Saturday, October 31, 2020

Cathode Ray Mission 31 - The Scariest Thing on Televsion

The Scariest Thing on Television

What is the scariest thing to ever appear on television? Is it Pipes from Ghostwatch (1992)? Perhaps the scarecrow from Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) should take the crown? Maybe seeing the king of horror himself, Freddy Krueger, hosting Freddy’s Nightmares (1988-1990).


The actually scientifically proven ‘scariest thing on television’ appeared on television in the December of 1976 on a little known program called The Muppet Show. The skit was called Psychiatrist Machine. In it, Fozzie Bear is strangled to death by the horrifying grasping arms of the beast known only as Vendaface.

Vendaface’s reign of terror would continue in two more skits where characters would find themselves mangled while its glaring glowing eyes looked on. Vendaface would attempt to kill again by changing its identity to Vendawish for one more episode before disappearing into the grey netherworld. There it waits ever patient, ever ready to stretch out its long arms with wonderful clamps to mutilate again.

My working theory is that Vendaface is also the basis for Lament Configuration from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. Both devices attract those with unfulfilled needs, both of them demand sacrifices to operate, and both plunge their users into a world of torment and desire that they themselves wanted all along. I’d like to confirm with Barker on this but he won’t return my emails.

Thus concludes the Cathode Ray Mission. Happy Halloween from Outpost Zeta!

No comments:

Post a Comment