Written by John Edward Betancourt
Growing up, Friday and Saturday nights were a wonderful viewing experience for a young and budding horror and science fiction fan such as myself and my baby brother. It seemed like my brother and I were treated to one incredible syndicated show after another; Freddy's Nightmares, War of the Worlds, and of course the iconic Tales From the Darkside.
The last of those shows only saw a four season run and as Darkside prepared to disappear from our television screens for what seemed like forever at the time, a new show was coming forth to take its place...Monsters. Now this particular show, was in the vein of Darkside by providing us with weekly adventures that featured horrific creatures, but as the series went on, the sheer horror that Tales brought to us seemed to fade from Monsters.
Don't get me wrong, there were some scary moments when it came to this show. In fact I distinctly remember the creepy and chilling atmosphere that came with the series premiere episode "The Feverman" but it didn't take long for the scares to quickly be replaced by a healthy mix of humor and comedy. Suddenly the monsters of the title of the show were often played for laughs, and that strange idea of mixing that much humor into a show such as this made it quite watchable.
Granted we should have known we were in for something different since the opening credits were about as camp as they can get, but you simply had to see week in and week out what kind of episode you were getting. Was it going to be something that left you sleeping with the lights on? Or something that gave you a good night's rest thanks to how much laughing you did.
Not to mention the show was filled to the brim with twists and turns when it came to the stories. One that stands out in my mind to this day is "My Zombie Lover". This was an episode that featured a town where one night a year the dead returned to life and the townspeople waited out this night of terror in a bunker in the middle of the town. One year a young girl stays home, not worried about the danger until one of her fellow classmates, who passed away, shows up at her door, to profess his love for her. Yes, it turned into a romance in its own weird way, and well, that episode is one of my favorites for how it ended.
I won't say how it ended here, because the series just arrived on DVD for the first time so one can enjoy all 72 episodes (along with that ending) in a marathon binge if you should so choose to, but either way, this was a fun series that I miss. It was always unique, always fun and I loved being surprised week in and week out. They certainly don't make them like this anymore, and I'm not sure they ever will again. As an added treat...here is the campy opening credits sequence so you can get a taste of what the show was like...or simply reminisce.