In the mid-80s, there was an anthology series craze on TV. I believe this craze began with The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which first aired on NBC and then moved to USA. Then there was The New Twilight Zone, Tales From The Darkside, Amazing Stories, The Hitchhiker, Monsters, Ray Bradbury Theater, and probably others that I’ve forgotten. I actually created a “Scary Scale” for these shows. On the one end, the always terrifying end, was Tales From The Darkside, which was always terrifying in the beginning, and on the other, the never terrifying end, was Amazing Stories, which was usually more fantastical than scary. In between, from more scary to less, was Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Bradbury, and Twilight Zone (I never saw The Hitchhiker or Monsters enough to rate them).
Each of these anthologies had killer openings. We all know that. But they had killer closings, too. These closings, complete with their credits, themes, and production/distribution company identifications, became as much a part of the show as the openings and the stories. They were kind of like the afterglow; after traumatized you with whatever atrocity they had showed you during their 30 minutes, they brought you down with these more genteel closings. It really was something strange and intriguing to watch these closings in the dead of the night after having been nearly scared dead yourself. They seemed like missives from another, scary world, one that was related to the world I had just experienced on my TV screen but more real and yet somehow more foreign as well. Here are a few of my favs: