The Boob Tube #48: Horror on the Tube (Part 2)

October 1987
Horror on the Tube (Part 1) 10/1/12

Television is better today in so many ways: we didn't have shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men back in the day - shows with such an amazing attention to detail. Of course, we didn't have AMC or a hundred other cable stations - our options were much more limited...... and yet....

And yet, with just a few channels on the dial, we got an array of movies that blows away today's TV schedule.  There were no infomercials or profoundly retarded reality shows clogging up the system.  Every night there were gobs of movies to choose from - often stuff that will never even make it to DVD.  Stay up late, and there's no telling what double bill you'll end up watching.

For horror hounds like myself, those days are cherished memories.  I wish I could click on the boob tube tonight and catch some of these fright night jewels.  The beauty of it was that it was a purely serendipitous experience.  You watched what was on, not what you carefully researched then rented or downloaded.

Anyway, here's a bunch of horror TV ads which hopefully conveys the wonderful variety of horror offerings local networks provided us way back when.  Enjoy.

May 1971
March 1968

March 1975
Feb 1969
Feb 1971
Nov 1971
Feb 1972
Feb 1972
Nov 1972

March 1973
May 1980
Feb 1981
March 1987
Sept 1978
Nov 1978
Oct 1979

July 1982
Oct 1981
Nov 1968
Nov 1970
Oct 1971
May 1972


  1. Wow! This is an incredible post, sir. Such great ads, and you are so right about those old days. Not only what you mentioned, but that fact that it was a shared experience with others. Chances are, if someone you knew was watching television when you were, it was the same thing! These going to make the rounds on the Retrospace Zeta Tumblr?

  2. If I remember right channel 32 had the original Svengoolie, which was Jerry G Bishop in a hippie costume. But man those movies! I'd pick a "Satan's School For Girls" TV movie over AMC's 80's "Halloween" crapfest anytime

  3. The thing that was great about some of these shows was they had hosts - in the San Francisco Bay Area Bob Wilkins hosted Creature Features - which showed a movie or two, maybe a short, and usually was broken up with interesting production commentary, special guests, or other diversions along with the commercials. So much more an experience than just watching a movie.

  4. Wow, Tuesday Movie of the Week staring at 7:30???

    "Fewer interruptions" I remember when that was the catch phrase of independent stations in the early 80s. They would have three commercial breaks and put all the ads there. "We now return to your movie with no further interruptions." ME-Tv, THIS and COZY could learn a lesson from them.

    1. In the 60s, prime time began at 7:30 PM on the three major networks (or the three ONLY networks, I should say). Programs that would now begin at 8:00 PM began at 7:30 PM back then.

  5. These local ads were great. I wonder who the guy was being the "…or they killed 'em in Pittsburgh" stuff.

    I've always liked The Savage Bees. Sexy little Gretchen Corbett and her lack of a bra was always the best parts of Rockford Files episodes.

  6. Pete, you would probably LOVE this late night TV fanedit of The Thing:


  7. Holy deeply buried memories Batman!

    I don't know how many wild flicks I saw on the ABC-7 4:30 movie. They used to do "theme weeks" all the time. Godzilla, Poe, Planet of the Apes movies...

    It was like they scheduled it just for kids like myself at the time. Cool old horror/SF movies of varying quality, airing just in time for the after school post-cartoon watching to pre-dinner time period.

    I was a pasty kid who needed to get out more often. =)

  8. When I was a kid, I used to get my own copy of the TV Guide, read it cover to cover, and highlight all of the weird horror and sci-fi movies playing in the middle of the night. Then I would sneak out of bed and watch them on an old, tiny, black and white TV I had in my bedroom. I would stick a blanket on the floor against the door, so no light would shine though, and plugged headphones in to the TV, so my parents wouldn't hear or see anything. As a kid, it made watching those movies into an adventure.

  9. We must both come from S.E.Michigan. WJBK TV2, WKBD Ch50, The 4:30 Movie... I grew up on this stuff. The only thing worse than Sir Graves were the movies he presented. I'm surprised there were no "The Ghoul" references. "Hey Overday." Great Post!