Where did all the horror hosts go?

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Where did all the horror hosts go?

Uncle Fright This past Sunday I was attempting to watch a movie, that I will be talking about in depth tomorrow, and although the audio and video were in sync at the start by twenty minutes in there was a fifteen second difference.  I can tolerate a lot of things in my movies but once the AV is out-of-sync that vein in my forehead starts a pulsating.  So to the Internet I go to find a copy of said movie, which I do find being hosted by Uncle Fright on Blip.TV.

After the film finishes I scan the rest of his shows to see if anything other movies look interesting/have never seen, find a few and realize his latest show is from March of this year.  Crap, I would have made a habit of watching this guy.  Too bad once I get through his catalogue there may not be anything new from him.  Maybe he is just taking a break.  We’ll bookmark that and come back to it at a later date.  By this point my wife has taken interest and is curious to what other hosts are on the net.  Let us see who else is hosting some scary movies but first some background.

I have written before about growing up in the shadow of Philadelphia Pennsylvania and spending my childhood watching Dr. Shock every Saturday.  No one person is more responsible for my tastes in horror and science fiction movies than that man.  No one person is more responsible for my opinion of how a horror host should be than that man also.  Dr. Shock was scary and funny and even when the sketch was falling apart he never broke character.  He did ever episode like it was being broadcast live and damn it he was going to do it all in one take.  I also had a friend in California who would occasional mail me VHS tapes of Elvira since she wasn’t syndicated in my area at the time.

Flash forward to the mid-2000s and one of the local independent TV stations becomes an affiliate of RetroTV which I don’t know if it still exists or not, RetroTV that is – the TV station is now MeTV.  With that family friendly network came a late night horror show by the name of Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In and it was awesome.  As corny as his sketches were sometimes he really know how to be the horror host that show needed.  It didn’t hurt that the movies he hosted were some of the worst in film history.  His segments were part of a whole show story arc that usually ended in his co-host Boney Bob having performed some heinous act of misunderstanding and hilarity would ensue.  And then the station dropped it’s affiliation and then Mac Kelly who played Wolfman Mac announced there would be no new shows.

Almost immediately the same station picked up the newly re-syndicated Elvira, Mistress of The Dark…for six weeks, and two movies played in repetition.  I don’t need to explain Elvira, you are familiar with her work and legend, I only hope there was way more to her show than those two movies and someone else is enjoying Miss E.  At the same time there was a cute goth chick hosting on one of the other national cable stations for a few months that for the life of me I cannot remember the name of.  Too bad, she was amazing with her black humor and just being generally gorgeous…not that Elvira was hard to look at you know.

Now I have Svengoolie who I tolerate for it is all I got.  History lesson over, back to my point.

In addition to Uncle Fright I come across Super Scary Theater with Miss Dementia out of Ohio I think.  Holy crap this show is speeding out of control and barely on the rails.  Between her and her cast this is chaos of epic levels and if there is one thing about chaos, you don’t control it – you just try to aim it and she has laser sights on a sniper rifle.  This could be my new favorite show, if it had lasted for more than four episodes before ending in July of 2011.  Damn it, you had a gimp and a tranny for co-hosts, how could that fail?  Did I mention her signature red dress barely contains her and she has a gift for smoothly making sure she doesn’t come spilling out?  All four of those episodes I found contain some of the best top-notch hosting I have seen in a while, corny yes but she plays it so over the top you can’t help but laugh and feel sorry when the set starts to fall apart and she just keeps rolling forward playing it all from the hip.

There are of course many other Internet hosts and shows but as I try to research into many of them I am greeted by 404 errors and domain squatters.  Where have all my horror hosts gone?

The one bright shining light in all of this is Count Gore de Vol and his weekly web show.  This man has the skills and personality to do the job.  In addition to his show he is also the champion of all horror host through TV history and maintains an archive of information pertaining to that branch of entertainment.  Count Gore is what I remember most from all those years watching Dr. Shock.  He is my hero and is the example I will try to live up to if I every get off my butt and follow through with my plans, helps that the wife is kicking my butt to do it too. 

I hope my tirade wasn’t too boring but this is something that means a lot to me.

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