We like to post anything that's spooky, haunted, abandoned or fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie - Cinematic Obsessions

Frank Avila interviews Ted Okuda And Mark Yurkiw, authors of the book "Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie" Although the motion picture industry initially disparaged and feared television, by the late 1950s, studios saw the medium as a convenient dumping ground for thousands of films that had long been gathering dust in their vaults. As these films found their way to local TV stations, enterprising distributors grouped the titles by genre so programmers could showcase them accordingly. It was in this spirit that Chicago’s tradition of horror TV movie shows was born. TV viewers couldn’t get enough of the old monster movies—everything from glossy Frankenstein and Dracula epics to low-budget cheapies featuring giant grasshoppers and teenage werewolves. Here in Chicago, these films were broadcast on such horror movie shows as Shock Theatre, Thrillerama, Creature Features, and Screaming Yellow Theater. Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie is the first comprehensive look at Chicago’s horror movie programs, from their inception in 1957 to the present. Through career profiles of the Horror Hosts who provided comedic interludes between commercial breaks, discover which creepy presenter was one of the 12 reporters to travel around the country with the Beatles during their 1965–66 U.S. tour, and learn about the politics behind Channel 32’s sudden (and outrageous) switch from Svengoolie to the Ghoul. Also included are broadcast histories of such “hostless” programs as Creature Features, Thrillerama, The Big Show, The Early Show, The Science Fiction Theater, and Monster Rally, along with a guide to 100 fright films broadcast on Chicago television and a look at the “Shock!” horror library that started a TV craze. Filled with rare photographs and never-before-published data, Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows celebrates a grand tradition in local television. Lake Claremont Press fosters and celebrates what's distinctive about Chicago's history, culture, geography, spirit, and lore. Join us in preserving the past, exploring the present, and ensuring a future sense of place for our corner of the globe.

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