Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 098 – Top 5 Horror Soundtracks

Friends, I am afraid that yet again we have managed to deliver a new episode of the Saturday Frights podcast a couple of days later than intended. In all honesty it has to do with the new job and the strain of attempting to find the necessary free time to devote to the show. Having said that though, we do have a very special episode of the podcast for you today, as the Projectionist and I are joined by three friends on this show. Fellow PCR authors who were kind enough to share their top 5 horror soundtrack picks with you, focusing on memorable music from all manner of film and television shows. I am willing to bet there are going to be a few on the lists provided today by our guests that you may not be familiar with!

Joining us to share her top 5 horror soundtracks is none other than Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger, whose work is frequently featured on Fangirlish as well as the Sci-Fi 5 podcast. The daily five minute podcast that provides the best in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror history – produced by Roddenberry Entertainment.

We also are lucky enough to have the esteemed Earl Green join us on this special episode of the podcast. Earl is no stranger to the Sci-Fi 5 podcast himself, as well as running The Log Book.com – one of the longest running sites on the internet focusing on everything pop culture.

Last but certainly not least is Rockford Jay, my co-host on the Saturday Frights Facebook page – who does his level best to help me keep a lid on the madness of the Vault. He manages to share his love of retro horror on a nearly daily basis, and I am sad to add is frequently the target of the Projectionist’s schemes and explosive temper.

Without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In, as we discuss the top 5 horror soundtracks on the Saturday Frights podcast. As always we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to the show, and hope that you are enjoying season three of the podcast so far.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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1974 Interview With Darren McGavin About Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Friends, when The Night Stalker was aired as the ABC Movie of the Week on the evening of January 11th of 1972, it was a massive success to say the very least. It managed to earn a 33.2 rating and a 54 share of the television viewers that night, the highest rating for an original television movie for that time. The lion’s share of credit for the popularity of that made-for-TV movie goes to the late and great Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak, a former Chicago newspaper reporter who has been sacked from the major papers and finds himself working in Las Vegas. Which is how the hapless Kolchak finds himself stumbling onto the biggest case of his career, a serial killer that is in fact… a vampire.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY CaptKundalini.

Of course it didn’t hurt The Night Stalker that it featured a slew of solid character actors like Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Elisha Cook Jr., Carol Lynley, and Barry Atwater to name just a few. Not to mention the fact that it was based off an excellent and at that point unpublished novel by Jeff Rice, with none other than Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone) adapting the story into an incredible screenplay.

The popularity of that 1972 TV movie led to 1973’s The Night Strangler, in this made-for-TV film Carl Kolchak finds himself running afoul of a serial killer in Seattle, Washington – one that is using his victims to prolong his own life and has been doing so for over a century.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Obsolete Video.

It would have been an amazing bit of trivia to share on the Saturday Frights podcast, when the Projectionist and I tackled The Night Stalker on an early episode. But there was in fact a third TV movie written by William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), based on a story idea by Matheson. Entitled The Night Killers, it would have taken place in Hawaii with Kolchak stumbling upon a UFO, people being replaced by androids, and a plot for aliens to take over the Earth. ABC decided that the popularity of the character however was better suited for a television series, with the first episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker airing on September 13th of 1974.

It was in 1974 when this interview between David Moore of KBAK-TV in Bakersfield, California and the legendary Darren McGavin took place. It sounds like it was just before the first episode aired and it sure seems to me that McGavin is excited about returning to the role of Carl Kolchak. My only complaint is that I wish this interview would have run for at least half an hour, as it is an absolute pleasure to witness the charm and wit of McGavin.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY But Wait… There’s Moore!

Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast Ep. 016 – Holiday Special II

Friends, the Holidays are upon us once again and my fellow Pop Culture Retrorama contributors felt that it was the perfect time to get together and put out a second Holiday Special. As I mention on the show itself, if 2020 had not thrown a monkey wrench into my podcasting plans, this second Holiday Special would have in fact been the start of the second season of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast. At the very least we hope that this new episode of PCR will help a little in getting you into the Holiday Spirit – I am not ashamed to admit that being joined by Allison, Ashley, Earl, and Rockford – sharing thoughts and memories of some of our own favorite television Holiday Specials has really brightened my own Holidays. For what it might be worth, I start off the podcast with some information on the beloved Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – which just ten days ago celebrated it’s 50th anniversary!

In addition on this second Holiday Special we have Allison Venezio-Preston, who talks about a memorable episode of The Hogan Family – surprisingly for a sitcom of the time – it was the only Holiday themed episode.

Earl Green joins us once again to discuss the recently released The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special – as well as giving you a glimpse at just how very much he appreciates Porgs!

Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger of Fangirlish – talks about her love of A Disney Channel Christmas!!!! – which originally was broadcast back in 1983. This is a special that I am very sad to say that I missed, as we were not lucky enough to have The Disney Channel at that time.

Last but certainly not least is the esteemed Rockford Jay – considering he helps keep a lid on the madness over at the Haunted Drive-In, it might not shock you to learn that he has decided to discuss a classic episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. One that just so happens to take place during the Holidays… and features a Werewolf on a cruise ship!

Grab your favorite Holiday snack and beverage and join us for the second Holiday Special of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast. And from all of us here at PCR – we wish you one and all – a very safe and happy Holidays!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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1961 Episode Of What’s My Line With Darren McGavin

Friends, the late and great Darren McGavin is an actor that left us with more than a few memorable roles in film as well as television, when he passed away in 2006. Whether that be from his roles as Carl Kolchak in Kolchak: The Night Stalker or from his parts in the likes of A Christmas Story or even The X-Files. But it’s not like those were the only roles that made Darren McGavin a household name – which is of course why he was one of the celebrities selected to appear as a guest panelist on an episode of 1961’s What’s My Line?

Originally the popular game show was going to be entitled Occupation Unknown – but would be changed to What’s My Line? before debuting on CBS on February 2nd of 1950. The show managed to run for 17 years and 25 seasons until it’s last episode aired on September 3rd of 1967. Although having said that there was a syndicate revival that started in 1968 and lasted until 1975 – all of this is one of the reasons that TV Guide ranked it as the ninth greatest game show of all time in 2003.

What’s My Line? featured a group of panelists made up of celebrities who had to attempt to guess the occupation of a show’s guest. During the celebrity mystery round in an episode – the panelists had to deduce the identity of said guest. The celebrity mystery guests over the 25 seasons included everyone from Eddie Albert to Frank Zappa – and the actual list of entertainers and athletes is truly staggering.

Now getting back to Darren McGavin, while he may have really hit it big in the ’70s and ’80s, the actor actually got his start on Broadway. His big TV break came in 1958 with Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer – with McGavin naturally playing the role of the famous private detective. While at the same time as he was playing Mike Hammer – he appeared on NBC’s popular show Riverboat – the series just so happened to feature Burt Reynolds… briefly… as McGavin’s co-star. As I understand it, Reynolds and McGavin did not get along on the set of the show – so after 20 episodes – Reynolds exited the series to be replaced by The Rockford Files‘ Noah Beery Jr.

Video Provided by sjbernstein.

It wasn’t one of his TV series though that had McGavin appearing as a guest panelist on this episode of What’s My Line? – which originally aired on November 26th of 1961. It turned out he was appearing in the 1961 stage play entitled Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole – which was written by William Goldman (The Princess Bride) and James Goldman (The Lion in Winter). It also happened to feature the likes of Peter Fonda (Easy Rider) and James Caan (The Godfather)!

Video and Article Image Provided by What’s My Line?

Have You Ever Heard Of 1967’s Off To See The Wizard Anthology TV Series?

Friends, as I believe has been proven by my article concerning Vicki Lawrence singing The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia – there are vast areas relating to pop culture that I am wholly ignorant of. Granted, I would never call myself an expert in anything, I just enjoy sharing those things that I enjoy. The reason I brought all of that up however is that being a fan of animation, especially the work of Chuck Jones – I somehow had never heard about the Off to See the Wizard anthology series that aired on ABC beginning in September of 1967. The show sounds like it was a little like The Banana Splits – although I think it would be correct to say in reverse in this case – with animated segments featuring the characters from The Wizard of Oz providing the intro and outro for the show as well as commercial breaks. The animation was handled by MGM Animation/Visual Arts – which was in fact founded as Sib Tower 12 Productions in 1962 by Chuck Jones and Les Goldman before being purchased by MGM two year later. As Jones had a hand in the segments, it should come as no surprise that regulars such as Daws Butler (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Wizard of Oz), Mel Blanc (Cowardly Lion, Toto), and the iconic June Foray (Dorothy) were tapped to provide voices for the animated characters.

Video Provided by Television Obscurities.

The really interesting thing about Off to See the Wizard beside the fact that Chuck Jones was an Executive Producer – is it was created to showcase the vast library of Family films from MGM. Which is naturally why in that promo you saw the likes of Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, Rhino!, Lili, and Zebra in the Kitchen. The length of a feature film obviously meant that generally it had to be split between two shows. Off to See the Wizard apparently edited for content and time – but provided hosts as well as narrators to help catch the audience up on what they had missed. A quick glance at the Internet Movie Database page feels like a plummet down the rabbit hole – as hosts and narrators included the likes of Milton Berle, Jack Lemmon, Richard Petty (?), Edward G. Robinson, and Hal Holbrook.

Off to See the Wizard appears to have shown nature documentaries and even failed TV pilots – which was the case with Alexander the Great. This one is extremely interesting as it was in fact a 1963 pilot turned TV movie – it also happened to star William Shatner as Alexander with Adam West as Cleander. In addition it featured the likes of John Cassavetes (The Dirty Dozen), Simon Oakland (Kolchak: The Nights Stalker), and Joseph Cotten (The Third Man) to name a few.

As I understand it there are no full episodes of Off to See the Wizard available online or for purchase – which is understandable I suppose with the copyrights of the films involved and such. It Just feels like to me that we are missing out on some pretty impressive pop culture history, for example there was an October 13th special entitled Who’s Afraid of Mother Goose? that aired in ’67. A humorous look at the characters of Mother Goose that featured a cast made up of Maureen O’Hara, The Three Stooges, Steve Martin, Margaret Hamilton, Jim Nabors, as well as Dan Rowan and Dick Martin among others.

At the very least we can enjoy a few of the animated segments from Off to See the Wizard, such as this one featuring the Tin Man needing just a dab of oil.

Video and Article Image Provided by Robert Carey.

Night Stalker For The Intellivision Amico Looks Amazing!

Night Stalker for the Intellivision Amico - 2020

Friends, since I did an 1UP episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast on 1982’s Night Stalker for Mattel Electronics’ Intellivision home console – it is probably safe to say I am a big fan of the game. In my personal opinion there is quite a lot to enjoy about Night Stalker, not only was it a truly great title for the Intellivision but is a solid representation of the maze shooter genre. In fact the only thing I can complain about off the top of my head is that designer Steve Montero wasn’t able to somehow tie the game to the classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker television series!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hedpWMsppE
Video Provided by Matt Payne.

If you have not had the pleasure of playing Night Stalker before, the premise is a pretty simple one – the Player is stuck in an underground maze – where they are continuously hunted down by vicious robots. In addition the Player has to contend with a pair of swarming bats that will stun them – leaving them easy prey for the robots. Then there is the rather oversized spider that is crawling through the underground maze – it too can paralyze the Player. At the very least there is a futuristic weapon to fend off these attackers… although only for six shots before the Player has to scramble through the maze seeking a new one.

Which is why I perked up when Earl Green was kind enough to share a new video with me – Night Stalker for the Intellivision Amico… and it looks absolutely amazing if I am being 100% honest. This new version of that classic maze shooter game offers multiplayer – that includes both a Co-Op mode as you will see in the video itself and a Versus mode. I would like to point out that in multiplayer is appears that a Player can only pick up the weapon that matches their color – a nice touch and an element that should add some stress in later levels. While the graphics have been given an update although with an appropriately retro look – it appears there are new enemies to contend with too, such as the creeping slime that might be able to merge to create a tougher enemy!

Video and Article Image Provided by Intellivision.

In closing I want to point out that in the description for this preview of Night Stalker for the upcoming Intellivision Amico – they make a point of saying:


“This is only a small unfinished sampling of what the game will ultimately be like. Many more surprises on the way! This was recorded and played directly from the Intellivision Amico system.”

Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 080 – Burnt Offerings (1976)

Burnt Offerings - Saturday Frights Podcast - Ep - 080

Friends, while the Projectionist and myself might have failed to bring you a new Saturday Frights podcast in the month of November – we have just finished recording a show that tackles 1976’s Burnt Offerings. As you will learn in the episode itself, this appears to be a film that has the ability to divide the viewing audience right down the middle – some appreciate the slow burner of a haunted house film… while others feel it is just boring. In fact, this movie which was directed by Dan Curtis was a film that I suggested to Sean and Nicole Johnson of the excellent Horrified Chicken podcast – as promised in the episode I have provided a link to their take on Burnt Offerings – please remember though they use adult language in their show. By the way, the late and great Dan Curtis’ name should ring a bell with you if you happen to be a fan of retro-related horror movies and television shows – he helped to co-create the likes of Kolchak: The Night Stalker in addition to directing the epic 16 hour Winds of War!

Video Provided by Danf62465‘s YouTube Channel.

As always on the Saturday Frights podcast, we do our best to attempt to give you not only interesting trivia about film itself – but we have brought along some vintage audio treats for your listening pleasure too. In addition I share my first experiences with Burnt Offerings and provide some reviews from when it was first released to theaters back in 1976.

The strength of Burnt Offerings which was based off the 1973 book of the same name comes from the actors that Curtis assembled for his picture. You have the likes of Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee Montgomery, and the iconic Bette Davis. Although I mention it in the podcast – this is a film that is not about cheap scares but instead manages to ratchet up the tension until the shocking climax.

So without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In – as we discuss 1976’s Burnt Offerings!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode -or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find not just posts from Rockford Jay, and myself but Preston Griffith on a daily basis.

Subscribe to the Saturday Frights Podcast:

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Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)

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