Monday, August 8, 2011

Peter Vincent: Death of a Horror Host (Before You See Fright Night, Read This)

If you wanna talk about the death of the horror host (and we don't mean Maila Nurmi's untimely passing in 2008) then you need look no further than the upcoming cinematic release of Fright Night. Full coverage of this remake will come later this upcoming weekend/early next week, but for right now we have to address something that is near and dear to my heart. Peter Vincent, the lovable cowardly lion in ghost host clothing turned vampire slayer and played by legend Roddy McDowall, has been given a new line of work for the Fright Night 2011. David Tennant will not be the horror host we all know and love, but will instead be a Las Vegas magician. Why? Because the kiddies today are completely numb in the noggin when it comes to the concept of a horror host. No horror host. Magician.

I don't know who reads this blog. I simply assume you come here for the free frickin' or d'oeuvres, the dancing girls and the parties, but if there's one thing we're gonna get straight for this generation of socially networked, reality bound, 80's apparel adorning, Beaverites it's the definition of a fucking horror host (that's right... fucking).

I guess it's a little late to stand on my soap box and grab Craig Gillespie by his head and tell him which appendage he can ask his "magician" to make disappear. Really it goes something like this: "Mr. Gillespie :gulp: I was wondering, ya know, maybe... if you might :cough: consider, ya know, keeping Peter Vincent, well... ya know... like a horror host?" To which he would cordially respond by having David Tennant human centipede me to Snookie and Charlie Sheen... I have course would be the middle. It would be fair of him to do, but one thing is for absolute certain... it is not fair to Peter Vincent, horror host. Fearless Vampire Hunter (Roman Polanski style). So before we send Peter Vincent, horror host, into the land of original feature-dom and make room for the remake bound "magician" let's get the new generation acquainted with the guardians of your television, after the witching hour.

Horror Host (according to Merriam Webster Dictionary) - "The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary" - "no dictionary results" - "Horror hosts are a particular type of television presenter, often tasked with presenting low-grade films to television audiences" (finally got one... you'd think it was a new term... the very to xerox is in the fucking dictionary). Further more I'll have you know that the same definition is in Wikipedia. Hmmmmm.

I can't run through all of the definitions with you, but needless to say the term is either being lost or has been lost. So Gillespie might be on to something for the youth of America, but let's not leave the kiddies in the dark. There are more than enough website dedicated to the history of the horror host. I'll give you the very basics: Start with the Vampira Show which will lead you to Shock! and Son of Shock! You'll find Zacherlee. When you meet up with dear John (who you can still meet at Chiller Theater from time to time) then you've started into the era of the HH. They ushered in generations of new hosts since the 1950's. The only thing standing in the way of the horror host, the evolution of the cable network conglomerates absorbing local stations and dismantling the local programming directive that is the "bat cave" of the horror host.

You're best horror hosts will dress up for you. They'll tell you jokes to make you laugh when you might be a little scared. They'll let you know when the movie is really that bad (you're not missing the value in the tombstone falling over... it's a fake cemetery). The horror host you want to see on television will educate you. Google, IMDB, Wikipedia... they're great, but you'll need the wisdom of the horror host to help translate what you've learned or seen into pop culture references that your friends will understand. You'll be exposed to things beyond top 40... or top 100... or top 200. Most of these films have never even heard of the term "box office".

I've written blogs about my favorites and every year that I live I meet new horror hosts write here on the internet. On Facebook. At where E-Gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts can be grave robbed and enjoyed once more (it's only necrophilia if they say "no"). You can go to the Horror Host Graveyard and dig up some fresh, on demand meat. Yes, the horror host is still around. Ready. Willing. Freshly embalmed and ready to break the rigor mortise right out of your jawline (that means make you laugh, kiddies!). Find one in or near your hometown then support the ever lovin' shit out 'em.

Here are some links to get you started:

E-Gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts

Horror Host Graveyard

Wiki-Horror Host

And here are a few videos to grease your cogs and sprockets (or whatever it is kids eighteen and under have underneath those fancy skullcaps):

Brief News Report on the History of Horror Hosts:

Horror Host Montage:

Peter Vincent (our ghoul of the hour):



Commander USA:


So we will wait for Gillespie and his night du fright. We will await David Tennant (make Roddy proud or you'll wake up among the damn dirty apes). This weekend comes yet another remake; for the sake of vampire lovers young and old let it be a good one.

-Dr Vincent, Vampire Killer (that's Doctor Terror and no vampires were harmed in the writing of this rant).

Afterthought: We truly wish this film well. It is the last bastion of hope this calender year for a positive vampire response from the mass, theater-going audeicen that doesn't revolve around the glitter bound, fashionista vamps of ... that time of the night right as the sun illuminates the sky for the very first time (I can't bear to say its name). Please enjoy Stake Land if you feel compelled to watch Tw#$%ght again. Consider it therapy even if you can't catch it on the big screen where it should have been widely distributed.


  1. I can't agree with u more! When I heard that Peter Vincent was being changed into a Magician I freaked! I am a self proclaimed Fright Night expert and mega fan from way back. Fright Night is number one on my list of all time favorite horror movies and I can't stop watching it. I've been totally against the remake but my curiosity has me going to see it on the 19th. Horror Hosts don't get the credit they deserve or the respect. As of lately I've been watching every Saturday, Elvira Movie Macabre even if the movies can be lame but I enjoy her so much! Peter Vincent's character deserves much needed respect and I can honestly not understand why they couldn't work with the truth that he's a Horror Host and Hammer star. Why change what's already perfect, in my eyes? I'm sort of scared to see this remake and afraid I might stand up, at the end of the movie, and shout "YOU SUCK!" and embarrass those who came with me. I'm a nit picker. If a remake takes away and doesn't add, I think it's totally wrong. I, myself, have written sequels and remakes to Fright Night but never taken away from the original what has always made it what it has been for 26 years. It's what a vampire film should be. Action to the story at the very beginning. The vampire is a evil S.O.B who happens to be fine as hell. When the vampire gets pissy he gets ugly. The vampire dies in the daylight, not sparkles like a disco ball. You have your comedy (Evil Ed). You have your love story (Charley and Amy) and, also, you actually have a little sympathy for the bad guy cause all he wants is some damn peace and quiet and a little lovings. You also have the lovable Peter Vincent the reluctant hero who never imagined his movies would come back to bite him in the rear and neck. All the characters are awesome and, to my opinion, well created. I've decided that Hollywood has just lost their ability to come up with original ideas and are hitting on those classics to try to earn a quick buck (isn't that always the case). The director and writers for this remake should have taken a well written note from Rob Zombie when he remade Halloween which I thought was successful because he basically added to the story not taken it away. Note: not that impressed with the sequel to Halloween (Rob Zombie). All in all. Fright Night deserves respect as does Roddy McDowall's memory and performance as Peter Vincent. I believe it should have been mandatory for the new actors to have done their research and homework on the characters they've taken on as to give the proper respect to those who played them before them. And, a final note. Why the heck did they remove Billy Cole from the movie?? That was just messed up because a vampire's weakness is daylight hours. Apparently in the remake, Jerry Dandridge is just too bad ass to need a day guardian or something. Who knows! Awesome blog, my friend! Keeping my eye on you!

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Let's hope for the best and try not to expect the worst. I've heard some pretty darn good things from people seeing it early. Keep your bat wings crossed.

  3. Great blog post! While I've come to accept the remake for what it is, and enjoy David Tennant's performance, one of the strengths of the 1985 original is Peter Vincent's unique story arc. Watching Roddy McDowall's performance as the cowardly Horror Host who has to both face his fears and draw on his knowledge of the horror genre to help Charley defeat the armies of the night, is pure horror cinema gold! Love this movie!