Need 43 minutes to waste? Call up your local Pizza Hut, grab your 20-year-old TMNT pillowcase and let’s get down on some horribly bad costumed Ninja Turtles on the Oprah Winfrey show.
You’d really have to be living in a sewer back in the late ’80s and early ’90s if you hadn’t seen a single episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Skateboarding teenage amphibians and talking rats along with Bebop and Rocksteady were LIFE. I’m proud to claim my insane devotion to TurtleMania that swept the era of Saturday Morning goodness. However, I don’t know if I can ever have the strength to defend that insanely wacky “Coming Out of Their Shells” album and tour from 1990.
Good God, it’s Magic Mike, Donatello.
Yeah, I got nothing. No words.
Anyways, on the heels of a successful Saturday morning national treasure, and that first feature-length kick-ass movie, the Turtles moved into the music scene with a live tour and album- sponsored by who else? Pizza Hut, duh. The “Coming Out of Their Shells” tour was promoted on the original release of the TMNT VHS movie from 1990, (if anyone actually remembers), among countless commercials from the nationwide pizza chain. The show itself, which did air live on Pay Per View once, showcased the mean, green heroes dancing, singing timeless hits such as, “Pizza Power” and“Skipping Stones”, and playing instruments because hey, they were a band now. We had Donatello on keys, Leonardo on bass guitar, Michelangelo on guitar, and Raphael on drums while also making Kenny G envious of his sweet saxophone skills. Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without the Turtles’ arch-nemesis Shredder. And oh yes, his costume is just as awfully stupendous. The Shred-Head, along with buggy brainiac Baxtor Stockman, invent a device that steals all the music in the world while also weakening the Turtles if they stand too close to it. So there we have an epically staged corn fest of singing turtles saving the day. But man, it sure didn’t seem that way when we were kids. Am I right?
Or maybe not…
Well in any regard, the power of the Turtle was so strong even the mighty Oprah had to acknowledge it with a full show dedicated to the four mutants and their traveling live album. The audience was PACKED with little TMNT enthusiasts as you can umm, see above. I would only assume that the horrified look above may have been from Oprah’s question to the Turtles on whether they wished April was a turtle-like themselves. Which good ole’ Ralphel replies, “Well, I’ve been trying to talk her into an interspecies relationship for months now.” That poor woman playing April O’Neil looks so mortified.
Something tells me there is NO WAY that would fly in this day and age. Ahh, well gotta love the ’90s! Check out the entire show below courtesy of the Digsy channel.
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.
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, 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.
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!
It’s one of those things that if you didn’t know, you’re mind just got friggin’ blown like a scene from Scanners.
I was one of those people, and I’m seriously pissed off that nobody bothered to tell me that this national treasure existed. FOR SHAME on you, while I hang my own head in humility.
Anway, upon learning about this hidden-from-me-gem, I immediately ordered a copy (and you should too) from Amazon, and gave it a view over this past weekend. I was not disappointed folks.
Fresh off the massive genre hit with fans Halloween, Carpenter aimed his directorial skills toward the smaller screen with 1979’s made for TV biopic Elvis. Starring in his first of many Carpenter films, Kurt Russell takes on the daunting task of portraying the man, the myth, the lip-curl himself, along with Russell’s real-life father Bing Russell playing Elvis’ father Vernon in the film as well. Which would totally account for the believability factor as far as paternal ownership in the movie. Shelly Winters (Roseanne, The Poisedian Adventure) tackles the important role of Mama Gladys- if you’re an Elvis fan, you know how much this man loved his mama. Also starring Halloween alumni Charles Cyphers, Pat Hingle, and Russell’s ex-wife Season Hubley as Priscilla Presley, Elvis is a wonderful Carpenter family affair on-screen that respectfully pays tribute to the trials and tribulations of rock legend without diving into his death.
Made only two years after the King’s passing, the 150-minute biopic focuses on the star’s childhood, the rise and peak of his fame, and the important relationships in this legend’s life that affected an empathetic man so greatly. According to reports, there are two other versions of the film that aired in the UK beginning with Elvis’ hair being cut before his entrance into the US army, and then the death of his mother. With a great deal of the story being told before these two incidents appear in the film, I’m certainly glad that wasn’t the final cut! We cannot be deprived of that wonderful Shelley Winters, now can we?
Apart from the obvious, and at times not so great lip-synching, Russell’s Elvis persona is by far, my favorite I’ve ever seen. You’re also talking to a born and raised Vegas girl here, and I’ve seen COUNTLESS impersonators in my lifetime; more than I even care to. But, Russell really does pull it off embodying the very spirit of the King right down to his signature movements and hell, he really does look like him too! So that’s a pretty great bonus. With portraying a personality as large as Elvis, it’s so easy to go overboard (haha) with it. However, with Russell, it seems natural. Which speaks volumes about his acting chops. Fun fact: Kurt Russell actually appeared in an Elvis film, It Happened at the World’s Fair in 1963, where a mini Russell kicked the King of Rock and Roll in the shins. Russell also dubbed the voice of Elvis seen in Forrest Gump in ’94 and played an Elvis impersonator in 3000 Miles to Graceland. So I suppose it’s fair to say Russell has had his fair share of defining Elvis moments in cinema. However, Carpenter’s Elvis should, and I think is, his crowning achievement in his lip-curling legacy towards the once Graceland resident.
Originally airing as part of an ABC Sunday night special movie in 1979, Elvis went on to receive nominations from the Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture Made For Television and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor (Russell). Didn’t win, but well deserved in any regard.
If you’re an Elvis fan or a lover of made for TV glory, I highly recommend picking this diddy up and adding it to your collection.