Say what you like, but the continuing existence of shows like MST3K and Svengoolie points out that horror movies, especially with local hosts, have been a part of television since virtually the very beginning. One of the reasons why SCTV's Count Floyd was so funny was that almost everyone of a certain age knew of a local host with whom they could identify. It was unusual to find a horror flick on during a weekday afternoon; their largest audience was in school, for one thing, which meant that if you did find one, it was probably something like "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein." But while the late show was the province of serious movies during the week (Thursday's feature, for instance, is Preston Sturges's "Sullivan's Travels"), the weekend is where the horror movie truly shone. And while none of them measure up to that Friday double-feature, there's still a lot to enjoy on Saturday and Sunday. (WFBG, Channel 10 in Altoona, has "Dead Man's Eyes" early Saturday morning, in which Lon Chaney Jr. plays a blind artist "accused of murdering his benefactor for the man's eyes.")
On Saturday, always a good night for these kinds of things, WFIL, Channel 6 in Philadelphia, kicks of their 11:00 p.m. double-feature with "Creature from the Haunted Sea" (directed by Roger Corman, no less!), in which "A 'mythical' monster turns up to cause some problems for a band of loyalists during a Central American revolution." (Disappointingly, the second movie is far more conventional - "Blackwell's Island," with John Garfield and Victor Jory.) A quarter of an hour later, Channel 10 offers up "Terror in the Haunted House*," in which "Philip Tierney takes his new bride Sheila to an old mansion, and the place terrifies her." On Sunday night, Channel 12, WNBF in Binghamton, NY, comes up with "The Beast with Five Fingers," where "A semi-invalid concert pianist is murdered by his severed hand seems to live on - seeking revenge." (Of course it does.) This stars Robert "My son was on M*A*S*H" Alda and Peter Lorre.
*I like its original title even better: "My World Dies Screaming."
What about you? Do you have any local horror movie memories you'd like to share?
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I was actually a little disappointed there weren't more of these movies on this week, especially on Saturday afternoon (although Channel 15's 12:45 p.m. movie is "To Be Announced," so there's always hope). One reason for the paucity of chills may be the abundance of sports .
|SOURCE ALL: HADLEY TV GUIDES|
There's more Philly sports at 2:00 p.m., when the Eagles play the New York Giants in an exhibition game from New Jersey, long before the Giants make that state their home. On ABC's Wide World of Sports, it's same-day coverage of the Little League World Series, from nearby Williamsport, PA, won by a team from Staten Island, NY. There's also horse racing from Saratoga; the third round of the Carling World Golf Championship from Oakland Hills, just outside Detroit; and, in prime time on ABC, the U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming, yachting and fencing.
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If it's an Olympic year, that means it's also an election year, and the presidential campaigns are starting to ramp up. According to "For the Record," Republican National Chairman (and future FCC Chairman) Dean Burch says the party's planning to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million on behalf of the Goldwater-Miller ticket during the campaign. (By contrast, it's estimated that in 2012, the GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, spent over $87 million on TV ads, although most of that came from outside groups; the party itself only spent about $2.3 million.)
They'll need that advertising in order to make a dent in the huge lead held by President Johnson; by a vote of 44 to 41, the Democratic-controlled Senate tables a bill to suspend the equal-time provisions of the Federal Communications Act as was done in 1960. Without that suspension, networks will be forced to offer equal time to "all other White House aspirants" as well as LBJ and AuH2O. It's not a surprise that the Democrats are sidetracking any possible debates; it's common action for front-runners, and would be until the presidential debate format was revived and formalized in 1976. What, after all, does the candidate in the lead have to gain? Nixon will do the same thing in 1968 and 1972.
Burch is a busy man this week. He's also filed a protest with the Fair Campaign Practices Committee about the infamous “Daisy” political commercial on behalf of President Johnson. Says Burch, “This horror-type commercial is designed to arouse basic emotions and has no place in this campaign.” he said. The Democratic National Committee says it's not sure if the ait wasn’t sure whether the ad would be aired again - and why should they? With just that one showing, it's already become the most famous political commercial in history, and the free publicity it garners just from people talking about it is, as they say, something that money can't buy. In the end, the commercial never is run again. I wrote about it here, and you can see it there if you want; compared to what goes on the political airwaves nowadays, it's actually pretty tame.
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Not to be confused with their 1963 TV comedy pilot of the same name, this featured older clips like a "Fractured Fairy Tale,' a piece from Watts Gnu, some "Flicker Songs," and some hilarious animated blackouts directed by Bill Hurtz and Jim Hiltz. (Originally made by Ward as a demo reel, the blackouts were picked up for CBS's The Garry Moore Show.) Scott used The Nuthouse excerpt reel at the various nationwide and Canadian college lectures at which he spoke.
Sounds delightful. Here's a clip from one of the show's bits.
I wonder if the audience knew what to make of this? It strikes me that had this been offered a few years later, after shows like Laugh-In had changed the television landscape, it might have had a better chance of sticking.
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Our fashion-show this week comes to us from Carol Lynley, about whom we read earlier this month. In addition to her burgeoning movie work, she's a regular fixture on television nowadays. None of this is mentioned in the following article, of course, but we do get plenty of information on what she's wearing.
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Finally, you can learn a lot about what's going on by reading Letters to the Editor. The headline for the letter by Bonnie Karg, of Oakland, NJ, reads "A Girl Who Likes Dylan." In another year, you'd assume she was writing about this Dylan, but in 1964 she was referring to the other one - Dylan Thomas, the poet.* She's writing about yet another snarky Richard Gehman profile, this one on comedienne Peggy Cass. Says Bonnie, "A girl who likes Dylan Thomas poetry can't be all bad."
*One could call the first Dylan a poet as well. I might not, but others could.
Elinor Gatz of Shreve, Ohio, has the New Christy Minstrals on her mind. They're a popular group of the time, frequent guests on television shows throughout the '60s, but Elinor wants to talk about the original Christy Minstrals, founded in the 1840s. Specifically, Elinor takes exception to the description of the Christy Minstrals as "singers of 'Darkie songs'," and points out the group was instrumental in introducing the songs of Stephen Foster, including "Old Folks at Home." Those songs are a part of our American heritage, even if today's generations have no idea.
And then there's Dan Brockma of Maitland, FL, who provides the answer to the question everyone asks regarding NBC's Bonanza: "I don't see Bonanza's Adam, Hoss and Little Joe are ever going to find three nice girls if they don't change clothes sometime." I don't know how we could find a better exit line than that.