Every year around Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is broadcast on network televsion–sometimes even in 24-hour marathons–without fail. It’s a pity that its prequel Halloween is Grinch Night doesn’t get the same treatment around Halloween. Hell, it doesn’t even get it’s own DVD. This 1977 Halloween special starring The Grinch is only available as part of a Dr. Seuss compilation DVD entitled “Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites.” Other favorites? Sad.
To my great disappointment, the DVD box art doesn’t include any Grinchy Halloween-y goodness either. Oh well. At least it has lots of orange.
As you would expect from a Dr. Seuss special, Grinch Night is full of catchy rhymes and songs. My favorite thing about it, however, is the seasonal autumn color palette with its oranges and browns, and liberal use of falling leaves. Though the actual word “Halloween” is never mentioned in this special, the whole thing has that unmistakable Halloween vibe–better yet, it has that unmistakable seventies Halloween vibe which is weird and trippy and at times makes everyone uncomfortable (see also: Witch’s Night Out ).
As much as I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Boris Karloff’s superbly sinister voice work, Hans Conried (most recognized as the voice of Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan ) does a respectable job as The Grinch, who, by the way, is much douchier this time around. Yeah that’s right, I just called The Grinch a douche. I mean what kind of asshole goes around stealing holidays and terrorizing the peaceful race of Whos? As if he can get any more unlikable, The Grinch is a disgusting shade of PEA SOUP BABY SHIT GREEN in this special, not the festive, non-threatening chartreuse we’re accustomed to. I suppose that “Sour-Sweet Wind” is to blame.
Well, at least ‘ol Grinchy is cool enough to try to bring his wagon full of hallucinogenic drugs down into Whoville–or at least that’s what I assume is in that “Paraphernalia Wagon” with its cloud of green smoke that morphs into a monster with bloodshot eyes who sends Euchariah Who on a mind-altering terror trip. “Look, kid, I gave you the two-dollar treatment. You’re not worth a first-class Grinching,” said The Grinch, probably recycling a familiar line he’s used many times on Who-Whores. It gets lonely up there on Mount Crumpit, you know.
Watch the whole thing before The Grinch takes it down!
What is 31 DVDs of Halloween?
As a special feature for the Halloween Countdown, I’m showcasing 31 Halloween DVDs from my personal collection. I have a lot of Halloween-related and horror DVDs in general, but for this year’s countdown I’m only going to focus on my absolute favorites–the ones I consider 100% essential for my enjoyment of the holiday.