The Ten Best Years for the Horror Film, Part 3: 1959

8.) 1959

In a decade that started as the miserable nadir of the horror film (with a mere three horror entries being released worldwide in 1950), the genre managed to rekindle itself remarkably enough to close out the decade with a triumphant scream that reverberates to this day. After The Thing From Another World became a surprise smash hit (in 1951), the sci-fi bonanza that had begun flooding the market with its xenophobic product only the year before quickly and opportunistically blurred the lines between genres, encroaching more and more into the realms of horror to take advantage of the relative vacuum therein.

Enter figures like William Alland, George Pal, and Ray Harryhausen, who imbued their science fiction output with wonderfully horrific sensibilities (War of the Worlds, It Came From Outer Space) and returned the monstrous to eager audiences (The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Creature From the Black Lagoon). After the television premiere of King Kong broke viewership records in 1956, Hollywood studios realized the possibilities of the new market as a forum for their dated product, then moldering in dusty vaults and well-nigh forgotten. And so was born the Shock! Theater package in 1957, a collection of 52 Universal and Columbia horror films (plus 20 more in 1958) which were sold to local markets looking to fill up some of their late night dead air time. Naughty children across the country delighted in defying parental decree by slinking downstairs to catch the gruesome gesticulations of their local horror host whilst being reintroduced to Draculas, Wolfmen, and Mummies galore. Famous Monsters of Filmland, which began as an intended one-off to capitalize on this renewed interest in the macabre, sold its first issue in February of ’58 and was such a revelatory hit with horror-starved kiddies that it quickly went into a second printing and managed a 191-issue run that lasted well into the ‘1980s (and brought an entire generation into the fold!) The drive-in theater phenomenon (which had begun in the early ’30s) hit its peak in the late fifties with more than 4,000 “passion pits” spread out across predominantly rural areas of the United States.



EP14: Re-Animator

Life (or lack thereof) can be difficult for the recently reanimated. Whether it’s trying to find gainful employment or that special someone, it can be tough at times to fit in with a world of smiling, happy, as-yet-undead people. That’s why we at Terror Transmission have developed this commentary for the 1985 sci-fi/horror spectacular, Re-Animator; to help you in your time of need. Sit back and relax your rotting and mutated limbs as Matt and Jason lull you into a state of drooling hypnotic bliss, comforting you with their movie facts and related background, their strange choice in wine, and their ravenous appetite for bubble-headed coeds. After the film, M&J will give you some sense of closure with their recent DVD viewings, details on the next contest giveaway, and more. Welcome back to life!

If you’re too squeamish, do NOT take a look at our Flickr pics for this episode!

UPDATE: Giveaway for this episode now has a winner, and will be announced in Episode 15.

Who Rates The Movies? | LaserDisc Was The Future | Playboy – December 1986 | Organic Theater Company | Cook County Morgue | Barbara Crampton Without Clothes | Barbara Crampton “With” Clothes | Herbert West: Reanimator | 24 Gallons of Blood in Liters | Oh Snap!!!!! | Yes, There Really IS A Re-Penetrator | Make Your Own Re-Agent… I mean, Glow Stick Juice | Some People Don’t Like Phish | Merkins, Anyone? | Trust The Dust | Desk Spike | Dissection | Khaaaaaaan! | Peter H. Gilmore

Bonus Link: Maxwell House of ReAnimator

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EP13: The Old Dark House

As thunderclaps shatter the calm and rain pours down in torrential waves, your only refuge from the harsh elements is this episode of Terror Transmission as Matt and Jason spin tales of murder and madness by the warming fire. Kick off your soggy boots, have a shot of gin, and change into something pretty as M&J comment upon the 1932 gothic suspense flick, The Old Dark House. After the feature, stay tuned for rundowns on M&J’s latest DVD viewings as well as Terror Transmission’s first giveaway!

UPDATE: We have our giveaway winner! The announcement for this will be in the next episode.

Flickr pics for this episode? Yeah, we got ’em.

Old Time Radio Comedy podcast | The Little Universal Pictures Airplane That Could | Gloria Stuart | How To Speak Welsh | The World War One Generation | TIME’s Top 10 Movie Gimmicks list | Hey, Riff Raff, What Time Is It? | A Brief History of Movie Stunts | Haunted Honeymoon | WAMPAS Baby Stars | Vaginoplasty | Girls and Corpses | I-THEIST

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