For those of us who grew up Monster Kids in the Monster World, this marked the epicenter of that world.
Shock – also known as Shock Theater.
I saw this ad bouncing around the internet recently and wanted to share it here. Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written a lot about Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and what an influence it had on a couple of generations of kids. FM came decades after the movies it celebrated – including the classic Universal monster films – so the 1960s monster craze might have seemed unlikely.
Except for Shock.
In October 1957, Columbia Pictures’ TV subsidiary, Screen Gems, released a package of 52 horror films – including the classic Universal horror films like “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” – to TV.
The Shock package was a huge hit. Usually airing late at night – as was the case, a few years later, with host Sammy Terry on WTTV Channel 4 in Indianapolis – but sometimes airing at other times, Shock popularized the old Universal pictures once more.
Everything that followed came because of this. Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, horror hosts, the wave of monster toys, cartoons, comics and novelties that began in the 1960s and continued for decades.
Long live Shock.