Wednesday, August 30, 2006
On all of Bob's shows, he showed old commercials of "Edsel" and "Boraxo Hand Soap", the latter which had Future President Ronald Reagan. He also showed clips from the movie "Network"(1976), with the scene where the newscaster rants "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore!" After Bob left KTVU in 1979, he continued for 2 more years at KTXL including a special he did in 1980(The Bob Wilkins Super Horror Show) . He also did various specials(Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Video Games) for KBHK Channel 44 in San Francisco. This initially gave me the misconception that he left KTVU in bad terms, but I later learned that he was working free lancing jobs while also working his Advertising Agency. He did not want to work at KTVU, because it would affect John Stanley's appearance on "Creature Features". Also he made sure KBHK did not use the old Creature Features Theme Song "The Gotham City Municipal Swing Band" on the specials. In 1982, Bob did 2 "3-D TV" specials for both KTXL Channel 40 Sacramento and KBHK Channel 44 San Francisco. The movie "Revenge Of The Creature"(1955) was shown in 3-D on both stations though they were two seperately filmed specials. On September 1, 1984 on the very last "Creature Features", Bob Wilkins made a special appearance with John Stanley as Host. Bob was interviewed for the cable access show,"Sinister Cinema" in 1986. KTVU did a special "Creature Features Reunion Show on April 30, 1987 showing "John Carpenter's The Fog". He had former assistant, Bob Shaw as guest, who would do a special of his own the next day, showing the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Bob would return back to Television 8 years later, but to KCRA Channel 3 during their 50TH Anniversary of their calls KCRA(which debuted on radio in 1945 and television in 1955) on September 9, 1995. He showed the very first movie he ever showed there, "Attack Of The Mushroom People"(1964). But this time he used "Kellyvision", which sped the film through the slow spots.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The following is useful trivia on Bob Wilkins. Did you know that the Cigar and Rocking Chair that he used on his shows weren't because he thought it would give him an on air identity but because he was nervous in front of the camera and rocking the chair and holding that cigar eased his nerves. The cigars were "House Of Windsor Cigars" and were provided by the "Capital Cigar Co." of Sacramento (now Capital Cigar and Candy). "House Of Windsor" were the largest, cheapest cigars around. The original theme song for all of Bob's shows on Channel's 2, 3 and 40 was "Gotham City Municipal Swing Band" by Neal Hefti and was on the original "Batman" TV Show Soundtrack Album. On Channel 2's "Creature Features", The Introduction Theme Song complete with clips from various Horror And SciFi Movies was performed by "The Poppers". The film clips were compiled by Bob's assistant "Bob Shaw" who helped Bob with Film Information for "Creature Features" and is Channel 2's Film Critic. Unlike most Horror Movie TV Hosts, Bob did not dress up like a vampire or a ghoul but as himself, that's why I liked him so much. Bob however did dress up but as "Captain Cosmic", when he hosted a children's show featuring Old Serials and Japanese TV Shows like Ultraman and Johnny Sokko. Bob however did not care for the Captain Cosmic Character.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The following are links to some of the best genre websites of all time! I highly recommend all of them: 1.) This is the official Bob Wilkins site hosted by Scott Moon who also publishes the excellent Fanzine: Planet X Magazine. This site has all the information of Bob Wilkins as well as selling DVD's of his show. www.bobwilkins.net 2.) Then there is John Stanley's website. John replaced Bob as host of "Creature Features" on KTVU Channel 2 in 1979. He also sells DVD copies of his show as well as "The Creature Features Movie Book" which reviews all Horror and SciFi Movies. http://creature.netwiz.net/ 3.) There is a website dedicated to ALL HORROR MOVIE TV HOSTS NATIONALLY, though some of the info is wrong including Bob Wilkins. http://myweb.wvnet.edu/e-gor/tvhorrorhosts/hostsa.html 4.) There is a website specializing in Northern California Late Night and All Night TV from the 1960's through the 1980's, back in the days before the dreadful infomercials. From KTVU's "Creature Features" to KGSC's "Movies Til Dawn" to KEMO's "Worst Of Hollywood" to KTXL's "LaBries Night Comfort Theatre. www.uhfnocturne.com 5.) Also check out KTVU's website which has an interesting article on Bob Wilkins. At least they still acknowledge Bob. Steer clear of both KCRA and KTXL's websites as they do not even mention Bob at all though KTXL does mention Bea Beyer's Cooking Show and Big Time Wrestling on their TV History section but not one ounce of Bob even though Bob worked at KTXL for 10 years as well as doing 3 specials for them. Very sad indeed. http://www.ktvu.com/station/1854218/detail.html 6.) Don't forget Forrest J. Ackerman's official website. He was the editor in chief of the original "Famous Monsters Of Filmland" magazine. http://4forry.best.vwh.net/ 7.) Then there is "Scary Monsters Magazine, THE BEST MONSTER MAGAZINE EVER!!! Even better than Ray Ferry's New Version Of Famous Monsters which is an atrocity. Scary Monsters is definitely in the tradition of the original Famous Monsters! www.scarymonstersmag.com 8.) I don't want to forget Tim Lucas's excellent website "Video Watchdog" which is also the name of his excellent magazine which specializes in genre DVD's, CD's and Books. His magazine details any shortcomings a DVD has including if it is the wrong aspect ratio, if it is cut or if has an alternate title. His magazine has been around since 1990 though a "Video Watchdog" column goes back even farther to 1985. Tim is a big fan of "Mario Bava" whose many films including "Blood And Black Lace" and "Baron Blood" have been shown many times on Bob's show. www.videowatchdog.com 9.) Another interesting site specializing in Genre DVD Reviews and News is George Reis's excellent "DVD Drive In " site www.dvddrive-in.com 10.) And finally for anyone owning a Multi-Region DVD Player, I wholeheartedly endorse Xploited Cinema which sells DVD's from other Regions. Many of the DVD's sold by Xploited has yet to be released in the U.S. www.xploitedcinema.com
Saturday, August 26, 2006
While researching information on Creature Features, I discovered the amount of movies shown by Bob from January 9, 1971 to February 24, 1979 on KTVU Channel 2. Now remember, this is from viewing TV Guide Microfilm at the Public Library and there maybe errors as I don't know if any of them were preempted at the last minute. There were a total of "311" Movies, "771" Showings with "Night Of The Living Dead" being shown the most at "10" times followed by "The Vulture" with "7" times and "Dracula's Daughter", "Frankenstein", "Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster" and "Kiss Of Evil" at "6" times each.
Friday, August 25, 2006
The one movie that has been a favorite among Creature Features Fans as well as Horror Fans in general was George A. Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead"(1968). Of all of the movies played on "Creature Features" on KTVU Channel 2, "Night Of The Living Dead" has played the most- A total "10" times! Since "Night Of The Living Dead" is in the public domain, I wonder if this also played in the factor of so many airdates? It probably didn't cost Channel 2 a cent to air it. Surprisingly, While Channel 2's "Creature Features" has aired "Night Of The Living Dead" 10 times, KTXL Channel 40's "The Bob Wilkins Horror Show" never showed it. I don't know why? Since it is in the public domain, it wouldn't have cost Channel 40 anything to show it. Channel 40 would eventually show "Night Of The Living Dead", but not until OCTOBER 30, 1986 on its 8:PM "BIG MOVIE" and it was the atrocious "colorized version" by "Hal Roach Studios". "Night Of The Living Dead" made its Northern California TV Debut on January 1, 1972 at 9:30PM. "Night Of The Living Dead" was the first truly scary movie I had ever seen before. I was 12 years old when I first saw it on "Creature Features" in 1974. The airdates and the times for "Night Of The Living Dead" when it aired on "Creature Features" was: 1.) January 1, 1972 @ 9:30, 2.) November 11, 1972 @ 9:30, 3.) October 20, 1973 @ 9:00, 4.) September 28, 1974 @ 9:30, 5.) May 10, 1975 @ 9:30, 6.) November 15, 1975 @ 11:00, 7.) May 22, 1976 @ 11:30, 8.) November 6, 1976 @ 11:00, 9.) May 13, 1977(Friday) @ 11:30, 10.) March 4, 1978 @ 11:00. All times are PM of course and they all aired on Saturday Night with the exception of the May 13, 1977 one, that aired on a Friday( "Creature Features" had split into a Friday And Saturday Night Show earlier in 1977). The last time "Night Of The Living Dead" played on "Creature Features, was on March 4 of 1978. Surprisingly, It never aired during John Stanley's run as host of "Creature Features from March 3, 1979 to September 1, 1984. "Night Of The Living Dead" did later air on KTSF Channel 26 San Francisco on September 8, 1979 on its new Late Saturday Night Horror Show at 11:00 called "Saturday Night Dead" with a host (don't know his name?) dressed as Dracula. That show played mostly public domain oldies. More on that show on a different date. Since "Night Of The Living Dead" is in the public domain, it could have continued to play on KTVU Channel 2 also. Don't know why? Today I own the definitive version of "Night Of The Living Dead" on DVD available from Elite Entertainment as the Millenium Edition. I highly recommend it. Buy it from www.amazon.com
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The last post I mentioned numerous titles of the very bad movies thay Bob showed but looking over the movies he showed on KTVU's "Creature Features", About Three-Quarters were actually good. They include all of the Universal Classics like "Frankenstein"(1931), "Dracula"(1931), "The Wolfman"(1941), and "The Creature From The Black Lagoon", but also Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"(1963), Most of the Hammer Horrors with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing like "The Curse Of Frankenstein"(1957), and "Horror Of Dracula"(1958), Science Fiction Classics like "War Of The Worlds(1953), "Invaders From Mars"(1953), "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers"(1956) and George Lucas's first movie "THX 1138"(1970). Another movie making its Northern California's TV Debut was George Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead". That title will be my next post.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The above title was said by Bob Wilkins on "Creature Features" on KTVU Channel 2 referring to the movie "Monster From The Ocean Floor" (1954). Though Bob has always said his movies he showed on Channel 2 (or Channel 3 or Channel 40) were really bad, After looking at the entire movie schedule during Bob's run at Channel 2, only a quarter of the movies he showed, were bad, most were very good if not classics. However his share of turkeys that he has shown includes, "Curse Of Bigfoot"(1976), "Trog"(1970), "Teenagers From Outer Space"(1959), "Two Faces Of Dr. Jekyll"(1961), "The Snow Creature"(1954), "The Creeping Terror"(1964)[The Movie That Caused Bob Shaw's House Plants To Die] as well as that Golden Turkey of a Ed Wood Film "Plan Nine From Outer Space(1956). But of course I don't want to forget the movie that started it all for Bob Wilkins, "Attack Of The Mushroom People"(1964). Boy, Were those Turkey's, but then most of his other movies were Classics...............
Monday, August 21, 2006
Tom Breen is actually the man who created the late night show on both NBC Affiliate, KCRA Channel 3 Sacramento and Then Independent, KTVU Channel 2 Oakland-San Francisco. Tom was hired as program director for KCRA in 1959. In 1963, Tom hired Bob Wilkins to help the advertising department there at KCRA. Later, Bob helped Harry Martin on the Afternoon Movie writing some of the lines read by Harry as well as hosting the KCRA Employee Christmas Parties. In 1966, Tom suggested to Bob, if he was interested in hosting a late night movie on Saturday Nights, following the late news. Apparently KCRA had a collection of Horror and Science Fiction Movies, and Tom thought Bob would be the perfect host for that show, which would be named "Seven Arts Theatre". Tom lent a 16mm print of "Attack Of The Mushroom People", for Bob to view to give him an idea of what the show would be. That movie, in fact would the his very first movie shown on KCRA Channel 3 (along with "Attack Of The Giant Leeches") on September 10, 1966. In 1970, Tom Breen was hired by KTVU Channel 2 to be its new program director, since he had a winning track at KCRA. One of his first moves was to bring in , Bob Wilkins to host a similar show he had at KCRA, over at KTVU. The name of that show was to be called "Creature Features" which debuted on January 9, 1971 with the movie, "Horror Of Party Beach". And history was born...........................
Sunday, August 20, 2006
This Blog is dedicated to the Man who entertained people on Saturday Night Television in Northern California. From September 10, 1966 until February 14, 1981, Bob Wilkins showed some of the worst (as well as best) Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies starting initially at NBC Affiliate for Sacramento, KCRA Channel 3 before jumping to both KTXL Channel 40 Sacramento and KTVU Channel 2 Oakland-San Francisco in the early 1970's. His show at KCRA was first known as "Seven Arts Theatre" and later "The Bob Wilkins Show", and at KTXL, it was known as "The Bob Wilkins Horror Show" and at KTVU, it was known as "Creature Features". Also at KTVU, Bob Wilkins also did the Weather from 1972-74 and was a Afternoon Children's Host dressed up as a Space Man and showing old Flash Gordon episodes and Ultraman reruns in "Captain Cosmic And His Wonder Robot 2T2" from 1977-80. In upcoming blogs I hope to print the entire movie slate that Bob showed on all Three Channels as well as Captain Cosmic and his numerous specials on KTVU, KTXL as well as KBHK Channel 44 San Francisco. A lot of this information was originally compiled for an aborted book project of the same title: "Bob Wilkins: The Man Behind The Cigar". I hope you all enjoy it.