Tag Archives: tales from the crypt

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!

That Random Car In the Title of ‘Tales From the Darkside’

One of my fondest memories from childhood was staying up late and watching the many glorious horror-themed shows late-night TV had to offer us back in the 80’s. My mom was pretty cool about that back then. I was no more than five and I still recall the greats I spent many nights watching. Twilight Zone, The Hitchhiker, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Unsolved Mysteries – just to name a few, and their themes still ring loud and clear in the shadowy halls of my memory.

One thing these spooktacular shows all shared was a riveting opening title accompanied by a haunting score. You all know what I’m talking about. The Twilight Zone sports a pivotal theme that remains timeless to this day. And who can deny the impact Danny Elfman’s immortal theme from Tales From the Crypt had on our generation? Remarkable!

All of that is to bring us to the subject at hand revolving around one of my favorite creepy shows, Tales From the Darkside!

From horror maestro himself, George Romero came this grizzly collection featuring beloved short horror tales from the mind of Clive Barker and other renowned writers of horror, Tales From the Darkside brought scary stories to life in various comeuppance morality tales.

The opening always gave me the chills as a kid. That eery as Hell music playing over visions of lovely fields, a country farmstead, a rippling brook and a covered bridge. Sights that should convey a welcoming sense of warmth and meditation, something the dark mind of Paw Paw Romero intentionally planned just so he could pull the rug out from underneath our feet. The sights change as the title is revealed and all of a sudden the pleasant world we have been introduced to is malformed into a sinister realm of shadows and dread, just like the genuine dark world which awaits behind the placid world we live in. Darkness is always just only one bad day away.

Right before the title shows, and I mean like a second or so before, we see in the bottom left corner a car that gets swallowed up in the Darkside. It never was anything I gave much of a thought to until an ex of mine mentioned the car was a blooper. Like it was a mistake and wasn’t supposed to be caught on film. Like while the studio was filming the opening shots some random car photobombed the process.

Funny, because I never once got that impression. I told her that too and explained how I always assumed the car was meant to be there. As if whatever family was in that car had just suddenly been sucked into the void. The idea startled her, because that’s how Hell works, right? One moment you’re out enjoying a lovely drive out in the countryside and the next the Darkside consumes you, your day, and possibly you’re entire life.

A flat tire lands you stranded in the middle of the shadowy woods where you can hear a distant banjo playing.

You’re out by yourself hoping to get some sun by the lake when local rapists come zooming by with oogly eyes all over your body.

The Wolfman Cometh
image via The Wolfman Cometh

You get a puzzle box and suddenly awaken the wonders of Hell.

You have a nightmare that lures the dream demon to your helpless state of mind.

That’s what horror has always been about! The normal and everyday world being consumed by the Darkside. That little car in the opening credits epitomizes what we love about horror. I don’t know who was in that car – and that’s part of the charm, it could be anyone of us in it – but I thank them for providing such a wonderful (but underrated) visual for us.

Ok my Nasties, this has been your good pal, Manic Exorcism once again. I’ll be back later to over-analyze even more things no one in their right mind would give a second thought to. But hey, that’s what we do here.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment below? Was it a simple photobomb, or perhaps there was something more sinister afoot?

 

 

 

Horror Heroes: 5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Crypt Keeper

I remember quite distinctly the first time an eight-year-old version of myself, had snuck into the hallway of my childhood home upon hearing some hauntingly delightful music blaring from the television well past my bedtime. Being the nosy little fucker I am, I ninja-ed my way out my bedroom door and into our hallway where I peeked around a corner that held a slightly obstructed, yet palatable view of our living room- but most importantly here, the television set. In which I had a great view of in my little corner of secrecy. I spotted my parents snuggled up on our Roseanne-esque sofa, eyes fixed at our beastly Sony TV that sat heavily on the shag carpet where visions of thunder, lightning, an obvious haunted house, and cackling laughter filled the screen. And that’s when I caught my first glimpse of one of THEE most important staples of any ’90s kid’s childhood- The Crypt Keeper.

 

Of course, I wasn’t the greatest sneakster, so I was spotted pretty quickly during the first few minutes of the program. Although, much to my delight and having the coolest dad ever, he invited me to join in to watch alongside and thus begun a Saturday night ritual of tits, gore, and the most awfully awesome puns from the Crypt Keeper that I repeated to friends the following Monday before the school bell rang. Parenting at it’s finest, am I right?! I guess I was pretty lucky to have the sort of father who had no shame in lying to my mother saying he was taking me to the movies to see Lady and the Tramp when what he really meant to say was he was taking his ten-year-old daughter to the cinema to watch The Exorcist III, (and yes, I loved every second of being scared shitless from the articulate Gemini Killer.) Anyway, twenty some odd years later and episodes via Tales From the Crypt remains a beloved staple in my rotation slot, as I’m sure with many of you boils and ghouls as well. On that note, I figured I’d tip my hat to the putrid host with the most and drop a few HAXILERATING fun facts about the gangly little puppet we all fell in love with his first appearance back in 1989.

 

5. Jeepers Keeper, Where’d You Get Those Eyes?

chucky

Yep, if you ever thought to yourself, “Hey self, ole’ Crypty boy’s eyes look a tad familiar,” then you are right about that young padawan.  Infamous creature designer Kevin Yagher used a clear pair of his previous creation’s baby blues’ Chucky, as part of the design for the animatronic Crypt Keeper. Also, much like with the little Lake Shore Strangler, it also took a skilled team of six people to operate the Keeper’s animatronics.

 

5. The Crypt Keeper Actually Has an Origins Story

lower berth

In case it has been some time since you’ve revisited the series or perhaps missed this one entirely, season two intentionally gave us a surprise origin story of our favorite undead master of bad puns and shock tales. Episode 14 appropriately titled Lower Berth brings us to Feeley’s Fantastic Fairway of Freaks, where we meet a rather sensitive two-headed mutant corpse named Enoch who has a boner for an ancient mummy named Myrna. Enoch escapes the freak show and the hands of his abusive owner with Myrna and they have an ummm, interesting night in a dank cave before they are discovered a year later and taken back to the carnival prison. That is, however, not before a hellish offspring is birthed by Myrna- the Crypt Keeper. And he’s totally kind of cute! In the post discussion of the story with the Keeper, he states his parents are still at the carnival today, 80 years later. So, I suppose that makes the Keeper 80 years old at the time of the tale.

 

3. There Are Two Versions Out There Of Each Episode

crpt keeper director

Robert Zemeckis and fellow producers knew they had syndication gold on their hands, so they wanted to plan ahead for Tales to maybe be eventually broadcast on other stations that weren’t so shall we say, lenient when it comes to sex, language, and gore. and that’s exactly what happened in the Summer of 1994 over at FOX as they picked up the series as part of their late-night programming. The episodes were re-edited with alternate scenes that cut out all the naughty fun stuff, and actors were instructed to loop those hilarious dubs of non-foul language into scenes while shooting. Fuckin’ became friggin’ and so on. It was nice for those who didn’t have a subscription to HBO or if you some serious uptight parents that allowed this version to be seen. There’s always a silver lining.

 

2. The Series Got Reworked As a Game Show

The 90’s were the prime era for kids and weirdly fun game shows. With gems like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, why not base a kid-friendly game show on a series known for tits and blood?! Although it only lasted one season, Secrets of the Crypt Keeper’s Haunted House came to Universal Orlando and syndicated into CBS Saturday mornings in 1996 featuring John Kassir and his puppet alter ego. Two teams with team names of “scary creatures” of a pair of kiddies competed for the glorious and coveted prize of a brand new Apple computer by answering questions from a giant floating head and successfully completing obstacles such as Fireball Alley and The Swamp From Hell. All while CK is taunting them in the process, because hey, that’s what he does right? Even with just one season under their belt, the program did somehow get nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Game Show category. Of course, that win went to The Price is Right but it’s kind of cool it got some recognition!

 

1. The Crypt Keeper Released a Christmas Album

Tales From the Crypt Christmas

Oh yes, we’re decking the halls with parts of Charlie with this pun-tastic holiday album featuring the Crypt Keeper! Released in 1994 by Warner Bros., the horror holiday affair with the late night ghoul of fright including such national treasure tracks as “We Wish You’d Bury The Missus”, “Twelve Days of Cryptmas”, and the all-important rap song featuring the horror icon! I mean, Freddy had the Fat Boys and Maniac Cop got into the rap game. It only seems appropriate for the king of wordplay to hop on that bandwagon and drop some sick rhymes too!