Friday Night Fright Films

Does anyone remember a TV program called, “Shock Theatre” where they would show classic horror films? That was a great Friday Night Fright show, but my favorite was a program (actually I think this was on Saturday afternoons) hosted by Dr. Paul Bearer. He dressed like an undertaker and made personal appearances in a black hearse, usually coming out of an open coffin. He always opened his show with a pun on some product with a ghoulish twist (Example-…Bore-a-team would show a team of horses bored to death or some such twist.)
And then he would qualify his showing of a bad-B horror movie by saying, ‘This is a really horrible movie” and laugh in glee. I suppose there are still characters out there who dress up in weird costumes like Vampira but there has been no-one to take the place of Dr. Paul Bearer. He was one-of-a kind in his field.

The Friday Night Fright Theater is kind of a lost art. With so many things for kids to do and so many sports and video games, the world of Fright Night is lost in the shuffle. But certain times of the year such as Halloween bring back vivid memories of watching some really horrible old movie while eating popcorn and lying on my favorite pillow as we, my brothers and I, sat glued to the TV waiting to be scared out of our minds. That was the fun of Friday Night “Fright Night.”

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Author of "6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village", Ms. Johnson continues to blog on film and publishes a newsletter plus the Flipboard magazine 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies. Her book is currently available on Amazon at

One thought on “Friday Night Fright Films”

  1. It was a sad day in Tampa Bay when Dr. Paul Bearer (alias Dick Bennick) passed away. I have fond memories of Saturday afternoons watching "Creature Feature." I loved the spring when Dr. Paul Bearer would "sing" Tom Lerher's "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park." October 30 in Tampa is actually Dr. Paul Bearer Day put into effect by Mayor Sandy Freemon sometime in the early 90's before his death in '95. I think we should plan a celebration and have channel 44 air tapes of Creature Feature on that day!

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