Bring Classic Horror Back To Television – An Interview with Cyberschizoid

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BBC Horror Double Bills

“Television has become so bland in the last decade that it has become impossible to find any of the classic old horror films being screened anywhere, even on the BBC. Years ago, BBC2 would screen regular horror double bills on Saturday nights which featured cult movies from Universal, RKO, Hammer Films and beyond.”
Cyberschizoid is spearheading the “Bring Classic Horror Back To Television Alliance” and is gaining support from all corners of the globe in an attempt to make the BBC realise the error of their ways for not respecting the Horror genre as much as it deserves and to allow the next generation of horror fans to see the roots of the often mediocre horror films created for the mainstream and open their eyes to the wonderfulness of the art of horror. We managed to pin down the man responsible and interrogate him for the reasons he feels that horror fans are being neglected by the BBC.

Steve: You are currently spearheading a campaign to bring back classic horror to UK BBC TV. What is your main motivation for this? How do you feel that the BBC is neglecting horror fans?

Cyberschizoid: My motivation behind the campaign is partly nostalgia and partly frustration.Horror Double Bills on BBC2 Nostalgia for those lazy Summer evenings when I was a kid and first discovering my love of horror films through watching BBC2’s Horror Double Bill seasons every Saturday night with my family and eventually by myself. Frustration at the fact that there are virtually no classic old horror movies screened on UK television anymore. I want today’s kids to be able to experience classic horror, sci-fi and monster movies like I did and I know many older fans want these films back on their screens.The BBC is neglecting ALL film fans, not just horror fans by denying us the right to view these classics for free on television.

Steve: Your campaign is focussed on classic horror, the likes of Universal and Hammer, why have you chosen to focus on this sub-genre rather than horror as a whole? What is it about the classics that you think is worth campaigning for?
Cyberschizoid: The reason I’m focussing on the classics is partly because they are the movies originally screened during the Horror Double Bills and because of the reasons given above. These films are part of our cultural heritage and should be shown on tv where everyone can see them. It’s not just the Hammer and Universal films we want back on tv; it’s any horror movie made before the end of the 1980’s really. Cult films that never get aired – Amicus, RKO, Tyburn, AIP and the rest. These films are worth championing for many reasons, one of which is that they didn’t rely on awful CGI effects and many had an air of innocence that most of today’s horror films lack.

Bring Back Classic Horror

Steve: Tell us a few of your favourite movies that you would like to see the BBC show and what it is about these particular movies that makes you think the general public needs them in their lives.
Cyberschizoid: I guess the obvious Universal classics like “Bride of Frankenstein”, “Dracula”, “The Wolfman” and suchlike should be screened purely because they are undisputed classic films and are still influencing horror fans and horror movies to this day. These classics never see the light of day on British tv screens anymore and todays younger audiences are missing out on a wealth of entertainment and cultural heritage. Just check out the comments on our petition to see how much this campaign means to people and why THEY want these movies back in their lives.

I would also love the BBC to screen all the classic Japanese monster movies of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s such as the Godzilla series, Rodan and Gamera even though these weren’t initially aired as part of the Horror Double Bill seasons. These fun films have never really had much air time in the UK and would be great for kids just getting into the monster, sci-fi and horror genres as well as the older crowd who just want to see a bit of harmless fun on their TV screens! You have to remember that not everyone can afford to go out and buy these movies on DVD and many viewers probably aren’t even aware that most of these films even exist!

A Hammer Films ProductionSteve: Do you think that there is a genuine demand for these kind of movies? The horror market is saturated with big budget remakes, 3D and computer effects and this seems to be what the majority want. Do you think that the current horror audience will embrace classic horror?
Cyberschizoid: There will always be a demand for great movies of all kinds. The reason these dreadful horror remakes perform so well at the box-office is because they are the only horror films being released into movie theatres. Kids don’t know any better because they haven’t had the opportunity to see the older horror movies. I think today’s horror audience (certainly the real fans) are a very open-minded group of people who are willing to embrace the past as well as looking to the future. I have watched a few of the 3D horror films recently just because of the novelty factor and because the 3D does actually enhance what is usually a pretty average product. My favourite was actually a remake – “My Bloody Valentine 3D”!

Steve: How can our readers help the campaign?
Cyberschizoid: There are many ways that your readers can help our campaign!

First of all, SIGN THE PETITION! And please forward the petition to friends and other horror fans.

Secondly, write to the BBC and ask politely that they bring back BBC2’s Horror Double Bills. I have provided the email addresses for BBC Points of View and Radio Times TV listings magazine. Other BBC addresses can be found online.

Thirdly, write or email the various film magazines such as SFX, Sci-Fi Now, DVD & Blu-Ray World, Gorezone, Empire and any others you can think of to tell them about our campaign.

Join our Facebook Page “Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance” to show your support and join in discussions about the classic horror movies.

If you’re on Twitter, tweet the links for the petition, Facebook page etc and use the hashtag #classichorrorcampaign

If you can think of any other ways to promote this campaign on websites, blogs, internet forums, local newspapers, podcasts, television – just go for it and let us know how you get on!

Thanks for all the support!

Sign The Petition
Support “Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance” on Facebook
Bring Classic Horror Back To Television Blog

Useful Email addresses – Get mailing!

Radio Times – radio.times@bbc.co.uk
BBC Points of View – pov@bbc.co.uk
DVD & Blu-Ray World magazine – info@dvdworldmagazine.com
SFX magazine – sfx@futurenet.co.uk