Thursday, October 1, 2015

Creepy TV: Fright Night (1973)

I've often referenced the period in the early 70's when cable television first entered my area, and home. We were blessed with WOR, WNEW, & WPIX out of NYC, all of which had weekend horror movie showcases into the 80's.

WPIX's Chiller Theatre was discussed over at Saturday Morning Archives many moons ago because 'PIX would run it in the afternoon on some Saturdays, and we'll revisit it later this month. We'll also take a look at WNEW's Creature Features, but for right now, let's talk about WOR's Fright Night.

Launched in 1973, Fright Night was slotted usually at midnight or 1 am (ET), the latter if there was wrestling on at midnight. WOR reached into its voluminous film library for features to run in this space, and many of the Universal monster movies would also be in rotation during the day, usually on The 4:00 Movie or Million Dollar Movie. WOR's then-parent company also owned KHJ in Los Angeles, home to another Fright Night, which had bowed three years earlier, hosted by Seymour, who'd later go into syndication, before he was replaced by Elvira, who would rechristen her show, Movie Macabre.

The running time for each film was usually anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Beginning in 1979, the rotation changed to include some films from the 70's, including "Sssssss", with Strother Martin & Dirk Benedict, and "Willard", and ABC Movie of the Week entries like "Killdozer". However, Fright Night was quietly cancelled in 1987 due to declining ratings and, probably also the availability of many films on VHS.

Here's the intro:

I tried staying up after moving into my current abode, but never could get through a full picture without falling asleep. Thus, no rating.

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