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American Scary (2009)

Zacherly , Vampira , John E. Hudgens  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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American Scary + Horrible Horror (The Special Edition) + Vampira And Me
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Product Details

  • Actors: Zacherly, Vampira, Ghoulardi
  • Directors: John E. Hudgens
  • Producers: Sandy Clark
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Libre
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MEM7EU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,236 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Scary" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


This fun documentary should be proudly placed on the classic horror shelf and pointed out to all those who grew up sneaking peeks at late-night horror flicks on their local TV channels. --Video Business

American Scary is a wonderful and fascinating look at the all-but-lost tradition of late night horror hosts... --Blog Critics Magazine

...local personalities were big time stuff in their respective cities - and AMERICAN SCARY celebrates them with obvious affection.

Product Description

American Scary is a look at the nation's tradition of horror hosting, from Zacherley to A. Ghastlee Ghoul. Hosts of all kinds were once a staple of television, and especially local television productions. But as production demands and the availability of cheaper syndicated material changed the local TV business model, local hosts were also one of the first things to go, no matter how popular they were with the viewing public. With interviews and footage from major hosts from the 1950s to the present day, such as Zacherley, Vampira, Ghoulardi and others, along with memories from celebrities and fans who were influenced by these hosts, you'll follow this American folk art form from its glamorous beginnings, through repeated waves of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, to its scrappy resurgence and survival in the current age of cable access and the Internet. American Scary looks to remind people how much fun local TV could be - and maybe could be again.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Cool Trip Down Memory Lane April 1, 2009
By Karen
I found this by accident, bought it and loved it! I miss the old Horror Hosts. I have such fun, scary memories of watching Roland, Dr. Shock and Stella in Philadelphia. I was so excited to see that Stella made the DVD cover!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Scary - short on Hosts February 25, 2009
American Scary is the first documentary to spotlight the Horror Host phenomenon in America. The DVD is very professional and the filmmakers have done an admirable job of researching some of the original hosts from the early days of television, but what is really lacking is more footage of the horror hosts themselves. I grew up watching Pittsburgh's Chilly Billy Cardille back in the 1970's and while this host gets his due, he is only one of a limited number of hosts really given any airtime. We spend a lot of time watching a lot of "interviews" with "fans" of these icons from days-gone-by when what we really crave is more archival footage of these wonderful shows. By the end of this DVD I found myself feeling a little cheated and wanting for more horror hosts.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTED March 7, 2009
American Scary is a tribute to the golden age of the horror hosts. It contains some footage and interviews featuring Mike Price (Baron Daemon) and Alan Miliar (Dr, E, Nick Witty.) Although I was very excited to view the footage from so long ago, I found it somewhat disappointing.

Because it was less of a historical treatment of the genre and more of a collection of random three-second interviews interspersed throughout the DVD. No mention of Boris Karloff's contribution or the early spook shows and radio broadacasts. Also, many pioneers in the horror host filed like Sammy Terry, Nightmare, Al Lewis (Grandpa Munter), Zumbo were callously omitted.

It seemed to be geared for an audience with a very limited focus, limited interest in history and even greater limited attention span. I am still hoping for a more through treatment of the idiom in the future. There is additional footage of Baron Daemon and Monster Movie Matinee available at:

Joe Capuana
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!!! Yes, yes, yes. November 2, 2013
By jfield1
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I have not enjoyed myself so much in years. I grew up watching late-night horror shows but sadly my local area in the 1950s and 1960s did not have a Horror Show Host the likes of these. I envy those who did and only wish this documentary was five hours long instead of only two. I loved it!!! Yes, yes, yes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Shorty April 6, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes Being a Horror host Myself I was very excited to see this , It was done very well and professionaly but it left out so much, there was no mention of Bowman body or sammy Terry ect you would have to buy Virgina creepers to fill some of the gap this movie had, and then somebody needs to recognize people like sammy terry and Dr scar two of the best hosts ever, i give it 3 stars for at least getting this out there, People need to remember the good ol days. If your a horror host fan this is good but a little dissapointing as well but worth having.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really worth the wait March 3, 2009
The long, long wait for this release made unreal expectations for the quality. The nuts and bolts of the video and editing are just fine but the content is just not there. The focus is on modern hosts recalling past hosts instead of interviewing the pioneers directly. Oh there are some nice spots here and there but for $20 I expect quite a bit more.

Good first effort but not great. Hopefully American Scary can serve as inspiration for more projects of this type.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Scary June 11, 2010
A Look back at the Creature Feautre/Late Night Horror Movie hosts, Some Well known and loved such as Vampira and Elvira,others not as popular. A very entertaining and refreshingly different documentary.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars something missing November 13, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great movie well played out.How it cannot have the SON OF SVENGOOLIE is a reason not to buy the movie.
Sven has been on for nearly 30 years and is loved in Chicago.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars lots of fun
This was a great dvd. It was fun to see some of the horror hosts I had heard about but could not see on my tv channels growing up. Read more
Published 1 day ago by south dakota
3.0 out of 5 stars Song in the movie?
Does anyone know who sings the song included in the film? lyrics like "all dressed up and nowhere to go, gotta make the midnight show"

I don't think its the Moon-Rays as... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Daniel Richmond
5.0 out of 5 stars American Scary
This is the story of television horror shows and their hosts. During the sixties and seventies, these shows and their often wacky hosts became something of a cultural phenomenon,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by warlord
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
If you gew up watching these hosts showing old movies on TV then this is enjoyable to watch once. I think it could have been expanded more considering how much can fit on a DVD. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lawrence Tuczynski
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love it.
If you are a fan (if you buy this you must be)you will love this DVD. I throughly enjoyed it. The only thing it lacked was Dr. Shock (Philly horror host from the 70's).
Published on December 7, 2010 by JOHN MURRAY
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview
Excellent overview of not just a grassroots American phenomena, but a wonderful moment in time when television was local, before everything got sliced up and homogenized by the... Read more
Published on November 5, 2009 by S. M. Garrett
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE VERY BEST!!
If you grew up in a time when TV wasn't a huge conglomerate and reality crap spilled over the airwaves, you'll love this very good look at local tv horror hosts throughout the... Read more
Published on May 5, 2009 by Kevin P. Coon
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun
I really enjoyed this DVD, particularly the vintage clips of horror hosts like Vampira and Zacherle. Read more
Published on April 10, 2009 by Kenneth E. Morgan
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