Saturday, October 29, 2016


As with any other enterprise, promotion played an essential part in the success of the Screen Gems SHOCK! monster movie package acquired from the Universal Studios film library in 1957. First and foremost, of course, was the instant "cool factor" among viewers who had the thrill of watching what were already becoming iconic films depicting the timeless images that had been forged in Universals crucible of imagination (with a big help from genius makeup man, Jack P. Pierce). The tropes would form the psychological imprint of the entire horror film oeuvre for years to come. Watch any horror film today and you can still see the monster lurking just outside of the hero's watchful eye, and you still want to shout, "Watch out!", to the hapless heroine.

The SHOCK! sensation caught on like wildfire and TV stations began lining up to rent the 52-film package offered by SG. Photos in trade magazines showed campy scenes of station execs signing the SHOCK! contract under "duress" from the glare of an actor in a Don Post Frankenstein monster mask or a menacing, knife-wielding psycho that looked like he was saying: "Sign up ... or else!" TV stations didn't have to be threatened -- the buzz was SHOCK! was a sure winner.


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