If I was a Horror
This is sort of an outline/proposal for a
horror host show... the way I would do it.
Note: It's a
work in progress. There are lots
of holes in it where I haven't filled in details yet. I add to it
as things come to me, and I'm not especially committed to any
particular part of it. Things get changed as I go, although I
have a definite vision in mind, as this will spell out. Thanks
to Leiann and Dani for listening to my ideas and brainstorming bits
- "??? Theater"
- "??? Presents"
- "Movie ???"
- "??? Cinema ???" (e.g., Cinema
- The ??? Show
- Widescream Pictures
- Mix of horror and sci-fi films from
the '30s to mid-'80s (i.e., pre-CGI).
- Focus on productions that are bigger
than their budgets, movies that cannot sustain any suspension of
disbelief because every frame of film contains elements that destroy
the illusion through bad sets, props, costumes, acting, effects, etc.
- Sci-fi shows from later years should
be "other-worldly," not based on Earth unless they are post-apocalyptic
(i.e., doesn't look like it was filmed using conventional sets or
whatever was available).
- No slasher films. There has to
be a larger story. One-note films may allow more room for comedy
on the part of the presenter, but they are too weak to hold the
audience's interest and are too dark to allow transition to humor.
- Emphasis on monsters/robots.
- *"Good evening, my pretties" (based
on Zacherley's "Goodnight, whatever
you are" plus "My Dear")
- *"My pretties" (or singular) used
generally, especially where
inappropriate such as to a monster.
starts with theremin, then launches into explosive guitar riff in
surf-rock style in a minor key (plus flat-5ths). Logo appears as
the drums come in
on the second
measure, then song continues over rest of intro. Voice-over by
Gene (bandaged mutant character) tells which movie will be shown
tonight and which guests will appear (if any) or other features.
bumpers. Playful distorted guitar riff imitating a gothic
organ theme along the lines of the
opening of Bach's
Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor. This plays over a program title
card listing the movie and name of the show (in same font as logo
during show's opening).
theme. Two different ones (which are really just different
versions of the same piece) that we alternate between each week,
depending on whether that week's movie is more sci-fi or horror.
Very hard-driving guitar piece, but horror version has a pipe organ
whereas sci-fi version has a theremin throughout.
Needs to address the following questions:
- Why is he dressed like that?
- Why does he live in a castle?
Been in his family for thirteen generations.
- Why does he do experiments?
- Why are we watching movies during
the experiments? The movies are used to fund the experiments.
- How are the supporting characters
related to him? See below.
Instantly-recognizable costume of a vampire's formal suit, only it is
very dusty. Starts the show with a red-lined cape, but references
"Mr. Roger's" ritual of changing into a sweater. At some point
early in the show, he trades cape for a similarly dusty and stained
labcoat. Catchphrase: "???"
- A chimeric
mutant creation gone wrong. Makes reference to swimming in the
castle's moat. Wears mummy-like bandages, but has
"Creature from the Black Lagoon" flippers protruding through the
wrappings. Has a deep, even voice, but speaks slowly and
clearly (think Boris Karloff's "Grinch" performance). Does the
show's introduction during the credits plus
sign-off at the end. Catchphrase: "Yes, Master."
- The castle maid.
She is equal parts rude and incompetent. She delivers supplies or
instruments over the course of the experiments, only to drop them, then
berate the host for her failings. She is not stupid, however, but
sexy and willfully oblivious to the effect she has on men.
Catchphrase whenever host is explaining an experiment or giving
detailed instructions: "Whatever!"
- A raven (or bat?) who drops
wisecracks making fun of the experiments and other predicaments at the
worst possible times. Edgar also pops in to comment on the
movie. Catchphrase: "???"
spirit who haunts the castle and hopes for a body to go back
into. Combination of live-action actor with CG treatments.
Catchphrase: "I want your body."
Graverobbers? - In-house
band. (Must have a keyboard player so they aren't restricted to
strictly guitar/bass/drums-type rock songs.)
- Dressed with cobwebs in
- Ambiguous scientific equipment
(knife-switches, Jacob's ladder, antiquated microscope, etc.)
- Electric chair
- Castle walls are grey, but all the
equipment and props are stylized with pale fluorescent colors (green,
blue, yellow, purple, orange, but not red, pink, or brown).
- Many structural elements have a
slight tilt or lean like the German expressionism present in everything
from Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
to modern Tim Burton productions.
- Chalkboard featuring the movie's
title, then (later in the show) facts about the movie. Also used
in fake "lectures" (comedy bits such as "How to be a Monster").
- Bookshelves lead to a secret
passage. Shelves are covered with dusty cans of films (the
movies) as well as old books.
covers on furniture
- Portraits of ancestors (make
reference to their historical quirks)
- Suit of armor (with family crest)
- Grandfather clock
- Short rise of stairs behind lab with
a large wooden door at the top
- Lab set-up: tables with
beakers/glassware, skull, candles
- Mix baking soda, soap, and vinegar
(plus food coloring) to get a weak "Diet Coke and Mentos" effect.
- Pet amoeba (from the Zacherley era).
- Jacob's ladder.
- Dry ice.
First few segments from the start of the show until the first
intro/credits. Theme song (described above) plays
throughout. Starts in
graveyard, then moves into the forest beyond. Travel through
dense woods past several creatures (e.g., werewolf, swamp thing,
witches brewing something, etc.) to reach the old castle.
monologue. Delivered by
host sitting in the electric chair prop. Give context of the film
and assorted trivia such as:
- Point out what other projects
(especially in the same genre) the cast and crew were involved in
throughout their careers in related media on film and tv.
Similarly, were props, sets, and/or locations reused from/in other
productions? Were there sequels/spin-offs/remakes?
- Campy monologue focusing on topics
relevant to that film. For example, if slasher film, about the
clichés of inane decisions by the victims, etc.
- Movie begins when an assistant
throws the knife switch. This starts the projection of it on the
host's face, and he appears to be getting electrocuted. We cut to
the film. (This is only done once at the beginning of the show,
not every time we return to the film.)
These are segments inserted before going to commercial or vice
versa, depending on the pacing. Note that not all will appear
parody. Uses footage from the film to hawk a fake product
that the heroes could have used in the story. For example,
monster repellent (like "Off" for mosquitoes) or throat lozenges (for
scream queens) or running shoes (for running from monsters).
comedy. Sometimes as limited as telling a "joke of the
week." Other times taking, for example, the pseudo-science
seriously and recreating technology to bad/disappointing effect, such
as building a time machine that only serves to introduce continuity
errors in the episode.
parody. Usually a Weird Al-type parody based off a
Billboard Top 40 song from several years ago that would be familiar to
most of the audience (Think early Lady Gaga or a Twisted Sister song
that charted). Song serves to parody some element of the film of
the week. Delivered as a music video that uses footage from the
trailer. Play film's trailer near the end while
covering additional trivia. Comment on misleading editing (e.g.,
villain is presented as more ominous or ghouls more numerous than
featured in the majority of the movie).
Perhaps feature exercises in Photoshop such as "what if the movie was
made today" and substitute today's actors/director/artistic style.
film. Were there any action figures made?
Aurora model kits? Halloween costumes?
media. Have any songs been written about the film
(e.g., Misfits, Wednesday 13, etc.)?
Was the film referenced in a
Simpsons episode? Any remakes? Reference or feature those.
scenes. Explain/demonstrate the special effects as
part of comedy sketches (e.g., characters interact and frightened by
pyrotechnics while demonstrating the techniques involved in making
them... or dissecting an animatronic).
mail. Answer email questions from audience members.
viewers. Most "'horrible" tattoos (get it?).
Drawings of the host/other characters.
director, stars, and/or effects artists involved with the
week's picture. Interview other horror hosts who previously
presented this week's movie.
media. Show vintage commercials (toys, music, etc.),
copycat movies, etc. from the same time period.
- Pranks. Lots of scare
pranks of ghosts or monsters frightening people.
Layers are applied to the movie via these methods.
by someone off-camera just because someone throws something).
and supporting cast interject sarcasm à la Rocky
Horror audience participation.
Pop-Up Video-style bubbles are
for more mundane/factual trivia. Point out goofs in continuity,
plot holes, bad special effects (e.g., wires visibly holding up flying
saucers, seams in monster suits),
etc. as well as some behind-the-scenes trivia.
comment on details (e.g. Character(s) in
the bottom corner like MST3K or occasional pop-ups like Elvira).
the style of Zacherley (and surprisingly no others to my knowledge),
the host appears in the movie giving a reaction to a revelation during
expository dialog or a scream, etc.
Wrap up the film and looking ahead to next week.
comments. Commentary/jokes about the climax
and resolution (e.g., why they killed the character at the end of The Mole People due to studio
trivia. Cover any trivia that would have
been a spoiler otherwise (e.g,. alternate endings that were scrapped
for whatever reason).
week? Play 30
"trailer" with brief synopsis/joke about the film.
Individual, un-categorized movies
are listed at the bottom of this page, but these groups of movies run over the course of multiple episodes and
focus on a theme or
topic. We play three films on
each topic the course of three weeks or five weeks (i.e., alternating
weeks), depending on how similar each is.
spotlights. A series of films that focus on
actors/actresses/directors of note.
Rob Zombie, William Castle, Roger Corman, George Romero, Tobe Hooper,
John Carpenter, Don Coscarelli, Tim Burton.
Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff (also: Bela Lugosi/Boris Karloff pairings),
Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Claude
Rains, Basil Rathbone, John Caradine, Glenn Strange, John Agar.
Sybil Danning, Milla Jovovich.
artists: Jack Pierce, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, Rick Baker,
marathons. Several movies in a series shown on alternating
(as opposed to consecutive) weeks.
Series: Child's Play, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm St.,
Hellraiser, Phantasm, Amityville, The Terminator, Return of the Living
Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jaws, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Saw,
Ghoulies, Highlander, Star Trek, Resident Evil, Underworld, Twilight.
Night/Dawn/Day of the Dead, Evil Dead/2/Army of Darkness, Hannibal
Lecter series, Predator, Psycho, The Omen, Quatermass, Blade,
If timeslot will allow two films, these double-feature specials will be
about the making of classic movies. Movies: Plan 9 -> Ed Wood,
Nosferatu -> Shadow of the Vampire,
Frankenstein -> Gods and Monsters.
Halloween, Amityville, Friday 13th, Nightmare on Elm St., Texas Chain
Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes.
(Movies that have been remade three times): Dracula (1931, 1958, 1992),
Frankenstein, The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde, Phantom of the Opera. (See list of Three-makes below
under the theme marathon section.)
marathons. Movies focusing on a particular theme or
sub-genre within sci-fi or horror. For variety's sake, in some
cases these will be from different time periods.
C.H.U.D., The Toxic Avenger, Swamp Thing
futures: Planet of the Apes, Death Race 2000, 2019: After the
Fall of New York (1983), Robot Holocaust,
The Time Machine, Back to the Future, Twelve Monkeys, Beastmaster 2
reality: Jacob's Ladder, Dark City, The Matrix
robots: Saturn 5, Chopping Mall, The Terminator
invasions: Invaders from Mars, War of the Worlds, Day of the
Triffids, Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers
invaders: Invasion of the Saucer Men, Lifeforce, The Thing
planets: Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, Star Crash
The Wolf Man, Howling, American Werewolf in London
Jurassic Park, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, ???
Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Return of
the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead [remake], Zombieland
hunters): From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade, Underworld,
Lost Boys, Van Helsing
species: Pitch Black, The Descent
Burn Witch Burn, Suspira, The Blair Witch Project
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,
Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, Ghostbusters,
Transylvania 6-5000, Little Shop of Horrors, Shaun of the Dead, Saturday the 14th
Heavy Metal, Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, ???
Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Apple, Nudist Colony of the Dead,
Sweeney Todd, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Phantom of the Paradise, Little
Shop of Horrors, Corpse Bride
Movies: Child's Play: Seed of Chucky, Hellraiser:
Hellworld, Wes Craven's New Nightmare.
houses: House on Haunted Hill, The Haunting, 13 Ghosts,
Amityville, The Changling, Paranormal Activity, House
possession: The Exorcist, Amityville II, ???
night: Kids' Halloween specials, John Carpenter's Halloween,
Trick or Treat
Gremlins, Silent Night/Deadly Night, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Holidays: Independence Day, April Fool's Day, Friday the 13th,
Saturday the 14th, My Bloody Valentine
- By (or
inspired by) authors
Lovecraft): Re-Animator, In The Mouth of
Poe: Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven
(<-Universal versions, then Roger Corman versions)
King: Pet Sematary, The Running Man, The Lawnmower Man, Maximum
Overdrive, Silver Bullet, Cat's Eye, Firestarter, Children of the Corn,
Christine, The Dead Zone, Cujo, Creepshow, The Shining, Carrie, etc.
Barker: Candyman, Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed, Rawhead
- Batman: Batman (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Begins (2005)
Carrie (1976), Carrie (2002),
Friday: Freaky Friday (1976),
Freaky Friday (1995), Freaky Friday (2003)
of Lost Souls (1932), The Twilight People (1972), The Island of Dr.
Moreau (1977), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Kong: King Kong (1933),
King Kong (1976), King Kong (2005)
of the Living Dead (1968), Night of the Living Dead (1990), Night of
the Living Dead 3D (2006), Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection
Earth: Not of This
Earth (1957), Not of This Earth (1988), Not of This Earth (1995)
Blob: The Blob (1958), The Blob
(1988), The Blob (2011)
Body Snatchers: The Body Snatchers
(1945), The Body Snatchers (1956), The Body Snatchers (1978), The Body
Snatchers (1993), The Invasion (2007)
- The Cat
and the Canary: The Cat and the
Canary (1927), The Cat Creeps (1930), The Cat and the Canary (1939),
The Cat and the Canary (1978)
- I Am
Legend: The Last Man on Earth
(1964), Omega Man (1971), I Am Legend (2007)
Thing: The Thing from Another
World (1951), The Thing (1982), The Thing (2011)
to count: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Picture of Dorian
Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy
sorcery: The Beastmaster, Yor the Hunter From the Future,
Conan the Barbarian, Krull
children: Children of the Damned, The Omen, Rosemary's Baby, The
nature: Them!, The Birds, Phase IV, Food of the Gods,
Piranha, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
societies: Logan's Run, Children of the Corn, Metropolis, Brazil
killers: A Clockwork Orange, Se7en, American Psycho
re-imagined: Weird Science, Creator, Edward Scissorhands
science: Weird Science, My Science Project, Electric Dreams
nights. Maybe the third (Get it?) weekend of the month or
something along those lines. We try to stick with films using the
same 3D approach so that viewers and reuse their glasses over and over
on a monthly basis. Movies: Cat-Women of the Moon, House
of Wax, It Came from Outer Space, Robot Monster, Phantom of the Rue
Morgue, The Mad Magician, Gog, Gorilla at Large, Creature from the
Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, Son of Sinbad, The Flesh and
Blood Show, Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3-D, Starchaser: The Legend of Orin,
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
on in the worlds of sci-fi/horror comics/movies/tv.
Announcements of conventions/publicity appearances, etc.
guide. List of which movies have been shown.
section. Notes about each movie.
entries. Costume contests, drawings, etc. as
store. T-shirts, posters, pins, costumes, action figures,
dvds, etc. from the show and movies in general.
episode. YouTube video of the promo
segment (i.e., voice-over narration of snippets from the trailer).
movie-making in general.
- Not just gags. Serious movie
history and trivia about the production interspersed throughout the
- Trace the lineage. What
movies did this one influence (i.e., who lifted what from it)?
Were there any contemporary copycats?
- Do not interrupt he movie.
Don't obscure the dialog; only
add to the slow parts to compensate for uneven pacing.
- No spoilers. No synopses
that run ahead of the film. No flash-forwards to where the
sequels will take us.
rooted in the film.
- Everything done on the show must
relate back to the film being shown: Comedy bits, song parodies,
trivia, interviews, merchandising, etc. All the features in a
given episode must reference the film. No matter how good the
idea is, it has to fit into the show.
- The atmosphere is light and campy,
not threatening. It references horror films; it doesn't try to be
- Anyone can get the jokes, although
there is some innuendo thrown in for adult viewers about, say, the
relationship between the scientist and the maid (e.g., why he puts up
with insubordination from someone who clearly does her job so poorly).
themselves as the show
- Catchphrases by characters make a
good punchline where appropriate.
- Recurring themes and appearances
by irrelevant props (e.g., Svengoolie has his rubber chickens).
- Is never
- All song parodies are based on
hits that are universally known, not the latest songs on the radio that
will sound dated by the time the show is first re-run.
- No rapping or references to
anything that tries too hard to be cool. (Listen to "Monster Rap"
by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and see how that turned out.)
- Nothing political or otherwise
topical. If anything, try to reference pop culture that was
contemporaneous with the movie being shown that week.
Note that I don't list a lot of sequels on here. I am not opposed
to running those; I just didn't want to weigh the list down with
variations on the same title. The point here is to convey the
feel of the show, not make a comprehensive "to do" list.
(Arranged chronologically to show which styles will be
emphasized.) A lot of these movies haven't been shown as part of
hosted package, and can benefit greatly from being paired with a medium
that highlights their campier aspects.
1928 The Man Who Laughs
1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
1932 The Mummy
1933 King Kong
1933 The Invisible Man
1935 Bride of
1935 Werewolf of London
1936 Dracula's Daughter
1936 Things to Come
1939 Son of Frankenstein
1941 The Wolf Man
1943 Frankenstein Meets
the Wolf Man
1943 Phantom of the Opera
1943 Son of Dracula
1944 House of
1945 House of Dracula
1946 She-Wolf of London
1948 Abbott and Costello
1950 Destination Moon
1951 The Day The Earth
1951 The Thing From
1951 When Worlds Collide
1953 Invaders From Mars
1953 War Of The Worlds
1954 The Creature from
the Black Lagoon
1955 Cult of the Cobra
1955 The Quatermass
1955 This Island Earth
1956 Earth Vs. The
1956 Forbidden Planet
1956 Invasion of the
1956 The Mole People
1957 The Monolith
1958 Monster on the
1958 The Blob
1958 The Fly
1958 The Spider
1960 Village Of The
1961 The Phantom Planet
1962 Carnival of Souls
1962 The Day of the
1962 What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane?
1963 The Birds
1963 The Haunting
1964 Masque of the Red
1964 Santa Claus
Conquers the Martians
1966 Fantastic Voyage
1966 Kids' Halloween
specials: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (Plus Fat Albert, Bugs
1968 2001: A Space
1968 Night of the Living
1968 Planet of the Apes
1968 Rosemary's Baby
1971 A Clockwork Orange
1973 The Exorcist
1974 Phase IV
1974 The Texas Chain Saw
1974 Young Frankenstein
1975 Death Race 2000
1975 Rocky Horror
1976 Logan's Run
1976 The Omen
1977 Close Encounters of
the Third Kind
1977 Star Wars
1977 The Hills Have Eyes
1978 Invasion of the
Body Snatchers [remake]
1978 Dawn of the Dead
1979 Star Crash
1979 The Amityville
1980 Battle Beyond the
1980 Flash Gordon
1980 Friday the 13th
1980 Hangar 18
1980 Star Wars: The
Empire Strikes Back
1980 The Changling
1980 The Shining
1982 Basket Case
1982 Blade Runner
1982 Conan the Barbarian
1982 Halloween III:
Season of the Witch
1982 Star Trek II
1982 Swamp Thing
1982 The Beastmaster
1982 The Evil Dead
1982 The Thing
Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
1983 The Keep
1984 Buckaroo Banzai
1984 Children of the Corn
1984 Nightmare on Elm
1984 The Terminator
1984 The Last Starfighter
1984 The Philadelphia
1984 The Toxic Avenger
1985 Back to the Future
1985 Day of the Dead
1985 Return of the
1985 Transylvania 6-5000
1986 April Fool's Day
1986 Big Trouble in
1986 Class of Nuke 'Em
1986 Maximum Overdrive
1986 Robot Holocaust
1986 Star Slammer
1986 The Fly
1986 The Hitcher
1987 Prince of Darkness
1987 Slave Girls from
1988 Child's Play
1989 Chopper Chicks in
1990 Edward Scissorhands
1990 Jacob's Ladder
1991 The Silence of the
1992 Army of Darkness
1993 Jurassic Park
1994 In The Mouth of
1995 Twelve Monkeys
1996 From Dusk Till Dawn
1997 Event Horizon
1998 Dark City
1999 The Matrix
1999 The Blair Witch
1999 The Sixth Sense
2000 American Psycho
2000 Pitch Black
2002 28 Days Later
2002 The Ring
2004 Dawn of the Dead
2004 Shaun of the Dead
2005 The Descent
2007 Paranormal Activity