Tuesday, October 28, 2008

a horror show even scarier than advertised!

i was a bit too young to see spook shows back when they were at their prime. i recall special events at local one-screen theaters - i saw santa clause conquers the martians at such a christmas event - during the halloween and christmas seasons but i don't recall seeing a spook show.

spook shows were live acts by a performer who usually did magic tricks and used a few props like mechanical bats that would fly over the audience during a black-out to try to scare the shit out of them. these performers would use stage names like hara-kum ot dr satan and his real gone show. they would also bring their own print of some cheesy horror movie to screen for the audience between acts.

i suppose that most were pretty cheesy. perhaps a few might've been scary. but i doubt it. i think the thrills were found anticipating the spook show. what freaky thing would be unearthed. how shall i scare thee, let me count the ways. well, these specific entertainments had their heyday from the 1930s to the 1960s. i think contemporary audiences would be bored out of their minds with a spook show. but then maybe the audience was bored back in the day too.

spook shows have gone the way of the betamax. i don't know if there are any recordings of a live spook show available. it would be cool if there are. it doesn't matter anyway, since we have copies of spook show trailers available. dig the clip below. i love the old monster movie music and the cheapy-ness of the trailers themselves. they are so halloween! also, groove on how the marketers of spook shows challenge and bait their audience by asking the girls to find out if their boyfriends are men or mice. i love this shit.


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