What is the Monster Channel?

The Monster Channel is a 24/7 linear programmed channel that you put on and leave on (what used to be called "television").

Throughout the day, we present classic and not-so-classic horror movies, forgotten television shows, short films, bizarro civil defense and safety films, movie trailers, music videos, promotions for upcoming movies/TV and other media of interest to fans of horror and associated genres.

Most other independent streaming horror channels are "on-demand", and many of the movies they feature all start to look alike when you're thumbing through selections. The Monster Channel is more like a magazine - we'll tell you what to look for (or avoid) on some of those other channels, we'll celebrate the lifestyle of the horror fan, tell you about upcoming events of interest, visit and interview celebrities, preview movies/TV shows.

Our goal is to recreate the vibe of the great era of independent television, the local TV station, the UHF channel, the progressive public access channel of the 70s/80s/90s. It's "midnight movie TV": fun, strange, experimental, unpredictable, sometimes shocking but never boring. A constant stream of non-corporate content, curated by people who are probably just as messed up as you are.

Learn more about us in our "FAQs" and "How To Watch" sections.

Contact the Monster Channel



Frequently Asked Questions

It’s a 24/7 linear programmed channel that you put on and leave on (what used to be called “television”).

Throughout the day, we present classic and not-so-classic horror movies, forgotten television shows, short films, bizarro civil defense and safety films, movie trailers, music videos, promotions for upcoming movies/TV and other media of interest to fans of horror and associated genres.

Most other independent streaming horror channels are “on-demand”, and many of the movies they feature all start to look alike when you’re thumbing through selections. The Monster Channel is more like a magazine - we’ll tell you what to look for (or avoid) on some of those other channels, we’ll celebrate the lifestyle of the horror fan, tell you about upcoming events of interest, visit and interview celebrities, preview movies/TV shows.

Our goal is to recreate the vibe of the great era of independent television, the local TV station, the UHF channel, the progressive public access channel of the 70s/80s/90s. It’s “midnight movie TV”: fun, strange, experimental, unpredictable, sometimes shocking but never boring. A constant stream of non-corporate content, curated by people who are probably just as messed up as you are.

Sure! So are vinyl records and subscription-box-of-the month clubs! And independent bookstores! And, for that matter, books made of paper! And VHS tapes!

While everyone else is launching yet another subscription on-demand channel, we’re banking on the fact that you’ll like what we like, that you’ll come along for the ride as we curate a day’s worth of programming. That you’ll like old fashioned kid’s content on Saturday mornings. That you’ll watch a classic film you’ve already seen a hundred times because there’s an expert commentary or trivia during every break. That you’ll sit through a bad horror film on a Friday night because the host is funny. That you’ll stare at hours of weird shorts and vintage safety films into the wee hours because you’re within walking distance of a medical marijuana dispensary.

Starting mid-February, we are testing our various delivery formats. This is so we can identify and eliminate glitches, as well as get our staff acclimated to the routines challenges of running a 24/7 linear network. So, we’ll be available to stream, but most of our content will be public domain features, trailers and commercials. Basically, the easy stuff. However, it’ll give you a good idea of the pace and rhythm of the channel once we’ve worked all the bugs out.

We have a bunch of licensed films and shows all queued up, but we don’t want to start showing them until we’ve got all the bugs worked out. So, for the next few months, this is our “soft launch”. You can help us during this period by letting us know about your experiences: outages/lags in the stream, out-of-sync audio, etc.

Horror films, feature length and shorts, mostly of the cheesy/low budget variety. During the breaks within the movie, you can join us in trivia contests, watch expert commentary or enjoy the comedic stylings of our handpicked hosts.

Classic and silent horror movies, each of which are curated and hosted by experts who present factoids and behind the scenes stories about the making of these films.

VHS shot-on-video gems from the 1980s, presented in their multi-generation, overly dropped-out and tracking challenged glory.

Previews of new and profiles of classic horror films presented by Cinefantastique, the legendary scifi/fantasy and horror magazine, featuring clips, commentary and celebrity interviews.

Metal, goth, dark wave and industrial music videos from bands of all stages of notoriety, from old-school legends to up-and coming names.

Funny and bizarre content, from half-hour monster sitcoms to strange wrestling shows, enough to satisfy the tastes of the most discerning connoisseur of late night “stonervision”.

The Monster Channel debuted in March of 2010 as a 3-day online event celebrating “100 Years of Monster Movies”. We ran a marathon of horror films intercut with live introductions from horror hosts from all over the country, including cameos by Elvira, George Romero and Troma’s own Lloyd Kaufman.

It was such a smash that we continued it as a double feature on Fridays called “Monstercasts”, until we launched The Monster Channel in January of 2011. The Monster Channel ran for two years before our tech partners decided to change industries in 2013, leaving us with no infrastructure to deliver our content.

After two years of dormancy, we have finally linked with partners who are helping us not only with infrastructure but with expansion. The first incarnation of The Monster Channel was online only (meaning you could only watch us on your computer), but now we will be available on certain set-top-box TVs and select mobile/tablet devices, and more platforms are coming.

See our less long-winded “How To Watch” section.

No. GOD, no.

We reluctantly dabbled in subscription-based programming before and it was a (no surprise) disaster, for a simple reason: this field is already cluttered with subscription-based channels, many of them video-on-demand stations with increasingly similar inventories. We’d have to be running the Nightmare on Elm Street series along with the Classic Universal Monsters to even get close to competing with them. And that’s why the El Rey Network exists.

Yes. A lot of them. WAIT, COME BACK!

Now hear us out:

By now it should be pretty well known that there are two ways to run a venture like this a) subscription (see previous question), or b) free with ad support.

Many of these commercials will be actual paid ads that help us cover our expenses.

Many of them will be classic commercials for defunct companies that we put up for nostalgia or comedic value.

Many of them will be promotions for friends and associates who have businesses or projects we want to support.

Many of them will be promotions for upcoming programming or the Channel itself.

Our goal is to make the breaks during the programming as entertaining as the programming itself (or, in many cases, MORE entertaining than the programming itself).

First and foremost, spread the word. With advertising and sponsorships being our primary source of revenue, audience numbers are key. Watch our shows. Like, follow re-post,-re-tweet, re-whatever-the-next-thing our hilarious and/or insightful social media comments. Pass notes in school. Write on bathroom walls. Text your friends. Text strangers. Use your face-hole and actually TALK to people about us. Do they still have water-coolers at offices? Better yet, these awful Soviet-style “open plan” workspaces must make it a lot easier to talk to your colleagues instead of working, right?

Second, support our sponsors. Buy a toy. Subscribe to a magazine. Go to a convention. Join a class-action suit against an evil pharmaceutical company who sold you a pill that was going to cure your gout but instead gave you a third eye. Get your grandma one of those cool chairs that glides up and down along the stairs - or get one for yourself because you’re too lazy to carry the groceries upstairs. And you may not need one now, but one day you’ll wish you had a polished tip self-lubricating catheter.

Once we figure out how to do that without causing problems (*waves at the IRS*), then we will be launching donation/patron programs through PayPal, Patreon and other (TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, WE SWEAR) methods.

First, are you a process server? No? Great.

The Monster Channel was created by Joe Sena, veteran of the consumer products, internet and interactive video industries. Shortly after college in the 1980s, Sena attempted to create a national “midnight movie” public access horror movie network via the exchange of VHS content between local stations. The effort failed, however, due to conflicting community content standards (such as the demand for televised hearings on the proposed expansion of the municipal library budget…high adventure!).

After a decade making licensed products for such geek brands as Star Trek, James Bond, The X-Files and others, he joined Universal Studios as Creative Director of the New Media Group, was a beta developer on several digital video platforms currently in use today, and a mentor at the American Film Institute’s Interactive Television Workshop. Creator of “The Universal Studios Online Horror Channel”, Sena and his team paid homage to the classic monsters in online magazine form and used the legendary studio backlot to produce original video content (which nobody saw because everyone had dialup in the 90s).

Sena then went on to convert classic horror magazine Fangoria into an internet magazine, and helped launch their attempt at an online TV channel, “Fangoria TV” in the mid 2000s.

When that effort didn’t work, Sena went back to designing and manufacturing consumer products for geek brands (under the EMCE Toys banner, among others), but returned to independent TV to create The Monster Channel in 2010 as the technology to create an independent television channel made itself available.

Now, in 2016, Sena’s dream of building a “midnight movie” channel is finally a reality, viewable on televisions, tablets, computers and mobile devices around the world (…and if this one doesn’t work, he’ll promises that he’ll give it up altogether, as he swears he can “stop anytime he wants to.”)

The Monster Channel is supported by a team of professionals with expertise in video production, special effects, streaming content delivery and social media, as well as a network of some of the best known names in the horror/scifi/fantasy genres. The staff is involved in everything from scouting and licensing content, processing assets, scheduling programming, shooting original content and interstitials, running social media, researching profiles and trivia, interviewing celebrities and more.

All of this work is done as a shared labor of love, but many of the professionals on the team are compensated, and much of the work that goes into The Monster Channel have costs such as streaming delivery, content licensing, studio and equipment rentals and bribes to local officials.

However, The Monster Channel is also home to many fellow enthusiasts who bring their time, work and talent to the project on a purely voluntary basis…a fact they make sure to remind Sena of on a daily basis.


HOW TO WATCH THE MONSTER CHANNEL

Just fire up the browser on your laptop or desktop, go to www.monsterchannel.tv and launch the player. With the right cable, you can even connect it to your TV monitor and watch it on the big screen. Or, you could minimize the browser window and hide it behind the spreadsheet your boss thinks you’re working on.

We do not have a proprietary iPhone/iPad app because we're too cheap to build one you can easily watch us through the web browser on your device. Just point the browser to www.monsterchannel.tv and start watching. You can even maximize the player window and watch full screen on either device.

We’re proud to have a proprietary app for the revolutionary Roku box, where even the crappiest little basement TV channel can appear on the same screen as Netflix! You can either type “Monster Channel” into the main search function or in the Roku Channel Store and The Monster Channel logo should appear. Once you select the channel, you will be directed to the Channel Detail View screen, where you select the “add channel” button. Once selected, the chanel will install and the icon will appear at the bottom of the channels on your home screen.

Android & Chromecast

Technically, you CAN view The Monster Channel on Android. However, there is a major glitch which makes viewing a very frustrating experience.

You can access www.monsterchannel.tv via the Chrome browser on any Android device. However, the stream freezes as it transitions from clip to clip. The way to restore the stream is to either change the player from small screen to large screen (or vice-versa) or refresh the browser altogether. Since we run so many clips, from 15 second station IDs to 10 minute long feature film segments, you can imagine what a viewing nightmare it is to have to go through these steps between clips.

This is a priority bug and trust us, we ask our developer partners “When will this be fixed??” on a very, very regular basis.

Over-the-air/digital subchannels

You may or may not know that all standard local TV stations were mandated to switch from their old analog broadcasting methods to a digital broadcast many years ago. One of the benefits was that it opened up room on their broadcasting frequencies, allowing them to broadcast more content as “sub-channels”. So, your local Channel 5 is broadcasting their regular programming on Channel 5, but they are most likely also broadcasting other content (sometimes surprisingly fun programming, too) on channels 5.1, 5.2, etc.

Many of these channels are being rebranded and sold to cable companies (channels like “Decades”, “Antenna TV” and “MeTV” are good examples). However, if you’re a cord-cutter, they’re all available via a digital antenna you can attach to your television!

Our partners are currently presenting The Monster Channel to owner/operated stations across the country for stream over similar digital sub channels. This means that soon, The Monster Channel may be coming to a local TV broadcast or cable network near you!

Amazon Fire

Amazon Fire is much like the Roku or any other set-top box except that it is a Chromecast-like stick that plugs into the side of your television. That app is one of the first new formats we should be announcing very soon.