Tag Archives: 90s

A Singular Season

October is the perfect season for horror marathons.

The two are almost synonymous. Not even Christmas, that twinkling 800-pound gorilla, can boast such round-the-clock programming. Of course, wintertime itself is a constant reminder of the year-end holidays, and there is truly no escaping all of the Christmas music, commercials, office parties, decorations, rampaging Krampi, etc.

Horror marathons are important because they set a mood, or what I like to call ‘Halloween Spirit’. Even if you can’t enjoy cascades of brilliant leaves and cozy hayrides, you can always open a portal to the moon-kissed realms on your television.

Here are 13 TV mini-series or single seasons for you to freshen up this year’s marathon.

Ultraviolet – BBC

This stylish techno-thriller is only six episodes long. It stars Idris Elba (!), with an appearance by Stephen Moyer as a vampire (!)

Hemlock Grove – Season 1

The first season of this show has werewolves, vampires, monsters, and mad-science. The cast is great (Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Dougray Scott, Lili Taylor) and so is their chemistry. And it’s DARK.

Werewolf

This sleeper hit from the late 80’s was the most elusive thrill of my childhood. Every rare once in a while I’d manage to catch an episode and watch transfixed as colossal werewolves battled for dominance.

Being Human

This low-key BBC series is about a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire who share a flat. The show runs for several seasons and was adapted in America, but Season One is a strong mix of character and horror.

Juda

This Israeli production is a horror-comedy about a small time criminal who returns from a trip in Romania with new problems, powers and a terrible thirst. It’s suffers from a lower budget but makes up for it with mad-cap performances.

The Frankenstein Chronicles

Also from BBC, this mystery set in the grimdark Victorian era follows Sean Bean(!) as he tracks down the one responsible for a rash of mutilated bodies. Season One is phenomenal – fortunately it is a complete story, so you can avoid Season Two. 

The Passage

This vampire thriller only lasted one season on Fox, but the relationship between leads Mark-Paul Gosselaar and child actress Saniyya Sidney was fantastic. The secret power struggle with the psychic vampire master Jamie McShane is also great – the entire cast kills it in this one. Don’t worry about the show being cancelled – it wraps up at the end.

Dracula

This NBC adaptation starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers is bonkers in a wonderful way. It functions almost like a prequel to the story we know, re-mixing and re-contextualizing the relationships and motivations between all the classic characters.

Forever Knight

The last vampire show on this list is a 90’s gem about a vampire cop. One of the vampires from Forever Knight even made a blink-and-you’ll-miss it cameo on Buffy.

Slasher

The first season of this show was more brutal, clever and fun than I expected it to be. If you like the ‘Scream’ franchise, you’ll like season one of Slasher.

Scream

I’d also recommend MTV’s first season of Scream! A worthy addition to the franchise.

Death Note

The animated adaptation of Death Note floored me, even though I’d already read the manga. This twisty supernatural saga about dueling geniuses and death gods has a global body count.

Death Valley

MTV made a COPS style mockumentary show about an LAPD task force that handled the werewolves, vampires and zombies in the San Fernando Valley. Bizarre, gory, silly, fun.

I hope you found something new on this list. If you’d also like to set the mood for October with a book, check out ‘We Bleed Orange & Black – 31 Fun-sized Tales for Halloween’.

A twisted faerie finds a lost child, a teenage werewolf sneaks out during a full moon, and a legion of monsters begins the downfall of man. Explore Halloween from Appalachia to the Arctic Circle and journey from the Old West to Mars.

This spooktacular goody bag harvests all the joys and terrors of the best night of the year. If you love air crisp as cider and scented with burning leaves, if you greet the darkness with a jack o’lantern grin, and if you yearn for the veil between worlds to grow thin, then you bleed orange & black.

Get 31 stories for .99 cents

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Hip Hop Halloween

crypt jam

My annual Halloween playlists have featured a lot of Hip Hop, so this year I dug six feet deeper to find 13 new tracks. The Horrorcore genre is filled with amazing songs from artists like Insane Poetry and Immortal Technique, but those are too scary to dance to. This mix will set the Halloween mood and keep people moving.

Amityville (The House on the Hill) by Lovebug Starski

This old school Monster Mash is the perfect way to start a party

The Crypt Jam by John Kassir

I’m not sure it gets more Halloween, or 90’s, than this one

Maniac Cop Rap by Barnes and Brian “B.Dub” Woods

Movie credit raps are THE BEST

Addams Groove by MC Hammer

Take foolish pride, put it aside, and groove to MC Hammer

Monster Squad Rap by Michael Sembello

5 minutes of Halloween flavor

Murder Ink by Dr. Dre

If you are going to rap about a murder spree, do it to John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’

Chuckie by Geto Boyz

Don’t like it? Blame it on Chucky

Nine Dead Bodies by Esham

I’m going with a live version because it suits this wild, raucous song

Halloween on Military Street by Insane Clown Posse

This forgotten freshness takes you on a Trick or Treating journey

Alive (Nightmare) by Kid Cudi

I believe there is sufficient evidence to officially declare this a werewolf song

Sasquatch by Ice Cube

Time to get the party ramped back up with some Squatchin’

Bollywood Undead by Kung Fu Vampire

If you love bhangra, kung fu and vampires this is the track for you

1-800-Suicide by Gravediggaz

Any Gravediggaz song would work, but this one ends with Vincent Price’s laughter

 

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Memoirs from the Dark Age

I’ve often described my new novel CRITERION as a ‘Grimdark superhero’ story. I did not set out to chase a certain tone or style, it merely followed from the concept – ‘When a super hero is murdered, what happens to his sidekicks?”

If I had to dissect the influences that lead me to the idea, the bloody trail would probably lead back to the comic book explosion of the 1990s. Funny book weren’t just for kids anymore. They became brooding, dark and edgy, and thus irresistible to a teenage mind (plus a metric ton of vampire novels, but I digress).

It was a great and terrible time of crossover events, special collector’s edition foil stamped variant covers (I still have my glow-in-the-dark Ghost Riders) and a plague of unnecessary FIRST! issues. This bloat and excess eventually collapsed like bloated things do, with the ‘tryhard’ edge-lord comics devolving into self-parody.

edgelord 2

Okay, maybe not this bad

Still, my unholy appetite was whetted and I eventually found my way to masterpieces like Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN and Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. I’ll always love Spidey, but I like my fiction like my coffee and chocolate: DARK.

Over the next few days I’m going to review some noteworthy influences to celebrate the release of my new book CRITERION.

Marvel delivered some entertaining stuff, like the rebooted Ghost Rider, Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Gauntlet and the demonic crossover event ‘Inferno’.

The arc with the most impact for me, personally, was ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’. It was a real shock to see my favorite hero Spidey get out-smarted and outgunned by a minor villain with a rifle and a flair for leopard skin vests. The hero and villain were both rendered as flawed human beings, struggling with their own mortality and identity.

Kraven's_Last_Hunt

by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod

How dark? Contents include: gorging on spiders, live burial, drug induced mania and suicide.

kraven chomp

He’s Kraven some spiders.

Have a favorite dark comic book you think people should know about? Drop a comment and let me know.

CRITERION is available now from Crossroad Press in print and digital

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Google Play

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P.S. : Liefeld is in on the joke now. pouchWe love you Rob, keep rockin’ those pre-ripped, acid washed 501 jeans.

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