10/3/08

I Want My Horror TV

Get ready for another rant...

As I scroll through the thousands of television channels, I find a seemingly infinite variety of channel themes. Encore has mystery, western, action, love and drama themed channels. Showtime has a sci-fi themed channel, so does Cinemax, and there's even a Sci-Fi Channel. There's an HBO Comedy channel, an HBO Family channel, and an HBO Latino channel. There's classic movie channels like Flix, TCM and AMC. There's a plethora of women's channels (i.e. Lifetime) and a couple independent film channels (IFC and Sundance). There's even a friggin Thriller channel.

Notice something missing? There is literally every single theme or genre imaginable except horror. Where's the damn horror channel? I don't get it.

You mean to tell me that there's a bigger market for an all western channel than an all horror channel? And don't tell me that Showtime Beyond, TMC, Flix and OuterMax show a lot of horror movies. That's not good enough. I want to know why there's a 24-hour action movie channel channel and not a 24-hour horror movie channel.

You don't need to be a financial wiz to know that the horror genre is big business. Look no further than the Stephen King empire and the box office to see evidence of it. CNN.com said here that "Horror is one of those genres that have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of audience." But we don't need CNN to tell us that scary movies are big business.

More from another article: "Thanks to horror hits 'Saw' and 'Hostel,' Lionsgate has been one of the hottest media stocks." Of course, this isn't the first time a studio was bolstered by the reliably profitable horror genre. New Line is often called "The House That Freddy Built" because A Nightmare on Elm Street brought it from near bankruptcy to being a highly profitable company.
So, I believe we can safely say that a horror channel has the potential to be a very profitable network. I would even venture to say that a few horror channels wouldn't be a bad idea - maybe a classic horror network and one showing more current films. If I had my way, there'd by ten horror channels: a euro-horror channel, a grindhouse channel, a supernatural channel, etc... but I digress.

I understand that the UK has a horror channel called Zone Horror. I wonder how well that performs. I also understand that there's The Horror Channel and FearNet which you can watch on the computer, but that just doesn't cut it.

If anyone has heard of an upcoming U.S. horror channel please let me know. Otherwise, I'll just continue to bitch and moan till that day arrives.

8 comments:

  1. Here Here Gil. I certainly second your rant. At least when you and I were growing up we had the late late show and the regional horror host to keep the airwaves sufficiently stocked with classic and b-grade horror. Here in Detroit we had Sir Graves Ghastly, The Ghoul, Creature Feature, The 4 O'Clock Movie (which had theme weeks all the time, from Godzilla Week to Hammer Horror week to Planet of the Apes week, and so on), and something on WXON (Uhf channel 20) that was called something like Shock Theater, intro had Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love playing to clips of Bob Clark's Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things). Well we both know those halcyon days are loooong gone.

    To also use Wes Craven in my rant, Wes has sadly commented more than once that Horror is viewed pejoratively (by many) as "one notch above pornography" which he is quite correct. This is of course a ridiculous thing to believe, but as the Hitler/Goebbles team figured out - the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. I think this goes a long way in explaining the hesitancy in builgind a all horror station. Of course, you're absolutely right, from a purely economic standpoint the channel would do EXTREMELY well. Horror will ALWAYS be a proven and profitable genre.

    So, hey buddy, I couldn't agree more. Where the fuck is our station?

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  2. For a completely free channel, Zone Horror isn't too bad... though they do tend to show straight to DVD stuff rather than the bigger movies.

    They started off (as the Horror Channel) with just public domain movies so they must be doing something right as they are obviously buying the movies in (and getting the advertisers).

    All that said, it is nice to have somewhere that is doing the obscure movies even if many are low quality. They are also showing series that eprhaps haven't aired over here in the past.. like Friday the thirteenth the series, the beastmaster and Tarzan (the Lara series).

    As well as this, one of the deidcated Sky Movie channels is the sci/fi and horror movies channel... so we're quite well serviced (But there could always be more!)

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  3. Chick- I should compile all your comments into a folio and get rich off publishing your writing . I'll ditto everything you said except one thing: I'm not sure I buy the theory that no one will jump on the horror movie gravy train because of its bad reputation. Since when has a moral high ground gotten in the way of making a buck? If there can be a Spice Channel, there can be a Horror Channel.

    Taliesin - I must admit, I'm not overwhelmed with jealousy for the UK's Zone Horror - I looked at the schedule, and it seemed so-so. I want to turn on a horror channel and see Hammer, euro zombies, Franco, Giallo, J-horror, and newer stuff like Hostel and Turistas. Call it a pipe dream, but I'm convinced it would do well. If only I could inherit a few hundred million dollars, I'd start one up...

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  4. I've never understood why there isn't a really serious plan for a horror channel. There are all kinds of channels on every other subject under the sun. Horror is big business. There has got to be quite a catalog of movies that could be shown, as well as original programming. I know I would watch the channel.

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  6. Gilligan, its not brilliant but it is a start and, one hopes, it will improve as time goes by. I do wish, however, that Sky Movies had split their sci-fi and horror channels into two.

    Incidentally, just posted you a message/comment over at the uranium cafe, just to say that you were right in the first instance, the Ingrid Pitt piccie is from House that Dripped Blood and the annotated Dracula is wrong!

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  7. Taliesin - Thanks for that. I thought for a moment my memory was failing me.

    Trust your instincts gilligan, trust your instincts...

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  8. I want a horror channel too!

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