Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is still kicking and, from what I hear, has been a huge success! Judging by our next set of photos, it’s easy to see why!
The Museum of Broadcast Communications lies near the foot of Chicago’s Marina Towers which, so far as this night was concerned, was not without its irony. Back when I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, it was home to our favored UHF station, WFLD Channel 32. Whenever I was home sick from school it provided a welcome alternative to the soap opera-soaked major networks by offering much more satisfying shows such as Tennessee Tuxedo, The Munsters, and Banana Splits.
Of course those programs would only tie me over until the weekend when Channel 32 would unleash its REAL entertainment. On Saturday nights I’d drop a blanket in front of the family television set and prepare for two hours of monsters, air-popped popcorn, and guaranteed laughs via my favorite horror host, Son of Svengoolie. Yes, despite the constant struggle with our TV antennae in an effort to minimize the often snowy reception, my memories of those nights remain crystal clear.
Like many monster kids I grew up with the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. One of my favorite aspects of this magazine were the Captain Company ads that appeared in the back, showcasing so many cool monster toys and collectibles. One ad in particular always drew my attention; it was the one for Don Post Studios masks. My favorite has always been the Grey Timberwolf but at the time I couldn’t afford one so all I could do each month was look at the ad and dream.
(NOTE: Coverage of Svengoolie’s Flashback Weekend talk show with Robert Englund (in full Freddy make-up) will be posted on Halloween in celebration of the holiday as well “Svengoolie Day” in Illinois. For the next two weeks we’ll lead into the big day with posts on his “35th Anniversary Celebration” at the Museum of Broadcast Communications as well as the Nightmare on Chicago Street in Elgin)
For me, Halloween usually kicks off after I first spy the seasonal “Monster” cereals back on the store shelves. Shamefully, I still haven’t had a chance to grab them, though I did get a more direct introduction to the holiday courtesy of national horror host, Svengoolie. The appearance took place at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms in Joliet, Illinois and the last time I saw him in that area was over two years ago during a Slammers game on a blistering hot evening (which I covered both in Scary Monsters Magazine and HERE). On this late September day the temps were much more forgiving though the clouds looked a bit ominous. I told myself it was just part of the Halloween “ambiance” and decided at the last minute to head over.
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to welcome back guest writer, Brandon Engel, for his fascinating perspective on a horror legend.
It’s all about personal taste. It’s easy to understand why audiences are either charmed or repelled by The Wizard of Oz, The Goodbye Girl and E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial. With “slasher movies”, although it’s easy to understand why many viewers reject such films, it’s a little more ambiguous why they attract such large cult followings. What is the appeal? Perhaps, the best way to arrive at the answer is to look at the career of the man who is credited with cementing the slasher movie formula, screenwriter/director/producer John Carpenter.