Saturday, October 29, 2011

WHILE DIGGING THROUGH OLD VHS TAPES, I CAME ACROSS MY THREE RECORDINGS OF THE HORROR HALL OF FAME. Hosted by Robert Englund on a succession of UHF (remember that) channels, the "award show" was shown starting in 1990 through 1992. It was an Oscar-type program with presenters and filmed segments which inducted horror stars and films into the Horror Hall of Fame. Inductees would be awarded a statuette of a "Grim Reaper" which Forrest J. Ackerman dubbed a "Grimmy" at his induction the first year. The first and second year shows were quite excellent while the third year featured almost entirely segments rerun from the first two shows. Is it any wonder that the fourth Horror Hall of Fame promised by Robert Englund never aired. Way to take a great concept and sabotage it, guys! Such films as THE EXORCIST, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PSYCHO, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, ALIEN and THE BIRDS were inducted as well as horror icons like Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Roger Corman, Forrest J. Ackerman and others. Fun special effects and makeup segments by Steve Johnson and his wife scream queen Linnea Quigley were a hoot and one of the few bright spots on the third broadcast was a new live performance of MONSTER MASH by Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- and he wasn't lip syncing, folks! THE HORROR HALL OF FAME II probably featured one of the last television appearances by Vincent Price (escorted on stage by Elvira) as he announced the winner of the best horror film of the year 1991. Not surprisingly it was SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. All three shows were co-hosted by The Crypt Keeper from HBO's then smash hit TALES FROM THE CRYPT. It's fun (and more than a little sad) to see so many great stars who have since died; Sam Kinison even appears on the first two shows as do Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Forrest J. Ackerman, William M. Gaines, and many more. It's shocking to re-watch these shows I taped off the television and realize they're 21 years old! Thankfully we zombies don't age. ++
Halloween Comic Book Cover of the Day #29: UNEXPECTED #144 (1973).

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