Category Archives: Horror Nostalgia

5 Nostalgic Horror TV Shows That Need A Comeback

There’s no doubt about it. Horror TV shows have come a long way from “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and over the last decade, have become more of the norm when it comes to a variety of series’ available while browsing for that next binge. Shows like Dexter and The Walking Dead opened a can of worms that had long been forgotten, and studios have been forging full steam ahead breaking out, what it seems anyway, a new horror series on the now multitude of platforms at our disposal every few weeks.

Things sure have changed since the one Saturday Night horror movie given to us once a week on basic cable.

Sure, a lot of these shows are great and all, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to that introductory trip into a desolate graveyard showered with lightening strikes that led into the Crypt keeper‘s lair and a new tale every week from the undead King of puns. And I sure do miss it. Now, while I’m not a huge fan of taking something as precious as that and reworking it for a new generation, I’m not entirely against it either with the right team on board. A genuinely perfect example of such being the newly remodeled Creepshow series that transferred the creativity from several horror masterminds to one in himself, Greg Nicotaro. And it worked beautifully as the anthology turned series remained true to the horror-comic style of storytelling that Creepshow made infamous visually on the big-screen. It can be done! We just need these titles we’re about to break down to get a shot at redemption and a proper send off.

Anyways, here’s at least five nostalgic horror shows I would like to see get a much-deserved reboot.

Full disclosure: Nightmare Nostalgia is an Amazon Associate and if you click on one of these handy links and make a purchase, It’ll buy me a Chalupa Supreme!

Hammer House of Horror

Hammer, who built its reputation on the gothic likes of Dracula and Frankenstein, turned it’s wheels onto British TV back in 1980 with 13 glorious episodes starring witches, werewolves, and even cannibals! On the bridge of a decline in Hammer horror interest, the studios fired back with a vengeance proving the style was never dead by embracing it’s powerful gothic storytelling and showcasing it on Primetime. And it worked!

As far as a reboot is concerned, I feel like this is something gothic visionary Guillermo del Toro could tackle while respecting the legacy that is the Hammer films. The director handled Scary Stories wonderfully and would love to see this happen!

EERIE, INDIANA

Eerie, Indiana, population of 16,661. A beloved cult series about a young horror fan playing Nancy Drew in his strange hometown and uncovering some wild shit deserves a goddamn comeback already! It drives me crazy that this show only lasted one season, but that was enough to brand its legacy into young horror fans clamoring for more as we head into he show’s 30th anniversary!

So how would a reboot work? Well, I believe a continuation of sorts would work with grown versions of Marshall Teller and Simon Holmes to start. However, much like with the Are You Afraid of the Dark reboot airing on Paramount, I’d like to see it grow along with us and become darker to cater to it’s original fans back in 1991. Perhaps, Marshall is now that creepy introvert locked away in his house trying to solve old mysteries. Just throwing out some ideas here.

Friday the 13th: The Series

Once you get over the fact the Friday the 13th series has absolutely ZERO to do with Jason and the Camp Crystal Lake narrative, you come to realize it’s a pretty damn good show that got cut WAY too soon before we ever got a conclusion.

With the likes of David Cronenberg and Mick Garris behind the scenes, the series which debuted in 1987, consists of an antique dealer who made a deal with the devil to sell haunted antiques bound with misfortune. However, in exchange for power, came with greed and the devil took the dealer’s life as a consequence. Now, his niece and nephew who have inherited his store, have to deal with his bullshit curse along with it. To break it, the kids have to obtain these items back and of course all hell, literally, breaks loose in attempting to do so.

Much like with Eerie, Indiana, a continuation would work with the original cast, now older and wiser as the show ended quite abruptly. Give us a real ending please!

Tales From The Crypt

A few years back, the HBO horror series was slated to be revived by M. Night Shyamalan and all systems were a go… until they weren’t anymore and it was a massive bummer to all who were looking forward to a revival of the beloved tales of terror. And I’m here to say- MAKE IT HAPPEN ALREADY.

Much like the prior mentioned Creepshow series, a new slew of tales hosted by the Crypt Keeper would be ideal; however, this is what caused the project to be shelved in the first place concerning legal rights about the character. My thought would be how about HBO take out that protruding stick up their ass and just greenlight the damn thing already. The audience is here and waiting while you buy out horrible films that tank like Wonder Woman ’84. Ugh and GAG.

Freddy’s Nightmares

Syndicated to television hot off Freddy Mania and Dream Master, Freddy’s Nightmares was a horror anthology series set in Springwood with different tales of terror; hosted by none other than Freddy (Robert Englund) himself of course. While the show itself, with the exception of the first episode, left Freddy out of the picture as far as storytelling, it was a glorious piece of nostalgic 80s’ cheese that needs to be revived once more.

If Englund can host again, and I don’t see why not other than his own personal reasons, then this show can and would be dynamite in terms of rebooting. Let’s bring in names like Ari Aster, Rob Zombie (for a fun mix-up), and André Øvredal to write and direct and we got ourselves one killer hit. Shudder, I’m looking at you to get the ball rolling here.

So what do you guys think? What are some nostalgic nuggets of horror TV history you would like to see brought back to life? Let me know in the comments and let’s blow up Shudder’s Twitter to get this idea in their heads!

HODDER HAVOC: BEST KANE KILL FROM EVERY FRIDAY AND HATCHET FILM

Five years after Uber Jason and just two after he was inexplicably and shamefully denied his (and we apologize for the term) dream match-up with Robert Englund in FREDDY VS. JASON (2003), Kane Hodder was cast as another woods-roaming killer with parental issues.

In the wake of four turns as the Camp Crystal Lake marauder, Hodder didn’t sit back and feel sorry for himself, nor did he quit, he simply got back to work and redefined himself. As one dream came to a close Kane helped make another come to life, and Victor Crowley was born.

Adam Green first conjured the idea of the Bayou Butcher at the age of eight when (ironically enough) summer camp counselors warned the children to stay away from a particular cabin or “Hatchet-face” would get them. Though they never elaborated further, the idea lived in Green’s mind for the next 23 years until he and his crew took a trip to New Orleans, embarked on a swamp tour and shot a teaser trailer. The rest, as they say, is history.

With Jason so ingrained in the consciousness of the culture, some may have thought it a risk to portray a character that could be considered a ripoff of Jason Voorhees, but those concerns were quickly put to rest because Hodder doesn’t do anything half-assed, and it wasn’t long before Victor Crowley was a beloved symbol of horror greatness.

Not only did Kane claim domain over Jason after the character had been played by six other actors prior, he took the opportunity to establish a character from the ground up and transformed it into a fixture of the genre. For a man who has the word “kill” tattooed inside his bottom lip, it’s only fitting that we celebrate what Hodder does best — lay waste.

Rather than a top ten, we choose to shine light on the most memorable murder from each of Kane’s four turns as Voorhees and Victor, respectively. Eight films, eight finishes. But we’re not going to focus on machetes or hatchets or even gas-powered belt sanders. Nay, because as Hodder told YellMagazine in 2013, his hands are his favorite instrument of death.

“Just anything barehanded because anybody can kill with a weapon,” Hodder said. “I think it’s much more personal.”

So, let’s get to know Kane Hodder a little better, shall we?

8. “I’M KICKIN’ MY ASS! DO YA MIND?” — JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)

Though it was tempting to go with Creighton Duke here because we feel that Steven Williams’ character was the Darth Maul of the series–one that deserved far more than it got–in the end, it was merely a bear hug and felt a bit too unceremonious. Come to think of it, the same could be said for the entire picture: a fantastic idea poorly executed.

That said, we decided to go with the film’s lasting image. True, Hodder was denied his chance to square off with Krueger, but he did get the chance to slip into the sweater and knived-glove and yank his own mask to Hades.

It’s not a kill, really, but Jason Jason was only around for about 10 minutes and Kane’s security guard was dispatched off-screen earlier in the flick, so the slam dunk of Hodder offing himself was effectively Mutombo’d. New Line took FREDDY VS. JASON off the table, we’re putting it back on.

7. THE CURB STOMP — HATCHET II (2010)

Alright, this one isn’t so much bare hands as pure boot, but it’s Kane eradicating one of Reverend Zombie’s (Tony Todd) makeshift militiamen who just happened to be Leatherface from LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III (1990) in the most brutally badass manner, so top that.

Sorry, R.A. Mihailoff, but as Kane exasperated at the conclusion of the “Raising Kane” behind the scenes featurette for HATCHET III (2013), “quit comin’ in the fuckin’ swamp!”

6. LITTLE MAC FOR REAL — FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKE MANHATTAN (1989)

Look, you’re reading this on a site called Nightmare Nostalgia, which probably means you love the warm fuzzies of yesteryear as much as we do, so it stands to reason more than a handful of you will pick up what we’re about to put down.

Long before Gun Media unleashed Friday the 13th: The Game, there was the Nintendo abomination that left Friday freaks frustrated as hell because they couldn’t play as Jason. We mean, seriously, there’s dropping the ball and then there’s that. In any event, you could hurl all the knives and rocks you wanted (see what we mean about abomination?) but it hardly put a dent into old Jason. But when he wielded that machete/ax/toothbrush it didn’t take long before you were a faceless corpse.

Which brings us to another NES classic, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!. The upstart boxer who had a dream of becoming the champ, only he was undersized so despite all the jump-jabs, it only took one good shot from Tyson for sleepy time. Sound familiar?

Yeah, two years after Punch-Out!! was all the rage, MANHATTAN gifted us with a round of live-action with Julius (Vincent Craig Dupree, as V.C. Dupree) as Little Mac and the man of the hour, Hodder playing Tyson.

Grab a Soda Popinski and have a seat ringside!

5. “IN THE END, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE” — HATCHET III (2013)

Admittedly, I’m in the distinct minority here as someone who prefers Hodder as Victor as opposed to Voorhees, but then I’m also of the opinion that Derek Mears is the best Jason of all-time. So, when team leader Hawes (Mears) showed with his elite unit to hunt down Crowley, audiences knew his bluster and bravado would inevitably boil down to a knock-down, drag-out heavyweight tilt for the ages.

Those who knew the FRIDAY franchise, however, surely picked up on Mears’ character’s name being a JASON LIVES (1986) reference, so when the buildup of an epic showdown between two Jasons finally came to fruition, Green made it pretty clear whom he felt was the superior slasher. Bit of a twist on the end result, but she was foreshadowed to be sure. But hey, we’ve all been there. The anticipation mounts and mounts till you’re ready to erupt and when you finally crawl into bed and get that chance, erupt is exactly what you do. Quickly. Embarrassingly.

…or, maybe that’s just me. Moving on!

4. THE ULTIMATE FISTING — VICTOR CROWLEY (2017)

“Putting an arm into a vagina, out of the throat? Tricky. Tricky.”

No one could put it quite as eloquently as Hodder did with his Week 10 guest appearance on THE LAST DRIVE-IN this past August, so we’re not even going to try.

Scenes involving genitalia are old hat for Felissa Rose, but her role as Andrew Yong’s (Parry Shen) publicist Kathleen may finally be the one that rivals SLEEPAWAY CAMP’s (1983) final reveal. Look, she’s Joe Bob Briggs’ designated “Mangled Dick Expert” for a reason.

Kills don’t always have to be gory, sometimes they just need to be creative. And when Kane and Green get together, you can safely place money that you’ll lay eyes on something you’ve never seen before. The bonus? Vaginal Verizon never drops a call.

3. THE SLEEPING BAG — FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)

The perception of the character was forever altered the moment Voorhees emerged from the icy depths of Crystal Lake on May 13, 1988. From the giddiness of that initial glimpse at a hulking figure with a partially exposed spinal cord to the heaving breaths and absolute brutality that followed, it was clear that director John Carl Buechler’s push for Hodder to don the hock had changed the game, because Kane’s Jason was in all ways a Rubicon.

After six previous films that had turned Voorhees into a pop culture icon, Hodder came along and set the standard by which the character would be judged thenceforth. Anyone who needs further evidence need look no further than the fact that no other actor had (or has) fulfilled the role more than once, yet Kane would return for three more films following Part VII. While Hodder’s first turn in the franchise’s seventh chapter provided several memorable kills, nothing could top Judy (Debora Kessler) thinking that pulling the sleeping bag over her head would ward off the masked maniac like a bad dream. Kane plucked her from the tent and dragged it to the nearest tree with an enthusiastic aggression never before seen, and ensured that the Hodder era had only just begun.

While it’s true that Todd Farmer paid hilarious homage to this kill in JASON X (2001), nothing tops the OG

2. LIQUID NITROGEN FACIAL — JASON X (2001)

This movie has its detractors, but if one simply wants to turn their brain off, grab some popcorn and have a good time, you can do a lot worse than JASON X.

More proof, John Klein? In his final turn as Voorhees, Kane gifted us with his greatest Jason kill. And to bring it kinda-sorta full circle, his victim was named Adrienne (Kristi Angus), which we’re sure is a detail not lost on FRIDAY aficionados.

1, HEAVY IS THE HEAD — HATCHET (2006)

Our introduction to Victor Crowley allowed us some peeks at the bibs-wearing beast, but nothing could prepare us for the big unveiling As the group wandered about Honey Island Swamp looking for a way out, the elder couple decided to go it alone because they were done with the whole scene. Only thing was, they didn’t know just how done they actually were.

Oh, and that whole curiosity about would the character just be a rip off of Jason? That was put to bed in seconds. Hodder emerged from his shed with a roar and ran–yes, ran–toward his prey. He filleted Mr. Permatteo (Richard Riehle) in short order, then set his sights on Lumpkins.

Shannon (Patrika Darbo) tried to flee, but Victor hustled over, grabbed her by the hair and…well, we all know the not-so unfortunate end to that story: the finest Kane Kill of all-time.

So, yeah, it took mere moments for Hodder to prove that we weren’t in Crystal Lake anymore…Toto.

Eight kills in eight films that turned one actor into a two-time icon.

Such matters are always up for debate, so if your favorite kill didn’t make the cut or you take umbrage with the rankings, please weigh in using the comments section below.

Oh, and in honor of Kane’s 66th birthday on April 8, like and share this piece on Facebook and / or Twitter using the hashtag #HodderHavoc to be entered into a drawing to win this 11 x 17 VICTOR CROWLEY movie poster signed by Hodder at HorrorHound Indianapolis in 2018. The winner will be announced on Nightmare Nostalgia’s Facebook and Twitter on April 9.

Still a Dead-Eye 35 Years On: A CHOPPING MALL Interview with Kelli Maroney

When Season 2 of The Last Drive-In opened with a shot of CHOPPING MALL spelled out on the marquee over Joe Bob Briggs’ shoulder last April I nearly squealed. Okay, I might have squealed. But it was only because CHOPPING MALL is perhaps my favorite drive-in movie of all-time, and knowing that Barbara Crampton had already been on the show meant that we’d be getting a dose of Kelli Maroney had me straight up giddy with anticipation.

And judging by the reaction on Twitter, I was not alone. While it’s hard to believe that it’s been three-and-a-half decades since we spent the night with a group of horny teenagers taking on a gang of killbots, it isn’t difficult to understand why the film seems to grow in popularity the further it gets from its original release date of March 21, 1986. It hits the ground running and never stops.

With titles like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982) and NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984) to her credit, Kelli Maroney is a bona fide queen of ’80s cinema, but CHOPPING MALL holds a special place in the hearts of many, including the star of the film.

“How could you not be delighted that people enjoy something as much as they seem to enjoy CHOPPING MALL? The appreciation and the gratitude is off the charts.”

Our appreciation and gratitude too is off the charts, not only for 77 minutes of awesome, but that Ms. Maroney shared a few moments with us over the phone in early February to discuss her memories of the shoot, her confusion over why no one ever told her Joe Bob was a fox, the status of a possible television series, and she even shared a personal tidbit about the picture that she’d never told anyone before.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kelli f***ing Maroney.

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA: Can you believe it’s been 35 years?

KELLI MARONEY: That’s what I always say. If you had told me in 1986 that in 2021 I’d be giving five interviews this week for CHOPPING MALL? (laughs) I would’ve said “What are you smokin’?” because it wouldn’t have been real to me. It used to be more NIGHT OF THE COMET but now it’s CHOPPING MALL. Even Joe Bob Briggs said “What’s the deal with CHOPPING MALL?” and his producer said “Dude, it’s the most popular thing.”

Even I said to (director) Jim Wynorski “Can you believe this? I can’t get over it. I can never get over it.” It never gets old, it’s always stunning. I’m tickled, I’m delighted and really touched because that’s the whole point of doing this is to connect with people and give them something that they enjoy. And this is beyond anybody’s wildest dreams to have done something that people like so much, but I had no idea it was going to be CHOPPING MALL.

NN: It almost felt like the anniversary celebrations began last year when CHOPPING MALL opened Season 2 of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. We’re not going to rehash that conversation, but give us a peek behind the curtain of being on one of horror’s biggest stages.

KM: It was amazing. First of all, I got a message from (Briggs) on Twitter and I thought “this isn’t really Joe Bob Briggs,” but it was, it was John (Bloom). He’s a lovely guy and he’s extremely smart. And Joe Bob is a character obviously, but it’s just heightened. If John was always in his sense of humor, and it was just heightened and a little more Southern, it’s still him. So, you get there and everybody is so nice. At first I met Diana (Prince) — Darcy the Mail GIrl — and my friend Felissa Rose had been on before, so I reached out because I was excited. If you’re on Joe Bob you’re a horror fixture in that community otherwise you wouldn’t be there.

First of all, I had never met him before, so when he was on MonsterVision I had never seen that so I thought Joe Bob, what is he a big, fat guy with a beer belly that talks about boobs all the time? I had no interest. I didn’t know what he was doing because I’d never seen it, but no one ever told me he was a babe (laughs). Seriously, no one had ever said anything to change that perception that I had.

He’s a very big supporter of the Chattanooga Film Festival, which is lovely, and they gave me an award once, First Joe Bob did a little riff on NIGHT OF THE COMET — well, it wasn’t a little riff because that dude gets seriously in depth and it’s never little, he always gives a full talk — but my award was a paper mache slice of pizza designed by a local artist who is told what the recipient means to the festival and then the artist creates it. And I said, pizza? And Chris Dortch, who owns and runs the festival and presented the award, said “Yes, you’re like pepperoni pizza. You make everything better that you’re in.” I said “awww, that’s adorable. That’s so sweet!” So, I took a picture with Joe Bob, and even with my huge high heels on I am half his size because he’s tall and I”m petite.

So, back to Felissa. I asked her advice on guesting for the show and she said “don’t tell him something you’ve already told everybody else in interviews” So, I took that as don’t tell the same old story about how I wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl. Don’t bore Joe Job. Be entertaining. And Felissa has no problem just saying things, so she set the bar so high.

Sometime as actors you get all serious about things and nobody cares, they want you to be fun. And as you can see, I’ll just talk as long, until you tell me to stop (laughs).

I love when fans feel like they’re a part of things, and that’s what’s so great about The Last Drive-In. The whole Mutant Family gets on Twitter and it’s a lot of fun. But I was extremely thrilled when I found out it was true. In fact, Darcy direct messaged me on Twitter saying “let me know if you’d don’t hear from them because I’m not doing CHOPPING MALL if you’re not there.”

NN: You’ve probably seen tons of CHOPPING MALL cosplay over the years, but has anyone done it better than Darcy?

KM: No. No. And we had a long girl conversation about “can you even find this blouse anymore?” and the shoes that were closest to what I had worn were $100 so we weren’t doing that, but in two million years I never thought I’d be having a set conversation about that outfit (laughs). She had it down. She even had the patch, and she even did the limp — like at the end when I was limping — it was a thing of beauty. You can really tell she doesn’t just do it because it’s in the movie and she sees what they’re wearing, she’s got the whole thing down.

NN: Is it uncomfortable maneuvering around with a flare in your bra?

KM: You know I forgot all about it. It fit perfectly in there and I forgot all about it (laughs). As did Allison, she almost forgot she had it, too! She looks down and she’s like “oh yeah, I’ve got a flare!” I don’t know, it just fit right.

NN: You never know what movies are going to resonate with audiences, and 35 years later we’re still talking about CHOPPING MALL as you said, but did your head kind of explode like Suzee Slater’s when Liam Carroll posted his piece for The Spool (which you shared on Twitter) outlining how the film had helped him through anxiety attacks and depression. When you read something like that about a drive-in , B-movie that obviously means something to people, how does that make you feel?

KM: Through the internet and doing conventions you hear these kinds of stories a lot and that’s why you want to be an actor. You put up with the lifestyle and the uncertainty and everything that goes along with it because we just have that driving need to connect with other people. It’s such extreme validation to hear that back, that something I put my heart and soul into and it comes back in a wave. I wasn’t out there acting into a void, it’s hitting people and it means something to them. I’ve given them something and they’ve given me something, and it means that I didn’t waste my life doing something that didn’t mean anything, people like CHOPPING MALL (laughs).

NN: There were some rumors a few years ago about CHOPPING MALL doing a television series, and unless I missed something, did anything ever come of that or something that might still happen?

KM: Wynorski’s in charge of that. We were getting set to do a tease, and then I’m not sure exactly what happened because I think he had several meetings with Lionsgate but as they say in the industry, put a pin in it, which means put a pin in it like on a bulletin board and save it for later. It’s just a risky venture I would think, so I don’t know I haven’t heard anything about it for quite a while.

NN: We’re not going to ask you what your favorite scene or line from the film is because I know you’ve answered those questions a thousand times, but I am interested to know what your lasting image is. When you’re thinking about CHOPPING MALL and not being interviewed about it, what comes back to you most?

KM: I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never told anyone.

NN: I like to hear that.

KM: Ready?

NN: I am.

KM: Sometimes that song, the CHOPPING MALL theme goes through my head when I’m doing my makeup or driving around (laughs). And that is true, it is absolutely true (laughs).

NN: I introduced a friend of mine to CHOPPING MALL and he appreciates it as a B-movie, but I refer to it as a classic and one day he said “you know what, CHOPPING MALL is not a classic.” So, I said I’m going to be interviewing the star of the movie and we’ll see. His name is Chad, so if you have message for Chad as to why CHOPPING MALL is a classic, I’d love to hear it.

KM: Hey Chad, sorry you got dragged into this, but since you are (laughs), you can like it or not like it but I don’t like THE SOUND OF MUSIC particularly, but it’s a classic so you’re just going to have to eat this one on CHOPPING MALL. I’m sorry (laughs).