Happy Halloween!

Here’s hoping your Halloween offers up a cornucopia of Creature comforts, such as this terrific greeting card that’s making the rounds.*

As a kid, this was one of my favorite days of the year, thanks to the all-night monster movie marathons the local TV stations would run. (DVDs, streaming TV and other stuff have pretty much killed that experience, and I feel sorry for kids today.) So, tomorrow morning, let me know what monster movie(s) you used to mark this monstrous occasion.

* How easy it is to fall into the Forrest J. Ackerman pun/alliteration thing when writing about monsters.

6 Comments

Filed under 1954, Forrest Ackerman, Jack Arnold, Julie Adams, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Universal (-International)

6 responses to “Happy Halloween!

  1. walter

    Memories of monster movies of the past in which local TV stations did their part. In my case it was the ABC affiliate WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 Memphis, Tennessee. The station premiered in September, 1962 a Saturday night fright-fest called FANTASTIC FEATURES(1962-72), a two hour time slot that aired black and white horror and sci-fi movies. The emcee of horror was a Mid South vampire, who called himself Sivad. The show opened with a horse drawn hearse driving through the foggy woods. The vampire stepped from the hearse wearing a cape, top hat, false vampire teeth, and carrying a cane. After looking into the camera he pulls a coffin from the back of the hearse and then opening it, all to creepy strains of Leigh Stevens’ score from the sci-fi movie DESTINATION MOON(1950), His white gloved hand opens the lid, releasing a plume of thick fog and revealing the logo of FANTASTIC FEATURES. This very scary looking vampire tells us, “Ah. Goooood eeeevening. I am Sivad, your monster of ceremonies. Please try and pay attention as we present for your enjoyment and edification, a lively one from our monumental morgue of monstrous motion pictures.” Afterwards it was camp and corny jokes with puns all the way.

    Then, there were the movies. Shown were the Classic Universal Pictures of the 1930’s and ’40’s and the not so classic ones from the 1950’s and later the 1960’s. Horrific and Sci-Fi dandies such as GOG(1954); ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS(1957); THE CAT GIRL(1957); FROM HELL IT CAME(1957); THE DISEMBODIED(1957); THE SAGA OF THE VIKING WOMEN AND THEIR VOYAGE TO THE WATERS OF THE GREAT SEA SERPENT(1957); QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE(1958); ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES(1959); GORGO(1961); and THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS(1965). This list only scratches the surface of the “low art” that was unleashed on the Mid South back in the day.

    Happy Hallow’s Eve!

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    • We got to see similar stuff in the 70s on some of the stations here in Raleigh and surrounding cities like High Point.

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      • walter

        Toby, if memory serves me right, whole packages of Horror and Sci-Fi could be bought by local stations in those pre-cable years. So many different Horror hosts and hostesses out there.

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      • Raleigh never had a horror host, or at least not when I was around.

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    • Bert Greene

      I’m afraid I never had a horror tv-host growing up. Felt a bit deprived by this fact, upon seeing what a dearly beloved little cultural emanation it obviously was amongst almost all my fellow film buffs. On the other hand, the three local tv-affiliates I grew up with were very, very heavy into running old movies… late-shows, morning movies, afternoon movies, weekend westerns, etc. It exposed me to a wide variety of genres and eras, and cultivated my lifelong interest in film.

      But nope, never got a quirky horror-host to call my own. Unless, one might consider the humorless, well-attired old gentleman on the “Dialing for Dollars Theater,” who would retrieve a telephone-number from a spinning basket, and then slowly dial it up on the rotary phone beside it. I don’t think he would have been caught dead wearing makeup and a cape.

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      • walter

        Bert. you really didn’t miss much, but it was fun for the times. I remember that Channel 13 WHBQ-TV Memphis had Dave Brown, who was the weatherman, hosting “Dialing for Dollars Morning Movie.” I’m so glad that the local stations I was able to pull in by antenna, had all kinds of early movies, late movies, weekend movies, and syndicated TV shows in re-run. It was quite a pre-cable era to live through historically, culturally, and socially. Today the local TV stations aren’t owned locally, or operated locally. They’re all owned by a few media conglomerates with their mind-numbing talk show programming. Enough said.

        TV by antenna, which I remember often having to go outside and turn for better viewing. The viewing reception was varied, depending on time of day or night, weather conditions, etc. So, reception wasn’t great? No big deal, because out in the hinterlands living on a small ranch, anything was better than nothing. Those were the days.

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