A new DVD is appearing on the shelves today, and it’s a documentary celebration of one of my most-loved things: the late night horror movie shows and their (usually) cheesy hosts.
American Scary looks like a labor of love, and the list of horror hosts and experts the filmmakers interviewed is certainly impressive:
Forrest J. Ackerman
Douglas Agosti – Dr. Shock
Ernie Anderson – Ghoulardi (archive footage)
Bob Billbrough – Hives the Butler
Jerry G. Bishop – Svengoolie
John Bloom – Joe Bob Briggs
Bill Cardille – Chilly Billy
Shane Dallman – Remo D.
John Dimes – Dr. Sarcofiguy
Richard Dyszel – Count Gore DeVol
George ‘E-Gor’ Chastain
Frank J. Dello Stritto
Jeanne Dietrick – Joan E. Cleaver
Brian Easterling – Butch R. Cleaver
Reed Farrell – Christopher Coffin
Hart D. Fisher
Joseph Fotinos – Professor Anton Griffin
Donald F. Glut
Jim Hendricks – Commander USA
Timothy Herron – Baron Von Wolfstein
Bob Hinton – A. Ghastlee Ghoul
Barry Hobart – Dr. Creep
Joel Hodgson – Mystery Science Theater 3000
John Kassir – The Cryptkeeper
Eric Lobo – Mr. Lobo
Hayden Milligan – I. Zombi
Michael Monahan – Doktor Goulfinger
Mark Newman – Dr. Mor B.S.
Kevin Novotny – Ghoul-a-Go-Go’s Vlad Tsepis
Maila Nurmi – Vampira
The Patient Creatures:
Bob Beidman – Carpathian
P.D. Cacek – Moira the Banshee
Andrew Ely – Grimm
Virginia Ely – Kuzibah
Mia Rotondo – Miss Scarlett
Kevin Rice – Ghoul-a-Go-Go’s Creighton
John Rinaldi – Big Chuck and Li’l John Show
Keven Scarpino – Son of Ghoul
Chuck Schodowski – Big Chuck and Li’l John Show
Karen Scioli – Stella
Roberta Solomon – Crematia Mortem
Ron Sweed – The Ghoul
John Stanley – Creature Features
Larry Underwood – Dr. Gangrene
Bob Wilkins – Creature Features
John Zacherle – Zacherley
But my two favorites aren’t on here. When I was growing up and living in Hampton, Jerry Harrell created Dr. Madblood for the Hampton Roads NBC affiliate. In 1975, Harrell’s not-so-mad doctor was wonderfully counterculture, a perfect mix with that new show on late on NBC, Saturday Night. Madblood, I think, is still on, too — on another channel — and he has a website that I urge you to visit.
Even more important, in my formative years prior to Madblood, as I started collecting Famous Monsters of Filmland, Vampirella, Creepy and Eerie, and my favorite, The Monster Times, we did not have cable television. Channels from far distant lands would occasionally bleed through the invisible airwaves, and on the weekends, if I angled the rabbit years just right, I’d be rewarded with WXEX Channel 8, and the best and funniest horror host I’ve ever seen: Richmond’s own Bowman Body.
I’ve written about Bill Bowman and his late night impact before, in one of my previous blogs and in the Richmond Times-Dispatch at Halloween 2007, so I won’t repeat myself too much here. My only wishes are that the filmmakers had interviewed Bill about hosting a horror show in the South in the early ’70s . . . and that Bill knows how fondly his viewers remember him thirty-some years after crawling out of a puke-green coffin in cape and hi-tops.
As far as I’m concerned, Liberty still rings the ol’ bell!