It’s always a pleasure for a Midwesterner like myself to meet up with the incomparable Penny Dreadful and the talented crew of Shilling Shockers! I had driven from my native Chicago to attend this year’s MONSTERBASH convention in Pennsylvania and it provided the perfect halfway point for catching up with New England’s finest. I had just spent the previous weeks watching her wonderful Season Eight (which I urge you to order copies for yourselves by clicking HERE) and wanted to tell them personally what a great job I thought they’d done on it.
When Ghoul A Go-Go frontrunner, Vlad Tepis, was unable to appear at this year’s MONSTERBASH it was Shilling Shocker’s Penny Dreadful to the rescue! The crafty New England witch made a spell-binding replacement, all done last minute. Ghoul A G-Go is a popular show combining monsters, laughs, and dancing! They’re regulars of the premiere Pennsylvania Monster event but the absence of Vlad (which Penny jokingly explained was due to his protest of the DARK SHADOWS remake) created a bit of a dilemma in lieu of their scheduled performance. You see, Vlad is the only member of the trio who actually speaks! (NOTE: Out of respect for the wishes of Ghoul A Go-Go, all photos and video are B&W).
Celebrity encounters at horror fan conventions range from warm and fan-friendly (like George Romero, Robert Englund, & Lance Henriksen) to disconnected/self-absorbed (Linda Blair & Lisa Marie). And then there’s Gary Busey…
One of the best parts of any convention for the Daves is re-connecting with the many horror hosts we have met since we began this site in July of 2010. The only downside is that in many instances, there is so much going on that it is hard to really spend some quality time with them. Between them signing autographs and taking pictures and us covering the event, down time is rare. Luckily this changed somewhat at the ROCK & SHOCK Convention in Worcester this year.
While it was the National Horror Host, Svengoolie, who is indirectly responsible for bringing the Daves together as friends, it has always been our stance that TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES was really the bastard child of the 2010 Vampira Tribute and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. In reality, the two are complimentary of each other. Within the pulpy pages of the world’s only “REAL Monsters Magazine,” classic monsters as well as Horror Hosts have always been featured side-by-side. And why shouldn’t they be? For many of us adult Monster kids, it was the classic commercial hosts who introduced us to all the greats be it Godzilla, The Universal Monsters, the films of Hammer Studios, the wonderful “B” movies of Roger Corman, as well as those from directors who were slightly…ahem…less gifted.
If you mention “horror host” to someone randomly on the street more than likely the response will be Elvira. If you mention “horror host” to a fan chances are you will get a whole list of classic characters, including Vampira, Zacherley, Svengoolie, Morgus The Magnificent, The Ghoul, Sir Graves Ghastley, Dr. Paul Bearer, Ghoulardi and many, many others. Even names like Bob Wilkins and John Stanley may be mentioned. Though many of these hosts have come and gone, one is still going strong in the Washington, DC area. His name is Count Gore DeVol.
On the final day of the convention, we packed our belongings and loaded the car before making a final sweep of the main hall. The Vampira Tribute began mid day and I stood in line to enter the event. In the distance, I could see all the hosts talking and joking around with each other. After spending the previous days moving about the convention, attending to all their individual commitments, this was the moment that would bring all the participating hosts together.
Saturday promised to be the busiest day of the Horrorhound convention. Wanting to get an early start, I immediately went down to the main hall after breakfast. Due to the large number of hosts attending the Vampira Tribute, I had no illusions about meeting them all. In an effort to stay focused, I created a short list of the ones I really wanted to meet.
The main hall of the convention was immense. Locating the horror hosts required careful navigation through crowds of people to reach the opposite side. Once there, you’d find an entire section dedicated to them, along with a schedule roster listing their availability. As many of them were also filming excerpts for their own shows or even entire web casts, catching them all would require frequent visits.