My apologies for my relative absence as of late, but unfortunately life outside the Vault has taken its toll on ol' B-Sol. But just like the prodigal son I've returned, and I'm here with a brand new Tuesday Top 10. This time around, let's take a long, hard look at my all-time favorite horror TV series, shall we?
10. Masters of Horror
This Showtime original series gave us a set of short films from some of the greatest directors in horror history. Yes, it may have been uneven at times, but how can you knock an uncensored platform for guys like Dario Argento, John Carpenter and Stuart Gordon to do their thing?
For my money, one of the most underrated TV shows of the 1980s, this short-lived production of the early days of the FOX network took the format made popular in The Fugitive and The Incredible Hulk TV series, and adapted it to the lore of the lycanthrope.
8. Good vs. Evil
This richly original USA/Sci-Fi channel series (also known as G vs. E) was one of the most fresh, new and fun takes on horror comedy I've ever seen, and it's a shame it wasn't given much of a chance. Agents of God who take the form of Pulp Fiction-like bad-asses do battle with demons on the streets of L.A. Sold yet?
7. The X-Files
I never was one of this show's ardent fan base, but I can respect it for what it was, and the importance it played in putting supernatural-themed TV back on the map. I always liked it best, though, as a modern-day Kolchak, as opposed to when it got mired in its never-ending (and never resolved ) alien storyline.
6. The Night Stalker
And speaking of Kolchak, next up is everyone's favorite ornery dishevelled paranormal investigator disguised as a tabloid reporter. It might have been a terribly repetitious show, but it certainly knew how to take a juicy premise and run with it. And the zombie episode is still balls-to-the-wall terrifying.
5. Dark Shadows
Who can forget that creepy opening, with its eerie theme and dreary footage of waves crashing ominously on a rocky shore? This show embodied fear to me as a kid. And Jonathan Frid was superb as Barnabas Collins. Who knew a soap opera could be this bone-chillingly good?
4. True Blood
This HBO original really threw me for a loop--maybe it was Twilight shell-shock that had me assuming it would be a soapy, pretentious turd. But I was wrong, and this vampire series has proven that HBO still has some life left in it as a producer of the best stuff on TV.
3. Tales from the Crypt
Also from HBO, this brainchild of Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis and Joel Silver perfectly captured the gallows humor and rich visuals of the classic 1950s horror comics. And in the process, the putrid Crypt Keeper became a cultural icon.
Is it horror by the strictest definition? Probably not. But it centers on a serial killer, revels in graphic depictions of his kills, and plays with the line between good and evil, light and dark. So by my judgement, it goes in. Not to mention it's currently the best drama on television, period.
1. The Twilight Zone
After all these years, the top choice remains the same. In creating The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling gave the early medium of television one of the greatest gifts it ever got--a superbly written, dynamically acted and skillfully executed genre TV series. Mixing elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and of course horror, The Twilight Zone may very well be genre's finest TV moment, and it certainly is horror's.
For more on boob tube terror, check out my five-part history of horror on television:
Part 1: Fear Invades the Living Room
Part 2: Terror Comes of Age
Part 3: How to Scare Without Losing Sponsors
Part 4: Small-Screen Revolution
Part 5: Triumph of the Tube
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Congratulations are in order for the VoH's sister blog, Day of the Woman, which today reached its 100th post. In celebration of the event, head over there and check out the A-Z of Horror Movie Actresses, featuring 100 of the most memorable female stars of all time.