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It's the Booze Talkin': Horror Television is at its Best

Nov. 6, 2012by: Ammon Gilbert

Writing for Arrow in the Head going on 8 years now, its apparent that Im a horror movie fan at heartalways have, always will. But, due to the busyness of life, I dont always have an easy 90-120 minutes to devote to an entire movie in one sitting, which has gotten me to look towards television as a form of quick entertainment, with most episodes coming in around the 50 minute mark. And lucky for me, there has been no time like right now that is as great for horror on television as it is right now, with two epically-awesome TV shows rolling and more and more coming along the way. Are we in the golden era of horror TV? It may be the High Life talkin, but Im thinking yes!

What shows am I popping a boner over here? THE WALKING DEAD and AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM, of course, These two television series, on AMC and FX respectively, do an epic job week after week of pushing the envelope in terms of horror, violence, sex, language, and just about everything else that I usually look for in movies, and now its coming fast and strong on the small screen each and every week. Its a wonder its taken this long for producers to figure out that the horror market on the small screen is just as strong and worthwhile as it is on the big screen, but no matter they've figured it out now and Im all the happier for it!

THE WALKING DEAD, now in its third season, is pulling no punches when it comes to the horror right now. A few weeks back, before the season started, I had a wish list of all the things I wanted from the show this year, and so far, they havent let me down! The zombies are cooler, scarier, meaner, and grosser than ever before, the drama between characters is headed to an all-new high, and the introduction of a whole new group is providing some of the best television weve seen in years, horror or otherwise. But the fact that, at its center, is a zombie apocalypse, is makes the whole package that much sweeter. Im f*cking loving THE WALKING DEAD right now!

But for those looking for horror thats more than just zombies, the peeps have FX have hooked us up with one of the scariest, most disturbingly complex and utterly grotesque horror television shows in the history of TV with AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM. The first season was solidgreat haunted house setting, really weird and f*cked up shit happening week to week, and that Connie Britton was one hot momma! The season led up to one helluva season finale, and goddamnit, I wanted more. But when the announcement came that the second season would be taking place at an insane asylum and would have nothing to do with the first season, I was concerned. Could they pull it off? And the answer is yes.

So far, the show has given us alien abductions, creepy serial killers, mad doctors, killer forest creatures, an exorcism and devil possession, graphic sex, a plethora of foul language, dismemberments, and enough hatred of women to shake a stick at. And were only 3 episodes in! Like the previous season, theyre doing a damn fine job of throwing a bunch of shit at us all at once, and its a bit overwhelming, but goddamn does it provide the creeps each and every episode. From the setting to the musical score, to the fantastic performances by Jessica Lange (as the head mother nun this season) and James Cromwell (as the mad doctor), and all of the patients (those who are crazy and those who arent), Im continually impressed by the size of the shows balls, and how far they push the envelope week in and week out.

In some ways, Im digging AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM more than THE WALKING DEAD right now, but for different reasons. AHSA is more straight-up horror, whereas TWD is powerful drama with zombies in it. But either way, holy f*ck. How rare is it that two shows of this caliber are on at the same time, both providing quality horror entertainment thats up there, and in many ways surpasses, whats coming out on the big screen? Absolutely fantastic.

These are the two Im most currently into, but theres a number of other shows that I havent even got into yet that I hear are worth checking out. GRIMM, HAVEN, ALPHAS, 666 PARK AVENUE, and even the most recent to the horror television family, MOCKINGBIRD LANE. Sure, that last one is a remake of THE MUNSTERS, but I loved THE MUNSTERS! I dont know if I can take the show seriously (it stars Jerry OConnell for f*cks sake), but its still damn cool that horror seems to be taking TV by the balls. Yes, a few stinkers will be out there amongst the great ones (like THE RIVER), but overall were in a really awesome time for horror television and I couldnt be happier.

Maybe its the booze talkin, but with shows like THE WALKING DEAD and AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM, the horror television line-up is beyond epic right now. These great shows are able to push the horror envelope in terms of gore, violence, sex, and language, and consistently deliver the goods each and every week, which is more than a lot of big-screen horror projects can do these days. Are we in the golden age of epic horror television? Yes I think we are. And with other shows like SUPERNATURAL, GRIMM, MOCKINGBIRD LANE, and HAVEN (among others), lets hope the trend continues!

Extra Tidbit: What is YOUR favorite horror television show right now? Which ones did I miss?

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+0
9:51AM on 11/15/2012

It's not Diane Lane

As I said before nice article, but it's not Diane Lane. The crazy nun leader is Jessica Lange, a former Playboy Playmate.
As I said before nice article, but it's not Diane Lane. The crazy nun leader is Jessica Lange, a former Playboy Playmate.
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8:18PM on 11/06/2012
I don't watch The Walking Dead anymore but American Horror Story: Asylum just keeps getting better by the episode.
I don't watch The Walking Dead anymore but American Horror Story: Asylum just keeps getting better by the episode.
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7:36PM on 11/06/2012
Definitely The Walking Dead. It really has the right amount of action and drama. However, I wish there would be more 30-minutes short horror movies along the line of The Twilight Zone or Tales From the Crypt TV shows too.
Definitely The Walking Dead. It really has the right amount of action and drama. However, I wish there would be more 30-minutes short horror movies along the line of The Twilight Zone or Tales From the Crypt TV shows too.
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8:20AM on 11/07/2012
Totally agree with you!! If we had a classic Horror Anthology TV show that rocked us for 30 minutes each week, TV would be perfect right now.
Totally agree with you!! If we had a classic Horror Anthology TV show that rocked us for 30 minutes each week, TV would be perfect right now.
3:10PM on 11/06/2012

Fucking Amazing Walking Dead this week

will obviously go down as one of the best episodes of the series, and was so good, it pushed the series into "Breaking Bad"/"Sopranos" status in terms of television greatness.

Also, if we are talking tv horror. A quick shout out to "The Twilight Zone". I always watch the 23 hour marathon on Scifi channel every new years
will obviously go down as one of the best episodes of the series, and was so good, it pushed the series into "Breaking Bad"/"Sopranos" status in terms of television greatness.

Also, if we are talking tv horror. A quick shout out to "The Twilight Zone". I always watch the 23 hour marathon on Scifi channel every new years
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8:22AM on 11/07/2012
We need a Twilight Zone-esque show on air right now and all would be perfect.

And yes, holy fuck. The Walking Dead this week... easily the best episode of the series.
We need a Twilight Zone-esque show on air right now and all would be perfect.

And yes, holy fuck. The Walking Dead this week... easily the best episode of the series.
+10
2:08PM on 11/06/2012

FYI: Not Diane Lane...

It's Jessica Lange in AHS:Asylum. Not Diane Lane.
It's Jessica Lange in AHS:Asylum. Not Diane Lane.
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8:25AM on 11/07/2012
OMG I'm such a fife. How could I have fucked that up???? Thanks for the head's up man, I fixed it!

Must have been the booze talkin'!!!!
OMG I'm such a fife. How could I have fucked that up???? Thanks for the head's up man, I fixed it!

Must have been the booze talkin'!!!!
+2
1:27PM on 11/06/2012

Good Thought

Right now is easily the best time for horror in my lifetime (Even when the new Outer Limits and Tales from the Crypt were on in the mid-90s). I actually looked it up and thought The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents overlaps a lot but only 2 of them do at any one time. While my vote would be for 1963-1964 which had Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits if I get into Supernatural right now might just overtake it.
Right now is easily the best time for horror in my lifetime (Even when the new Outer Limits and Tales from the Crypt were on in the mid-90s). I actually looked it up and thought The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents overlaps a lot but only 2 of them do at any one time. While my vote would be for 1963-1964 which had Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits if I get into Supernatural right now might just overtake it.
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11:53AM on 11/06/2012

Too bad...

American Gothic was one of the best shows in the 90's. I always thought it was way ahead of it's time. If it were on TV now it would have very high ratings.....
American Gothic was one of the best shows in the 90's. I always thought it was way ahead of it's time. If it were on TV now it would have very high ratings.....
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1:02PM on 11/06/2012
Jessica Lange is in the show, not Diane Lane
Jessica Lange is in the show, not Diane Lane
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