Monday, October 25, 2010

Guys and Ghouls

Wanna know what I hate? Infomercials. I despise them with a passion. Wanna know why? Well, because some nimrod at a local station is thinking with his wallet and not about quality television. Yeah, some joker decided to get rid of the cast of late night hosts and those wonderful movies they would show into the wee hours of the morning. It makes me shed a tear every night that I have insomnia. Look Mr. Television-I don't need the Ronco record cleaner, what I need is good dose of bad movies with a creepy/sexy/goofy host.

From the humble beginnings of television in the 1950's, late night horror hosts like Vampira and Zacherely paved the way for other greats such as Chilly Billy, Cool Ghoul and later greats like Joe Bob Briggs and Elvira.

Probably one of my favorite hosts, although her show was short lived is Vampira. She had is all-looks, dry humor and great "B" movies. Not only did she show low grade movies but also starred in them. She played a ghoul in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention-James Dean was totally in to her. Could this woman get any better. Other sexpot hosts like Elvira, Moona Lisa and Stella the Man Eater from Manayunk owe their careers to Vampira. She paved the wave for smart, sexy sassy women in the "B" movie host genre.

I'm not sure what it is about Ohio but man, can they produce a great horror movie host. Beginning with Ghoulardi. He hosted a late night show, a Saturday mystery show and a kids show. A hipster beatnick who loved to play rock n' roll and jazz, Ghoulardi was often more popular than the movies he presented. The show was insanely popular and continued on with The Ghoul and then with Son of Ghoul. Cleveland, I love you for the simple reason that you cherish the late night movie and the host that trudges along with us through the forest of the low budget movie.

Times have changed and the movie host right along with it. Joe Bob Briggs brings the smart ass humor that is essential to the cult movie. Often during his viewing of movies you would get a running body and breast count. Sure he was a redneck and very often you were shocked by what came out of his mouth but the humor was so low brow that you couldn't help but giggle.

There are still late night TV host out there. They are on the web and yes, if you can believe it, still on your local TV stations. The bloodsucking informercial has not killed all of my fun. Every time I go to Chicago I insist on watching my favorite late night host after drinking way too many cocktails and downing a plate of nachos. I personally don't think there is any other way to enjoy the late night movie and host, but eh, that's just me. Happy Halloween all you guys and ghouls-may your dreams be filled with corny movie host and bad movie monsters.

PS-If you want to see a fun documentary on the subject of late night movie host, check out American Scary


Danièle said...

Great thoughts, and thanks for the refe, I'll check it out soon.

Becky said...

I agree! Last night I was cruising our 450+ channels and could not find ONE scary movie! It's less than a week til Halloween and not even Chiller channel had a scary movie!!!

Used to watch Shock Theater on WGHP in High Point every Saturday night. No spooky host but they did have the absolute best car commercials! Complete with the car smashing guy wielding a sledgehammer.

kat smith said...

In Evansville,IN we had Creature Feature on a local channel and it is a wonderful childhood memory my husband and I share. A Saturday night, some Tiger Red, and Munchos and endless campy vampires, slow moving brain eating zombies, and giant radioactive lizard monsters all brought too you by a host who bore a similar resemblance to Dracula. Don't forget Rhonda Shear who put the USA channel on the map with Up All Night. Now she is doing infomercials for undergarments. That is a horror in and of itself. Happy Halloween Don't let the vampires bite.