elionwyr: (spooky)
[personal profile] elionwyr
When Vampira hit the air waves in 1954, she was introducing a rather wide variety of horror, suspense, and mystery films. She poked fun at the often poor quality of these movies, but the very fact that TV stations were airing them indicates how strong a need for programming existed in those early days of television.

Recognizing a marketing opportunity, Universal Pictures worked with Screen Gems to release a package of films made in the '30s and '40s that had previously only been seen in theaters. The package was called Shock and contained roughly 52 films, depending on what the television stations involved were interested in acquiring.

With DVD rentals, a plethora of cable stations, and now internet sites such as Hulu, it's a little hard to imagine how exciting this move must have been. Audiences could now enjoy classics such as Dracula, as well as lesser-known thrillers such as Reported Missing, in the comfort of their homes.

Shock was so successful that a year later, in 1958, Son of Shock was also offered. Over 70 stations across the US bought the film packages, and some stations opted to follow in Vampira's footprints, hiring actors to portray mad scientists, ghouls, and vampires to introduce these horror movie shows.

And thus started the heyday of the horror host movement.

For more information, please visit:
http://myweb.wvnet.edu/e-gor/tvhorrorhosts/fmshock.html - includes a list of horror hosts from 1958

April 2009

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