90’s TV Shows Were Scary
In the 1990’s television was a twisted place. Elvis was on your paper round, every lighthouse was haunted by a toilet ghost, and a dose of brainwashing easily accompanied sex education in High Schools. We remember finding it common place to be mildly freaked out by strange televisual goings on, as we ate our post school snack of weetabix doused in crunchy sugar.
WORDS: ELIZABETH SANKEY
So after coming across an Eerie Indiana boxset this weekend, we got all nostalgic for those romantic days of unsettling programming.
This remains one of the greatest TV shows ever made. A hugely ridiculous statement, but I stand by it, my feet firmly cemented into the ground of “stupid and wholly unfounded opinions that can’t possibly be true (haven’t you seen the Wire?!)”. It starred the hottest 13 year old since Culkin – Omri Katz. Who came complete with the full post-grunge heart-throb kit: floppy curtains, battered denim jacket, and mild hints of paranoia. HELLO DREAMBOAT.
Basically, any show that combines fat twins sleeping in life size Tupperware, Satan as a salesman (with catchy jingle on his very own Fantasia/psychadelic-elephants- in-Dumbo-style TV advert), and a weird grey haired teenager with plus and minus signs tattooed on the back of his hands = WIN.
Best Episode: The finale, when Marshall Teller (the main character) breaks out of filming and goes behind the scenes – discovering that his mum is an actress with tattoed breasts dressed in black leather, and his dad is a camp English thespian. Then in a piece of miraculous meta writing Marshall meets the creator of the show, who talks to him as Omri. Fucking. Brilliant.
WATCH THE ENTIRE EPISODE HERE (I couldn’t embed it because I don’t speak Russian) (Yet).
Round the Twist
The adventures of Pete, Linda and Bronson Twist freaked the funky bejeezus out of me on a regular basis. I remember forcing myself awake after several shit-the-bed Australian based nightmares, paralysed with duvet biting fear for at least an hour. The story lines were the stuff of Glastonbury acid meltdowns – “what’s that? A green baby that turns purple when it’s not held by an 11 year old boy? A romance with a merlad whose hands are covered in scales? Seagulls attacking buildings with an avalanche of white bird poo? Right. Thanks. Come back in three days Full Moon Douchebag”.
Best Episode: Pete finds ‘Santa Claws No. 115,302’ on his roof, discovering that the Christmas fatty is actually a gungy tramp with sharp brown talons, and a less than angelic attitude towards little kiddies. Considering I believed in Father Christmas till I was 13 (no joke) this really messed me up.
The theme tune kicked ass.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
My parents banned me from reading scary novels due to my highly developed imagination, and acute visual sensitivity (I was a wimp). I read the first three chapters of The Shining and couldn’t go to the toilet on my own for a week – it was a tragically embarrassing seven days for everyone. Consequently I had no idea of the minefield of horror I was innocently skipping into as I settled down to watch Are You Afraid of The Dark one quiet Winter evening. My maths coursework balanced tentatively on the arm of the sofa, “Mum, I’m doing it! GO AWAY!”. A mute girl seduces one of the main characters to a haunted house, a boy steals other kid’s souls to stay young, and an evil wizard called Goth lures a School loser into his weepy Shakespeare’s Sister world. I have Goosebumps just thinking of it. Oh god that reminds me – Goosebumps books, 738% worse than Point Horror.
Best Episode: Leprechauns are the most butt clenchingly scary thing since Chris Moyles’ autobiography. Remember in Wayne’s World when Garth gets all antsy and crawls off the sofa as Wayne sticks a torch under his face, “I’m the leprechaun…”? Well just writing that word makes me want to smash my computer screen into pieces, so I don’t accidentally encourage a little green Irish man to burst into my room at night, dancing like a Spinal Tap demon.
Episode 10, series 1 – Jake turns into a emerald-suited mythical red head. Perhaps the scariest thing is his sing-song Dublin accent.