Through the late ’90s and early 2000’s, normal television was something I just didn’t think much about. With just a few exceptions, I really didn’t watch anything on the major networks. Well, that has certainly changed. Nowadays, network television, and even the smaller off-shoot networks, have never been stronger, and in this time where television is taken seriously once again, horror has become a prominent force of nature. With shows like Dexter, The Walking Dead, and True Blood, even none genre fans are obsessively watching these serialized horror shows. And in this new wave of TV horror came a show that was unexpectedly good and different than anything seen on cable beforehand. FX’s American Horror Story began with a campaign of artsy, surreal, and trendy looking teasers that, for me at least, were really off putting. But regardless, I gave the show a chance and it turned out to be one of the most unique and entertaining horror shows on TV. With deep, complex plots, it features the kind of continuity-heavy writing that horror fans have been waiting for.
Being a real fan of the show, I was pleased to be invited by Diabolique Magazine to cover something American Horror Story related. On October 7th, I had the pleasure of attending the DVD & Blu Ray release party for the Second Season of the show, American Horror Story: Asylum. The event, which was held at the supposedly haunted Linda Vista Community Hospital here in L.A., was small and intimate get together of a handful of fans and press. It was unique in many ways, being much more than your usual release party. The first activity of the evening, which took place in the hospital’s rundown and eerie chapel, was a viewing of some of the bonus features on the boxset. Once that was over, in came cast members Naomi Grossman ( who played Pinhead Pepper) and Barbara Tarbuck (who played Mother Superior Claudia) for a Q&A.
The questions were fairly typical: “Dow did you prepare for the role?” “Did you get scared?”, “What is your favorite horror movie?”, i.e. the usual. But something I found very interesting that Mrs. Tarbuck talked about was that the cast was kept just as in the dark about the progression of the story as the audience. The actors would only receive their parts of the script, often reacting to situations they had no information on. Questions were of course asked about the next season, Coven, which begins this week.
After the Q&A was a special tour of the hospital itself. Called one of the most haunted places in America, the Linda Vista is more importantly a famous sight for film and television. This rundown, abandoned hospital has been used on everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the pilot of the medical drama E.R., and it is every bit as creepy as it looks on screen. Walking through in the blue and red lighting with scattered florescence had the feeling of being in an Argento film. The night ended with a special scavenger hunt for twenty lucky fans. Teams of two were chosen to go room to room, searching the hospital for various clues. I didn’t partake, being that the hunt was scheduled to go until 6 a.m., but it sounded like a great time nonetheless.
The Emmy-award winning American Horror Story: Asylum is currently out on DVD/ Blu Ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and you can find it on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and other major home media retail outlets. The new season of the show, American Horror Story: Coven, airs at 10 p.m. EST on Wednesday Nights on the FX Network. For more from American Horror Story and FX Networks, check back here at DiaboliqueMagazine.com