Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creature Feature

When I was a kid, I lived for Saturdays. Freedom, fun and my favorite mid-afternoon horror movies, "ghost hosted" by Dr. Paul Bearer. These were not just any horror movies, they were old horror movies, true classics from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (1943), with Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, The Mummy (1932) with Boris Karloff.

The host of Creature Feature was Dr. Paul Bearer, a man who lived and breathed his role as an undead undertaker. :-) He was a local celebrity, a man with a ridiculously morbid sense of humor and a perfect deadpan delivery. An unrepentant punster, Dr. Paul Bearer's goal in life was to make you groan in agony over his use of bad puns and silly props, while being just a bit creeped out by his appearance and demeanor. (He drove around town in an actual hearse, and had an actual glass eye that was always somewhat... off.) :-)

Seriously, I loved the guy. Watch this brief clip of Dr. Paul Bearer in action, as he introduces the afternoon movie for Channel 44's Creature Feature:

In between the scary parts of the movie, Dr. Paul would take us to his Tenement Castle, where he'd lighten the tension by chatting with us and his best friend, Spenjamin Bock (a skull), or visiting with his Mummy:

I guess you could say that Dr. Paul Bearer was a big influence on me, because he allowed me to watch scary movies and still feel safe. No gore or slasher films during Creature Feature, just good old spooky classics, served with a side order of morbid humor. No matter how freaked out I might get while watching Bela Lugosi as Dracula or Boris Karloff as a mad scientist, I could count on Dr. Paul to make me laugh, and smile when he uttered his signature closing line, "I'll be lurking for you..."

Happy Halloween, Dr. Paul! Rest in pieces. :-)


Fallon Blake said...

I know this post is old but I just stumbled onto it. I loved this show. It started my love for all things dark and spooky and I remember the hearse! I used to live for Saturday afternoons. Thanks for posting this. It brought back some really good memories for me.

Terri Garey said...

Hi Fallon!

Yep, nobody could do creepy/campy like Dr. Paul, could he? They still use his hearse at Busch Gardens during Halloween Horror Nights!

Thanks for stopping by.