Maybe it’s a bit early for posts about scary things, but I feel inspired to write about this. Instead of Christmas in July, it’s Halloween in June. Crank the AC all the way up, put on a sweater and exercise your imagination.
Anyway, this post will feature a few of the “scariest” production logos, according to yours truly, roughly arranged from mildly creepy to panic-inducing. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Scary LOGOS? Oh, how geeky and retarded.” And maybe you, dear reader, are correct. But judging from the number of online groups and message boards dedicated to these kinds of things, I’m not the only one who’s fascinated by this stuff.
Now, the impact of these things is greatly lessened when viewed on the computer. The reason that so many of these things were shockers is they would often catch you off-guard with zooming animations and jarring music and sound effects. They’re also much scarier when you’re four years old.
However, keep in mind that some of these bastards are really freaking loud, so watch your volume! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
First of all, we have the PBS logo that was used from roughly the early 70s to the late 80s. Who says public television isn’t creepy?
This one doesn’t get to me as much anymore, but when I was a kid? Well, let’s just say that I only saw it a few times before it was retired, but it left a big impression on me. Lots of people are creeped out by the Moog synthesizer sounds, including myself. That’s a big scare factor with many of these old logos. The drawn-out reverb effect makes it even more unsettling.
Next, here’s the logo for Worldvision, which I believe distributed a lot of Hanna-Barbera titles on home video.
That one’s got a moderate creep factor because of the loud “WOOOOSH” and the weird-sounding synth. It used to make me feel pretty damn uncomfortable.
If you’ve spent any time in “scary logo” circles (which I know you haven’t, but humor me), you know that this Viacom logo is considered one of the most horrifying ones of all time. Though it never scared me all that much, I can see why it would scare others, since that “music” is terrible and the giant “V” looks like it’s going to crash through your TV and run you over. So, I am obligated to post it.
However, I personally was more scared of this later Viacom logo, especially at night in the dark. That cold, steely voice and the “wigga wigga” sound combined were enough to keep me cowering under the covers.
And now, we pay public television a visit again. This is the logo for WGBH in Boston. Just watch it.
Wow. Were they TRYING to give kids nightmares with that thing? Those god-awful beeping noises sound like they’re made by an evil alien probe that comes to steal babies in the night for unspeakable purposes.
Next, we have a Paramount Television logo circa 1969. Since it’s so old, I didn’t actually see this one as a kid, but I felt the need to include it because it’s just that bad. It’s nicknamed “Closet Killer”, and if you watch you’ll see why:
What awful music! It really does sound like something that would play while a crazed maniac leaps out of the shadows to stab you in the face repeatedly with a kitchen knife. What were they thinking? I hope that thing aired during the day and not at night.
Okay, now we’re down to the really creepy ones.
The Program Exchange logo circa 1979. I hate this fucking logo. Surely it was designed to scare children, since it came on after cartoon shows in the afternoons! I only saw this specific version a couple of times, but the later version still had the same music, although it was much quieter. Finally, they got rid of it altogether in the mid 90s. Thank God.
That logo will blow your eardrums, adding physical pain to your emotional distress. It sounds like some kind of crazed fire alarm, and so when I hear that sound I can’t help but feel an impending sense of danger. Sick bastards.
The RKO Television logo from 1985 holds a very high slot on my list of scary logos. This thing still gets to me even today.
Let’s see. Dark background? Startling animation? Eerie-as-hell synth? Freaky reverberating noises? This logo’s got it all. It just makes me feel like something awful is going to happen to me if I watch it too many times.
So, there you have it. Just when you guys thought it couldn’t get any nerdier on this here blog, I pull out the big guns and headshot you all. I swear I’ll write something more normal next time, like a nice movie review or something like that.
Oh, who am I kidding.