Edition #5 here.

The latest Twisted Parallels of Cinema is another special edition. This time around, the focus is on Syfy’s Channel Zero – cancelled after only 4 amazing seasons – and its many homages to sci-fi, horror, and even a little bit of classical art.

Channel Zero was a great anthology series. Each season brought to life a new creepypasta, and did so in a fascinating way. There’s something eerie about how these stories – so well-known by those who’ve already read every good creepypasta out there – were translated to the small screen. The imagery alongside the stories/themes were a product of people who not only know the horror genre well, but also deeply respect well-constructed stories about fear and human nature (among other things), and the benefit of not over explaining too much plot, leaving puzzle pieces for the audience to fit together on their own. When so many shows and movies seem to disrespect their audience by not trusting them to be smart enough, this is one of those rare shows which truly trusts the intelligence of its viewers.

The following side-by-sides offer a good look at what the series has done in terms of its visual references. Probably won’t be the only edition featuring Channel Zero, so make sure to stay tuned for other volumes, and, as usual, make sure to keep an eye out for a new Twisted Parallels of Cinema real soon.

Get ready, ’cause here’s a bunch of treats just for you— enjoy Edition #6! You can find the next edition here.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) v. Channel Zero: No-End HouseJoey’s trapped underwater in a dream

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Directed by Renny Harlin
Cinematography by Steven Fierberg

v.

Jules’s underwater in a dream

Syfy’s Channel Zero
The Dream Door, Ep. 2: “Nice Neighborhood”
Directed by Steven Piet
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Being John Malkovich (1999) v. Channel Zero: The Dream DoorCraig Schwartz peers through the door to John Malkovich’s mind

Being John Malkovich
Directed by Spike Jonze
Cinematography by Lance Acord

v.

Tom and Jillian peer through a dream door

Syfy’s Channel Zero
The Dream Door, Ep. 3: “Love Hurts”
Directed by E.L. Katz
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Brazil (1985) v. Channel Zero: No-End HouseAn unsettling chubby-faced mask

Brazil
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Cinematography by

v.

A vision of a bloated-faced father

Syfy’s Channel Zero
No-End House, Ep. 1: “This Isn’t Real”
Directed by Steven Piet
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Cremaster 3 (2002) v. Channel Zero: Butcher's BlockThe Entered Apprentice

Cremaster 3
Directed by Matthew Barney
Cinematography by Peter Strietmann

v.

The Butcher

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Butcher’s Block, Ep. 6: “Sacrifice Zone”
Directed by Arkasha Stevenson
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977) v. Channel Zero: The Dream DoorHenry Spencer’s child is born

Eraserhead
Directed by David Lynch
Cinematography by Herbert Cardwell & Frederick Elmes

v.

Jillian finds a strange baby

Syfy’s Channel Zero
The Dream Door, Ep. 5: “You Belong to Me”
Directed by E.L. Katz
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Fire in the Sky (1993) v. Channel Zero: No-End HouseTravis Walton is abducted by aliens

Fire in the Sky
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Cinematography by Bill Pope

v.

A new person is born from a dream orb

Syfy’s Channel Zero
No-End House, Ep. 6: “The Hollow Girl”
Directed by Steven Piet
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Poltergeist (1982) v. Channel Zero: Candle CoveCarol Anne is drawn by a poltergeist in the television

Poltergeist
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti

v.

A child is drawn to Candle Cove through the television

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Candle Cove, Ep. 1: “You Have to Go Inside”
Directed by Craig William Macneill
Cinematography by Noah Greenberg

Terrifier (2016) v. Channel Zero: The Dream DoorArt the Clown finds comfort

Terrifier
Directed by Damien Leone
Cinematography by George Steuber

v.

Pretzel Jack comforts Jill

Syfy’s Channel Zero
The Dream Door, Ep. 3: “Love Hurts”
Directed by E.L. Katz
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare (1781) v. Channel Zero: Butcher's Block v. Borgman (2013)Henry Fuseli’s
“The Nightmare”
(1781)

v.

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Butcher’s Block, Ep. 5: “The Red Door”
Directed by Arkasha Stevenson
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

v.

Borgman
Directed by Alex van Warmerdam
Cinematography by Tom Erisman

Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) v. Channel Zero: Butcher's BlockSomething’s wrong with Sarah Palmer

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
The Return, Part 14
Directed by David Lynch
Cinematography by Peter Deming

v.

Cosmic horror and the Butcher

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Butcher’s Block, Ep. 6: “Sacrifice Zone”
Directed by Arkasha Stevenson
Cinematography by Isaac Bauman

Comments

  1. Ann Laabs says:

    Thanks for featuring Channel Zero – AND noting one of its best features; trusting the audience to put the pieces together without the show explaining everything.

    Like

    • Father Gore says:

      Candle Cove explained things a bit too much near the end but I still loved it. The rest of the seasons learned from that, I think. Either way, it’s one of the best runs of any TV show— ever! Would love to have more seasons, but I’m glad there’s at least four great ones, and they didn’t go on long enough to ruin such a solid streak.

      Also loved reading your pieces on the show, too. So I’ll miss that, as well!

      Like

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