Friday, October 4, 2019

TerrorVision (TV Series)

7 episodes

At this point, the film, TerrorVision (1986) has crawled it’s way out of VHS obscurity to become a minor cult hit, especially after the recent Shout Factory Blu-ray showed off how well it captures the neon and slime of mid-1980s horror. In 1988 that TerrorVision was something you might rent if you were adventurous or if everything else you wanted to rent was already gone. You may have, in fact, turned your cable box on to the Lifetime channel while fiddling with your VCR to watch Terrorvision when you caught the other TerrorVision.

This TerrorVision has no relation to the film. It is a series of separate ten-minute long horror stories that were used to fill time in between programming on the Lifetime network. The stories themselves are very simple and feel like the natural extension of 1950s horror anthology comics which would often feature 4-5 stories an issue. They waste no time getting to the premise and rush to a conclusion. It isn’t groundbreaking television by any stretch of the imagination, but it is competent and occasionally even fun.

"Ugh... please tell me you have some eye drops on you."

The seven episodes are as follows:
  • The Closet Monster – A child is convinced there is a monster in his closet, his parents are not so sure.
  • Final Edition – A woman and her jerk-ass cat named Kirk are alone in a house… or are they?
  • The Craving – A man with a toothache picks the wrong dentist.
  • Reflections of a Murder – The most serious of the lot, a man kills his partner and is then haunted by a reflection. 
  • One of a Kind – A young woman comes to a clothing store for a modeling job, sadly, she gets it.
  • A Cold Day in July – A gambler gets into debt and kills to keep it quiet. 
  • Rosemary’s Lot  - A pathologist in love is haunted by a hand in a jar.

Of the set, The Craving is the one that I remembered the most from seeing it on TV as a child, mostly for the groan-inducing joke at the end. Final Edition has some legitimately good use of foreground and background framing to keep the stalker an ever-present but unseen threat. A Cold Day in July’s ending is so rushed that I actually had to rewind it just to see what happens at the climax.  There aren’t any real clunkers in the set, but nothing I would call outstanding either.

I was a Basic Cable Vampire
I find the look of these episodes interesting as well. They are shot on video and often have this brightly lit soap opera look that makes all murders and supernatural happenings feel even stranger. The look of TerrorVision isn’t far off from the television show, Freddy’s Nightmares which began airing around the same time. It’s brightly lit and cheap-looking, but cheap-looking can often work in a horror story’s favor.

TerrorVision is a quirky little moment of horror television that is all but forgotten, if you have ten minutes to spare or are a television horror completist, it’s definitely worth checking out an episode or seven.

Watch TerrorVision here!

No comments:

Post a Comment