Having crossed over, unseen by most, from another dimension of the the inner mind to the outer limits of the night gallery, where do I go next?
September 14, 2012 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I've seen The Twilight Zone. I've seen The Outer Limits. I've seen Tales From the Darkside. I've seen (and, puns notwithstanding, was bored by) Tales From the Crypt. I've seen Night Gallery. What else is there for me to see?

I want bizarre, strange, weird, unsettling, offbeat. I want kitschy, campy, hilariously bad. I want downright what-the-fuck, this is so weirdly confusing that I just don't even know how to respond. I want surprising, unusual, unexpected. I want spooky, eerie, unnerving. I want, now and then, social or political or moral messages. I want, occasionally, touching or provocative or sincere. I want creative. I probably don't want lots of: bloody gore, typical teen-horror themes, or monsters. I want shows or movies of any length, from any age, probably in anthology format. What I should watch next?
posted by windykites to Media & Arts (41 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Ancient Aliens.
posted by deathpanels at 2:12 PM on September 14, 2012

posted by fshgrl at 2:14 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If movies are acceptable, Creepshow. Also Trick R Treat, although that's a little gory I guess.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:16 PM on September 14, 2012

Science Fiction Theater. Some of the episodes have ended up on public domain sites.
posted by JMB1138 at 2:16 PM on September 14, 2012

The Ray Bradbury Theater was a show that fit some of your adjectives if I recall correctly.
posted by gubo at 2:21 PM on September 14, 2012

You must watch the Masters of Horror series on Showtime.
posted by keep it under cover at 2:23 PM on September 14, 2012

Some other ideas:

Amazing Stories (Spielberg produced anthology series from the 80s, I believe it's on DVD.

Way Out (sci-fi anthology series hosted by Roald Dahl--yes, that Roald Dahl)

Out of This World

One Step Beyond

Those last two might be more difficult to find, but worth it if you're looking for more sci-fi anthology series ala classic Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.
posted by JMB1138 at 2:23 PM on September 14, 2012

The Lie Chair is an early short by David Cronenberg
posted by timsneezed at 2:24 PM on September 14, 2012

Carnival of Souls
posted by timsneezed at 2:31 PM on September 14, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It's a fairly realist anthology (more building tension than mindbending monster stuff), but the style is very similar to classic Twilight Zone/Outer Limits (probably inspired them, even), so it might be worth a look.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:31 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Three Extremes.
posted by subtle-t at 2:33 PM on September 14, 2012

The upcoming series 666 Park Avenue is getting compared to the Twilight Zone quite a bit. I'm looking forward to it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2012

You definitely want Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
posted by phunniemee at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2012

Not an anthology, but I recommend Twin Peaks for bizarre, strange, weird, unsettling, offbeat. Then move on to pretty much every movie David Lynch has directed, save for Dune. Heck, try Dune if you want campy WTFery.
posted by muddgirl at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2012

Seconding Hitchcock, unless you really need the SF paranoia, in which case I recommend the Complete Short Stories of Philip K. Dick.

Extra-double-plus-second for Science Fiction Theater, which is unintentionally hilarious. Search the Blue for a link to some episodes. And say hello to Truman Bradley, the show's host, for me.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2012

If you hadn't asked for cheesy, I would not be recommending this.

I really enjoyed the miniseries The Lost Room. I strongly recommend not reading any more about it than you must in order to find a copy (it's on DVD) or to find it streaming somewhere.

Here's all you need to know: Detective Joe Miller (Peter Krause, Six Feet Under, Sports Night, Parenthood, Dirty Sexy Money) comes into possession of a key that, when used to unlock a door, makes any door open inexplicably onto the same nondescript hotel room. He learns that The Room has a great many objects associated with it, all imbued with different powers, and that people around the world are chasing down these objects with great fervor and determination.

It's not an anthology, but because each segment explores a different artifact and usually some new characters, it has some of the feel of an anthology. The miniseries structure means it zips by fast, too, so you won't get bogged down in long character or narrative arcs. It's jam-packed with fun characters and actors, which means a few great cameos and a recurring cast of central characters. It does explore the morality and motivation of various characters, but in a glancing, brief, not over-earnest way.

My favorite aspect of the show: it has a sense of humor without being campy about its own occasional cheesiness. There are several laugh-out-loud moments when the absurdity of the magical situations is explored and pushed to the logical extreme; the interactions between the characters can get quite hilarious. I felt like that saved the show, which --- I have to admit --- is a little flimsy.
posted by Elsa at 2:45 PM on September 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Sapphire and Steel
posted by Mad_Carew at 2:47 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jim Henson's The StoryTeller.
posted by emyd at 2:48 PM on September 14, 2012

You may also like Dr. Who from the Phillip Hinchcliffe Era, when he and Robert Holmes were making stories inspired by Hammer horror films, but which could be shown on UK TV.
posted by Mad_Carew at 2:49 PM on September 14, 2012

Kolchak the Night Stalker. It's like a forerunner to the X-Files and it stars the dad from A Christmas Story.
posted by cali59 at 2:57 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's the 1970s (60s?) Kolchak, not to be confused with its early 2000s successor, which didn't quite work as well.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:05 PM on September 14, 2012

Seconding "Night Stalker" (a huge fave when I was a kid). Also, "Carnivale".
posted by davebush at 3:15 PM on September 14, 2012

Dude, Tales From The Hood is surprisingly good.
posted by steinsaltz at 3:27 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hammer House of Horror
posted by cazoo at 3:31 PM on September 14, 2012

The Hunger TV series.
posted by tel3path at 3:44 PM on September 14, 2012

In Search Of...

Also I just found Svengooli on MeTV; he's like Chicagoland's Ned the Dead. Last week he showed The Invisible Woman and it was awesome.
posted by mimi at 3:59 PM on September 14, 2012

American Horror Story is a must if you haven't seen it.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:02 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

American Gothic.
posted by quiteliterally at 4:06 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

The "Friday the 13th" TV series had nothing to do with the movies. It really was pretty good. A bit campy, but sounds like that's what you want.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:14 PM on September 14, 2012

Limits of the Imagination.

Snl parody with Randy Quaid as The Floating Head (although his head doesn't float in the linked video).

I think there were six sketches altogether.
posted by vitabellosi at 6:18 PM on September 14, 2012

Yes, The Lost Room! Reanimator falls under the WTF genre. Repo Man is another. And Life on Mars (the Brit version) is worth a look.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:57 PM on September 14, 2012

You want Coffin Joe
posted by Tom-B at 8:20 PM on September 14, 2012

+1 on the David Lynch. Everyone should see Eraserhead once. Also Inland Empire, Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive.

And speaking of Dune, is Jodorowsky's version a real thing? In the meantime, you could check out some of his other movies. I know Santa Sangre is on Netflix streaming.
posted by Bron at 8:25 PM on September 14, 2012

I came in to suggest American Horror Story, but qxntpqbbbqxl beat me to it. I just started watching Dr. Who on Netflix and at times it reminds me of The Twilight Zone. There have been a couple of really eerie ones so far, and I know the one I saw with a more recent Doctor freaked me the eff out (something about Mars and water).
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:03 PM on September 14, 2012

Thirty-six amazing answers! I had no idea there was so much out there! Thanks, everyone!
posted by windykites at 11:05 PM on September 14, 2012

Seconding "Dead of Night". By turns hammy, odd, old-fashioned, timeless and genuinely creepy, it's a true classic of the genre, and, I believe, originated the creepy Vent doll thing.

And oh look! Here it is!
posted by Decani at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should probably try the classic Tales Of The Unexpected even if only for the iconic music and credits. I have to second American Gothic and The League Of Gentlemen in particular too.
posted by comealongpole at 8:30 AM on September 15, 2012

Cosmic Slop, that is all.
posted by Max McCarty at 11:36 AM on September 15, 2012

Future readers of this thread may be interested in a 1950's anthology series I've stumbled on called Studio 57. Campy 50's sci-fi!
posted by windykites at 4:03 PM on October 6, 2012

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