Thursday, October 25, 2012

OCTOBER 25: TWENTY-FIVE FIRST-RATE HORROR TV SHOWS

Now before we start, this is not a definitive list.  I don't want anyone bad-mouthing us before we start. It's just a list of shows that Marie and I have been lucky enough to see and call our favorites.  I'm sure you'll see some of yours here too, and maybe something you're not familiar with and want to take a look at on DVD. 
There are some really important shows in horror history here, and some of them are just pure, unadulterated FUN.  See if you'll agree....


THE WALKING DEAD (2010-present)
Currently my favorite show, it manages to mix true human emotion with zombies and come out smelling like a rose. Or should I say like a corpse? In any event, this is top-notch, fan-friggin'-tastic television.  It also boasts the highest ratings of any basic cable program in history. ~CH




ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (1955-1962)
Even though this show is more thriller than horror, we must include it because it is from the Master of Suspense, himself! And if will definitely freak your shit out. ~MR

AMERICAN GOTHIC (1995-1996) 
Produced by Sam Raimi, the abbreviated series starred Gary Cole as a corrupt sheriff in a small town who tries to get people to step down to his evil level.  It was a show that was ahead of its time and wasn't given a chance on network television.  If it would have been on HBO, it would have lasted at least five years. ~CH
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? (1991-1996)
Another one from my generation, but I'm sure many will fondly remember this Nickelodeon anthology series. Some very memorable spooky episodes. ~MR
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997-2003)
Do I even need to say anything? Okay, I will. Angel and Spike. And Sarah Michelle Gellar for the dudes, I guess? She's hot, right? Frankly, I'm not certain on the matter. ~MR

ANGEL (1999-2004)
A spin-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel stole the hearts of women everywhere by being a vampire who is cursed with a soul.  ~CH

BEING HUMAN (UK) (2008-present)
A ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf walk into a bar... No, no, just kidding. But what do we get by putting three supernatural beings together in one house?  Conflict, confusion, and a whole lot of craziness. Spawned an American remake of the show that is also still running strong. ~CH

DARK SHADOWS (1966-1971)
Hard to believe, but this show was actually a daytime serial.  In other words: a soap opera. I remember my grandmother watching these stories of one Barbabas Collins, a vampire who comes home to Collinwood to claim his ancestral home.  A vampire on daytime tv?  Seems rather ironic, doesn't it? ~CH


FEAR ITSELF (2008)
The creators of the Masters of Horror got it right the second time! I wrote a little article on it that you can check out right HERE ~MR

DEXTER (2006-present)
The award-winning Michael C. Hall starts as the title character, a blood-spatter expert who works for the Miami PD and is a serial killer in his spare time. This one put Showtime back on the map. ~CH

FRIDAY THE 13TH THE SERIES (1987-1990)
An American-Canadian production, this series capitalized on the F13 name to suck in viewers. It focuses on cursed antiques that all have a horrific story behind them. It had nothing to do with the film franchise except in name only. ~CH

FRINGE (2008-present)
With a major emphasis on "fringe science", this show has a similar feel to it as The X-Files, but the science often overtakes the horror here when they start digressing into parallel universes. But the cast is awesome and it does have some intriguing mysteries. ~CH

GOOSEBUMPS (1995-1998)
Everyone knows that I am a babe in the woods (as Christine so fondly calls me) and this is a show from my generation, but I will always remain a devout Goosebumps fan. That shit was scary! ~MR

KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER  (1974-1975)
Darren McGavin stars as Carl Kolchak, a reporter who finds himself embroiled in mysteries and crimes that all have a supernatural elements. Think of it as The X-Files, version one.  ~CH

MASTERS OF HORROR (2005-2007)
Some of the biggest name in horror took turns directing these stand-alone episodes that play like a mini-movie. Argento, Carpenter, McKee, Hooper, Gordon...all took turns trying to scare us silly. While a few fell flat, many were actually quite good. ~CH

NIGHT GALLERY (1970-1973)
Rod Serling of Twiight Zone fame was the host of this spooky series and also wrote many of the stories, which were often based on stories written by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber. ~CH


 

THE OUTER LIMITS (1963-1965)
More or less a copy of the Twilight Zone with more of a sci-fi feeling, it wasn't as long-lived as TZ either. But it still had some very effective episodes. "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to ajust the picture. We are controlling transmission...." ~CH


SUPERNATURAL (2005-present)
Oh those crazy Winchester brothers! Always getting into trouble with the supernatural. The two hunters travel around putting an end to things like demons and ghosts, and look mighty fine while doing so. ~CH


TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE (1983-1988)
One of my favorite anthology series, it was created by George Romero and mixed elements of horror, sci-fi and fantasy into little vignettes each week - some of which were unwavering in their horror. Great stuff, with a really creepy opening.   ~CH

TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1989-1996)
This anthology is hosted by the one and only Crypt Keeper, and it is very dear to my heart. My fondest memory of this show is watching it with my cousin in the lounge of the funeral home when we were young. ~MR

TRUE BLOOD (2008-present)
A campy slice of horror TV based on the books by Charlaine Harris, True Blood tells the story of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who falls in love with a vampire....then another vampire...etc.  Generally is the highlight of my hot summer Sunday nights. ~CH

THE TWILIGHT ZONE
I'm not sure what really needs to be said about TZ - it's a history-changing show that is intelligent as well as being unnerving on a regular basis.  I mean, who who doesn't remember Burgess Meredith breaking his only pair of glasses after a nuclear holocaust that left him with nothing but the time to read that he so desired...Kismet, I tell you.  By the way, here are my favorite thirty episodes. ~CH



TWIN PEAKS (1990-1991)
The mood and madness of this David Lynch series was way too much for prime-time. The bizarre tale of the unsolved murder of a high school homecoming queen takes so many quirky twists and turns it was impossible not to become completely engrossed in the mystery. One of my favorites, so much so that I wrote this.  ~CH

THE X-FILES (1993-2002)
Probably my favorite show of all-time, though I did enjoy the stand-alone episodes more than the show's mythology episodes.  What started out as a scary little show on Friday nights turned into a television sensation, and made Mulder and Scully a household name.
And here are my favorite stand-alone episodes.~CH

AMERICAN HORROR STORY (2011-present)  
I am obsessed with this show.  It's sexy, well-scripted, and scary! I also like that they are making each season completely independent story lines. ~MR

3 comments:

Budd said...

I loved Tales from the Darkside and Friday the 13th the series as a kid.

My favorite Tales from the Darkside had a hot tub that was used to cook people. Even the intro was creepy on that show.

Do you remember the shortlived Freddy Krueger show?

Spooky Vegan said...

I agree with all your picks! Great list!

Christine Hadden said...

Budd: Yep, I do recall that show, I believe it was called Freddy's Nightmares...? I have to say I'm not the biggest Freddy fan (but Marie is!!) so that show didn't enthuse me too much!
But Tales from the Darkside: glad we both liked that one...I miss those types of shows!

Sarah: Thanks!! :)