Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 days of Horror Nerd Indoctrination- Day Twenty Nine: TV

     Horror and TV. In my opinion Movies are the greatest medium and I do my best not to waste my time watching shitty reality TV when there are amazing films to be seen, however through the years the boob tube has been pretty god damn rewarding when It comes to horror. As a Kid I would watch reruns of The Munsters, The Adams Family, Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond and even Dark Shadows if I wanted to get my woman on.  It was great. Rod Serling was my favorite host and The Munster's were my favorite family.  I wanted to trade in my life to move to 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

     I would sneak over to my friend Ryan's house and to watch Freddy's Nightmares. It wasn't the best show by any means and Freddy was barely in it but it was fun and I still revisit it from time to time.  His intro's were, well kind of ridiculous but I just couldn't help myself, hell I still can't.  Friday the 13th also got its own show, Jason had nothing to do with this. It was about an antique shop and hunting down possessed objects.  I have very fond memories of this and have recently watched through all of them and really like it. It's like Halloween 3. You have to forget that it's linked to Friday the 13th and it rules.  Poltergeist and Swamp Thing also got their own shows. I have watched a few Poltergeist episodes but it never stuck with me.  Swap Thing however I fucking loved and still do. Twenty two minutes an episode and most are pretty ridiculous but I just fucking love it.  It has such a unique feel to it.

Over the years there have been many a great anthology show, it kind of started with Twilight Zone but in the eighties  and nineties they really took over and we even have had some this millennium.  The quintessential of course would be Tales from the Crypt. I watched the shit out of this show. Every week I was glued to the TV like the time I had that accident with the super glue. The Cryptkeeper was perfect, he was creepy, kind of an asshole, and funny as shit.  So     many great guest stars and directors were involved in this and so many memorable episodes. The Santa one is a Christmas must and my personal favorite was the Harry from Night Court episode where he draws pictures and they come to life. When he made his wife a fat gross monster I was terrified and excited at the same time, I mean she was kind of hot.   Monsters, Alfred Hitchcock presents and Tales from the Dark side pretty much were similar without the cryptkeeper. They were fun but like that song  Sinead O' Connor wrote about the cryptkeeper, "Nothing compares to you." Night Gallery was Rod Serling's horror version of Twilight Zone and it was phenomenal.  Nightmare Cafe was fun for like the six episodes it lasted, not really anthology but the cafe kind of makes me feel like it was the shows cryptkeeper. Anthology shows got a resurrection in the oughts when Masters of Horror premiered on Showtime. While a lot of people hated on this show I found a lot of the episodes to be excellent. The standouts for me were Stuart Gordon's Dreams in the Witch house and Don Coscarelli's Incident on and off a Mountain Road with Takashi Miike's never aired Imprint a fun fucked up ride, kind of like having sex with the girl you know that has all the issues that benefits her performance if you know what I am saying.  All the episodes for the most part are entertaining. It only made it two years and tried to reinvent itself as Fear Itself on NBC with mixed results.

In the nineties and into mid 2005 Joss Whedon controlled the airwaves with his vampire tales, first with Buffy the Vampire Slayer which had failed as  a movie and then the spinoff Angel. I always enjoyed the movie for the campy fun and was hesitant to watch the show. I always assumed it was made for teenage girls.  Well I finally gave in and was instantly hooked. Sure you had your love bullshit but there were so many great characters and the writing was excellent. Angel went over to his own show with mixed results. The first season started strong and I actually enjoyed Angel where in Buffy I thought he was a whiny douche.  Some seasons worked for me and some didn't,( I am looking at you season four) but by the final season with Spike moving over to the show it was damn near perfect.

There have been tons of other great shows of course, some funny, some serious, all fun.  Twin Peaks which is my favorite show of all time may not be strictly horror but it has some of the most horrific scenes ever played on prime time. Wolf Creek was A Twin Peaks rip off with werewolves that got canceled faster than a Joss Whedon show but was a good time killer. Reaper and Dead Like Me were more numerous takes on horror. Ray Wise as the devil in Reaper is fantastic plus you get half of Tucker and Dale(Dale).  Dead Like Me was entertaining while still being creative and emotional.  Mandy Patinkin owns his role and the rest of the cast is amazing, and Daisy O' Dare gives me a rock hard boner, and that's important. Eerie Indiana was like a cross between Twin Peaks and X Files for kids. One of my favorite shows ever didn't get the life it deserved.  Sam Raimi did American Gothic which was really creepy and fun and also like many of the great horror shows cancelled early. Millennium was Chris Carter after he saw Seven. Lance Henriksen owns this role as Frank Black and is a great fucking show. It made it threeseasons and all three were completely different in tone. Speaking of Chris Carter you know I have to talk about The X-Files.  One of  horror/sci-fi's longest running shows. I would walk over to my friends every week to watch it and loved it. Scully was so hot and Mulder was hilarious. The monsters were awesome and for TV is was pretty fucking terrifying.

     As a kid there were two shows that got my little kid boner raging. Are You Afraid of the Dark and Goosebumps.  Kids horror is important as it fattens them up for what's to come and these are two of the funnest shows out there. I still watch both of these all the time. Classic and amazing.

     One last mention is of course MST3K. I have watched all of these so many times. Some of the first times I saw a horror or old sci fi movie was because of this. The jokes are hilarious, the aliens are hilarious, basically everything is amazing about it and if I could sum up the way I felt as I child this show does it.


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