Monday, October 25, 2010

Return of the Crypt of the Horror Hosts

So it's back to the horror hosts for Night 25 of the Countdown to Halloween, with my first look at the horror hosts of today. The relatively easy availability of public domain films (along with the proliferation of video cameras and affordable film editing software) has lead to a renaissance of horror hosting in the last decade. No longer requiring the facilities of a television studio, many B-Movie fans have decided to make their own home-made horror shows in imitation of the great hosts of the past. Some just put their stuff up on the web, but many (most?) instead broadcast via their local public access stations, with YouTube serving as a way to reach a wider audience. The quality of these shows, as you'd imagine, varies wildly. On the low end, I've seen filthy-mouthed sock puppets, emo versions of Wayne's World, zombie potheads, you name it. But on the high end, I've also seen hosts with great gimmicks, good writing, and shows every bit as entertaining as the classic hosts of days gone by. There's a lot of good hosts out there, and I plan to spend some time here in the home stretch to the bestest day of the year counting down my favorites. Tonight, I'll be bringing you clips from Ghoul A-Go-Go, and this guy...

Eerie Lee Shivers

Eerie Lee hosts Uncle Eerie's Midnight Shiver Show out of Portland, Oregon. The show just launched earlier this year (I think there are only about four episodes extant right now), but I really love the gimmick. Uncle Eerie is an Old West gambler type, with of course a ghoulish touch. I don't really know much about the guy other than that, but I will say that he's one of the most entertaining Facebook friends you can have.

There are lots of Shiver Show clips on the YouTube, but I think the flavor of the show is best-represented by a commercial done for its launch, which you can see... after the jump.

Heh. Great look, great character, great set, some nice diabolical gags... That's a recipe for a horror host classic. Not that Uncle Eerie's earned classic status yet. His show's in its early days still, and is a bit creaky around the edges. But the potential is there, and hot damn he's got a great character to play with. Here's one more clip, from the third episode. Uncle Eerie and his good buddy Swampy Carl (who's kind of like a midget version of the Man-Thing) are out on a fishing expedition for the legendary Muck Man...

Uncle Eerie also does live Shiver Shows that, from what I can tell, are like a kind of Halloween burlesque show. I've seen some footage of those that I haven't been able to track down tonight, but here's a really cool ad he cut for them:

Ghoul A-Go-Go

The guys in Ghoul A-Go-Go (from l-to-r: Vlad, Creighton, and The Invisible Man) aren't horror hosts in the classic sense. Which is to say, they don't show movies. No, Ghoul A-Go-Go is a children's rock & roll dance show. They do skits, dance with the kids, and host appearances by some of the coolest bands in the garage / rockabilly revival scene. They also take great pains to make the show look as true to the period as possible, right down to filming in black and white. But don't take my word for it. Here's a video run-down of the show's highlights:

That's right. Proof positive that kids love monsters! They love monsters, Japanese girl groups, and Hasil freaking Adkins! I was absolutely stunned when I heard that they'd gotten Hasil on the show, and (just so you don't have to hunt it down yourselves) here's his full performance:

Okay, so they didn't seem willing to let Hasil into the same room as the children. But the 5678s rocked those kids' collective world!

Honestly, I'm not sure how entertaining the Ghoul-A-Go-Go guys themselves really are. There's not much footage out there of them doing anything. But, man! Three dudes in monster make-up, hosting music that good, with little kids dancing in the foreground? I can't NOT like that!

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