Classic Horror Campaign

You see the accompanying photo to this piece? To a certain generation of TV viewers (of which I’m a part), it brings back happy memories. Saturday nights during the 70s and 80s were a great time for fans of classic horror films, as here in the UK, BBC2 would screen a double-bill of oldies but goodies from the likes of Hammer, RKO Studios and Universal. Just like the two depicted on the cover of Radio Times shown here, Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 masterpiece of psychological horror Night of the Demon (with Dana Andrews and Peggy Cummins), coupled with Freddie Francis’ The Ghoul (1975), starring the ever reliable and very gentlemanly Peter Cushing.

Those Saturday night double-features are long gone, replaced by brain-numbing late-night fare.  I’m happy to report, however, that they certainly have not been forgotten. In fact, the Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance are one such group of people who would very much like to see these films make a return to British screens. Films like Bride of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, To The Devil a Daughter, and The Wolfman, films starring the likes of Sir Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing , Lon Chaney Jnr, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, would be given an airing, as well all those glorious obscurities that very few people ever hear of, let alone get to see. Many of the films are entirely reminiscent of a different age, and hark back to a time when atmosphere and implication were far more important than being shown everything, when filmgoers were required to use their imaginations to fill in the gaps.

So, to that end, the Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance have set up a campaign to persuade the BBC to return those halcyon days to our screens and have set up various online outlets to promote it, such as a blog, a Facebook page, and even a petition that people can sign. Plenty of support for the cause has already been forthcoming, from people such as Emily Booth (Pervirella), Eileen Daly (Pervirella, Razor Blade Smile), Andy Nyman (Dead Set) and Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentleman), as well as the National Horror Festival of Wales and others. There’s plenty of promotion online too.

If you would like to see these wonderful films make a welcome return to our TV schedules on a late Saturday night, the kind of films that, when you were younger, you would hide behind the sofa at the scary bits, then do your part by signing the online petition and adding your voice to the campaign. Also, spread the word about it to your friends and virtual acquaintances. If you would like to transform your Saturday evenings from ones of endlessly banal gameshows or tired old dramas or voyeuristic reality TV programmes into ones of fevered anticipation of the thrills and shivers to come, then get on to making your views and demands known.


Online petition can be found here.

Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance Facebook page is here.

The Alliance’s blog can be accessed here.


3 Responses to “Classic Horror Campaign”

  1. Sefton Disney Says:

    I remember those Saturday-night double bills very fondly. At the same time, I seem to remember BBC1 ran an early evening thread called “Saturday Night At The Movies”, which used to show lots of old westerns, adventure movies and the occasional Ray Harryhausen film. And we had “Doctor Who” just before that, too. Happy days!

  2. A noble endeavor. Here in the States when I was a kid (1970s) all the creature double-features were on Saturday afternoons. I can still recall how much Christopher Lee’s Dracula terrified me even in the sunlit living room! Around 1980 or 81 they switched to kung-fu movies, which weren’t really my thing. I have a lot of that stuff on DVD now so I can just watch ’em whenever, but our plethora of cable channels is pretty good about playing the horror classics–as well as not-so classic.

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