Miskatonic kicks off spring semester Jan. 22 with a 6-week classic TV horror course!
As we reflect upon the recent popularity of horror melodramas such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, it becomes essential to explore the influence of earlier examples of TV horror (aka Gothic TV, or what television scholar Helen Wheatley has referred to as ‘telefantasy’). In his book The Pleasures of Horror, Matt Hills has argued that TV horror should be seen not as a “para-site” of the genre, but as a major influence on the development of horror. This course takes up this issue with reference to representative horror TV series and made-for-TV horror films, and the horror conventions, themes and issues they both borrowed from, and helped to establish in, cinematic and literary horror. We will cover three of the most influential horror-themed television shows of the “classic” period of horror TV, from roughly 1950 to 1980: writer-producer Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), writer-producer Joseph Stephano’s The Outer Limits (1963-1965), and Dan Curtis’s unique daytime Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows (1966-1971). In addition to these “key” series, the course will also look at less popular and more short-lived horror TV series such as One Step Beyond (1959-61), something of a prototype for later shows like Unsolved Mysteries, and the Boris Karloff-hosted anthology series, The Veil (1958) and Thriller (1960-1962). The final two classes will address feature-length made-for-TV horror films that proliferated throughout the 1970s (Crowhaven Farm, Duel, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Bad Ronald), as well as iconic horror hosts such as Vampira, Ghoulardi, Zacherley and Elvira, who helped to bring horror films into TV viewers’ homes.
Read the detailed course description, with a breakdown of all the individual classes, posted readings etc on the event page – HERE.