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I Was a TV Horror Host: Memoirs of a Creature Features Man Paperback – July 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

<div>For six years (1979-84) John Stanley hosted the highly rated "Creature Features" in the San Francisco-Bay Area TV market, introducing science fiction and horror movies to a midnight audience, and interviewing the leading actors, producers and directors of the time. He also spent 33 years as an entertainment writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, specializing in interviewing TV and movie stars. He has written 13 books, including six editions of The Creature Features Movie Guide series. His novels include World War IIand Bogart/'48. He edited and published Them Ornery Mitchum Boys by John Mitchum. He is a noted Elderhostel instructor (specializing in movies, TV and music) and he constructed crossword puzzles for TV Guide publications for eight years. He holds a BA degree from San Francisco State College.</div>

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Creatures At Large (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940064111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940064119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,074,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For 33 years John Stanley was an entertainment writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, covering the leading movie and TV personalities from the 1960s through the early 1990s. During that time he was also host of "Creature Features," an extremely popular Saturday night series in the Bay Area that ran for 14 years. (His predecessor, Bob Wilkins, hosted from 1971-1978.) Stanley's book I WAS A TV HORROR HOST (2007) reflects the large number of personalities of fantasy-world personalities he interviewed on the air, including Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Ray Harryhausen, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, William Castle and countless film directors and sci-fi/fantasy authors. Stanley (born 1940) has written 18 books during his lifetime, including six editions in the long-running "Creature Features Movie Guide" series (1981-2000), of which the fourth edition is still available. His latest book was THE GANG THAT SHOT UP HOLLYWOOD (2011) with profiles of Clint Eastwood, Robert Mitchum, Samuel Fuller, Karl Malden, James Stewart, Ida Lupino, Barbara Stanwyck, Carroll Baker, and many others. His novel WORLD WAR III (aka NAPALM SUNDAY) was a hit Avon paperback in 1976 and his 1980 Dell Press novel BOGART '48 was recently reissued, with 42 photographs, by Ramble House, a mystery publisher. The latter book is also available in e-book format. He has produced many DVDS featuring material from his "Creature Features" shows as well as a documentary about film noir expert Eddie Muller.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Leeper on October 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
For those who were not around at the time, a lot of baby boomer horror fans got their start watching the horror film packages distributed to television starting around the late 1950s. I know I lived from one Saturday night to the next looking forward to my first chance to see some film like HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN that I had read about in FAMOUS MONSTER OF FILMLAND magazine. In Springfield, Massachusetts the Late Show would just have a science fiction or horror film every Saturday night. The larger stations made it a weekly program with a host who went by a name like Ghoulardi or Svenghouli, usually in some weird costume.

The San Francisco area had a little more class. KTVU out of Oakland broadcast CREATURE FEATURES with its host Bob Wilkins. When horror hosts like Zacherley and Vampira were dressing up in Halloween costumes and doing skits, Wilkins looked relatively normal underplayed the horror host role with a sort of Bob Newhart deadpan style. His slogan was "Watch horror films... Keep America Strong." I enjoyed Wilkins a lot when I was at Stanford from 1972 to 1974. KTVU had John Stanley as the host of CREATURE FEATURES from 1979 to 1984 after Wilkins left. Unfortunately, I never saw John Stanley on the air. As far as I can tell John Stanley carried the Wilkins tradition of the laid-back style. (Oddly each looks like he has a portrait somewhere doing all his aging for him.) Stanley also published a guide to the kind of films he would show JOHN STANLEY'S CREATURE FEATURES MOVIE GUIDE.

That brings me to John Stanley's current book, I WAS A TV HORROR HOST. As the name suggests, this is a memoir of his years as a horror host--probably the first memoir of a horror host.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stanley C. Sargent VINE VOICE on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a long-time San Franciscan, I fondly remember the horror hosts Bob Wilkins and his successor, John Stanley. I watched them every Friday religiously and collected John's excellent movie review guides in more than one incarnation.

I highly recommend this great book for anyone who loves old and not-so-old horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. John provides a surprisingly thorough overview of the old-time radio shows and pioneering TV horror hosts before rolling into the tale of Bob Wilkins' and his own careers as late night horror hosts.

This book contains so many great interviews and photos with and of everyone who was anyone in the business! John has been a journalist for many years, so he was able to interview the top stars of the horror and sci-fi film genres on his show and elsewhere. They loved coming on his show and camping it up as much as he loved having them! There are anecdotes galore and lots of great information you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

It's a treasure of memories and new info that's funny and fun to read! Get a copy and, as Bob and John used to say, "Watch Horror Movies, Keep America Strong!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Watrous on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book a couple of years ago. John Stanley divides the book into several parts. One was a general history of horror movie hosts. Then how Bob Wilkens became the horror movie host for the Creature Feature Show on KTVU-2 in Oakland, CA. Then how Stanley took over the job for several years. After that publishes several interviews he did with famous actors and writers such as Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Ray Bradbury. It's a very fun read and I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Floyd on August 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
John Stanley was a great horror tv host. Bob Wilkins was even better. And John Stanley has both covered in this excellent book. For more on BOB WILKINS check out [...]
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