Monday, May 13, 2013

MMM: Horror Nostalgia 1970s

Yay for the advent of color TV shows in the 1970s!  I was a huge fan of  "Kolchak:The Night Stalker" starring Darren McGavin. That show was sort of a precursor to "Supernatural."

Horror TV Shows in the 1970s:

Creature Features (1970-1990s in some areas)
U.S. local channels wanted to fill air-time with cheap material, so they hired a host and made up a creepy name like: "Creature Features," “Svengoolie’s Screaming Yellow Theater,” “Chiller Theatre,” “Fright Night,” and “Creature Double Feature” and broadcast classic Horror films and B-movies from the 30s-70s, British “Hammer Horror” movies, and sci-fi monster movies.
Interesting Notes:  Creature Features was originally started on WGN in Chicago, but other small channels jumped on the bandwagon.  Soon various shows were broadcast from Baltimore/Washington D.C.,  Boston,  the Delaware Valley,  Detroit,  Kansas City,  Los Angeles,  Nashville,  New York,  Omaha,  Quad Cities (Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois),  San Francisco,  South Bend (Indiana),  Southern Florida and Tampa Bay (Florida).

Night Gallery (1970-1973)
Narrator: Rod Serling
Interesting Notes: The series was introduced with a pilot TV movie that aired on November 8, 1969, featuring the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, as well as one of the last acting performances by Joan Crawford. Many of the TV series’ episodes were written by Rod Serling.

The Sixth Sense (1971-1972)
Dr. Michael Rhodes (Gary Collins) is a college professor who studies reported cases of premonitions, ghosts, visions, and other paranormal events.
Guest stars included: Tom Bosley ("Happy Days"), Patty Duke ("Patty Duke Show"), Cloris Leachman ("Phyllis"), Larry Linville ("M*A*S*H*"), Lee Majors ("Six Million Dollar Man"), Stefanie Powers ("Hart to Hart"), William Shatner ("Star Trek"), and Jane Wyman (“Falcon Crest”).
Interesting Note: Several episodes had already been filmed for the next season when the show was cancelled. These episodes were aired on Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery.”

Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
Starring: Darrin McGavin as Carl Kolchak
A newspaper reporter investigates strange supernatural occurrences.
Interesting Note: The two pilot movies, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” and “Kolchak: The Night Strangler,” and the subsequent TV series inspired Chris Carter to create the “X-Files.”

Horror Films of the 1970s:

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
The Omega Man (1971) (The original film adaptation of Matheson’s I Am Legend.)
Willard (1971)
Blacula (1972)
Gargoyles (1972)
Tales From the Crypt (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
The Wicker Man (1973)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Jaws (1975) (My favorite movie of all time!)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Stepford Wives (1975)
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
Burnt Offerings (1976)
Carrie (1976)
The Omen (1976)
Audrey Rose (1977)
Equus (1977)
Eraserhead (1977)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
The Island of Doctor Moreau (1977)
The Sentinel (1977)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Fury (1978)
Halloween (1978) (John Carpenter makes the horror B-movie genre into a box office smash, and the Teen Slasher Flick is born!)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1979)
The Changeling (1979)
Love at First Bite (1979)
Phantasm (1979)
Salem’s Lot (1979)
When a Stranger Calls (1979)

It's weird that there were so few supernatural shows on TV in the 70s while King and Koontz were very popular.  It wasn't until the 90s that TV fell in love with Horror.  But first we have tomorrow's post on: The 80s -- big hair and bigger Horror!

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