Friday, October 6, 2017

TERROR TEE-VEE: A Countdown to Halloween (Day 6)

Your Basil Gogos Painting of the Night


Everything from the theremin theme music that hums like a mosquito in your ears as the monstrous family that gets ready to sit down to an evening of television screams that this show isn’t afraid to cheese it up.  And it often does.  Being the little brother of Tales from the Darkside, it is a natural thing—as natural as a good sharp wedge of cheddar.

But, like Tales from the Darkside, it took the minuscule budget it was allowed and sometimes offered up a genuine fright.  This show ran for three seasons and featured such talents as Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Linda Blair, Deborah Harry, Pam Grier, Wil Wheaton and Meat Loaf in stories by writers such as Stephen King, Robert Bloch, Tom Noonan, Dan Simmons, Gahan Wilson, Paul Dini, Michael McDowell, Lisa Tuttle, David Odell, F. Paul Wilson, Michael Reaves, David Morrell, Gerry Conway and Edithe Swensen.

The series shows the diminishing interest of the syndication market in the genre by this point.  Years after Creepshow and the horror anthology craze of the early eighties.  Still, there's some meat on those bones...

These are my quick pick Top 3 episodes
of MONSTERS (in no particular order)

“Bug House”
is a sheer messy monster mash as one sister, with her new lover, visits the other at their former family home.  The visiting sister is pregnant and due soon and is having severe abdominal pains.  In the meantime, the boyfriend has eyes the other sister and, as they say, the rest is history…

involves an elderly man, played by George Wallace, as he awaits the terrifying arrival of death in his final days, who desperately makes a deal with the Grim Reaper to provide more souls, so that his own life can become extended.  Of course, it gets trickier when the man falls for his elderly nurse, played by Barbara Billingsley.

“The Legacy”
by Bloch is the story of a writer who, in his research, comes across a mysterious and legendary horror actor’s infamous make-up kit.  The writer becomes dangerously obsessed with the kit and puts it to use for himself.  A little hokey around the edges, but this tale has it’s heart in the right place and pays some small tribute to the great Lon Chaney.

Finally, here are some sites worthy of review if one is interested in more about MONSTERS...


Caffeinated Joe said...

Is the series available on YouTube in its entirety? I wish SyFy would do like a "classic horror" block, with a half hour of this and a half hour of Tales from the Darkside. :)

Gary Lee said...

It may be over on youtube, but I agree--this should be on SyFy or Thriller.