American Scary

American Scary is a fun, fascinating, wacky new documentary about the all-American tradition of horror movie hosting. From my review:

That’s right, horror hosting — you know, the guy named “Professor Heewill Dismemberus” with the top hat and fangs who hits WITF-TV in Oklahoma City round about midnight on a Saturday, amid the crash and flash of lightning & thunder; he’s got a scantily-clad fortysomething assistant called Devouria and maybe one named Freako the Killer Dwarf, and together they introduce the worst f!##!*!!!ing horror movies you’ve ever seen, the perfect accompaniment for a couple of hours of hardcore vegging and/or laughing your ass off, with or without any combination of friends, bonghits and/or tequila.

I watched this flick as a screener from San Francisco Documentary Film Festival and can’t recommend it highly enough not only for fans of freaky horror, but for anyone who loves the fucked-up behind-the-scenes story of local television, particularly late-night television, from the ’50s through the present day. It’s a fascinating snapshot of how the trainwreck of commercial demands and Vaudevillian innovation can spawn hybrid creations that would make Dr. Frank-N-Furter piss his pants.
Recently there’s been a resurgence in horror hosting, from horror conventions to Public Access TV, where a new generation of hosts is creating its own bizarre homage to the Dr. Satanases and Professor Torments of years past.
American Scary plays at San Francisco’s Roxie Cinema Saturday, September 29 as a mantinee and Thursday, October 4 at 9:15pm. A number of San Francisco horror notables will be at the Thursday screening.
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One comment on “American Scary
  1. Thanks for the kind words!
    Just as a note, I will be in town for the Saturday screening, as will John Stanley and Doktor Goulfinger.
    Should be fun! :)
    John Hudgens
    Director, “American Scary”

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