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2002-04-20 13:51:01-07:00 - Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


Hi! Even if I'm a long time sf/horror reader and a big fan of vintage of sf/horror TV show (and of course this does include the rare European stuff the US audience isn't supposed to know :) ), I'm relatively new to The Outer Limits, mainly because the old series was never shown here in Italy - I was more into Twilight Zone and Doctor Who. However, I admit that since I had a chance to get the series VHS on Amazon, I was hooked. Loved the format, loved the scripts, loved the photography, loved the "hard" SF angle mixed with the gothic undertones. However: recenly I wondered how easier is to get nostalgic (i.e. swear on the quality) of the old show that scared the beejesus out of me back in the 60's/70's rather than make some objective assesment of the impact/scariness/quality of the same shows under today's perspective. In simpler words - wich episodes of these series are still packing a punch for todays standars? We're speaking the brutal "anguish factor", not general quality. Here's my list - as you see, some title is quite obvious: Thriller - "Pigeons From Hell" Twilight Zone - "Eye Of The Beholder", "The After Hours" Outer Limits - "It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork" Alfred Hitchcock Presents - "Consider Her Ways" Space 1999 - "Dragon's Domain" Kolchak - "Horror In The Heights" You look like a knowledgeable bunch, any second opinion? Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-21 03:57:17+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>In simpler words - wich episodes of these series are still packing a >punch for todays standars? We're speaking the brutal "anguish factor", >not general quality. Of course Thriller's PIGEONS FROM HELL, but I disagree with the TZ selections and will choose instead TIME ENOUGH AT LAST...though I am no fan of that show, really. Space 1999 left me cold, too, though I recall DRAGON'S DOMAIN...but the only one that ever really impressed me was THE INFERNAL MACHINE. Kolchak - U.F.O. Outer Limits - THE GUESTS, NIGHTMARE, and ARCHITECTS OF FEAR. "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html

2002-04-21 04:40:41-05:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (OTISBERG@webtv.net)


HOW ABOUT A LITTLE READING. I SUGGEST H.P.LOVECRAFT http://community.webtv.net/OTISBERG/SKYESWORLD

2002-04-21 14:09:39-07:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


stoodin101@aol.com (J.B.L.) wrote in message > Of course Thriller's PIGEONS FROM HELL, I must admit Thriller is another show I'm quite intrigue qith, but I don't really know. I got my "Pigeons" tape out of a friend suggestion, and I really liked it, plus I saw some other random episode, but I suspect there's more to get into the series, at least, more of what I know. > but I disagree with the TZ selections > and will choose instead TIME ENOUGH AT LAST...though I am no fan of that show, > really. I think "Time Enough" is the perfect example of my dilemma on "vintage" sf/horror TV - it's very well done example of quality television, the acting is top notch - but at the end of the day is a one-joke thing. The big problem with TZ is exactly that - most of the episodes everyone remembers (like "To Serve Men", or even "Invaders" or "The Howling Man") seems to rely to much on the final twist, so once you've seen them again and again their original impact seems awfully diluted, so the only thing left is their inherent technical quality, and of course the nostalgia thing "Eye", "After Hours" and, in somewhat the same mesure "The Midnight Sun" (another of my favourites, and one of the most underrated entries of the series) at least try to build a believable tension beyond the inevitable final twist. >Space 1999 left me cold, too, though I recall DRAGON'S DOMAIN...but the > only one that ever really impressed me was THE INFERNAL MACHINE. That's another show that ultimately was best remembered that actually seen. However, a couple of episodes are still delivering (IMHO): one is "Dragon", and the other is "The Mission Of The Darians" >Kolchak - > U.F.O. One of the few I've never seen... > Outer Limits - THE GUESTS, NIGHTMARE, and ARCHITECTS OF FEAR. I'm still waiting to see "The Guests", but both "Nightmare" and "Architects Of Fear" strikes me as excellent in terms of screenwriting, direction and acting, but (always IHMO) nothing I've seen so far in the old series have the visceral impact of "Woodwork". In some moment seems to do for Lovecraft what the classic French serials of the 60's (like "Belphegore" or "Les Companions De Baal") did for Robert Chambers and William Hope Hogdson: take the fears (and not the monsters) who are at the base of these works, and put them in an modernist, ultra-paranoid contest. But what finally makes the whole thing click seems to be the chemistry of the whole - expecially, at least for me, the great b&w photography I've to admit that, after having read some of your reviews of the new OL, I've tracked a copy of "Final Exam", because I was curious about your comment on the Lovecraftian parallel. I must say that I agree completely with you - it's one of the darkest TV "things" done in recent memory. However, I suspect I enjoyed the experience more intellectually than emotionally - mainly because I'm familiar with the literary sources you quoted, or just because I've found the direction and the photography of that episode competent but not outstanding. It was disturbing, but not exactly scary. I must admit, however, that the last thing I've seen on TV that somewhat scared me was "The Cutty Black Sow" from "Tales From The Darkside". Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-21 14:24:50-07:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


Michael Bastraw <macnmike1@cyberportal.net> wrote in message > > Luca: > > As far as 60s shows go, I'm totally prejudiced by having watched them > while at a very impressionable age--old enough to understand what was > going on, but young enough where my disbelief was suspended quite > easily. And therefore be frightened into bad dreams after viewing. > > Since then, I've yet to see a TV episode that actually scared me. At > best sometimes I would reach a state of high apprehension. (Probably the > last thing I ever saw where I had to periodically cover my eyes and had > nightmares afterwards would have been ALIEN.) > > It sucks to grow jaded. Mike: I know exactly what you mean, basically because I've spent most of the late '70s and early 80's watching indiscriminately every horror&sf flick/show (were speaking hundreds of titles!) I could put my hand on, expecially the european and italian stuff, which usually tends to be less technically proficient, but much more inventive. But very, very few stuff actually gave me even a modest shiver. I've yet to see something that gives me the same nightmare I've got after watching for the first time (at the tender age of 21 years!) "House With Laughing Windows", an italian rural thriller/horror that makes anything done by Dario Argento (with the possible exception of "Deep Red", to whom I'm partial because it was shot few block away from where I'm writing now) look and sound like a fairy tale. Even the indipendent stuff I see when I go to the festivals tend to be pretty uninvolving - maybe incredibly over the top, but still quite cold. I had hopes for Blair Witch Project, but the excessive hype completely killed it. However, after a very long dry spell, my faith in the genre was much restored after having seen Hideo Nakata's "Ringu", a movie gave me some pretty serious jolt, and a masterpiece of narrative control. Another movie with some Lovecraftian undertone that makes a nice dicotomy between our eternal fears and the modern world we live in Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-21 18:41:32+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Michael Bastraw <macnmike1@cyberportal.net>)


Luca Signorelli wrote: > Thriller - "Pigeons From Hell" > Twilight Zone - "Eye Of The Beholder", "The After Hours" > Outer Limits - "It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork" > Alfred Hitchcock Presents - "Consider Her Ways" > Space 1999 - "Dragon's Domain" > Kolchak - "Horror In The Heights" Luca: As far as 60s shows go, I'm totally prejudiced by having watched them while at a very impressionable age--old enough to understand what was going on, but young enough where my disbelief was suspended quite easily. And therefore be frightened into bad dreams after viewing. Since then, I've yet to see a TV episode that actually scared me. At best sometimes I would reach a state of high apprehension. (Probably the last thing I ever saw where I had to periodically cover my eyes and had nightmares afterwards would have been ALIEN.) It sucks to grow jaded. I don't know if my choices would scare kids today who have certainly been exposed to much frightening fare (real and fictional) already, but here's what did it for me: Twilight Zone: "It's a Good Life", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" Outer Limits: "Nightmare", "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork", "O.B.I.T." "Dragon's Domain" was certainly one of the more horrific Space 1999's I'll have to think about more about some of the other shows. Nightstalker certainly had some OLish episodes. Best. Mike.

2002-04-22 04:03:57+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


> I must admit, however, that the >last thing I've seen on TV that somewhat scared me was "The Cutty >Black Sow" from "Tales From The Darkside". Haven't seen anything really SCARY on tv in decades, I guess, though many of the new OLs were quite well-done. Of course, I'm not frightened by the old series like I was when I was 6 years old! WOODWORK was absolutely traumatizing at that age... "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html

2002-04-22 04:08:28+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>HOW ABOUT A LITTLE READING. I SUGGEST H.P.LOVECRAFT Can't go wrong with Lovecraft, especially if you enjoy Stefano's contributions to OL. DON'T OPEN TILL DOOMSDAY could have come right out of Lovecraft's mythos...so could THE GUESTS (except that HPL probably would have ended it on a note of disaster instead of hope) and IT CRAWLED OUT OF THE WOODWORK. best Lovecraft tales: THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE THE RATS IN THE WALLS THE DUNWICH HORROR THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME THE CALL OF CTHULHU THE QUEST OF IRANON THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html

2002-04-22 04:10:42+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>I think "Time Enough" is the perfect example of my dilemma on >"vintage" sf/horror TV - it's very well done example of quality >television, the acting is top notch - but at the end of the day is a >one-joke thing. The big problem with TZ is exactly that EXACTLY. And this became the problem with the new OL, as the "twist ending" went from "occasional use" to "constant cliche". Most of the best OLs (new and old) DON'T have twist endings; the conclusion comes naturally from the premise of the story. "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html

2002-04-22 15:36:44-07:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


stoodin101@aol.com (J.B.L.) wrote in message > Can't go wrong with Lovecraft, especially if you enjoy Stefano's contributions > to OL. DON'T OPEN TILL DOOMSDAY could have come right out of Lovecraft's > mythos...so could THE GUESTS (except that HPL probably would have ended it on a > note of disaster instead of hope) and IT CRAWLED OUT OF THE WOODWORK. For some reason, I've found "Corpus Earthling" (one of the old OL eps I like more) very Lovecraft-ish > best Lovecraft tales: > THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE > THE RATS IN THE WALLS > THE DUNWICH HORROR > THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME > THE CALL OF CTHULHU > THE QUEST OF IRANON > THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH Here's my best-of list (no particular order) 1) At The Mountain Of Madness (my absolute favourite) 2) The Shadow Over Innsmouth 3) The Nameless City (the graphic version made by french illustrator Philippe Druillet is priceless!) 4) Dunwich Horror 5) The Mound (a collaboration) 6) Dream In The Witch-House 7) Nyarlatoteph 8) Call of Cthulhu 9) The Outsider 10) The Festival Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-22 15:46:55-07:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


stoodin101@aol.com (J.B.L.) wrote in message > Haven't seen anything really SCARY on tv in decades, I guess, though many of > the new OLs were quite well-done. Of course, I'm not frightened by the old > series like I was when I was 6 years old! WOODWORK was absolutely traumatizing > at that age... If for "scared" you mean having trouble getting asleep or sleeping with the light on, I agree it didn't happen to me after I reached my early teens. But if you mean disturbed or simply uneasy, some old stuff still manages to do the trick, at least with me - for instance, the old (1963) "The Haunting" (not the 1999 atrocity!). As for the TV, I still think some vintage show is really effective. "Woodwork" had several "big" moments, like the scene with the cleaning lady, and all the corridor sequence. It has a great disjointed narrative that makes it like a bad dream. I enjoyed it a lot, and you've to think that the first time I saw it was two months ago! I'm really curious to see if there's some new OL ep. that works the same way... Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-22 23:04:38-07:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (Signorellil@alma.it)


stoodin101@aol.com (J.B.L.) wrote in message news:<20020422200628.02893.00006925@mb-ba.aol.com>... > >3) The Nameless City (the graphic version made by french illustrator > >Philippe Druillet is priceless!) > > Druillet is a great artist, despite his flat-faced people. Loved his Lone > Sloane and Urm the Mad tales. But I've never seen his version of NAMELESS > CITY... Was into a (very) old issue of "Metal Hurlant" (the french original, not the american "Heavy Metal" version). Druillet did some of the ultimate Lovecraftian art ever drawn, including several terrific fac-simile pages from the Necronomicon. But most of his art seems to be Lovecraft-inspired, including "Yragael" ("Urm"'s prequel, actually an Elric spin-off) and a couple of his short b&w stories, more precisely "Agorn" (a very dark, unnerving tale of revenge). There're very few things done by Druillet that aren't brilliant. I met the Great Men itself a couple of years ago in MIlano, and lived up completely to my expectations (ok, he's one of my cultural heroes...) :) Luca Signorelli Torino - Italy

2002-04-23 00:06:28+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>3) The Nameless City (the graphic version made by french illustrator >Philippe Druillet is priceless!) Druillet is a great artist, despite his flat-faced people. Loved his Lone Sloane and Urm the Mad tales. But I've never seen his version of NAMELESS CITY... "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html

2002-04-23 00:15:18+00:00 - Re: Scariest and/or disturbing - by today standards? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>for instance, >the old (1963) "The Haunting" (not the 1999 atrocity!). Very nice work from Robert Wise. I finally got that picture on VHS about 2 years ago, and it lived up to the legend. >I'm really curious to see if >there's some new OL ep. that works the same way... I can't think of any. New OL, at its best, was doing SF from the 50 -70s, just as old OL was doing SF from the 20s-40s. (That appears to be the "lag time" between literary SF and its TeeVee counterpart. BTW, Corpus Earthling is quite HPLish.) But the approach had changed by then, and horror was no longer such a strong element in science fiction. New OL went for suspense, psychology, and the danger inherent in progress...but just trying to _scare_ people wasn't really its element. I kept hoping that they'd do at least one that was just designed for horror, but that didn't happen. However, it did do many memorable eps, including FINAL EXAM, the Ellison/Van Vogt collaboration HUMAN OPERATORS, Sam Egan's TRIBUNAL, which is the best time travel ep in SFTV history, DARK RAIN, RELATIVITY THEORY, ESSENCE OF LIFE and quite a few others. "Increasingly accelerate the current of your intuition." --- Karlheinz Stockhausen Cthulhu Mythos site: http://members.fortunecity.com/moderan/index.html