Sunday, October 29, 2006
On Saturday Night, October 29, 1966 at 11:45pm on KCRA Channel 3, Bob Wilkins showed a double feature of "Black Sunday" and "Night Of The Blood Beast". "Black Sunday"(1961) was an excellent scary movie directed by Mario Bava and starring Barbara Steele. "Black Sunday' was also known as "La Maschera Del Demonio" which translates into The Mask Of The Demon". It was released in the U.S. by AIP. "Princess Asa Vajda(Barbara Steele) is executed as a witch. 200 years later she is revived and plots to take over the body of Katia(also Steele)." The second movie, also by AIP but produced by Roger Corman. "Night Of The Blood Beast"(1958) is about "an astronaut returning from space dead. The base that recovered him is the cut off from the outside world by an alien. The revival of the dead astronaut, the death of a scientist and the discovery of alien embryos inside the resurrected astronaut's body bodes ill for the survival of those trapped at the base and the rest of humanity.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
On Saturday Night, October 22, 1966 on KCRA Channel 3 at 11:30PM, Bob Wilkins showed the AIP Double Feature of "X-The Man With The X Ray Eyes" (1963) and "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" (1957). The first movie was directed by Roger Corman and starred Ray Milland and Don Rickles. "A world renowned scientist named Dr, Xavier experiments with X-ray vision and things go horribly wrong." The second movie was produced and written by Herman Cohn and starred Michael Landon and Whit Bissell. "Landon plays a angry young man who undergoes hypnosis for his problem but the practitioner he seeks out is a very disturbed man who successfully regresses his patient into a werewolf with tragic results."
Monday, October 16, 2006
Mike Boyd, A former reporter for KCRA Channel 3, passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday, October 14 at Sutter Hospital. Mike Boyd joined KCRA, the same time as Bob Wilkins, in 1963. Mike Boyd was at the Ambassodor Hotel in Los Angeles when Democratic Presidential hopeful, Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Mike Boyd also interviewed Charles Manson several times plus he escorted and interviewed killer, Dorthea Puente in 1988 from Southern California to Sacramento on a KCRA Airplane. Mike Boyd was born the same year as Bob. Mike Boyd retired from KCRA in 2001.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
On Saturday Night, October 15, 1966 at 11:30PM on KCRA Channel 3, Bob Wilkins showed a "Herman Cohen" Double Feature from "AIP". 1.) "Horrors Of The Black Museum" (1959) A frustrated thriller writer wants accurate crimes for his next book, so he hypnotizes his assistant to make him commit the required crimes. 2.) "I Was A Teenage Frankenstein" (1957) stars Whit Bissell, Phyllis Coates and Gary Conway. Professor Frankenstein, a University Lecturer, steals Body Parts of Dead Athletes from a wreakage of a crashed airplane. He builds a Hunky Male Monster with a Hideously Disfigured Face, which goes on a campus wide killing spree.
Monday, October 09, 2006
This post is dedicated to my Best Friend, Brian Lowes. I had known Brian since I was in Junior High School in 1975.He and I was the best in buddies. When we were teenagers, we went to the local movie theaters to view such scary movies like "Squirm" (1976), "Phantasm" (1979), and "Friday The 13TH" (1980), not to mention the Star Wars Movies. In later years, we took trips to Canada, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington as well as to Los Angeles and San Diego. We even took a trip to the Famous Ackermuseum of Former Famous Monsters Editor, Forrest J. Ackerman in 1995. We also took numerous trips to the Tower Records/Books/Video Stores in Sacramento, Campbell, Mountain View as well as in Stockton. We also went to Tower Classics in San Francisco plus Amoeba Music stores in SF and Berkely. We also enjoyed Clarkes Charcoal Burgers in Mountain View. Not only did we share the interests in Horror Movies, but also Classical Music. He also loved the Rails especially AMTRAK. He lived in Tracy and commuted to the Bay Area using the Altamont Commuter Express Train also known as "ACE. In 2002, at the age of 41, Brian passed away of a heart attack. The coronor thinks Brian passed away in the early hours on Wednesday Morning, October 9, 2002, however we didn't find Brian until Sunday October 13, 2002. He is buried in Saratoga, CA. The photo on the top of the page was taken on May 3, 2002 during a Rally at the ACE Train Station in Tracy when Congressman Richard Pombo visited. Brian is to the left holding the sign with the words : "I went from a crowded lane to a comfortable train. Thanks, ACE!" He maybe gone but I still remember him! I miss you Brian!!!!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
On Saturday Night, October 8, 1966 on KCRA Channel 3 at 11:45pm, Bob Wilkins showed the double feature of "Circus Of Horrors"(1960) and "Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow"(1959). "Circus Of Horrors" is about a plastic surgeon wanted by the police who flees to a circus and befriends the owner. It stars Anton Diffring and Donald Pleasance. The Second Feature,"Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow" is an AIP Horror/Comedy about Hiram Stokly who dies and must do one good deed to get into heaven. Both films are available on DVD. "Circus Of Horrors" is available from Anchor Bay while "Ghost Of Hollow Dragstrip" is available from MGM as part of a "Midnite Movies Double Feature" with "Ghost In A Invisible Bikini"(1967).
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Yesterday, I heard some very sad news. Tower Records was sold to "Great American Group" and will be liquidated. Essentially, "Tower Records/Books/Video" is going out of business. I know that this news has nothing to do with Bob Wilkins, but I think it does. I am sure that at least 90% if not more, of Bob Wiulkins fans have patronize Tower Records. I was 12 years old when Tower Records first opened up their first store here in Stockton, California in 1974. It was Tower's 13TH Store in their chain. They opened up at "Lincoln Center South" Shopping Center. They went through 3 locations, expanding each time: 1.) 1974 @ 6557 Pacific Ave. 2.) 1980 @ 6475 Pacific Ave. 3.) 1989 @ 6623 Pacific Ave. All of these locations were in the same shopping center. There was also a "Tower Posters/Plants/Books" in the same shopping center from 1974-1977. Back in the 1970's, Tower was the only place, a valley boy like me to go to. The original hours were 9:AM-Midnight, 7 Days A Week, 365 days A Year! Tower is also the store where I first discovered Scott Moon's fine Fanzine "Planet X Magazine". An End Of An Era!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Most of my blog posts have so far dealt only with Bob Wilkins tenures on both KCRA Channel 3 Sacramento and KTVU Channel 2 Oakland. Now, I believe it is time to mention his KTXL TV 40 tenure, Most of what I saw when I was younger was when Bob was on KTXL. But I have yet to crack a mystery, When did Bob first start at KTXL? Bob Wilkins can't recall, Tom Breen is sure Bob continued for a little while longer at KCRA Channel 3 at the same time he started at KTVU Channel 2 with "Creature Features" in 1971. Jack Matranga (Owner/GM KTXL)claims that KCRA had cancelled Bob's show as retaliation of him starting a similar show on KTVU and Jack offered Bob at KTXL to host Horror/SciFi Movies. Bob Shaw (Bob's Friend/Protege/Coworker/Man behind the scenes at Creature Features/Movie Critic) claims that Bob initially hosted a mix of movies at KTXL (Comedies/Musicals/Dramas) before he settled to the back to the usual Horror/SciFi Genre. However When I was looking at the TV Guide Microfilm and I found that on Late Saturday Nights at 11:30PM ((at least from 1969 onward), KTXL aired European Art Films of the 50's and 60's (i.e. "The Red Lips", "The Truth", "Anatomy Of A Marraige" and Roman Polanski's "Repulsion"). Now I am not saying that Bob Shaw is wrong, maybe Bob Wilkins hosted these movies on a different evening other than Saturday Nights? Maybe it was Bob who hosted those European Art Films? Apparently he must have left KCRA on very good terms in order to do an appearance on Geoff Wong's First Charlie Chan Show on October 2, 1971. Anyway according to the TV Guide microfilm, the first Horror Movie shown was on September 18, 1971 with "The Black Room (1935) starring "Boris Karloff" and with the exception of a month long stretch of "Mr. Moto" films in February of 1972, All Films were of the Horror/SciFi Genre.So I decided just to trace the history of KTXL's "The Bob Wilkins HORROR Show" which I now believe started on September 18, 1971 and it ended on February 14, 1981. I will write later on the amount of movies, the movie titles as well as which title was shown the most on KTXL-TV 40.
Monday, October 02, 2006
On Late Saturday Night October 2, 1971 (or early Sunday Morning?) at 12:30AM following the British TV Series "The Avengers" on KCRA Channel 3, debuted a "Charlie Chan Theatre" which was hosted by Geoff Wong. On this very night, Bob Wilkins (the previous Late Saturday Night Host) appeared on the show as Geoff's Caucasian Houseboy. A reverse of the so-called stereotypical Chinese Houseboys of the movies of the 30's and 40's. Essentially, Bob passes the baton to Geoff as his successor (Bob moved to crosstown KTXL Channel 40) on KCRA Channel 3. There is a bit of controversy on the name of this show. I have heard it was called "Charlie Chan Theatre", but others point out that it was called "Geoff Wong Adventure Theatre" or "GWAT" for short. I tend to believe both. Geoff hosted on KCRA from 1971 until NBC's "Saturday Night Live" debuted in 1975. At first he showed "Charlie Chan Movies" (the 20TH Century Fox ones) until the summer of 1972, then he showed the TV Series "Dick Powell Theatre", then assorted Adventure/Action Movies, which makes me think that it was renamed "GWAT" when he showed the Adventure/Action Movies. KCRA tried not to schedule Horror/SciFi Movies on Geoff Wong's show though Geoff did show "Corridors Of Blood" starring Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee in 1974. The very first movie Geoff showed on October 2, 1971 was "Charlie Chan In London" (1935) starring Warner Oland as Charlie Chan. "Charlie has 3 days to prevent the execution of a convicted person he believes to be innocent."
Sunday, October 01, 2006
On Saturday Night, October 1, 1966, on KCRA Channel 3 at 11:30PM, Bob Wilkins showed 2 AIP Movies directed by Roger Corman. The first movie shown was "The Terror" (1963) and starring Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson. "A young officer in Napolean's army pursues a mysterious woman to the castle of an elderly baron where he discovers that she is the pawn of an old witch bent on driving the baron to suicide." The second movie was the black horror/comedy "A Bucket Of Blood" (1959) starring Dick Miller and Antony Carbone. "Dick Miller is Walter Paisley, a busboy who is an aspiring artist. One day, he accidently kills a cat, covers it in plaster and presents it as a piece of art but one masterpiece is not enough, but where is the next masterpiece going to come from.................?" Both movies are available on DVD, unfortunately both are in the public domain so there are plenty of crappy versions of both titles. I have yet to see a quality DVD of "The Terror", however the best DVD version of "A Bucket Of Blood" is from MGM Home Entertainment. It is currently Out Of Print, however you can pick up a used one from Amazon or ebay.