I’ve been delving deeply into old 1980s horror/fantasy television shows and lovin’ it, because one thing I’ve noticed is nobody does it quite like they did back then in the “golden era” of horror- Even when it comes to TV shows!
After watching the totally radical ‘Amazing Stories’ series and the Twilight Zone 80s revival I was sooo ready for more. Digging deep back into my memories of my childhood I clearly remember the obvious choice: ‘The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ that ran from ’85-1989.
I have some fond memories of this show and one episode in particular that stuck in my mind all of these years right up to today. Part of me was wondering if I’d maybe in fact dreamt up this particular episode of the show? Not the case. In fact upon watching the 1st few episodes it was clear, this was going to be a fun ride of full on nostalgia done to perfection! I imagine remembering an episode plot from well over 35 years ago is a good sign of a memorable show? I think so!
This series, at least for me. way back then was paired in a sort of “power hour” with Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’. The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents is full of twists, turns, star studded cameos and now famous directors. A mix of horror, suspense and most importantly MURDER, fuel this nearly forgotten gem. It originally aired on NBC but was canceled, later being picked up on the USA Network thankfully!
Nearly every episode has a familiar face, which really makes half of the fun here and every so often a surprise director comes comes on to the scene, like a particular episode called ‘The Jar’ which is helmed by Tim Burton himself and drips with his signature tone and style.
There’s also some great star studded appearances featuring the likes of Mark Hamill, Mia Sara, a VERY young Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, Michael Ironside And many more.
One of my all time favorite episodes is ‘Night Creatures’ one of the only 100% supernatural fueled episodes. It plays out more like an incredible schlocky neon drenched 1980s tv pilot than a single episode. It features a punk rock goth rock star who’s secretly a bloodthirsty vampire and would be a welcome entry into any 1980s heavy metal horror anthology!
There are so many excellent episodes here to behold, I really can’t recommend this series enough for those those eighties horror hounds in search of some memorable cheez. Of course there are some misses among the 40 plus episodes of 4 seasons. The show covers a lot of interesting but disturbing topics too like “kids playing with guns” in one of the most unsettling episodes you’re likely to see in the series and of course that classic episode that always stuck with me featuring a woman who’s been brutally assaulted and her husband heads off on his own to stalk the perp. The twist here is one of the most chilling of the entire series!
Lastly Martin Sheen shines as a crazy aging actor who’s hellbent on landing a role so much so that he goes to the extremes of murder to get what he wants! His performance is so over the top and enjoyable It’s by far one of the standout performances of the series.
This elusive little series deserves a sweet blu ray release, I found a bootleg copy of the entire series on eBay which has been a truly fun ride over the past few weeks! Luckily many of the episodes can be actually found right on YouTube. Hunt this long lost gem down and treat yourself to the golden era of mystery and horror with the new Alfred Hitchcock presents! Here’s a great episode to start you off!
Well I did it! I finally went out and saw The Amazing Spider-man. I guess that shows you exactly how excited I was for the movie huh? So I thought it was a decent Spider-man movie about on par with the Raimi franchise. It wasn’t leaps and bounds better but I am glad to say I got seeing the movie out of the way or crossed off my “to do” list. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting sadly with no real surprises. Garfield did a decent job as the new, more hip, high school Parker. No longer do we have the geeky nerd, now we have the skateboarding hipster Parker with his skinny jeans, hoodie, assorted leather jackets and fingerless black gloves. Parker is not the nerd we remember anymore, he’s a dark mysterious loner. He walked straight off the set of Twilight. Not really my ideal version of the character but Garfield put some good emotion into it and therefore it sorta worked especially for this generation of tween movie goers.
The movie kinda lost me however with the Lizard. Everything felt pretty real for the most part until he appeared. Often times the movie’s flaws unfortunately were it’s action scenes jam packed with cartoony CG pulled straight out of an Xbox game intro. It’s shiny and slick but often times a little too slick for my liking. Emma Stone did a fine job as Gwen Stacy and it was pleasure to see Martin Sheen and Sally “Gidget” Field back on the big screen. I honestly wish I had more to say about this one, but it just wasn’t memorable enough for me to rant on and on about. I am however happy I got the origin of Spider-man out of the way here, it felt like yesterday that I was watching Raimi’s version so this new installment really could have skipped the whole introduction again and gotten into some new uncharted territory. The one good thing is that it seems that we’ll get another shot at The Green Goblin as this film got The Dark Night treatment, they obviously will be putting him in the sequel, as they put the Joker in The Dark Night. Let’s hope this time he at least looks like the Green Goblin. Please though Hollywood The Green Goblin DOESN’T need to be a CG character. Don’t I repeat DON’T screw it up the second time around!
Also I am sure you’ve all seen the Thomas Jane short film “Dirty Laundry” he recently unveiled. This seems to be his attempt to woo Marvel back into letting him play The Punisher again. It was a neat little film for what it was and it was pretty violent as well, that is if you consider a lot of CG blood splatter really “violent”. I personally was never really to keen on that 2004 Punisher film. As much as I love Jane as an actor I just don’t think he really screams Frank Castle to me. So Should Marvel bring back Jane as Frank Castle? I am sure the fans reaction will have a lot to do with it. What do you all think? For me I’d like to see two more short “fan” made films, one by Dolph Lungren and one by Ray Stevenson before I make any endorsements!!