It's the week before Halloween and if you work in retail, you know what that means - it's time to haul out the holiday decorations!
Actually, it's also time for the release of suitably Halloweenie movies, DVDs, books and TV shows. If that's the stuff you seek, you've come to the right place.
There's another installment of the "Saw" franchise coming out, and friendly old TV series like "The Addams Family" and "Bewitched" on DVD. In the bookstores, you'll find a new Stephen King, and for many people, that's better than Christmas.
Let's see what lands in the old Halloween bag, shall we?
"Saw III" comes out Friday, Oct. 27, and it looks like more of the same. Jigsaw seems to have disappeared but his macabre and bloody game continues. This time, he's got help, and we're not talking about the kind of psychiatric help that he needs.
On a totally different note, there is "Catch A Fire," a political thriller set in South Africa. Derek Luke plays a man who is forced to change as he is caught in a web of oppression, stemming from his country's policy of apartheid. Tim Robbins plays the police official assigned to the case, and the story's timeline spans the 1980s to the present.
Sarah Chalke stars in the Lifetime original movie "Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy" (Monday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m.), based on the true story of Geralyn Lucas, who faced a diagnosis of breast cancer when she was in her 20s. Halloween may be upon us, but it's still Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
On that same date, "Everybody Hates Chris" (The CW) continues on its new night (used to be Sunday) at 8 p.m.
On Tuesday, Oct. 24, "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., Fox) carries on without Sara Evans.
You know we were not going to get through this TV week without a mention of something related to the holiday. And it's coming up on Thursday, Oct. 26: "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" (8 p.m., ABC Family), an animated feature with the lovable but chicken-hearted dog.
Tuesday, Oct. 24, brings us a couple of landmarks in easy listening and a new one from My Chemical Romance, which just won the trophy for Best International Rock Artist at the MTV Latin American Music Awards.
John Legend releases "Once Again," which is an imaginative follow-up to "Get Lifted." If you recall, "Get Lifted" garnered Legend an armful of Grammys and an earful of critical praise.
George Benson and Al Jarreau have teamed up for "Givin' It Up," a collection with old standbys like "God Bless the Child" and "Summer Breeze." Another "old standby" by the name of Paul McCartney lent a hand with one of the tracks, "Bring It On Home To Me."
My Chemical Romance is out with "The Black Parade," which lead singer Gerard Way describes as "way more dramatic, way more theatrical, completely over the top, borderline psychotic" than the band's last release, "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge."
A few good bets are out Tuesday, Oct. 24.
"Lisey's Story: A Novel" by Stephen King tells the story of a widow who is destined to follow her late husband to a place called Boo'ya Moon, which, in classic King style, is a place that can both heal and destroy. How will Lisey face her husband's demons? Sounds like a perfect mission for the week before Halloween.
"Hundred Dollar Baby" is a new Spenser P.I. novel from Robert B. Parker, featuring another appearance from semi-recurring character April Kyle.
"Thunderstruck" by Erik Larson is the author's follow-up to the best-selling "Devil in the White City." His new one weaves a murder story together with Marconi's invention of the wireless.
For those who prefer real life to fiction, "Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again" is a new cookbook from Ina Garten. Her devotees are legion, so if you count any in your circle of friends, get ready for some new culinary adventures.
"The Times They Are A-Changin' " is a new dance musical directed by legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp. As you may have guessed by the title, Bob Dylan's songs are used to weave a story. The temptation to call it another jukebox musical must be tempered by its emphasis on the dance. It opens Thursday, Oct. 26, on Broadway.
Also opening on Broadway this week, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, is "Butley," the Huntington Theatre Company revival of Simon Gray's drama. Nathan Lane stars as a literary professor who loses his wife and his lover.
Here are a few titles that will be released Tuesday, Oct. 24:
"The Addams Family - Volume One" (1964) brings back the original TV series starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones. Extras include a featurette about Charles Addams, whose drawings inspired the TV show; reminiscences from cast members including Astin and Lisa Loring, who played little Wednesday, and a segment on the creation of the classic theme song.
"Bewitched - The Complete Fourth Season" (1964) with Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York and Agnes Moorehead, includes 33 episodes with appearances by Paul Lynde as practical joker Uncle Arthur and Marion Lorne as the adorably dithering Aunt Clara.
"Monster House" was a 2006 animated release with the advertising tagline: "There Goes The Neighborhood." Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing monster that eats anything that goes on its property. Maggie Gyllenhaal is on board giving voice to the babysitter and Jon Heder (aka Napoleon Dynamite) to a character named Skull.
The voice of the house itself is provided by Kathleen Turner.