As I child I was not like most kids. Instead of playing, or even having any interest in, sports I could be found out in nature collecting insects, drawing, listening to my favorite music and watching monster movies. Though many UHF stations at the time would show these movies once in awhile, I got my weekly fix every Saturday afternoon on the CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE on channel WLVI 56 out of Boston. It was a show that I would watch every week, providing I could draw the station in.Continue reading “HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT: The One & Only, Svengoolie”
Growing up in the 70s was an awesome time to be a kid. The toys were cool, Saturday morning cartoons were a lot of fun and we had a regular dose of monster movies every week on the Creature Double Feature. I was a huge monster movie fan and every Saturday afternoon I could be found glued to the television watching such movies as WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, RODAN and all of the GAMERA movies (as well as all of the classics we have grown to love). For us, the Creature Double Feature was not a hosted program (though a scary voice was used each week to introduce the movies). Then something happened in the early 80’s…all of a sudden the CDF was being hosted by some guy named the Son of Svengoolie. This started my love of horror hosts.Continue reading “HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT: Zomboo’s House of Horror Movies”
Horror hosts have been around almost as long as television has shown horror movies. Back in the day, before corporations took over all of the local television stations, said station would try to maintain a local feel that extended beyond the news. Some of these stations would have local kids’ clubs, Dialing for Dollars movies and of course, usually late at night, horror movies that were usually hosted by a ghoulish character that would oftentimes entertain the viewer during the commercial breaks.
Let me start by saying that this review has been a long time coming. Why? Because this book is huge! This 2019 release by McFarland is probably the definitive book on this subject and it is one that every horror fan, especially if you’re a fan of the classics, should have in their library.
The Creature Double Feature, on WLVI channel 56 out of Boston, was one of my favorite shows growing up (see my original post HERE). It ran from 1975 until 1984, offering some of the greatest monster movies of all time to the children and adults living in New England. While working on this movie guide, showing each week’s double feature, I noticed two very interesting things. First off, the program director was very good at pairing movies up that were similar, either in title or in subject matter. Second, the classic Universal monster movies did not start to be shown until 1980, six years into the show’s run! Also in 1980 saw a wider variety of Godzilla movies and other films that had not been shown in previous years.
Remembering back to when I was a kid, I have come to realize that I was quite the loner. Though I had friends at school, I rarely hung out with them after school or on weekends. With that being said though, I had no issues keeping myself entertained, especially on weekends. During the 70’s, one of the things I looked forward to the most on the weekends were monster movies, especially those shown every Saturday afternoon on WLVI channel 56 out of Boston. The show? The Creature Double Feature.
As I get older I find myself getting more nostalgic for things that I had or experienced as a child. It may be as simple as opening a new comic book, reading a book that has stayed with me or even any of the cool toys I had growing up.
When it came to toys I was very partial to the Mego toy lines with such great toys like Micronauts and the World’s Greatest Superheroes 8″ action figures. My favorite though was monsters. In fact, I would get monster toys from other lines just to incorporate them into playtime with the toys I already had.
Growing up in the 70’s was such a fun time. I would look forward to every Saturday, not only for the Saturday morning cartoons but also for the Creature Double Feature that was on every afternoon at 1. Though this was on a UHF station (WLVI 56 out of Boston) and drawing it in was often a problem, I would still watch it week after week regardless of how snowy the picture was. I cannot describe my excitement when in 1979 a commercial came on during the Saturday morning cartoons for a new toy coming out by Mattel. It was a toy to go with their Shogun Warriors line featuring one of my all time favorite monsters, Rodan!
If you grew up in the 1950’s then you were a first-hand witness to probably the greatest decade of monster movies ever produced. It was during this ten-year period that so many classics were made. This is the decade that introduced us to Godzilla (1954), Rodan (1956), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), the reinvention of the classic Universal Monster movies, this time in color, by Hammer Studios and of course countless alien invasion films, many of which to this day are some of the best ever made. The subject of this review is one that has stood the test of time (67 years and counting at the time I am writing this) and remains one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made.