As a kid, one of my fondest memories of Saturday mornings was sugar saturated cereal and cartoons. Spiderman, Hercules, Scooby Doo and many others. Oh hold on… put on the brakes. No…. I actually wasn’t a fan of those cartoons. One of my brothers was obsessed with Spiderman, Rocket Robinhood and Hercules. Not I! Generally, I couldn’t stand those types of cartoons. Those cartoons were unfortunately on first Saturday mornings, then came what was more of the ‘ordinary’ delights in our household. The Hilarious House of Frightenstein and re-runs of The Addams Family, The Munsters and The Twilight Zone. Oh what a delight to hear Rod Serling’s voice first thing in the morning.
Growing up we had three… THREE channels. CKNX, CTV, CBC and eventually a fourth TVO was added. Fortunately, one of them showed more than just the typical Saturday morning fare. I may have lost my mind otherwise. I’m sure one of the programmers was a fan of the darker style of Saturday morning entertainment and somehow convinced the station manager that Morticia Addams and Grimilda were a must on a late Saturday mornings.
Occasionally on an exceptionally clear day, we would be able to get in a few New York stations and when we did… OH BOY! We were in for a freaky treat! How I would pray for a cloudless Saturday morning.
Recently nostalgia started creeping in and I did a search for some of the shows I loved and to my delight was able to find some YouTube channels that are still showing reruns of the creature style shows such as Son of Svengoolie, Creature Features (which had a House of Frightenstein type host) and others that I was madly obsessed with.
Along with the creepy kids cartoons, there would usually be at least one show that would play vintage horror movies. I was always excited to see what shenanigans the creeptacular hosts would be up to. I loved that they would also rerun shows from the 1950s. One of my all time favourite openings is still Vampira.
We also can’t forget Elvira Mistress of the Dark. Typically a late night show, one of the channels we watched on Saturday mornings still ran her Midnight Madness.
Skip forward to today and we have spooktacular hosts such as Ivanna Cadavar from Macabre Theatre taking over the reign as the new TV Queen of the Underworld.
But…. back to Svengoolie. When we were able to get some of the upper state New York channels, I would literally have to fight my brother for control of the remote. Since we couldn’t get these stations every week, when we did, I had to take the opportuntity to see one of the best things about Saturday morning.
If we were extra lucky we would get reruns of Ghoul A Go Go (http://www.ghoulagogo.com/)
or the Count Orlaf Show.
Lucky for us today we have the internets and YouTube. I am fortunate that I can still binge on channels and YouTube shows that encompass the need for schlocky themed, low budget, local broadcast style productions. Here are a few of my other favourites.
Mystery Science Theatre 3000
Chiller Night Theatre (this clip showing on of my favourite all time bad horror movies The Manster.
Full Horror (This channel doesn’t have a host, but has an archive of some vintages, b-horror movies. Though the list isn’t a long one, the movies selected are some of the best, worst b-horror movies.)
Let’s not forget Shock Theatre.
Not to be confused with the original Shock Theatre from the 1970’s/80’s.
Often I think of starting my own channel. One of my partners in crime and one of my longest friendships (October Young) is also a huge fan of bad horror movies and schlock TV. Together we have started our own production called Queens of Schlock. We are currently writing horror shorts but have often talked about starting our own YouTube show. When I spend time watching some of my favourite YouTube channels or when we have bad horror movie nights, the inspiration to create our own show grows. Stay tuned, you never know, that could be happening soon.
Growing up was a creepy, wondrous time of freaky Saturday morning cartoons. It might be time to restart the tradition.
What are some of your favourite bad movies, horror themed and hosted TV shows? My next blog post will be about some of my favourite awesomely bad b-horror movies!