in itself that this, an independently produced special, actually won an Emmy. Go figure.