Nato: Thanks for the introduction this week Remy!
Remy: So horror television seems to be the big thing now, yeah? It only took two solid seasons of American Horror Story to set the tone for what is upon us right now, paving the way for slew of weekly screamers to haunt repeat viewers.
You’ve got Bates Motel, like Smallville with killers. You have The Following and Cult, which are two sides of the same coin. But now with Hannibal catching fire and the surprisingly enjoyable (albeit a bit contrived) Hemlock Grove presented by Eli Roth now available on Netflix, we are living in the time of horror television whether we want to admit it or not. There is even a sub-par Zombieland show that has arrived recently (not nearly as bad as everyone says though, as per Remy).
This got us thinking: What other horror shows have come and gone to little fanfare, yet we love them anyways? The following (see what I did there) are six horror shows that did not survive nearly as long as Nato and I wish they had.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Twin Peaks, which may be the best “horror” show of all time, in this writer’s opinion, but that’s neither here nor there right now. Read on for some true TV horror goodness not nearly enough people enjoyed, as we count down our favorite canceled horror TV shows.Next
Remy- Kindred: The Embraced
I REALLY dug this show, which was about warring vampire factions surviving in a modern world. What I liked about Kindred: The Embraced was how each clan of vampires was different, but hated each other for the same (trite) reasons we humans all hate one another. In other words, they were at war over slightly different beliefs. It had everything that made vampires cool. Sex, blood, and even those weird, bald vampires that are all feral that you saw a lot post Blade II.
Why did it not survive: It was a vampire drama LONG before vampire dramas were cool (think pre Twilight and True Blood, to which I say “ugghhh” in the most drawn out way as possible) and was trying to survive in a time when Fox was owning the air waves with late night soap operas about adults who just wanna bang.
In other words, it was way ahead of its time.
Okay, so not so much a horror show as it was a Sci-Fi show with horror elements, Surface was a really interesting ride, but the lack of payoff turned a lot of viewers away.
Surface was about an alien life form that was detected in some water following a strange storm, and how that creature integrates itself into the lives of the many people it effects. It also stars Lake Bell who I want to put my whole self inside, so there’s that.
The problem with the show seemed to lie with its peculiar pacing, and the idea of giving us Lost-sized plot holes (pre Lost) that they were only adding to, week after week. I, personally, would have liked to see a few more seasons, but I seemed alone in that desire.Previous Next
Coming from the same school as the wonderful Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil, Reaper was about a young guy whose parents promised his soul to the devil, and who is ultimately faced with the task of taking out demons that come to destroy Earth and humanity. The real key difference between this show and most of the others in this list is that Reaper was a full on horror comedy, using the evil stuff more for laughs than anything else. But the thing is, it worked. The show was cast well, and though it was cheesy, was a great deal of fun and amassed a cult like following (sorry, enough with that wordplay already) by the time it was canceled.
The most memorable thing about this show was definitely Ray Wise as the Devil, in a performance he clearly had a great deal of fun with.
Remy- The Fades
Okay, disclaimer, BBC TV owns life. I make no qualms about hiding how The Misfits (first two seasons) is the best show I have ever seen, and The Fades seems to be from that same school of adult themes not watered down for a younger audience, as is the case with American TV.
The Fades was about a young man who could see the dead (not in a Sixth Sense type of way, but more in a Heartless kind of way), and lived in a world where he tried to learn to balance both of those realms he was trying to coexist in. Fades are the name for the dead who have not left the Earth (for various reasons), and Paul (an angelic), is trying to figure out a way to stop the fades from bleeding fully into our world and destroying the human race. While it was only six episodes long, and told a concise story in that time, for a television universe that was ripe for the picking, six episodes was just not enough for what they could have potentially done with that idea.Previous Next
Nato- Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil
Every once and a while I find something on Netflix I can’t help but instantaneously fall in love with, making my monthly payment for the year worthwhile. My most recent discovery was the Canadian horror comedy show Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil, falling in love after the very first episode which mixed everything a horror fan could want – obscenities, gore, chosen ones, people shredding guitars so feverishly their opponents start bleeding out their ass, and an evil book that possesses a new victim each episode Todd must defeat. Coming from a die-hard B-Movie horror fan, Todd’s headbanging quest is some of the most fun I’ve had with the genre in years.
While absolutely filled with horror, Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil features a group of high school students who not only have to fight a new demon every episode, but also deal with the awkwardness of their age. Todd (Alex House) and his best friend Curtis (Billy Turnbull) not only have to fight pure evil, but also their raging hormones and cliquey classmates. It’s a fantastic blend of horror comedy, stoner comedy, teenage comedy, and perverted comedy all rolled up into one beautifully gut-busting show. Hell, with episode titles like ”Rock N’ Roll Zombies Know Best” and ”See You Later, Masturbator,” how are you not running to watch this show right now?
But seriously, there wasn’t a single episode of Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil I didn’t love. Every creature was more creative than the next, every joke just as funny as the last, every kill just as gory as the previous, and every moment just as memorable as the billion before – hell, there’s even musical numbers thrown in to accompany the insanity, pulling off productions like something Trey Parker and Matt Stone would include in their work.
This brilliant cast of characters will have you laughing until you’re doubled over in excruciating pain, finding release only when the episode has finally finished, but it’s a sad day when such a momentous genre show is canceled after only two seasons. Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil died entirely too young, as I can only dream of the hormone influenced insanity we were robbed of by canceling this show far too early, and cry my nights away.Previous Next
Nato- Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
Another pick that is a serious challenge to consider horror, but being a spoof of those old-school Twilight Zone inspired horror mystery shows of long, long ago, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is a horror comedy with so much dry, British wit you’ll need kettles on kettles of tea to get through it.
But if you love dry British wit, incredibly self-aware F-Grade productions actually trying to be bad in order to make fun of a whole other genre, The IT Crowd‘s Matt Berry and Richard Ayoade being absolutely bonkers, and hilarious “so bad it’s good” humor, then Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is just for you.
I can’t begin to explain the weirdness that goes on during Darkplace, because the fun is in not knowing a blessed thing, but to sum things up pretty well there’s an episode where one of the characters can control objects with her mind, so all of the office supplies start attacking the cast members. Just picture Richard Ayoade (dressed dapperly above) shooting a shotgun blindly out his window at plates dangling on strings, all the while acting as horribly funny as possible, meanwhile laughably dubbed sound effects accentuate that awful quality the show aims for.
If that sounds like your thing, please check out Darkplace as soon as possible for a crazy watch I guarantee you won’t be expecting. Honestly, that’s all I can really say about the show. Well, that, plus it’s bloody f*cking brilliant.
So has anyone else seen these horror TV shows? If so, do you share the love Remy and I feel? Let us know in the comments!
*A special thanks to Remy for stepping in to guest write! Feel free to follow either of us on Twitter for even more insanity and updates:
Matt Donato Follow @DoNatoBomb
Remy Carreiro Follow @RemyCarreiro
Like what you read? Check out last week’s article where Remy and I talk about the epicness of Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead!Previous