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American Scary

3.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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(Feb 17, 2009)
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$199.99 $55.12
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Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

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. --HorrorReview.com

Special Features

None.

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 (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MEM7EU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,534 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Scary" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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Nearly everyone of a certain age grew up with a Saturday afternoon or late night horror host. This film is a valentine to all of those wonderful afternoons spent watching "The Killer Shrews" or "The Giant Gila Monster" and kindred films. For me it was Doctor Shock out of Philadelphia, who merits a mention. Focusing on a few horror hosts, the film still manages to cover a wide swath of history and geography. Not just nostalgia, the film explains why hosts have diminished to near invisibility today and salutes the new generation of entertainers who are trying to bring them back. Highly recommended.
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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, though in recent years, they seem to have faded away. For a look at a bit of weird Americana, you should see this documentary.
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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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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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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. Major hosts like Zacherly and Elvira should have gotten more time and interviews.
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Cool to see all the horror hosts talk about their art. Should've been more than 3 seconds of Joel Hodgson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000) as to me - thats one of the most important evolutions of the Horror Host genre - taking it to a whole new level of interactivity and hilarity, No longer just a host, with small skits but hosts that watch the movie with you and make it 100x better and hilarious! Grew up watching MST3K (parents watched it on comedy channel - they were huge comedy fans and one of the first people in Salem, MA to have a cable box - show started on CC in 1989 - the year I was born, so Ive literally been watching it for all 25 years of my life haha.

I thought it Mystery Science Theater 3000 was rather understated in the documentary given it revolutionized and brought the whole art to an entirely new level never seen before. Kind of trumped/one upped the whole Horror Host thing IMHO. In retrospect - Elvira is kinda cheesy compared to the intellectual, smart/knowledgeable comedy of the MST3K and the successors - Rifftrax with Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy (Servo/Professor Bobo) Bill Corbett (Crow T Robot/Brain Guy) are still going strong recently topped the number of MST3k episodes over 178 Rifftrax out!) and Cinematic Titanic - hopefully someday they'll come back! currently on indefinite hiatus - which was Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson), Mary Jo Pehl (Magic Voice/Pearl Forrester), Josh (OG Servo, Dr Erdheart), Frank Coniff (TVs Frank), and Trace Beulieau (OG Crow T Robot/Clayton Forrester) .
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