I've been re-watching Monsters for a while now to bring a competent list together of the best episodes for you fine people. And you fatties too. Monsters came from the same production company that brought us Tales from the Darkside, but overall it wasn't as creative of a show. Here are a good number of standouts from the hard-to-find TV show. I'll put a number 11 too. Sorry for the shitty pictures. They're from TV copies.
11) Far Below
A segment written by the great genre scribe Michael McDowell who wrote some of the best Darkside episodes.
10) Rain Dance
9) The Cocoon
8) Murray's Monster
Here we have a funny one. Not the only one on the list, but they were few. Character actor Joe Flaherty plays a resentful psychiatrist that comes up with a scheme to get his wife murdered by one of his patients. Marvin Kaplan does a great job playing his obsequious patient Murray Van Pelt, who is hiding a Mr. Hyde beast inside himself. The doctor's wife is an "obnoxious, overbearing loudmouth" according to his great delivery of the line and it's really the acting at the end of the day that holds this one so well together.
7) The Hole
Some of the best horror takes place in confined and inescapable places. Some say all those who enter war never really make it out. All that is pertinent here. The tale is The Hole and the place is Vietnam. The story begins in an enemy hole that a group of soldiers go down into. They soon receive a warning about being trapped down there by the dead that line the walls of the tunnels they crawl through. Will they make it out alive? It's frightening imagining being them and going through an underground maze that doubles as an endless graveyard.
6) The Demons
This is the other comedic one on this list. And it also stars a great character actor. Richard Moll from Night Court carries this one pretty much by himself in what is the hilarious highlight of the series. It's the silly story of an insurance salesman who is summoned by a demon to do the demon's bidding. The demon meant to summon his own demon creature, but made a mistake. It turns out the demon is the demonic counterpart of the insurance salesman. I won't say any more, just know the humor is very Simpsons-esque. At least the great ending is, that'll have you wondering: that's how it ended?
5) Mannikins of Horror
3) The Waiting Game
2) The Match Game
I'll be the first to admit that I was high as all get up when I re-watched this episode, but I'm pretty sure it was as good as I remembered. On your initial viewing you aren't expecting things to turn so dark, so quickly. I bet Tori Spelling was crushed they never called her back for another Monsters episode. Get it? If you don't, it's a spoiler so try not to get it. Get it? Anyway, the episode stars Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser fame. She looked her best in this era, although it's shocking how good she still looks. She plays a teenager that inadvertently helps summon a monster from a made-up legend, while having some innocent teenage fun with a book of matches. The dumb teens elaborate on his story so much that they find themselves having to end it before its protagonist mutilates them into strings of goo. It's a real 80s period piece and I love it.
1) The Bargain