Monday, February 17, 2014

At Anorak: Monsters from Yesterday - Four Horror TV Anthologies that Deserve a DVD Resurrection

My new article is up at Anorak. It is called "Monsters from Yesterday" and it gazes at four horror TV anthologies -- The Evil Touch (1973 - 1974), Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected (1977), Darkroom (1981 - 1982), and The Hitchhiker (1983 - 1987) -- which I would like to see released in their entirety on DVD.

Here's a snippet:
"The imminent arrival of Monsters on DVD is a good reminder that the genre anthology was once one of television’s most durable and memorable forms. From Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955 – 1962) and The Twilight Zone (1959 – 1964) to Boris Karloff’s Thriller (1961 – 1962) and Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1970 – 1973), the anthology often served as a training ground for future film directors like Richard Donner, Jeannot Szwarc, and Steven Spielberg.
In particular, working in the anthology format taught these young talents a sense of economy in their storytelling; how to establish and shape characters with visual distinction, and sometimes with remarkably little exposition.
Over the last few years, many of the more obscure entries in the horror anthology format have been released on DVD, including, Ghost Story/Circle of Fear (1972 – 1973), a series hosted by Sebastian Cabot.
But many other examples of the form still deserve to be excavated for modern audiences.  Four of the spikiest and strangest are described below."

Check out the rest of the article at Anorak, and leave a comment, if you can, to let me know what you think!


  1. John this it what I posted at Anorak:

    John excellent reviews. I agree with your argument for the importance of these and all other anthology series. I have always enjoyed the anthology because they force the viewer to think without any long term commitments to the characters or the individual stand alone episode. Anything can happen and no character is safe.


    1. SGB: I want to sincerely thank you, once more, for taking the time to post at Anorak on one of my articles. It means a lot to me! I love what you wrote about anything being able to happen, and no character being safe. The anthology format -- with no restrictions on continuing characters or settings -- can really be experimental, daring, and ambitious. That's why I love the form so much!