TV Gothic

The Golden Age of Small Screen Horror


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About the Book

Most horror film fans are familiar with the movie classics, from the early Universal archetypes to the Hammer landmarks—all of which have been celebrated in countless books and magazines. But what about the parallel universe of television horror? The series, made-for-TV-movies and specials? With detailed coverage of shows from Britain, America and Europe, this book chronicles the small-screen appearances of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, adaptations of stories by Edgar Allan Poe and M.R. James, performances of beloved stars like Boris Karloff and Vincent Price, groundbreaking series like The Television Ghost, Lights Out and Dark Shadows, and such memorable movies as The Night Stalker, The Norliss Tapes and Salem’s Lot, along with unearthed gems like The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre and Mrs. Amworth. The work of such key directors as Dan Curtis and Lawrence Gordon Clark is also examined.

About the Author(s)

Howard Maxford is a freelance entertainment journalist who has contributed reviews, interviews, features and retrospectives to a variety of UK magazines, including Film Review, Starburst, Shivers, Replay, Tower Records’ Top, London After Dark, Video Now and HMV Choice. He lives in South London.

Bibliographic Details

Howard Maxford

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 417
Bibliographic Info: 81 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7975-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4553-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Section One. In the Beginning: Horror in Television’s Stone Age (the 1930s and 1940s) 5
Live from Ally Pally  5
The Big Apple Bites Back  10
The Rise of Poe  14
Picture Perfect  18
Questions in the House  23
The Pepsi Challenge  25

Section Two. The Monsters Arrive (the 1950s) 29
Cue Frankenstein  29
Enter Professor Quatermass  34
Vamping It with Vampira  40
A Hitch in Time  43
The Great Beyond  50
Entering the Zone  54

Section Three. The Genre Takes Hold (the 1960s) 60
Beloved Boris  60
Who?  73
Canned Laughter  75
Mysterious Imaginings  83
Tales from Europe  89
A Rum Collins  92
A Fateful Whistle  97
Strange Journeys  100
Scooby and the Gang  104
And Now the Gallery  108

Section Four. The American TV Movie Comes of Age (the 1970s) 112
Movie of the Week  112
Kolchak Scores a Hit  120
The Devil to Pay  128
Creature Feature  136
A Fetish for Horror  143
MTM Goes for the Jugular  151
The True Story  159
Bringing In the Harvest  171
Gargoyles  181
Up at the Marsten House  191
Meet the Hardy Boys  201
More Tales from Europe  210

Section Five. Enter the Brits (the 1970s) 216
The Doomsday People  216
The Play’s the Thing  217
Festive Frissons  225
Dead of Night  243
Country Matters  250
A Party with Barty  259
Teatime Terrors  266
What Music They Make  274
Mrs. Amworth Pays a Visit  279
An Old Master  286

Section Six. New Realms (the 1980s) 291
Hammer Has Risen from the Grave  291
Venturing into the Darkside  304
The Spielberg Touch  308
Ready for Freddy  317
Tut, Tut  323
The Music of the Night  328
Raising Caine  337
Further Tales from Europe  343

Section Seven. The End of an Era (the 1990s) 349
The Anthology Lives On  349
Duped by Auntie  356
The X Factor  358
The Color Purple  361
It  366
Corman Quickies  373
King of the Airwaves  378

Epilogue: A New Era (the 2000s and 2010s) 384
Bibliography 389
Index 391