Saturday, March 31, 2018

THE 1950'S TV HORROR "KICK"


"How often can you dissect a brain?" -Zacherley

This article from the May 1959 issue of TV RADIO MIRROR begins with relating the recent success of the SHOCK THEATER horror films that had just begun the previous year to be shown to TV audiences across America. After that, it veers into social commentary and asks if there is too much violence on TV (ever hear of that one?). After author Charlotte Barclay gets that off her chest, she returns to reporting how monster movies are all the rage. The self-professed "Dick Clark of Transylvania", Zacherley, is interviewed and he offers some personal views, including his playing of "The Cool Ghoul" a result of him being "too weak-willed to go look for work." He was also worried early on with being able to come up with enough intermission shtick to last. Well, we know how that ended up!

Ending the piece is a discussion of TV networks that were ready to deluge audiences with "action" shows, which contained a healthy (or unhealthy, if you proffer) dose of violence. Barclay also speaks of the more "subtle" types of thrillers, such as ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, where she offers up one of Hitch's well-known intros: "I'd like you all to join us for another half-hour of group therapy. I understand there is nothing like a nice juicy murder to help you work off your aggressions."

Read on, for a good example of the "You Are There" experience, during the dawn of the Monster Mania explosion!







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