Monsters (TV series)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||72|
|Executive producer(s)||Richard P. Rubinstein|
|Producer(s)||Erica Fox, Michael Gornick|
|Location(s)||New York, California|
|Camera setup||Arriflex 16SRII (New York), Multicamera setup|
|Running time||22 min.|
|Picture format||16 mm|
|Original run||October 1, 1988 – April 1, 1991|
|Related shows||Tales from the Darkside|
Monsters is a syndicated horror anthology series which originally ran from 1988 to 1991 and reran on the Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) during the 1990s. As of 2011, Monsters airs on NBC Universal's horror/suspense-themed cable channel Chiller in sporadic weekday marathons.
In a similar vein to Tales from the Darkside, Monsters shared the same producer (Richard P. Rubinstein), and in some ways succeeded the show (which had ended the same year in which Monsters began). It differed in some respects nonetheless. While Tales sometimes dabbled in stories of science fiction and fantasy, this series was more strictly horror. As the name implies, each episode of Monsters (with very few exceptions) featured a different monster which the story concerned, from the animatronic puppet of a fictional children's television program to mutated, weapon-wielding lab rats.
Similar to Tales, however, the stories in Monsters were rarely very straightforward action plots and often contained some ironic twist in which a character's conceit or greed would do him in, often with gruesome results. Adding to this was a sense of comedy often lost on horror productions which might in some instances lighten the audience's mood (often deceptively) but in many cases added to the overall eeriness of the production.
The introduction of the show is a perverse take on a sitcom intro which begins with an aerial view of a middle class suburban neighborhood, drawing closer to what seems to be a typical Cape Cod style home. The camera enters this seemingly innocuous setting as the family inside is discussing what to watch on television. They are revealed to be hideous humanoid creatures with an abnormal number of eyes and elongated, deformed faces who snack on candied lizards, yet they are all dressed in very human clothing and live with typical affluent suburban surroundings. The mother mentions that it is "family hour" and bemoans the lack of family entertainment. Then she notices what is on the television, and exclaims "It's Monsters, our favorite show!", to which the daughter remarks, "Shh, it's starting...." The camera zooms in on the face of the father, whose sinister, dark laugh ends the segment.
The show was well-known for its guest stars, many of whom went on to become famous. These included Lili Taylor (in "Habitat"), David Spade (in "Small Blessings"), Tony Shalhoub (in "Leavings"), Steve Buscemi (in "Bed and Boar"), and Gina Gershon (in "Jar").
List of episodes
There were 72 episodes of Monsters produced over three seasons. There were 24 episodes per season.
- Monsters at the Internet Movie Database
- Monsters at TV.com
- Monsters at epguides.com
- Overview of Tales from the Darkside - Discusses the production of both TV series.