American Scary

Netflix’s suggestions are usually nothing more than jokes. Yes, I watched Primeval, but in what universe does that mean I might also like Downton Abbey? But Netflix finally made good last night. It suggested a little documentary called American Scary.

American Scary is about our country’s rich tradition of horror hosts. It covers such VHF luminaries as Ghoulardi, Svengoolie, Vampira, Elvira, and Zacherley. Not only are these hosts and more in the documentary, but there are also interviews with Leonard Maltin (who appeared to be sitting in the same chair he inhabited in The Sci-Fi Boys), Tim Conway, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman (drool), Joel Hodgson, Commander USA (out of uniform, unfortunately), and Neil Gaiman. Gaiman was even shown hosting a short Halloween special of his own. Big Chuck and Lil’ John also make an appearance, and there is a discussion on the abnormal abundance of Ohio horror hosts that I (being a Columbus boy) greatly appreciated. I imagined that Claymation Werewolf and Drahken would like that part as well. The only problem? They didn’t mention my two favorite hosts: Fritz the Nite Owl (who probably would have fit into their “Normal Guys” category) and Moana (an Elvira rip-off from Pittsburg we had for about a year on WTTE). How could they have missed them when they spent so much time on Ohio? I have no clue.

If you can forgive that oversight, you can see American Scary on either Netflix Instant, Hulu, or YouTube.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

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9 thoughts on “American Scary

  1. Actually, it does. I wasn’t familiar with her, but it showed some original footage of her show and then a little interview with her.

  2. Matt Stilwell says:

    Do you know if there’s a dvd of this special ? I’d love to see what they have to say about Crematia. I remember very little about her other than some very hazy memories from when I was a kid.

  3. Doug – glad you enjoyed the film, despite any “omissions”… :)

    In answer to your question (Google Alert brought me here), we never set out *not* to include anyone – and as you can imagine, with the sheer number of hosts out there, we couldn’t include them all… once we decided to present the film without a narrator, we were constrained by what the interviewees said – if no one mentioned a particular host, it was near impossible to work them in – finding usable footage was also an issue…

    Matt: there is indeed a DVD available – Amazon should have it in stock….

    Thanks for watching, guys…. :)

    John Hudgens
    Director, “American Scary”

  4. That’s okay, John. We Columbusites are used to being overshadowed by Cleveland and Cincinnati! And Moana was real small, I think only in two cities. It was a great movie and I’m glad I found it.

  5. Doug, great post! This is probably the second feature that I watched on Netflix Instant, great stuff.

    @John Thanks to you and your team, sir! Wonderful documentary and makes me sad that my neck of the woods never had a horror host of its own.

  6. Matt Stilwell says:

    Amazon says that the dvd is out of stock, but I’ll keep checking. I’d really like to see Crematia on dvd.

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