Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eerie, Indiana

The '90s was a better time for children's horror. From things like Are You Afraid of the Dark? to Goosebumps, spooky things were far more common place in children's lives.

One of the best things to come out of that time was a show called Eerie, Indiana. Airing on NBC from 1991 to 1992, only 19 episodes were produced. It's a damn shame, but NBC has always had a reputation for not realizing a good thing when they have it.

The show starred Omri Katz (Whom you all know as Max Dennison from Hocus Pocus) and Justin Shenkarow (Who really never went on to that much) as two kids named Marshall and Simon living in a town called Eerie, where things are just that...Eerie. With human sized tupperware, a living tornado, brain swapping to being trapped in the TV; this show has it all!

Unfortunately, Eerie, Indiana did not really become popular until 1997 when Fox Kids aquired the show in the wake of their success with the Goosebumps TV show. Sadly, by that time, the stars of the show were too old to play kids, so Fox made a spin-off with new actors called The Other Dimension. I watched the first episode which used about five seconds of stock footage from the original show on a loop.

I guess a perk is that Fox released 17 books relating to the continued adventures of Marshall and Simon around the same time. Remember when shows used to have adaptations like that? Such fond memories.

From the 19 episodes, there are certain ones I really like. Here is a run down of my top 5.

America's Scariest Home Video - This is the Halloween episode. So naturally, it's one of my favorites. It also has to do with old monster movies, so it's a perfect fit. Marshall and Simon are stuck babysitting Simon's little brother, whom they accidentally trap in an old movie by using a video camera. At least they got a mummy in return.

The Lost Hour - After finding out that Indiana does not change the clocks for Daylight Savings, Marshall decides to take his hour anyway. But by doing so, he wakes up in an alternate Eerie. With the help of a milkman, Marshall must get himself and a missing girl back to the real Eerie before they run out of time.

Tornado Days - Growing up in Texas, I have always been fascinated by tornadoes. I mean, Night of the Twisters is probably one of my favorite movies I watched as a kid. It only makes sense that Tornado Days ranks in my Top 5. When Old Bob, Eerie's resident tornado, comes to pay his yearly visit, Marshall decides to avoid the annual Tornado Day festivities and stay home which angers Old Bob. With the help of a meteorologist (Played by the awesome Matt Frewer), Marshall and Simon have to face off against the tornado to save the day.

Mr. Chaney - The name alone says it. Mr. Chaney. It's a werewolf episode! Marshall is chosen to by Eerie's Harvest King. Unfortunately, the Harvest Kings never seem to return after their task of seeing The Eerie Wolf.

Zombies in P.J.s - I like this episode a lot as it helps showcase John Astin, who joined the series at episode 13. We all lovingly know him as the original Gomez Addams. In this episode, Radford (Played by Astin) has to make a lot of money fast as has not being keeping up with his taxes. A stranger comes in and helps The World of Stuff by making everyone pay by credit. Marshall and Simon have to unravel the mystery and help Radford before everyone is town becomes a total zombie.

There are other great episodes and if I could, I'd share my top 19. I highly recommend watching this show. It's currently on Netflix, Hulu (As is The Other Dimension if you feel so inclined) and DVD. If you are a child of the '90s or just love spooky things; Eerie, Indiana is the place to be.

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